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Kaagaz Movie Review: A bad script squanders a good performance.

Aakash Mishra

Instead of the protagonist, the film also has several evils. First being, the unnecessary narration of Satish and others like forcefully inserting item song and jokes which never land at the right time.

Kaagaz by Satish Kaushik on Zee5 is a tasteless biographical drama based on the life of a farmer, Lal Bihari Mritak who was declared dead by his relatives, and his ancestral land was stolen from him. In the film, instead of a farmer, the protagonist of the film is a bandmaster. The film instead of attaching itself completely to the sad condition of the bandmaster, it tries to depend on the theatrics to make the narrative move forward. Because of this, the film isn’t able to create genuine pathos towards the condition of the protagonist. Quite later, when Bharat( Pankaj Tripathi) cries in bed after continuous failure to prove that he is alive, we just don’t connect to his feelings.

The film starts with a needless poetry narration of Salman Khan on the role of a ‘paper’ in our lives. Bharat Lal ( Pankaj Tripathi) is a common bandmaster, he is the kind of simple guy who doesn’t even kill an ant. He goes to a bank to secure a loan for the expansion of his shop. As security, the bank asks to give papers of his ancestral land. But, he discovers that he has been “officially” declared dead by his relatives and they took his land, long ago. Then, a bland, plain drama of his journey filled with constant failures begins to roll out in front of us.

Now for the remaining film, Bharat Lal crosses all boundaries to prove to the government that he is alive. From kidnapping to getting himself arrested, he left no stone unturned. There is no one evil in this film, sure the main villain for Bharat is the government who isn’t changing the official documents. But, other than that, there are several other evils like the villagers mocking him, his relatives, politicians, and all sorts of government officials who are not listening to him. Instead of the protagonist, the film also has several evils. First being, the unnecessary narration of Satish and others like forcefully inserting item song and jokes which never land at the right time. Except, the character of Bharat Lal, none of the surrounding characters got any sort of space. No matter how big of a role they play in his story, still, there isn’t any material attached to their characters which may make the film interesting.

Pankaj Tripathi is as usual an amazing performer. From being sad to angry, he has to fulfill a big range of emotions in this film and he plays all of them beautifully. Satish Kaushik in an interview said that Kaagaz will be the best performance of Pankaj Tripathi. Well, that sure can be said because this is probably the first time he isn’t sticking to a particular emotion. But, definitely, this is not his best film, in fact, it comes under the bad ones. The background music and songs are below average, so many things are going out of “ paper “ in this film that music is the last thing to worry about.

Cast: Pankaj Tripathi, Satish Kaushik.

Director: Satish Kaushik.

Streaming: ZEE 5

Verdict: Below average, the actual story deserves a better film.

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