Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ab Tak Chhappan 2 

The Expendable

A poor sequel to a decade-old film, generates an inexplicably golden-glow nostalgia for the original.  Shimit Amin’s Ab Tak Chhappan was hardly a masterpiece; were it not for this needless Part 2, how many would even have thought of the 2004 film, unless there was some media focus on encounter killings.

This critic had written about Ab Tak Chhappan :Imagine Satya from the point of view of the trigger-happy cop. Imagine Ardh Satya twenty years later. Imagine a milder Training Day. Shimit Amin’s Ab Tak Chhappan, coming out of the Ram Gopal Varma ‘Factory’ has the RGV stamp all over it. The same dark feel, gritty look, rough dialogue, excessive violence and the same moral vacuity as Satya or Company. Unlike Gangaajal, which at least examined the two sides of the issue – police brutality versus proliferating crime—Ab Tak Chhapan has no qualms in making a Hero out of a cop who thrives on killing criminals –never mind that innocent bystanders get shot as well. “

Eleven years later, there is no great change in the cop-gangster scenario to justify another gore fest.  There have been so many gangster films over the last  two decades, that there is nothing new to say or show.  Like the proliferation of Hollywood films that have plots about old/retired cops or FBI agents forced to return to solve some complicated case—which is just an excuse to prolong a has-been star’s career--  Ab Tak Chhappan has no discernible purpose, except giving Nana Patekar something to do in Hindi films. And then, director Aejaz Gulab doesn’t even give his hero a worthy antagonist—just handing him a gun, and writing in a huge dose of blood lust is hardly enough.

In the earlier film, Sadhu Agashe (Patekar) was tha Daya Nayak inspired ‘encounter specialist’, whose job it is to kill gangsters. After he is caught in a trap by his own department, Sadhu had escaped. Now, years later, he lives a peaceful life in Goa with his son, when he is invited by his former boss (Mohan Agashe) to rejoin the force and pick up the gun again. He is reluctant to return, but his son talks him into it—the boy gets killed a little later, giving Sadhu a personal reason to rid the city of vermin. (In the interim eleven years, no other cop has learnt to shoot straight? And the ‘system’ is still the same?)

Gul Panang plays a crime reporter, who wants to complete her late father’s book on crime, Ashutosh Rana a disgruntled junior and Raj Zutshi a wheelchair bound underworld don. They are just wooden props behind Nana Patekar, who wears stylish sunglasses and jumps right into Dirty Harry mode, with crazy camera angles-- Ram Gopal Varma style.

News is there is a Part 3 being planned—hopefully they will hire a better scriptwriter.


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