Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Nandita Das & Jackie Shroff
Director: Mahesh Manjrekar
The man who made Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hai seems
to be obsessed with remote villages in Maharashtra.
Pitaah, too, has a village for its setting. But the
resemblance ends here. So do the feel good elements.
The movie is far from being entertaining. It is haunting,
if not anything else, as it slowly exposes certain dark
The residents of this village work under Thakur saab,
the zamindar who is obsessed with his name, status and
power. The film opens with a bullock-cart race. Even
before the race begins, Thakur's goons get rid of a
potential winner a low- born villager. Though the violence
and bloodshed are not shown openly, the brutality is
hard to miss and it evokes an eerie feeling.
A brief flashback involving the zamindar's daughter,
who falls in love with the son of a villager, shows
his inhumane nature. A hard-hearted man, Thakur gets
his daughter's lover killed, and does not even attend
the funeral of his daughter who commits suicide. It
is no wonder that the villagers are scared of him. His
two sons, who have inherited the father's arrogance
and viciousness, are the only objects of his affection.
to this, runs the story of a villager Rudra - a caring
husband of Paro and loving father of three children.
All these characters meet at a point, due to a crime
committed by Thakur's sons. This is the point, which
brings both the families into focus binding them while
also pitting each against the other.
crime is avenged. And, whether Thakur lets go off Rudra
of kills him is not of importance. The very fact that
justice is done to the nine-year-old victim is enough.
There are certain unsavory elements which the audiences
might not enjoy watching. Like holding a mujra in the
police station, and lawyers, doctors and cops selling
themselves to the influential and the wealthy, for instance.
movie makes for a gripping narrative, if you can sit
through the tense moments and the long and dragging
silence in the theatre. It haunts you even after you
leave the place. Mahesh manages to get good performances
from all including the child actors. Seasoned actors
Om Puri, Sunjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff and Anjan Shrivastava
execute their roles as Thakur, Rudra, police officer
and doctor (respectively) well. Nandita Das as Paro
However, unnecessary song and dance sequences, particularly
just after a serious dialogue or action scene, look
out of place. Music is just about average and doe not
support the film.