The Hangman Hindi Movie Review
This latest movie with Om Puri in the lead role is an off beat film, a story unexplored till now in the Indian film world.
Om Puri is Shiva the hangman, a profession that has been handed down to him by his forefathers. Shiva is good at his job in the sense; he has perfected the art of putting to death a man with as little pain and agony as possible. But he is unhappy doing the work. The dying man’s face torments him always and he lives with the fear that the shadow of the deceased will follow him. He is scared that their curse will bring ruin to his family. His wife Parvati (Smita Jayakar) shares the same sentiment. Although Shiva had applied for retirement two years ago, the government did not relieve him of his work. Shiva sent in his application again.
Their only son Ganesh (Shreyas Talpade) is the apple of their eyes. Shiva’s desire is to see Ganesh in a policeman’s uniform. He looks forward to that day when Ganesh will free him from the stigma of the family legacy.
A bright student Ganesh excels in his studies in the village school where Tom Alter is the principal. Fondly called ‘baba’ - Tom Alter is Shiva’s confidante and guide.
At work, the jail superintendent (Gulshan Grover) respects Shiva. When he hears about his wish to see Ganesh as a policeman, he decides to take on the responsibility of educating the hangman’s son.
Euphoria marks the success of Ganesh in the school leaving examination. He leaves the village with his father to the jailor’s house in the city.
Ganesh is allowed to stay in the jailor’s servant’s quarters while attending college in the city.
Does Ganesh fulfill his father’s dreams? And is Shiva liberated finally? And how even in the face of all adversity a parent’s only concern is the welfare of the child.
The Hangman is an unusual theme over which the story has been built upon.
Om Puri with his ordinary looks gets into the skin of the character with ease, as the Hangman left with no choice but to continue with his profession and as a doting father building dreams over his son.
Shreyas Talpade plays his part well. Smita Jayakar complements Om Puri’s performance. It was a change to see Tom Alter in a different role and he is good. But the surprise was Gulshan Grover, the bad guy of Bollywood, who as the jailor looks dignified and so was his acting.
The positive note at the end of the story is the redeeming factor in the film. The hangman may not keep the cash registers ringing but it is most poignant and tugs at your heart strings. If you love good cinema, don’t miss this one.