The world consists of two kinds of people – those who use others to further self-interests and those who get used by them, knowingly or unknowingly. The people falling in the second category are often at loggerheads with each other without being known that they are just pawns in the hands of those who are playing the real game. And thus such being used ones are involved in blind wars against each other. They are fighting without realizing the futility of the war consuming their precious energies. Andhaa Yudh (1987) narrates the tale of two such used ones only out of whom one is an outlaw and the other one is a cop. Both realize quite late that the war being blindly carried out by them is actually not theirs and they are not aware of the real motives of the masterminds behind as well.Andha Yuddh (blind war) starts with the murder of the chief minister of the state. The killer – Raaja (Raj Babbar) is running away from the police when he gets shelter in a home holding the only person available there at that time as captive who is a handicapped girl – Saroj (Pallavi Joshi). Dutiful cop – Suhaas Daandekar (Nana Patekar) is chasing him and now seeing that he has held the handicapped girl as captive in his bid to escape from there, he works out different plans to catch him. He seeks the help of a doctor (K.K. Raina) and a nurse – Maadhuri Paande (Divya Rana) in this regard. The nurse enters the household under the pretext of administering the essential medicine to the handicapped girl and tries to give a sedative to Raaja but fails. All the family members of Saroj alongwith the cops, i.e, Suhaas and his subordinates plus the press reporters are witnessing the high tension drama involving two sides with different motives – a cat and mouse game, putting it straight.On the other hand, an emotional interaction goes on between Saroj and Raaja inside the house. Saroj who herself is highly depressed because of her crippled condition and a bleak future, asks many questions from Raaja taking him down his memory lane containing several painful incidents that took place in his childhood and youth. She puts up certain ethical questions before him and they share a lot, despite Saroj still fearing Raaja and Raaja still not relying upon her sympathies towards him. Raaja has been led to commit this murder through a brainwashing of him, making him believe that he would be serving a noble cause by doing it. Gradually Raaja realizes that he has been misguided and used to carry out that evil deed by someone who has been benefitted from that. Saroj asks him to surrender to the law but Raaja has some different intentions. He seeks clear path from the cops to escape from there with Saroj by threatening to kill her. Before that he gets her clad in a red sari. Suhaas follows them and kills Raaja upon getting the first opportunity to nail him. Before that Raaja has conveyed to Saroj the name of the person who got the CM murdered through him and Saroj conveys the same to Suhaas. Now Suhaas also realizes that himself was in a blind war with Raaja and his position is no better than that of Raaja. In fact, both have been pawns in the hands of the real chess player, making moves from both the sides. This realization of Suhaas paves the way for the finale of this movie.Andha Yuddh is a very impressive movie with no songs or regular Bollywood formulae like romance, comedy or fight. It is an out and out realistic intense drama which keeps the viewer hooked. The viewer seldom realizes that the regular entertainment factors are absent from this movie because already there is so much to keep him tied to his chair. It’s an edge-of-the-seat sentimental thriller. The plight of Raaja and his exploitation moves the viewer deep within. Through the character of Raaja, the filmmaker has emphatically underscored this fact that man is nothing but the product of his experiences. One can give back to the society only what he has got from it in the first place. When the society itself turns an innocent into a criminal, what can he repay to it ?
The police, the CBI and similar agencies are nothing but the puppets in the hands of the selfish politicians in our country. Leave aside the corrupt cops; on many occasions even the honest, sincere and dedicated cops are ignorant of the fact that whatever they’re doing in the name of duty has nothing to do with the security or the welfare of the society or the nation and it’s only a means to meet the selfish motives of those already in power or are aspirant of usurping the power. In Andha Yuddh, Raaja realizes it first and after gunning him down, Suhaas, the dutiful cop also comes to realize it and consequentially repents for killing Raaja.Producer Neeta Sharma herself has written the story of this movie which is damn good and brought on the screen by the director Dayal Nihalani with a high degree of proficiency. The movie is engrossing right from the word ‘go’ to the very finish and provides enough food for thought that can be utilized by the thinking viewers to make a better society. The movie is high both on emotional quotient as well as on intellectual quotient. The characters, the setting, the happenings; everything is quite realistic.
The climax is a letdown in my opinion and it’s here that a viewer like me is able to identify some plot holes in the script. The final act of Suhaas appears to have been created to please the front-benchers and is not in line with the mood of the movie. When I watched this movie, the final 10-15 minutes disappointed me like anything after I got mesmerized by the realistic drama that had continued for more than two hours by then. Thereafter only, I tried to check for the weaknesses in the script and found quite a few. I fail to understand when the filmmaker did not give a damn for the tried and tested formulae for creating the major part of the movie, then why the hell did he go for an utterly Bollywoodish finale ? If he wanted to make a formula-studded commercial movie, then he could have made the whole movie in that style only.
Besides, the director did not tell anything about the very effective female characters of Saroj and Maadhuri. I feel that before dying, Raaja had fallen in love with Saroj (that’s why he arranged a red sari for her and carried herself as clad in the same only) and I don’t think that a completely lonely handicapped girl like Saroj can remain unmoved by such a gesture of a male whom she has spent hours and shared a lot with. The death of Raaja must have affected her for sure. The character of the nurse Maadhuri has also been shown as human and though she played her part as per the instructions of the police, she could not have remained unaffected by the experience she underwent. However the director ignored these two very powerful characters after showing the death of Raaja and instead of showing them, went for the hackneyed Bollywoodish treatment of the story to end the movie.
The highlight of this movie is the performances. Nana Patekar as the no-nonsense dutiful cop on one hand and Raj Babbar as the misguided outlaw on the other, have delivered towering performances. I especially admire Raj Babbar who showed his mettle in the difficult role of the hero who appears as the villain. Then we have Pallavi Joshi whose talent never got justice from Bollywood. She has performed superbly in the meaty role of the handicapped girl whom we can consider the heroine of this movie. Divya Rana as the nurse has also done exceedingly well. The complete supporting cast covering actors like Shivaji Satam, Asha Sharma, Rohini Hattangadi, K.K. Raina, Anant Jog, Sudhir Pandey, Master Kaushal (the child artist) etc. has done justice to the assigned roles.
The director has done the rightest thing by keeping the movie free from songs. The background score prepared by Ajit Varman is highly admirable. Technically the movie is excellent with the realistic settings and praiseworthy camera work. The movie is not unduly long but I wish the director had kept some extra footage to end the movie in a more logical and impressive manner.
Andha Yuddh is a movie which entertains though it is not meant to entertain. Instead it is meant to provoke thoughts in the audience. Let’s not allow ourselves to be used by the selfish ones who might be willing to exploit our precious time and energy for their vested interests. Let’s utilize our intellect and strength for positive and desirable objectives, preserving them from the blind wars that might be imposed on us.
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