action drama

Starring Ajay Devgan, Gracey Singh, Mukesh Tiwari, Mohan Agashe, Mohan Joshi, Yashpal Sharma, Ayub Khan, Dayashankar Pandey

Written/Edited/ Produced and Directed by Prakash Jha 

Music: Sandesh Shandilya

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review -Jox

Yet another director with his version of the helplessness of the police force when it comes to dealing with the unruly set of power lords of the Bihar setup. This time it is director Prakash Jha and the man doing the dirty job of cleaning up the system is Ajay Devgan.

And kudos to both of them for coming up with something hardhitting and full of substance, despite the fact that we have seen the same thing several times already. Two of the best recent examples are E Niwas' SHOOL and Mahesh Manjrekar's KURUKSHETRA. 

  The flick revolves around Police Superintendent Amit Kumaar (Ajay Devgun) who along with his wife Anu (Gracy Singh) gets transferred to the small notorious and corrupt town of Tejpur. His aim is to impose law and order into this small town where goonda raj prevails around every corner. His job becomes harder when he comes to know that most of his juniors and his seniors also are corrupt to the core and the inhabitants of Tejpur are too scared to speak out against the local dons and accept what is going around them as everyday life. Amits main foes include Sadhu Yadav (Mohan Joshi) and his ruthless and maniacal son Sundar Yadav (Yashpal Sharma) who pretty much run the town with their drowning power and corrupt connections!

 On one night Amits juniors driven by anger and frustration at the system burn some goons eyes with acid which is given the term "gangajal"-a religious term for purification.

 Soon the lines are blurred between right and wrong......lawlessness prevails on the town of Tejpur and the tyranny of Sadhu and Sundar Yadav starts to get out of hand...

 How Amit manages to retain law and order into the town of Tejpur and awaken the people of Tejpur forms the crux of the story.


However unlike those two, this film is trying to tackle a more realistic topic of the Bhagalpur Blindings of the early eighties without going into a very docu style commentary about the events. Instead Prakash Jha has managed to make a very powerful and involving movie which easily manages to get its point across.

And from Prakash Jha, that is a very big achievement, because as a director he had failed to come up with an appealing screenplay in any of his recent past flicks that included Mrityudand, Rahul, Dil Kya Karen etc. But this time the screenplay has been very engaging from the word 'go'.

Prakash Jha can be happy that he has finally got things right, most of the characterisation and casting all well down to the wire and in all, a movie worth watching. 

And the reason for that is some amazing supporting characters that really rose to the occasion. And most notably among them was Mukesh Tiwari. The first one hour, Tiwari is the man you have to keep your eyes on as he comes out of his shell and throws a lot of depth and shades into his charcter. A revelation indeed. In short, if it wasn't for this character, the movie would have never been the same experience for me. Once Tiwari goes out of the picture, things really go loose and as we head towards the climax, you can notice the movie losing its punch and steam.

Also supporting Tiwari very well are a host of several others that even includes Ayub Khan who surprisingly has a very limited role. Akhilendra Misra, Anoop Soni and Dayashankar PAndey all have come up with excellent performances. 

On the flip side, we have two villains that unfortunately turn out to be too tame and too predictable in every way. Mohan Joshi and Yashpal Sharma plays out their baddie roles just the way they have been doing it all along, with hardly anything new and exciting. This is probably one sector where a movie like SHOOL or KURUKSHETRA scores over GANGAAJAL.

But after appreciating all the support cast, we now come to the main man  Devgan who seems to be having a ball these days. He is certainly bagging some of the best roles out there, and this role is certainly among his better ones. But then again, he is hardly any competition to the more powerful performances we have seen in the police uniform, ala Amitabh, Naserudin Shah, Om Puri and most notably, Manoj Bajpai in SHOOL. 

Gracy Singh hardly has anything substantial in the film to do.

GANGAAJAL is powerful, gritty, and realistic to the core. And the wonderful cast makes the experiences more appealing and there is absolutely no reason why you should not take a look at this cop tale. Devgan and co has certainly delivered. 


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