Gangaajal, 2003

If ever there was a role that was made for Devgan, it has to be that of the Indian police inspector.  In recent years, no one wears that “khaki vardi” better than Ajay Devgan, and this movie–which I daresay is one of the earlier ones in his Bollywood career–has to be one of the shining examples of how well he carries himself in a cop’s uniform, including the hat, beret, and baton!

A very formulaic offering set in the backward state of Bihar with its run-of-the-mill goons that fan the flames of petty village vendettas, this is a reflection of a social landscape that has all but keeled over at the storyline of ‘might is right’ and social justice to be but a piper’s dream.  And as for what the police is good for, well, they’re actually the heart of the problem that allow for all social evils to flourish unabated and are further fueled by their blind eye.

So, who is to attend to these matters of setting right the wrongs? Why, the good cop, of course.  And Devgan doesn’t disappoint on this count.  Despite a pretty wife (Gracy Singh of Lagaan fame) who could use more of his attentions, or even the village henchmen who seem to have the ministers of the land in their pockets, the good cop finds a way to clean house.

A little slow in style and form, this is a movie that shines more for Devgan’s style than the storyline.  No special sound effects or cinematographic marvels, here.  But there is that one village belle who offers up a gyrating dance number that gives this movie its “entertainment” factor as well.

Recommended for Devgan fans, and others who might want a crash-course in village politics, henchmen dynamics, and bad-cop/good-cop stories.


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