Director: Satish Kaushik
How will you feel if you come to know that you're dead and you can't do anything that a normal person can do? Of course, we're talking about an alive person who is stated as dead in the papers. Satish Kaushik's 'Kaagaz' is based on this concept which is not fully fiction but based on the real-life story of UP-based man, Lal Bihari Mritak. Titled quite cleverly rotating around the 'Kaagaz' turmoil around the world. The film starts and ends with the voice of Salman Khan (in the form of a poem- Kaagaz) who is the producer of this flick.
It highlights the significance of bits of paper in people's lives. When viewed in the background of the dilemma of those who are subjected to a continual fight for life, the lyrical suggestion takes on an alarming overtone. And this is the story revolving around Azamgarh-based Bharat Lal (Pankaj Tripathi), who lives along with his wife and son.
The movie begins with the dream of Rukmini (Monal Gajjar), wife of Bharat Lal, that her husband becomes a great Bandmaster in the village as he has a small shop but after the dream, his wife forces him to take a loan from the bank to expand the business. And on her insistence, he agrees. As the loan can be approved on the basis of security, he goes to his paternal uncle's house to take the papers of their mutual land. But, he discovers that, according to government documents, he has been pronounced dead due to a plot by his devious family in an attempt to rob his side of the land.
Though Bharat Lal is the man who can't stay silent, he decides to expose the obtrusive truth about the agony of people who have been declared 'dead' on paper notwithstanding being conscious. He tries every possible way to prove that he's alive but everything gets wasted, then once he sits in the middle of the road with a banner, from where the rally of politician Ashrafi Devi (Mita Vashisht) has to pass and there one reporter Sonia (Neha Chauhan) clicks his picture and make him viral everywhere. But still, nothing happens, so he decides to fight legally and meet lawyer Sadhuram (Satish Kaushik), who is also searching for a 'Bakra' to move his train of life, though he becomes genuine later. Bharat Lal gets failed in his every attempt but still, he doesn't accept his defeat as it became the 'Maan Samman, Pehchan Ki Ladai' for which he stratagem various things which will make you laugh and emotional too. To know how he'll get his identity back and what he'll do, you need to watch this inspirational movie of mankind.
The direction of Satish Kaushik is skilled and he is in total charge of the plot during the movie's timeframe. The storyline itself is intriguing and very strange to be real as normally it happens rarely. It's a strong plot of line, but at some points, it loses the grip of the main concept, so it could have been tighter.
The camera work by Arkodeb Mukherjee is functional as you'll experience the surroundings of the 1980s and it upgrades as time passes because the film shows the 18 years of struggle of this Bandmaster. The movie is filmed on a wider scale, bringing importance to the finished product.
A few songs also seem to be adjusted in the movie which is not much heart-touching or memorable. The dance song 'Lallam Laal' by Sandeepa Dhar comes across as a dropout, in terms of the story. While the movie doesn't deliver any musical variety, the other songs are also passable.
In Satish Kaushik's Kaagaz, Pankaj Tripathi is the show-stealer. It seems whichever project he'll do, it will become a superhit now. When it comes to presenting humor with a decent face, the guy is a praiseworthy artist. It's Tripathi's first-rate acting that saves the day at points where the prose goes dull.
Monal Gajjar, who plays Rukmini, has performed well and has a strong screen presence. In fact, Mita Vashisht, Amar Upadhyay, Neha Chauhan, and other supporting actors are also praiseworthy as everyone has justified their roles. Even, as the lawyer who initially contradicts Pankaj Tripathi to believe in the system, Satish Kaushik puts up a reliable act, who later becomes one of his supporters in his fight against the system.
Overall, Kaagaz is a must-watch movie that is a perfect blend of entertainment and inspiration. It's a mirror to the system of the nation that can even show an alive man dead or a dead man alive. It will make you laugh and emotional from time to time. Just avoid a few misfit things and you'll surely love the story and your favorite Pankaj Tripathi in the form of Bandmaster.