Kaagaz is based on the life of Uttar Pradesh farmer Lal Bihari Mritak who, after being officially declared ‘dead’ by relatives who stole his ancestral land, fought an 18-year-old war of attrition against the absurdities of Indian bureaucracy to prove that he was…alive. Given Hindi cinema’s long-standing allergy to subtlety, Tripathi’s character is of course named Bharat. He is not a farmer but a bandmaster in a remote village.
When Bharat’s wife, who is slightly more hopeful of a better life, asks him to expand his business with a bank loan, he realises he has a peculiar problem. He is dead, on paper. Unknown to him, his conniving aunt and her sons got him declared dead, usurping the property that was legally his.
|Based on a true story, Kaagaz has a lot of potential but is let down by clunky storytelling and mediocre comedy|
|To sum it up, ‘Kaagaz’ could have been the go-to movie for those seeking a burst of inspiration, but it ends up being a uni-dimensional masterclass on one man’s acting prowess.|
Pallabi Dey Purkayastha