Kagaar: Life on the Edge

Naive, simple-minded, and illiterate Bhaskar Sarnaik (Amitabh Dayal) comes to Bombay from his far-off village, to look for his missing brother, Raghuvir. He comes in contact with Sub-Inspector Gokhale (Om Puri), who feels sorry for him, and not only offers to find his brother, but also employment at an Irani Restaurant. Bhaskar does find his brother - in the morgue - but decides not to tell his mother as this may break her heart. He decides to stay on in Bombay and undergoes training to become a police officer. A short time later he is also a Sub-Inspector working closely with Gokhale.

He is wounded in an encounter, and his mother comes to look after, and gets him to marry Aditi (Nandita Das) from the same village, which Bhaskar does so. Then the police must hunt for Adi, a notorious hit-man. When Bhaskar comes face to face with Adi, he does not shoot him, and as a result Adi escapes. Adi then gives an interview on television that he is the child-hood friend of Bhaskar, and that he would never be shot at by Bhaskar. As a result, Bhaskar gets suspended from service, and becomes the subject of an intensive investigation by the Crime Branch, who are now convinced that Bhaskar is on the pay-roll of Adi and other underworld elements.

Kagaar (Precipice) is based on the true life story of a Mumbai cop, encounter specialist sub-inspector Daya Nayak, who has been given special thanks in the movies credits. Dedicated to the brave Mumbai Police, it has no songs, a tight script and real locations. Kagaar holds a mirror to real-life situations in Mumbai. Dayal, who debuts in this film, has done justice to the character of the wide-eyed, new cop-turned-ruthless shooter. Om Puri as Gokhale is relaxed and lends credence to the drama.

But it is Adi, who has a love-hate relationship with his childhood friend, Bhaskar, who captivates the audience. Sonis part is small, but he portrays the changes in Adi so subtly, yet so enchantingly, that you cannot bring yourself to hate him. The cops in this movie do not live in posh bungalows or sing songs around trees. They are as human as you and me, or the criminals in the movie. They also cry in hard times and get depressed like anyone else.

Neither is Kagaar a typical good-versus-evil struggle. The hero and anti-hero believe in the philosophy that the end justifies the means. It is a struggle for survival, and the survivor will be the winner, morals notwithstanding.Amitabh Dayal makes his debut as sub-inspector Bhaskar Sarnaik in this flick, which is inspired by the life of encounter expert Daya Nayak. In Kagaar , Chandra goes for the kill.

The story of a restless cop Bhaskar (debutant Amitabh Dayal ) who believes that fake encounter deaths are the only way to rid the society of hardened criminals, it is striven by a succession of sock-in-the-face images done in dark shades that recall Govind Nihalanis Ardh Satya .The curse-and-affect format is often a little put-on, especially when the lingo gets deliberately abusive. But full marks to cinematographer Manoj Gupta for making that slippery jump from the garish in Chandras Excuse Me to the grim and gritty colours of crime-infested city life in Kagaar. The elaborate screenplay by Sujit Sen takes the protagonist back to his roots in the village and then delineates his journey into the heart of urban darkness. The migratory transition is convincingly achieved.

To its credit the screenplay manages to hold together various elements from the protagonists life without losing out on the essential humanism of the plot.The impotence of being honest to ones job comes across in several key scenes within the cops domestic ambit and on the slick streets where Bhaskar must chase his childhood chum turned grownup crime lord till the inevitable end.Anoop Soni as the heros gangster-friend gives a riveting flamboyant twist to his complex character.This is the underrated actors most challenging role ever, and he doesnt let go of one moment of his playing time to construct a character that has a graph and a grip .Debutant Amitabh Dayal has some tough khaki-clad acts to follow up, including his legendary namesakes clenched cops part in Zanjeer, a film to which Kagaar owes direct linear allegiance.

Dayal manages the mutating shades of anger well. But he needs to improve his body language, specially his hand gestures. The film is sub-captioned Living On The Edge. The cops harassed neglected and overwrought wife does more of that—living on the edge—than the cop.Nandita Das has earlier played an overworked cops sultry spouse in Aks.

Here shes more at home. Her scenes with Dayal are occasionally electric.But its Om Puri as the heros tormented mentor who holds our attention. His cynical disregard for rules and his guarded forebodings vis-à-vis Bhaskars extra-constitutional crime busting are lucidly mapped in that eloquent face.Kagaar lends a lot of substance in its cinematic dialect.

The one-night story done with such dark dynamism by Sudhir Mishra in Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin works effectively in telling the cops tale.

Director :

N. Chandra

Cast :

Om Puri, Nandita Das, Amitabh Dayal

Genre :

Producer :

Mrunalinni Patil

Release Date :


Running Time :

150 min.

Music :

Vishal Bhardwaj

Soundtrack :