The story of KAAGAZ is based in the late 70’s era, evidence of that being all the nasbandi jokes and emergency losing its steam. In that era, in Uttar Pradesh, lived a man named Bharat Lal (Pankaj Tripathi). He runs a band baaja business but it wasn’t doing so well. Hence he approached a bank to get a loan. Soon after that, he realizes that he has been declared dead on paper and his piece of land has been snatched away. And the worst aspect of this unfortunate occurrence is that it was his own kin who had declared him legally dead over the tiny fraction of a land he co-inherited with them. He then vouches to fight the family members who have done him wrong and also the Government administration who keep delaying his work. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
The plot and the story have been inspired from real life events. While the premise certainly is interesting, the way it has been written and executed make it a bit of a dull watch. The possibilities are endless with such stories and how hilarious some scenes could have been. But the film never manages to reach your expectations. It somewhere cannot decide in between being an out and out biography – drama or a comedy drama and it ends up being neither and gets stranded somewhere in between. Although the film is lifted up by the acting performances.
Technically, the film is good. Cinematography by Arkodeb Mukherjee is good and he captures the essence of the recreated era well. Editing has been fine but there was scope for improvement and if nothing, run time could have been cut short by 10-15 minutes. Writing has been a big letdown in this one and it has been the main problem for the film. There is no scope for music in the film. The production design and the costume design have been done well and look authentic.
Performances have been the best part about the film. Pankaj Tripathi is a natural. He is like clay, he can mold himself into anything depending on the requirement of a particular film and he does it with such ease. He’s always a joy to watch. Satish Kaushik is equally fun to watch on screen as the morally loose lawyer. The rest of the cast offer good support.
Director Satish Kaushik dons two hats for this film as an actor as well as that of the director. While his acting performance has been near flawless, its the direction where he falters in his execution.