Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

October 15, 2010

Attack of the clones

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 11:30 pm

October 15, 2010

Cast: Ajay Devgan, Akshaye Khanna, Bipasha Basu, Paresh Rawal

Director: Priyadarshan

Aakrosh, directed by Priyadarshan, and starring Ajay Devgan and Akshaye Khanna has some powerful, gripping moments. But credit for that must go to Mississippi Burning, the Oscar-nominated 1988 film by Alan Parker, of which this film is a shameless copy.

Devgan and Khanna star as CBI officers packed off to Jhanjhad, a small town in Bihar, to investigate the disappearance of three male students who were last sighted there. As they sniff around for possible clues, they uncover many dirty secrets including the involvement of the local police and politicians in the murder of a low-caste Dalit boy and his two friends who dared to elope with an upper-caste girl.

Despite ripping off several key scenes from the original film with faithful precision, Priyadarshan’s desi remake doesn’t deliver the brutal punch of Mississippi Burning because the director can’t seem to decide if he’s making a realistic film on an important social issue, or a fast-paced action thriller. He saddles the drama with a gratuitous romantic back-story between Devgan’s character and the wife of a corrupt cop (played by Bipasha Basu), and also throws in an entirely unnecessary item song. Even the tension between both officers, arising out of their conflicting approach to the task at hand, fails to come through convincingly.

What’s nicely done, however, are some of the chase scenes. Particularly a Jason Bourne-style elaborate chase sequence between Devgan and a suspect, who leap across the roofs of buildings and through narrow alleys. There’s also a thrilling car-chase scene in which Devgan, perched on the top of a speeding jeep, leads his partner through a dense forest, in pursuit of a car ahead.

But Aakrosh, like Missippi Burning, is about the land it’s set in, and the people of that land. Replace the racial conflict of the original film with a caste conflict, and the stage is set for a violent tale of privileged Brahmins and the victims of their oppression, the Dalits. It’s hard not to be moved by the gruesome attacks on innocent townsfolk, although the director steals even those scenes to the last detail.

Of the cast, Ajay Devgan dives into his character with sincerity, and Paresh Rawal makes your skin crawl as the despicable local cop. The film is engrossing in portions, but suffers on account of inconsistent writing.

I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five for director Priyadarshan’s Aakrosh. For a more satisfying experience, I recommend you watch Mississipi Burning instead.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. directors like Priyadarshan will only destroy the Hindi Film Industry.He is prooving again and again that experience is nothing.

    Comment by Jithu George Idicula — October 16, 2010 @ 12:26 am

  2. The Promos looked promising. Dont know bout the film ..

    Comment by Mikhil — October 16, 2010 @ 9:53 am

  3. A Total waste of time, The Remake of Misissipy but the flow of the story, incident and character is very childish. A CBI investigating team can not be helpless at that extent. An IPS officer (Paresh Rawal) can not be unknown of the law and will know the meaning of CBI. CBI officer do come from Delhi they are there, postdated in the state. The SP rank officer cannot behave like a illiterate Daroga. He will not sit like a Wring Constable, without shirt. He will have a proper sitting arrangement.

    A Block Development Officer BDO will never be privileged to sit and dance with a District Magistrate. Even a most corrupt system has a protocol. Go and experience it in the field. There are times where a very arrogant Paresh Rawal suddenly becomes cool. Example: He is not willing to register a complaint of a missing person. When Akshay Kanna insist that I am lodging the complaint Mr Rawal Paraw suddenly gets cool. Once CBI takes charge of any investigation local police cannot Interfere but bound to cooperate. CBI team does not need to threaten that we will complain against you. The Local SP will be aware of the authority and power of the CBI. If the film is about tussle between the authorities then the fact should be taken care of.

    A CBI team is attacked and police is not registering complaint but informing them about the sum Sena is responsible. CBI Team loses the case in the court but only threatens that they will report about the criminal and police nexus. Is it possible to have a violent fight between two senior officer on a subject that how the investigation should proceed.

    These are only a few points You can find a lot more

    Masand I always trusted your review but Now it seems that you are a critics form METRO city, who have great exposer of world cinema. but little Knowledge of Indian facts. Please see Akrosh one more time and review it honestly

    Comment by Anand — October 16, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  4. watever….. i liked the movie…. basically the plot…… because it is truth of modern india….. this is what really happenning in rural india…. good movie….. must watch

    Comment by vinay — October 17, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

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