N. Chandra's KAGAAR, produced by Dr. Mrunalini, is the story of one long night.
As the world celebrates the arrival of a new year and as his wife waits for him to get home, Bhaskar [Amitabh Dayal], the cop who has several 'encounters' to his credit, waits for the biggest catch of them all.
The 'catch' happens to be his childhood buddy [Anoop Soni], who is now a part of the underworld.
As Bhaskar waits for the prey, he goes back to the day he had set foot in the city to look for his missing brother. He recollects how he was enamored by the power of the uniform and worked his way into the police force... how his wife [Nandita Das] had stars in her eyes before marriage because she was excited at the prospect of marrying a 'hero' with a gun... how her initial euphoria gave way to disillusionment and she learnt to live life without her husband in a modest one room-kitchen.
Bhaskar's life has had its share of ups and downs... In between, he was suspended because his seniors believed that he was soft on his childhood buddy.
He wanted to settle scores once and for all. Trap his friend turned foe or get killed in the process.
Although a number of cop-versus-criminal fares have been witnessed in the past, KAGAAR is different in the sense that it gives an insight into the stressful lives of the cops.
Even the format of narrating the story is different -- it is narrated through a flashback, while the protagonist and his colleague are driving towards the docks, to nab a criminal.
The USP of the film is that it projects the stressful lives the police lead without deviating to unwarranted tracks. But from the audience point of view, this aspect may pose to be a deterrent. For, in the process of depicting reality on screen, the film tends to get dark and grim, making you restless after a point.
Director N. Chandra proves that he is most comfortable attempting a hard-hitting fare [ANKUSH, PRATIGHAAT]. However, KAGAAR lacks the hammer-strong impact of Chandra's earlier films, although a few sequences in the post-interval portions manage to keep your attention arrested.
The entire track when the protagonist is suspended and also the climax are rivetting. In fact, the sudden change of events in the finale is sure to catch the viewer unaware.
The background music [Surender Sodhi] is effective, enhancing the impact of the sequences tremendously. Cinematography [Manoj Gupta] is alright.
Like always, Om Puri is efficient, handling his role with effortless ease. Nandita Das depicts the helplessness with precision. The sequence when an enquiry committee lands up at her residence and her subsequent outburst reinforces the fact that she's an actress of calibre.
Despite being pitted against seasoned performers, Amitabh Dayal succeeds in leaving a strong impact. The actor lends the right colours to his role and delivers a performance that's truly noteworthy. Anoop Soni is another actor to watch out for. He is highly competent.
On the whole, KAGAAR is a sincere attempt with several engrossing moments. However, a theme like this many not find many takers since the audience preference tilts more towards feel-good cinema these days. At the box-office, it has some chances in the Mumbai-Maharashtra belt, where the story is based.