Jackie Shroff Entertainment Ltd.'s GRAHAN, directed by Shashilal Nair, tells the story of Paro (Manisha Koirala), a poor middle class girl, who teaches classical dance to school children to make two ends meet. After one of her performances, she is abducted and brutally raped by Sanjay Acharya (Prasad Purandare), the son of the Chief Minister.
Sanjay keeps Paro as a prisoner until her wounds have healed, so as to erase all traces of evidence. When she is finally released and thrown on the roads, a journalist rescues her. An FIR is lodged against Sanjay and the Chief Minister is informed of his son's act.
Unable to bear the shock, the Chief Minister dies of a shock. Sanjay persuades his sister, Sunita (Anupama Verma), to accept the nomination of their father's party to the post of the Chief Minister. However, Sanjay is arrested on charges of rape, but gets released as Sunita's fianc?Jaggu (Jackie Shroff), an advocate, accuses Paro of being a whore during the course of the trial.
Paro loses her mental balance and disappears. That night, at a party to celebrate his release by court, Sanjay confesses to the rape to Jaggu, who is shocked at the turn of events. He decides to find Paro and set things right for her if he can. He searches her all over the city and finally finds her digging for food in a garbage dump.
Jaggu takes Paro away from the city and tries to help her regain her memory. Paro regains her sanity and reaches the city, where Sanjay is being sworn in as a minister. And she does what she feels is correct. What happens next?
There are three factors that go against GRAHAN:-
One, the screenplay jumps from one scene to the next, leaving several questions unanswered in between;
Two, the treatment fluctuates from realistic to hardcore commercial, leaving the viewer mystified;
Three, the long period the film has taken to reach the theatres and the not-too-popular star cast gives the film a jaded look.
Writer Sujit Sen seems to have come up with a mish-mash script that holds scant appeal in today's times. So many films based on a similar theme have been witnessed in the recent past. Moreover, this time, incidents just happen, without any proper build-up to a scene, which is of utmost significance in a film like this.
There are three glaring instances to illustrate this point:-
* The villain orders his men to abduct Manisha and get her to the farmhouse and soon after, she is shown getting raped. The entire scene either looks under-developed or mercilessly axed by the censors!
* Manisha loses her sanity when Jackie accuses her of being a prostitute. But a few scenes later, in the post-interval portions, her look and mannerisms are not in sync with her character.
* Manisha murdering the villain in the pre-climax, seems too abrupt.
Besides these instances, the portions where Manisha calls herself a prostitute and even behaves like one, goes against the basic premise of the film. The families may not appreciate scenes like these. Even her exposure is totally uncalled for and looks indecent.
Director Shashilal Nair has concentrated on individual scenes, thereby ignoring the script in totality. Music (Kartik Raja) is another drawback. What's more, the songs are placed without any valid situation whatsoever. Cinematography (S. Kumar) is brilliant.
Performance-wise, Jackie Shroff looks drained at places, but does a sincere attempt at infusing life into his character. Manisha Koirala is effective in the courtroom scene in the climax. Otherwise, she is mediocre. Anupama Verma makes a confident debut. Prasad Purandare does not impress. Raghuvaran is expressionless.
On the whole, GRAHAN is a weak film in all respects. Lack of proper publicity, not-too-hot star cast and dull initial response will prove unfavourable for the film.