Cast: Om Puri,Shreyas Talpade Gulshan Grover,Smita Jayakar
Director :Vishal Bhandari
A humanitarian hangman sounds like a contradiction in terms,but not when Om Puri is playing the part. Shiva tends to his ropes with care,because he knows that they are used to snuff out a life,and to him,its both a job and penance : he does it as best as he knows how because he is good at his work,and he mourns the dead,every time he oils and puts away his tools. ‘The Hangman tells the story of an executioner who is at the end of his long,lonely career,and his son,who is at the beginning of his life,and the twists that fate has in store for them.
It could have been a moving film,but in the way it states the obvious all the time ( Shivas wife is called,yes,Parvati,and his son,Ganesh),the telling turns pedestrian. Shiva ( Puri) wants Ganesh ( Talpade) to become a police officer,and leaves him under the watchful gaze of the kindly jailor ( Grover). But bad company,in the shape of the jailors spoilt daughter,leads Ganesh into temptation,and leaves him staring at ruin,all of it done in the most hackneyed fashion70s style parties where kids are smoking ‘chillums,and filmy ‘kothas full of wicked madams and innocent young girls.
It is bad enough that every single cliché is rolled out while showing Ganeshs sad progress. Its worse that this film is in English,resulting in the characters,all from small town India speaking in a language patently not their own. At least Puri makes an effort not to sound too polished,but Jayakar doesnt in the least sound like an unlettered woman.
A waste of its talented casts time.