Monday, November 14, 2005
Droh kaal(Times of Betrayal) -1994
Droh kaal is another great movie from nihalani. Another intense movie, which could have become a masala loaded commercial movie in the hands of a regular commercial film director, for it had all the components for a commercial movie. But Nihalani as usual stayed away from the commercial components and took his audience up-close into the mind of a police officer, Abhay singh.
Police officers DCP Abhay singh(Om Puri) and DCP Abbas Lodhi(Nasrudeen shah) are friends. Abhay singh comes to know about Abbas lodhi's secret operation called danush. Danush an operation which aims to infiltrate the naxal gangs to gain more information goes well,till one of the secret agent is caught. The naxal gang who desperately what to know about the other members of operation danush, terrorize abhay singh and his family.whether abhay singh gives in or not is the story.
The movie starts with the scene of Abhay singh's dream of suffocation/torture. An afraid abhay singh wakes up from the dream.That fear is the key to the movie.The whole movie is built on fear.Except for abass, most of the other characters are afraid of something or the other and they all become betrayers.Ironically the hero's name is abhay(Fearless).
A violent and anti people state not only perpetuates violence. It also generates counter violence.
The movie moves like a chess game with police and the naxals on opposing sides.Wins and loses are there on both sides.One thing that is common between the opposing sides is the betrayal of there trusted people.To an extent family is also a common vulnerable point for both sides. Whether it is the RPG launcher guy kishen or abhay singh they both start thinking about betrayal when it comes to their family.
This is one of those very few movies that shows naxals as ideology driven peoples, rather than blind violence perpetuators.On the other side it shows the price the men in uniform have to pay for dealing with them.The line between a police and naxal, blurs a bit when some police personal turn traitors and some police spies who infiltrated the naxal gangs, almost become insurgents by killing innocent people to get into the good side of the naxal leaders.The viscious circle of betrayal and violence continues on both sides.
The movie like many govind nihalani movie has violence. But you hardly get to see the blood and gory mutilated bodies. The violence is more mental, both the sides believe in breaking down a man mentally through fear and physically through tortures.Fear becomes and important weapon for both the sides and if anyone is caught his limit to bear pain is tested and test is concluded only when he hits the breaking point.
When the movie ends, it leaves us with a great respect for the men who fight insurgents in our country.
Illa arun and saddiya siddiqui
Cast and Credit:
Om Puri .... DCP Abhay Singh
Naseeruddin Shah .... DCP Abbas Lodhi
Mita Vasisht .... Sumitra Singh
Annu Kapoor .... Surinder
Ashish Vidyarthi .... Commander Bhadra
Amrish Puri .... IGP Pathak
Milind Gunaji .... Shiv
Manoj Bajpai .... Anand
Vinit Kumar (as Vineet Kumar)
Ila Arun .... Zeenat
Kaushalya Gidwani .... kishen's wife
Saddiya Siddiqui .... Gulshan
Rajiv Dhingra (as Master Rajiv Dhingra)
Shri Vallabh Vyas
Manoj BajPai & Milind Gunaji
Manoj bajpai and Milind Gunaji are the two undercover agents sent to infiltrate the naxal group.One of the earlier movies for both the stars, manoj bajpai hardly comes in 2 scenes.
All around good performance by everybody.Especially Ashish vidhyarthi, who stole the show with his sterling performance.
If you are wondering who is costume designer behind the filmi style commondo dress that ashish vidhyarthu wears in the movie.It is Pia Benegal daughter of shyam benegal.She is also the assistant director for the movie.
story,script,direction and photography and produced by govind nihlani
Actually A.R.Rehman was supposed to be the music director for Droh Kaal.He even composed music for it.But was Rahman was forced to opt out of 'Droh-kaal' when he lost all his compositions for the movie owing to a computer system crash.I guess it was good fortune he didn't go the background scored for Droh Kaal cause he sucked big time with bgm's during that time period.
vanraj bhatia did the background scores and he has done a good job.
Ashish Vidyarthi won the national award for the Best Supporting Actor award.The performance that was aptly cited as "bringing credibility to his role with
strength and total conviction".
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