Freitag, 7. September 2007

Kurukshetra (2000) - Review in English

About the story: ACP Prithviraj Singh (Sanjay Dutt), known as a principled, honorable and unbribable policeman, once again is shifted to a new post where he immediately starts his usual clearing-up operations: He forbids the policemen to take any bribes and confronts the local gangsters, among others Iqbal Pasina (Mukesh Rishi). On his sister Aarti’s (Radika Rana) birthday, Prithviraj is called to the site of a rape. The victim, Geeta (Rakhi Sawant), willingly testifies against her tormentors Rohit Gupta and Ambar (Ganesh Yadav), and Prithviraj arrests them and and takes legal actions against them. Ambar’s father, Chief Minister Baburao Deshmukh (Om Puri), wants to save his son from a trial, and so he gets Geeta murdered and henceforth exposes Prithviraj and his family to merciless psychological terror. But the more Prithviraj is set under pressure, the more determined he clings to his principles. Even his wife Anjali (Mahima Chaudhary) who no longer understands why victims of crimes mean more to her husband than his own family, cannot make him give up. Supported by policeman Gopi (Sayaji Shinde), by opposition leader Sambhaji Yadav (Shivaji Satham) for whom the case comes in handy for his political aims, and by Iqbal Pasina who respects the ACP for his straightforwardness, Prithviraj starts fighting his seemingly overpowering opponent...

Kurukshetra (= battle field) is a film which inspires to reflections. It shows how difficult it can be for an honest man to fight against injustice and corruption if he, by doing so, endangers himself and his family. Of course you admire dutiful and law-abiding Prithviraj Singh who, even after being suspended and publicly framed for crimes he never committed, doesn’t deviate from his principles and thus risks his entire existence. But it is also shown clearly that for his principles and his honesty he endangers his family, has to fight conflicts and finally pays a heavy price (e.g. when his wife, attacked by his enemies, miscarries her baby). So it’s absolutely no matter of course to always remain honorable and on the right path if this means that you have to risk happiness, health and life of your close and dear ones; and Prithviraj indeed loses all support by his own family when his wife and his sister no longer see why they have to pay so dearly for a dead rape victim.

Kurukshetra explores all these facts and questions not one-sided from the hero’s view, but from the view of everyone involved – a method which more than once makes you hesitate in your considerations of how you would behave in a similar situation. That law-abiding Prithviraj in the end sees no other way out than to entrust his threatened family to a gangster of all people, and finally to shunt his principles and to take the law in his own hands, makes the plot even more human, all the more as Mahesh Manjrekar opted for an open end so that you don’t know how the case will end for Prithviraj.

In the year after his phenomenal success with Vaastav, Sanjay had without doubt reached a new peak in his career, and like in the years before his arrest in 1993 he again succeeded in as good as everything in front of the camera. He still excelled in every role type, be it the loving elder brother, the gangster with heart, the ice-cold killer with not so much heart or responsible police characters like in Mission Kashmir and Kurukshetra. This film belongs hundred per cent to him, though his co-stars Om Puri, Shivaji Satham, Sayaji Shinde and Mahima Chaudhary also delivered great performances. Sanjay carries the film with fascinating and convincing supremacy, and those responsible for the Star Screen Awards were impressed enough to at least nominate him as Best Actor. Kurukshetra a really watch-worth film which, by the way, even features an appearance in person of playback singer Sukhwinder Singh.

Produced by Pravin Shah; Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar
134 Min.; DVD: Eros, English Subtitles (including songs)
© Diwali

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