Cast: Ajay Devgn,Akshaye Khanna,Paresh Rawal,Bipasha Basu
Two CBI officers arrive in a small town in Bihar. Theyve come to investigate the disappearance of three young men,who were last sighted here. In short order,they run into a local police department which behaves like its in the Wild West,petrified locals who refuse to open their mouths,and deep-seated caste prejudice. Both the citified Sidhant ( Khanna) and the more attuned-to-rural-ways Pratap ( Devgn) are left going around in circles.
For those accustomed to Priyadarshans loud comedies,heres a chance to sample one of Priyadarshans loud actioners. The arrival of the two men from Delhi shakes up the town which lives in the dark ages: the dalits are the oppressed,the thakurs and the brahmins are the lords and masters. The new lords are the politicians and the police,and they join hands in keeping those that should neither be seen nor heard in their place.
Everything about this film is so loud that it can do serious damage to your ear-drums. Everyone,including brutal cop (Rawal) and his cohorts,goes about killing and beating and stabbing. Just in case anyone is feeling left out,Priyan stuffs in a religious angle,with trishul-bearing thugs going around the countryside stringing up those up that dare to protest.
All of this overwhelms the film so much that you nearly forget that its main thread is that awful euphemism called honour killings. Turns out that one of the young men,a dalit,was involved with a local girl,whose high-caste family comes under the scanner. Turns out that everyone is involved in the cover up. And turns out that bad cops wife (Basu,in a serious case of bad acting),who also happens to be Prataps ex-girl-friend,is hiding something.
You feel like ignoring the loudness in bits and pieces because Aakrosh focuses on an important issues : any film that points out that modern India condones the sort of age-old bestial entitlement that allows people to rape and kill with impunity needs to be seen. But did it have to be so relentlessly violent? After a point,you stop reacting. And also,did the director have to rip off Mississipi Burning quite so completely? Replace FBI officers Willem Dafoe and Gene Hackman with CBI officers Akshaye Khanna and Ajay Devgn,darkest Mississippi with darkest Bihar,and racism with caste-ism,steal scenes in their entirety,and you have Aakrosh. Why does Priyadarshan need to lift from Hollywood when he can quite legally borrow his own Malayalam films and make them into Hindi? Or has he finally run out original material?