"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

Prahaar (1991) - (Movies To See Before You Die - Thriller / Drama)

16 Apr, 2014 | Movies To See Before You Die / Thrillers

There have been some rare instances in Hindi cinema, when a director has not made a film just as a part of his bright career, hasn’t made it for any expected returns and was not looking for any major commercial success either defying the usual industry trend. The films got made when the director personally wished to say something significant or give something back to his loving fans and society which might help them to grow and live a better life.

PRAHAAR stands tall among such highly appreciable attempts in Hindi films, which till date remains the only directorial venture of the hugely famous writer-actor-director Nana Patekar. And the thinking actor made this movie just for his own countrymen with a specific social message that we constantly need to fight with the enemy existing within our crumbling society first, before fighting the one attacking the political borders.

Beginning with a one line theme saying ‘A Soldier never quits till he is dead”, the film travels a full circle journey and ends on a highly thoughtful note, beautifully conceived by the writer-director with hundreds of nude kids running along the main protagonist as a symbol of universality and equality among all fellow beings. Having a brilliantly structured script (in four major parts) it makes an important sarcastic comment on the new mean perceptions of life followed by majority of people, wherein they do tend to behave as cowards most of the times undeniably.
In the first part of the script, Nana takes you onto the tough journey of military training camps where the young boys are being turned into courageous military men. The authentic commando training scenes in the film are really a treat to watch especially when Nana first performs every difficult task given to the boys himself, to set an example. And believe me, there are not many in the industry who could have done that in such an unbelievable manner without any graphic or camera tricks.
In the second section, it very insightfully shows how the commando training proves useful in fighting the inner enemies of the country too, attacking in the form of terrorists, criminals and underworld mafia. The trained boys rescue a kidnapped school bus from the extremists, which though could have been shot in a much better way (avoiding too many dark scenes) but still adds a lot to the film’s fine build-up altogether.
Returning to the realistic social life, the third part showcases how a common man avoids confronting the bad elements fearing the drastic consequences and instead pays a small amount to buy his family’s peace regularly, posing as a coward. The questionable pattern of living is explained in the words of the elderly man when he says that “We do not fight these goons as we are supposed to be decent people”. But unfortunately Peter, the brightest commando trained by Major Chavhan, has to pay a price for the revolt expressed, which changes the life of every single person related to him unexpectedly.
The final section shockingly deals with how a reputed Army Major tackles this social evil taking it personal and doesn’t feel any regret in going for the extreme solution possible making some brutal killings. So the battlefield changes in this particular part, depicting the need of a strong defense mechanism to be applied both within as well as at the political border of a country unconditionally. And it’s these two concluding sections of the film only which have numerous scenes to hit you real hard and the talented lead cast (without any make-up) perfectly plays it all with sheer excellence, worth experiencing.
For instance,
a. The most crucial scene of the film is when Habib Tanvir slaps Nana saying that your Military training brainwashed my child teaching him how to revolt resulting in his death, otherwise we were all living peacefully before that.
b. The change of character of Madhuri Dixit from a loud, talkative girl to a silent, lost person after the tragic event is portrayed intensely.
c. The shocking sequence wherein the spectators start throwing stones at the Major who is fighting with the goons for their rights only, causing the emotional outburst of Dimple shouting helplessly, really makes you sit back and think.
d. And lastly the final scene of the film wherein Nana is running along hundreds of nude kids, which was later censored for the film’s TV broadcast too (as I can remember) certainly comes up as one of the most thoughtful scene ever incorporated in a Hindi film.
Equipped with a well-designed Background Score using the compassionate alaaps, PRAHAAR also has a soothing waltz number “Dhadkan Zara Rukh Gayi Hai” with a fine mouthorgan musical piece too used beautifully.
A story written by Nana Patekar himself, the film effectively conveys a message that perhaps people are just worried about themselves and their families only following a mean or coward way of living which cannot ever result in a healthy society. Because a just-social system can only exist when a person starts thinking & caring about the other too and doesn’t try to skip the problem just because it is not related to him or his loved ones directly. It also raises a very important and debatable point that probably one year of army training should ideally be made compulsory for every citizen of the country to realize his own potential, physical capability and the mental ability in order to fulfill his major social responsibilities.
On a concluding note, PRAHAAR is an important film of Hindi cinema as they don’t make films like these anymore and therefore its producer Sudhakar Bokade surely deserves praises for backing up this non-commercial venture way back in the year 1991. With a hope that Nana Patekar soon finds another Sudhakar Bokade for financing his second film, I would recommend PRAHAAR especially to all the young ones in particular, since the film does have the elements which might help you in becoming a more responsible human being living in this fast collapsing social structure around.
Story, Screenplay & Directed By Nana Patekar
Starring : Nana Patekar, Dimple Kapadia, Madhuri Dixit, Habib Tanvir, Gautam Joglekar, Makrand Deshpande and more.
Music : Laxmikant Pyarelal
Note: The film was reportedly being co-directed by Shubhankar Ghosh, who later left it in between due to some issues.

Tags : Prahaar (1991) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Movies To See Before You Die Thriller Drama, Most Thoughtful films In Hindi Cinema, Must Watch Films List by Bobby Sing, Directed by Nana Patekar, Madhuri Dixit without makeup, Prahaar means Hitting Hard.
16 Apr 2014 / Comment ( 2 )

Hi Bobby,
I cant tell how happy i am on seeing this film in the "Movies to see before you die" category.
I saw this movie in my childhood for the first time, and many more times after that.

I strongly agree with you when you recommend this movie to the young. Such movies feed responsibility. And i know i was fed too :-)


Bobby Sing

Thanks Jasmeet for writing in and yes the movie strongly deserves to be in the list due to its message as well as the execution without looking for any box office returns.

Keep Visiting,

Leave A Comment
E-mail (will not be published)
Website (Optional)
Enter shown code