KAGAAR- living on the edge


Starring  Amitabh Dayal, Nandita Das, Om Puri, Vijay Raaz

Direction : N. Chandra 

Music: Vishal Bhardwaj

 ReViewed by  Akshay Shah


 ReViewed by  Akshay Shah


N.Chandra has always been a director associated with serious films. Right from his earlier films like PRATIGHAAT and ANKUSH to his latter films like NARSIMHA, TEZAAB and WAJOOD. One was very surprised when he resorted to making mindless and pointless comedies like STYLE and its mundane sequel XCUSE ME. 

N.Chandra now gets backk to his true roots with another hard hitting film...this time it revolves around the life of a encounter specialist and the film is loosely based on the real life character Daya Naik.

 The film revolves around village simpleton Bhaskar Sarnaik (Amitabh Dayal). He comes to the big bad city of Mumbai in search of his brother only to find out that his brother has been shot dead. Out of determination he decides to become a police officer and is aided by  sub inspector Gokhale (Om Puri)-a kind hearted officer who sympathises with Bhaskar. Gokhale soon introduces Bhaskar into the world of encounter killing where the baddies are bumped off by the cops  in fake encounters and Bhaskar soon becomes a killing machine killing over 70 people.

 Bhaskar marries a girl from his village who is thrilled with the idea of marrying a heroic cop and life seems to be going steady for Bhaskar...untill he finds out that his childhood buddy Adi (Anoop Soni) has become a member of the underworld. Soon Bhaskar gets suspended for allegedly being hand in glove with Adi and this hurts his ego as being a cop is the only thing he cares about more than anything...

 What unravels next is a cat and mouse thriller between the two on the right side of the law and the other on the wrong side of the law..


As a writer, Sujeet Sen has written a fairly interesting story. The film takes a realistic look at the lives of cops without the gloss and glamour that is usually portrayed.The film moves on a singular track and leaves the viewer enthralled throughout. Although the proceedings do tend to get a little bit slow they are hardly ever boring.

 One just wishes the film was more hard hitting. The script of the movie allowed for a lot more confrontations between Bhaskar and the crooks and also Adi showing how Bhaskar slowly becomes a encounter specialist. Sadly this angle is rushed and not shown properly apart from the first scene in the movie.

 As a director N.Chandra is back to what he does best! KAGAAR falls into the same genre as his earlier films ANKUSH and PRATIGHAAT although it doesnt match up to these 2 films. The film is a realistic, stark and morbid look at the world of cops and Chandra seems completely focussed at what hes doing.

Sadly KAGAAR faills to have the hammerstrong impact that a film of this nature demands. Apart from the initial opening sequence which gives the viewer the impression that KAGAAR is going to be a loud and bold slowly falls into the category of a slow moving drama until the post interval where the proceedings pick up pace again. Cop films like ARDH SATYA or the more recent SHOOL and GANGAJAAL projected realism on screen, portrayed their officers as down to earth "real" men and managed to keep the film hard hitting and entertainging throughout. KAGAAR succeeds in the first 2 sectors but falls in the latter.

Chandras narrative technique must be given full marks. The manner in which the film unfolds is spectacular and the technique is novel and reminds one of a film noir. One just hopes that Chandra sticks to directing films of this nature and doesn't resort back to the likes of STYLE.


The performances in the movie act as the backbone of the movie.

Newcomer Amitabh Dayal leaves a hammerstrong impact with his debut performance in a rolel that demands him to exhibit a gamut of emotions from a simple village boy to a hardened cop. His acting is natural to the core and he is equally impressive in emotional and dramatic scenes. He also manages to change his looks effectively-one finds his transformation convincing from a village boy to a cop.

  Dayal needs to watch himself in some scenes as he doesn't look very camera friendly and is on the borderline of acting...but all these will improve over time. Also Dayal will most likely be thrown in the dark doldrums of offbeat cinema as he doesn't have the typical looks require by most heroes in Bollywood these days although he does have a barrell of talent. 

Om Puri in a supporting stint is as effective as ever. He has played a role of a similar nature before and he fits into his role effortlessley and gives a flawless and natural performance. 

Nandita Das is superb in a underwritten role. She doesn't get many scenes to exhibit her talent and that is indeed very sad. In the one scene where officers come to search Bhaskars house and her outburst alone shows what a powerful actress she is. The chemistry she shares with Amitabh is also natural

 The last essential character in the movie is Adi played by Anoop Soni. Soni plays his role perfectly and provides the perfect enemy for Amitabhs character. The two characters have so many similarities yet are so different in many ways. Their interactions together provide the best moments in the movie which makes the climax all the more exciting.


Musically the film is below mark. The BHASKAR IS A HAPPY MAN track seems silly.  Manoj Guptas cinematography is also below mark and the film seems a bit jaded at times.

On the other hand Bhikhu Vermas action is tight and hardhitting making for some exciting viewing and Surinder Sodhis music is perfect keeping in touch with the mood of the movie


All up KAGAAR is definetly worth a dekkho for those who love their realistic and hardhitting films. The film lacks any form of masala and those who love the likes of ANDAZ, ISHK VISHK etc will be highly disapointed. With some tighter direction KAGAAR could have been a lot better and definetly kept the viewer "on the edge" throughout.

6.5 outta 10  


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