Priyadarshan's last film Khatta Meetha had left bitter scars on our memory of his capabilities as a director. In fact his last few movies had in no way justified his stature as one of the top directors of the country - barring the National Award winning Kanchivaram. But that was made three years back. What Aakrosh does really well, apart from telling a good story, is bring back the good director!
Built around a sensitive topic of honour killing, Aakrosh in no way is a speech against caste and religious intolerance. It is a story well told with no preaching.
Story takes off with disappearing of three boys in Jhanjhar district of Bihar. Six months later there is a stir in Delhi by students union pressurizing the government to find the boys. CBI officer Sidhanth Chaturvedi (Akshaye Khanna) reaches the town to solve the case. He has a subordinate in Major Pratap Kumar (Ajay Devgn) who has better knowledge of the area. They together try solving a case which has no leads and no witnesses. And any lead that they find is immediately nullified. They figure out that don't have just goons to fight but also the local security set up.
One thing that surprises in the first half is the fact that Ajay Devgn plays a second fiddle to Akshaye Khanna. However he emerges as the man with the plan towards the latter part of the film, and also the man with the leading lady!
The screenplay unfolds well and fast and at half time there is a tremendous built up. The second half sees things moving towards a definite end. But yes, at almost two and half hours long, it could have definitely been kept shorter. Towards the last 15 minutes the director merely attempts to add more drama which serves not much good. There are also a couple of careless mistakes like village woman Jamunia (Reema Sen) telling Geeta (Bipasha Basu) that her husband was kidnapped just a night before while movement in story clearly shows it is two days since. Songs, especially the one which shows Pratap and Geeta's romantic past weren't needed too. This apart, Aakrosh is one product you will find hard to find dislike.
Among the highlights is very good cinematography, giving urgency to the story. It is edited well too. Dialogues are really good too. And of course movie boasts of some high-voltage performances by the leading cast. Akshaye Khanna and Ajay Devgn team up to form a great pair comes up with sterling performances. Bipasha does not have much to do. It is Paresh Rawal yet again who steals the thunder as the corrupt cop. At 60 years of age, he is one of the most dynamic actors on Indian screens.
Overall, Aakrosh is completely action thriller. This film deserves a watch! Welcome back Priyadarshan!
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