“Haasil’ raised many expectations despite it’s shoddy
representation and many expected director Tigmanshu Dhulia to
improve over time.
But that was not to be. Dhulia’s films be it “haasil’, ‘Charas’ or
‘Just Mohabbat’ have all failed at the box-office and even the critics
have moved on in search of more dependable talent. Nothing much
was expected from the medium budget ‘Shagird,’ Dhulia’s fourth in a
line-up of promising but typically compromised presentations. The
film’s sole claim to fame is the choosy Nana Patekar
starring in the lead as renegade police officer Hanumanth Singh- A role
so very similar to his award winning turn in the Ram Gopal Verma
starrer ‘Ab tak Chappan’ that it’s not funny. Tigmanshu Dhulia and
Kamal Pandey have collaborated to give us this reedy tale configured in
a style that appears snippety and singularly lacking in clarity.
Newly inducted crime branch Police officer (Mohit Ahlawat) finds
himself caught up in a cesspool of political machinations and
questionable police procedure soon after he walks into his office.
His senior Hanumanth Singh, a celebrated encounter specialist decides
to put him through a trail by fire and the rookie finds himself
unprepared for what is thrown at him by his boss. Over time and
after several shoot-outs and encounter killings, the equation between
the two officers begins to change. The film tries to explore this
change in equation between the two and provides answers as to who comes
out trumps in their highly immoral and illegal battle for supremacy.
Tigmanshu Dhulia’s narrative fails to provide a proper set-up and the
development is also pretty weak and unconvincing. Notorious
gangster and political henchman, Bunty Bhaiyya(Anurag Kashyap)
character appears to be a dead-ringer for Raju Bhaiya, is integral to
the plot. Hiis capture by the police at a wayside tea stall is smartly
engineered and scenes dealing with his incarceration
sharpen the insight into the politician-criminal-police nexus.
narrative begins to lose connect in the first few minutes
itself when Hanumanth Singh is shown parlaying for a greater cut,
with a wily Foreign Minister wannabe. Each character is hell-bent on
lining his pockets with as much wealth as he can. Everyone is corrupt
here so it becomes doubly difficult to empathise with any single
character in the film.
As the narrative plods along, the plot gets thicker
and murkier. By then the body count has also risen a hundred fold.
Three reporters are taken hostage by an International terrorist
outfit and one of them is even bumped off. The narrative gets
more and more convoluted
and farfetched. There is little logic for what turns up on screen here.
Hanumanth Singh is debauched, cynical and corrupt and he is a
calculated cold-blooded killer himself-albeit of criminals. He doesn’t
suffer remorse for what he does so there appears to be no
difference between him and the people he is crusading against. We
why he is that way. So why should we care?
Rating: * ½