Directed by Govind Nihalani, this is definite cop film of Indian cinema. May be the first one which portrayed the stark reality of corruption in the police force & politics with no holds barred & how it effects on a young cop. A man forced to join a career of a cop by his cop father. Agreed that we grew up watching lot of good cop/bad cop hindi films but this is different. Today’s generation, which grown up watching dark & realistic films like- ‘Satya’, ‘Company’ may be consider it inferior product in comparison but look at the time of its making. The film was made absolutely off beat tone in the time when people didn’t pay much attention to such kind of cinema & yet it becomes a most sought after cop film in class & mass audience when it released.
For Om Puri its first breakthrough in mainstream hindi cinema & he delivered a class performance as Inspector Velankar. Its more than cop character, he internalized a lot which is something original in acting. Watch his scenes with his father whom he hates & Smita whom he loves. Smita Patil maintained the dignity of her character to the expected level. My God what a natural expressions she carried!!! Shafi Inamdar was truly a discovery for me & he’s a brilliant character actor if given a chance & here in some of the scenes he outsmarted even Om. The movie is also a debut of a promising villain on Indian screen- Sadashiv Amrapurkar as ‘Rama Shetty’. It’s another story that he didn’t get such a meaty role & almost forgotten today as one of the loud villain of Dharmendra’s B grade action films. Watch the scene where Om 1st time becomes a rebel for his father (played by Amrish Puri) & next both are sharing wine together. How inner truth started revealing for both the character with confronting feelings of love & hate for each other. Two faces of Indian Police Force- Masculinity & Impotency and in between lies- half truth (ardh satya)…Kudos to Nihalani’s touch.
The film won 2 National Awards as Best Hindi Feature Film & Best Actor- Om Puri & 3 Filmfare Awards in Best Film, Best Director & Best Supporting Actor Categories.
Recommended to all who are interested in nostalgia of serious hindi films.