Kaagaz — a piece of paper that can change a man’s fate. Yes, I am referring to the latest Zee5 release, Kaagaz, starring Pankaj Tripathi as the central character. Directed by Satish Kaushik and co-produced by Salman Khan Films, Kaagaz is based on a true story where a man was declared dead on paper. I watched the film today, and here’s why I think you should watch it despite its minute flaws.
It’s a Pankaj Tripathi show from start to finish
Pankaj Tripathi plays the role of Bharat Lal, a bandmaster from Azamgarh who approaches the bank for a loan. However, the need for a loan soon puts his existence into question when he realises that he has been declared dead on paper. Out of greed for his legal property, his uncle and aunt declare him dead, to acquire ownership of the land for their three sons. Thus begins his decade-long struggle to prove his existence and reverse the on-paper record. After years of knocking on doors of government officials, he finally hires a lawyer Sadho Ram Kevat (Satish Kaushik). The story then follows his struggles and the ways and means he adopts to get himself arrested in pursuit of a single government document with his name on it.
As a film, Kaagaz does not have a lot to offer. It has some tiresome narrations by Satish Kaushik that could definitely be avoided. There’s also an item number, perhaps in an attempt to highlight that the story is from the state of Uttar Pradesh. This too seemed unnecessary and a stereotypical addition to the film. But the one thing that makes you want to watch the entire film is Pankaj Tripathi. There’s really no doubt when it comes to his acting prowess. We have seen his magic just recently in Ludo and Gunjan Saxena. As Bharat Lal ‘Mritak’, Tripathi takes your emotional journey to another level. His expressions and emotions make you feel for his character while also thinking on a deeper level about the plight of the poor in our country. It highlights a belief that without any strong political or monetary support, you really have no scope for justice.
Kaagaz review: Final thoughts
Kaagaz is not an entertaining piece of cinema. It is, however, a film that one must watch to witness the many shades of Pankaj Tripathi. He is a loving husband, an innocent bandmaster, a doting father, and a man with a ride-or-die attitude when life throws him a curveball. The film begins and ends with Salman Khan reciting a poem titled Kaagaz which is also a refreshing change for a Salman Khan film.
You can watch the film on Zee5.