5 Excellent

Shool

In the calendar year 1999,Bollywood had a string of impressive movies-International Khiladi,Zulmi,Biwi No 1,Sarfarosh,Mann,Vaastav,Aarzoo,Baadshah,Arjun Pandit,Gair,Kachche Dhage,Laawaris,etc.The one which stood out even among the best in 1999 or Bollywood ever is Shool directed by E.Niwas./Ram Gopal Verma.

Plot
Samar Pratap Singh (played by Manoj Bajpai) is an idealist police inspector with unquestionable integrity posted to Motihari in Bihar with his wife Majiri(played by Raveena Tandon) and daughter Sonu Singh.Motihari village is ruled by politician and MP Bachu Yadav ,one of the most unscrupulous,corrupt and sad excuse of human beings one wl ever find for whom there is no bottom and whop thinks he is invincible.The entire system in Motihari is controlled by Yadav and every police officer (barring Samar) “unke per chat te hain”.(in the film dialogues own words)

Samar is an outcast and his idealist approach towards integrity doesnot ,rightly,allow him to tolerate or accept this rampant injustice and criminal goondagiri of Yadav.Bachu Yadav tries to bribe him off in vain and then tried to make life more and more difficult for Samar firstly by suspending him as a police officer on false charges,jailing him,killing his daughter,etc.Things reach breaking point for Samar and he finally decides to move out of Motihari but it is too late.Bachu Yadav’s people are on the run to kill him.He loses his final support in his wife Manjiri when she commits suicide unable to bear her husband’s constant humiliation for all the wrong reasons.
It is then that Samar decides that enough is enough and decides to kill Bachu Yadav.Th final scene in the Parliament is Bollywood’s best ever in its history.

Why this is must-watch

10)The setting of the movie is perfectly portrayed-a place in Bihar is very well projected in the movie.Also the film never drags on,every scene is substantial and meaningful.Plus the movie is neither toolong nor too short which all makes the movie better than what it is.

9)Nice light moments in the film,just enough to lighten the seriousness of the movie but not to much to drift away from the intensity of the subject.Examples being The 2 songs and the first family scene of Samar with his daughter Sonu Singh and wife Manjiri

8)Nice songs at apt moments.There are only 3 of them but perfectly apt:-
a)Shilpa Shetty item song-“Mei Aaiye Huin UP Bihar Lootne”-very impressive.
b)Ravs song at home with Bajpai andtheir daughter “Aaya Tere Papa o Gussa Kyun aata hain”-Ravs looking truly outstanding in this song in a blue saree.
c)The last song;”Shool Si” perfectly projects the state of mind of Bajpai and is the icing on the cake to indicate the inteisity of the crisis for Bajpai.

7)The opening scene introducing Bajpai at the village station and on the other hand Bachu Yadav brutally killing (in the cold-blooded crudest way possible) his political rival from his own party sets the tone of the film perfectly.It perfectly projects how different both personalities are in every which way and is the perfect starter before the main course..

6)Raveena Tandon’s death bed scene is one of the best ever when she tells Bajpai “Aap Hamare Hero hain.Ap hamesha Sar uthake Jiye hain.Hum aapko aise dek nahi sakte.Bhagwan ne aapke jaise log babane ban kar diye hain.”.Bajpai is repentant for not listening to Manjiri but it is too late.

5)Dialogues:-
As if the speech of Bajpai in the last scene and ravs in her death-bed scene wasnot enough,the whole film has classically great dialogues,some of them mentioned below:-
a)”Main Bikav Nahi Hu” –Bajpai to his colleague.
b)”Main Aapke niche nahin Kanoon ke Niche Kaam Karta Huin”-Bajpai to his senior.
c)”Sab kuch jal Kar Rakh ho Gaya hain par aap nahi sudhrenge”-Ravs giving a full-blooded emotional outburst to Bajpai after Bajpai ignores the advise of his friendly senior officer while in deep crisis.
d)"Mein to yeh bhi bolta hu ki ek jungle mein 2 sher nahi reh sakte.Sher kaha tumko"-Bachu Yadav to Samar

4)Performance:-This is Bajpai’s best movie ever in a mind-blowing performance as the idealist police inspector.Like Vivek Oberoi in Company and Rakthcharitra,Hrithik Roshan in Kkrish,SRK in Don,noone could have done this role better.Ravs is very impressive as well in a deglamorised role although not too long.Supporting star cast esp Bachu Yadav,Sonu Singh,etc lie upto the high standards set by ENiwas/Ram Gopal Verma and Bajpai.

3)Final scene is the best ever in Bollywood history in the Parlament wherein Manoj Bajpai tells the entire Parliament that he did exactly what the constitution stated a police inspector shd-he devoted his life for the good of the people of Motihari with positive intent and unbending ethical values to such an extent that he even forgot how to smile and sacrificed his happiness.And what did he get in return –a dead daughter,a dead wife and a destroyed family.All due to Bachu Yadav for no fault of his.And then ,as he had planned,as the very last resort,shoots Bachu Yadav to death in the Parliament.

2)Perfect execution:-Brutally honest idealist approach of Samar is portrayed very very well in a very impressive manner.Also the way things in rural Indian still is is almost perfectly realistically portrayed.Well done ENiwas. The execution of the plot is perfect from the beginning to the end.

1)To sum up this movie in one line,if it was possible to give a 6 start rating to any Bollywood movie ever in its history,this would be the most deserving one.

My thoughts
This movie showcases Indian even after more than half a decade of independence(mind you this was released in 1999).Winston Churchill was dead right when he said 64 yrs ago about India :-“ Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low calibre