Kaagaz Movie Review - Dull Writing And A Duller Filmmaking Make This A Bland Fest

The incredibly true story of Lal Bihari gets a cinematic adaptation in the hands of Satish Kaushik. 

In Kaagaz, we are incessantly reminded of the power a paper, a government paper to be specific, possesses. If the paper says you are a crocodile, it will take you a lifetime to prove otherwise. With such great power comes zero responsibility. Our system is run by officials who take lunch on time but struggle to take charge of their duties. In this paralyzed machinery enters Bharat Lal (Pankaj Tripathi) with his small problem: to be declared alive in the official papers. His familial relatives have announced his death sentence in the records to take over his share of land. Poor Bharat Lal would have never come to know about his "death" if he had not gone to take a loan from the bank. He has a small wedding band, and the loan was supposed to expand his business. The rest of Kaagaz is basically Bharat Lal vs. The Government.

Apart from being a director, Satish Kaushik is a well-known comedian, a side that we get more of in Kaagaz. A person giving flowers made of paper to Bharat, Bharat praying to get arrested by the police are all quite funny to watch. But what's also (unintentionally) funny is the chance encounter between Bharat and Advocate Sadhoram (Satish Kaushik, again), the way we are told about a bandit's tragedy who is also suffering from the same problem as that of Bharat's, and - this is the major one - the fight of Bharat himself. 

Sure, Pankaj Tripathi tries his best, but there is nothing much he can do when used as a paper-weight. His confounded expressions don't do much for us to care. Tripathi's face resembles someone who is about to laugh or crack a joke when fed up by his actions, his wife (Monal Gajjar) is shown leaving the house. The same face is followed in many serious situations. How then can we be serious when the protagonist himself takes everything as a joke? Juggling from a political drama to a household drama to a comedy, Kaagaz comes across as a confused film trying hard to find its footing. On second thoughts, it forces a lot on the political aspect without flair. Kaushik lists down his frustration with the system, grabs our collar, and impels us to read every line written on his kaagaz. The end product is muddled like the two voice-overs; one comes from Salman Khan and another from Kaushik. 

There are two scenes where Kaagaz fleetingly shines. When Bharat's wife goes to reap the benefits of being apparently a widow, she is mocked for wearing sindoor and mangalsutra. There is a smart (if underutilized) statement here that derides the buffoons who use the word "government" as a smokescreen to get rid of the task at hand. A final chase occurs in a record room with yellow light bulbs illuminating rows of dusted files on the racks. It serves as a gentle reminder of the million cases that end up rotting under the faintness of a locked room. 

However, in the long run, these bits do not have a significant impact. At least not enough to galvanize the viewer. It's a pity how an account so inspiring ends up with a limp. Kaushik throws everything on screen in an attempt to motivate us into taking action, perhaps for a better tomorrow, but you barely lift your finger, let alone demand a change from the system. Even if his aim was to merely showcase a stirring narrative, he failed to rouse this viewer. As for the difference in name from Lal Bihari to Bharat Lal, it may have been done for this line to surface, "Bharat ka Lal woh bhi mara hua." A news journalist publishes Bharat's story in newspapers and even Time magazine. We never see how it influences the public. We get cause but no effect. Kaushik had a well-intentioned idea and paper. All he needed was to wield the power of the pen. 

Find Me On:

Twitter - https://twitter.com/vikas_yadav98

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/vimovies123/

Email - vikasy199@gmail.com                      

from Movie Reviews https://moviesinmydna.blogspot.com/2021/01/kaagaz-movie-review-dull-writing-and.html
Bagikan ke Facebook

Artikel Terkait