Thank God it is Friday and already a week has passed of the new year 2021. Last year has been tough but it was arguably a Golden Year for Pankaj Tripathi the actor. He featured in so many different roles and so many different shades, yet he managed to nail every single one of them. Not only did he add a unique element to each of his roles, but he also made use of a technique of ‘minimal gesture, maximum impact’. This Friday brings to us another one of his new releases, Kaagaz on Zee5. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Kaagaz is the story of a common man from a humble background who has to prove that he is alive as opposed to that mentioned in official government papers. The story is so relevant, especially when you take into account that it is a true story on the life of Bharat Lal. The amount of hardships that the man would have had to undergo is mindboggling. The screenplay successfully manages to expose the hollowness of the system which makes for an engaging viewing. Also the tone here is that of a satire. This means that there is less of melodrama and more of black comedy which works in its favour. But the screenplay at times tries too hard to underline and highlight things. Probably the narrative style is a reflection of the early 2000s where you have the narrator actually narrating what the characters are going through instead of allowing the audience to comprehend the situation. This takes a bit of the steam away from the drama, not to mention a ridiculous item number that comes out of nowhere. The characters apart from its protagonist lack depth but the proceedings are fast and definitely engrossing that culminate into a decent climax.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are witty and definitely sharp. The Music is underrated here, some of the songs are good. The BGM is alright. One major drawback is the film’s editing. The choppy editing takes away the bite from the story. Director Satish Kaushik has done a decent job. His direction is rough around the edges and could have been sharper. But still he does shine in most scenes.
The performances are simply outstanding. Amar Upadhyay as Jaganpal shines in a cameo. Mita Vashisht as Ashrafi Devi is highly underrated and such a treat to watch. Neha Chauhan as Sonia looks confident and makes her mark. Satish Kaushik as Sadhuram is first rate. I was particularly impressed with Monal Gajjar as Rukamini. Her looks, her small gestures and her performance simply bowled me over. And there is Pankaj Tripathi who is truely a legend. He is outstanding here as Bharat Lal. Give him any role and he will put forth a memorable performance each time. I don’t recall a single weak performance of his. Dare I say he successfully manages to hide many flaws of the screenplay. Just shows what a great actor can actually do. He also has the potential to making duds like Coolie No.1 into masterpieces, he may have well done that but guess we’ll never know.
Kaagaz is gritty and thought provoking as is relevant. The masterclass by Pankaj Tripathi makes for an enjoyable viewing. Available on Zee5.