GANGAAJAL

Hindustan Times: New Delhi, India,Aug 31, 2003. It is perhaps the most realistic portrayal of grassroots Bihar and a corrupt law and order system in ages.

Outlook: National, India / Aug 08, 2003.

With Gangaajal, Prakash Jha steps into politically explosive terrain.

He keeps the issues of morality, crime and punishment tantalisingly open-ended. The right and wrong are not so disparate in Jha's Tejpur, nor are there any ready solutions. It's this uneasiness which works, particularly in the frustration, cynicism and many dilemmas of police officer Bachcha Yadav (Mukesh Tiwari) who may have done many wrongs but isn't such a bad guy after all. Jha's focus is on the use of violence in a venal, decaying society. So, the build-up to the machismo, recklessness and violence of the "incident" has a definite context. For Jha, the acid or Gangaajal is a metaphor for cleansing the corrupt system, a springboard for a violent public movement, of mob frenzy, nihilism and revenge, Problematic but powerful.

Jha's biggest plus is the detailing of his characters - none of them gets lost in the large canvas. The vignettes of police life, the intricacies of established corruption are well portrayed.

Hitavada: Nagpur, India, Aug 31, 2003. Jha underlines the sublime notion of poetic justice. It thus subverts the question of telling what is right and what is wrong.

But it does make a strong statement on issues which are close to the society today.

Indian Express: New Delhi, India, Aug 31, 2003. Prakash Jha returns to his native stamping ground, the badlands of Bihar, and to crackling form.

Where Gangaajal stands out from the others of its ilk is the stamp of authenticity.

The strength of Jha's film, which takes its principal cue from the mid-80s blinding of undertrials in Bhagalpur, is that he doesn't draw any black and white lines.

Deccan Chronicle: Hyderabad, India, Aug 31, 2003. What makes Jha's film superior is the complexity he manages to bring into his narration and the strong moral stance he takes through his protagonist Amit Kumar (Ajay Devgan).

Jha does raise a few pertinent issues and the tragedy is that there are no answers.

The Times of India: New Delhi, India, Aug 31, 2003. The last time Prakash Jha created an impact was with Mrityudand, the film which gave Madhuri Dixit the platform she always deserved - but rarely got to showcase her talent. This time, he has provided a similar platform to Ajay Devgan, currently, Bollywood's biggest bet.

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