Saturday, February 28, 2015


Release date (India):
February 27, 2015
Aejaz Gulab

Nana Patekar, Ashutosh Rana, Gul Panag, Govind Namdeo, Vikram Gokhale, Mohan Agashe, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Raj Zutshi

Sadhu Agashe is back. Eleven years after Shimit Amin’s Ab Tak Chhappan (ATC) comes its sequel directed by Aejaz Gulab. Both are reportedly inspired by real-life Mumbai policeman Daya Nayak who earned the epithet “encounter specialist” in the 1990s for the number of gangsters he had eliminated. In the films he is a fictionalised Sadhu Agashe (Nana Patekar).

ATC1 (produced by Ram Gopal Varma) followed Agashe through his daily battles on the streets of India’s commercial capital, the internal politics in the force, police corruption and the murder of his wife. It was a compelling film. The sequel, on the other hand, comes off feeling generic.

At the start of Ab Tak Chhappan 2, Mumbai is reeling under a crime wave and gang wars. Maharashtra’s Gandhian chief minister Anna (Dilip Prabhavalkar) wants to cleanse the city, and on the advise of the now retired Police Commissioner Pradhan (Mohan Agashe), Sadhu is coaxed out of his premature retirement in Goa by Anna-saab’s second-in-command, Home Minister Jagirdar (Vikram Gokhale). Agashe is initially reluctant because of his earlier unpleasant experiences with the force, but is persuaded to return by his son who reminds him that he is a cop at heart and will always remain one. Back in Mumbai, Sadhu throws himself into his job, only to discover that the more things change the more they remain the same.

ATC1 was about the internecine wars in the Mumbai police. ATC2 is about the relationship between the police and the political establishment. As with the first film, here too Sadhu can’t see eye to eye with one of his strong-willed juniors (played by Yashpal Sharma in the first film and Ashutosh Rana in this one). There’s a been-there-seen-that feel to the whole thing including Nana Patekar’s one-note performance. As Sadhu he is given lengthy monologues which he delivers in his trademark monotone that has earned him so much critical acclaim over the years that the actor in him often seems not to be trying to expand his repertoire of expressions. 

On the positive side, the film dwells at some length on the rather sweet relationship between Sadhu and his son, which is more relaxed and buddy-like than most father-son relationships we see in Bollywood, without seeming contrived like the bond between the Bachchans’ characters in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. ATC2 also works at an interesting dual pace: relaxed and calm when we first meet the protagonist in his Goan idyll; unrelentingly in motion when he is at work once he returns to the Mumbai police force, with the camerawork and editing complemented by Sandeep Chowta’s background score, all designed to make it seem as if the portions where he is on the job were each done in a single, very long, continuous take. The pace, however, can’t compensate for the feeling of déjà vu that the story and the acting carry, or its verbosity, or the predictability of the supposed twists and turns in the final half hour, or the coolth it clearly sees in violence committed by good cops.
Ab Tak Chhappan 2 is not a film worthy of hate or intense dislike. It just does not have much that’s new to offer. It’s hard to understand why this film needed to be made.

Rating (out of five): *1/2

CBFC Rating (India):
Running time:
106 minutes 

1 comment:

  1. Perfect review, but I believe you could have been a little more benevolent with those stars for the film. And yes, did you miss Gul Panag or she couldn't make it???