Well, I’m late. But it is never too late to watch a good movie. Especially to discover a good movie when you watch it with no expectations. Ab Tak 56 could be Ab Tak 156 by now but it’s only today I got to see Nana Patekar lighten up the screens. Ab Tak Chhappan released more than a year back but would be talked about for the years to come.
It’s not a cop’s saga nor some brave attempt of a single man fighting against all odds. Sadhu Aghase is a normal no-nonsense-cop and if you try to brag him with sentiments, he might not budge. Though he is special. He has mastered the art of encounters and can make great South Indian sambhar. Not just that but he demands grammatically right English. In the life of a cop, he gets into a special crime branch and heads a special division thats is formulated to wipe out long-time criminals by encounters. Though he doesn’t keep count of his encounters, someone keeps reminding him of the count. When things go hayward, things change drastically, but for him it is Ab Tak 56 and still counting….
I hated Ram Gopal Varma’s hyped-up movies. I certainly loved Satya. More than liking it terrorised me about a city called Mumbai. But the so-called on-the-road movies that followed were nothing but hype. Even Company wasn’t great. But with a debutant director, Shimit Amin, Ram Gopal Varma produces a movie that more classier and more stylistic than his earlier movies. I wonder how cop movies are made slicker than the romantic ones. Both Kakkha Kakkha and Ab Tak 56 have great BGMs, camera and more importantly some great piece of editing. Not only Shimit Amin gets us into the plot very soon, he also manages to take the movie without a drag. Until the final 20 minutes, I never felt a need to getup and get myself a cup of coffee. The cop story also encompasses the affairs of internal politics in the police department.
Even with a bad supporting cast, the movie would have survived. Shoulder courtesy; Nana Patekar. As Sadhu Aghase, Nana Patekar is at an all-time ease. He isn’t roaming around like someone dipped in starch like most of the cop movies, smokes too many cigarettes than all the Rajini movie put together and utters Saala and Chutiyaa more number of times than any other hindi movie. Performs like a true spirited actor. Nana Patekar has immense talent thats been under-utilized by stuffing him with pyscho roles with an alto voice. I am unable to stop comparing him to Prakash Raj in Tamil film industry. He can also be on the likes of Nasser if used appropriately.
While I was assuming that Revathi was in there because there was a huge role ahead of her in the movie, her miniscule character gets a bullet in the midway. She was probably there to represent the South Indian wife of Sadhu Aghase. Ram Gopal Varma could have probably gone with the humpteen stand-like-a-doll actresses available in dozens in the Bollywood. Kunal Vijaykar gets a role that demands enough eating as much as acting. A role that he would have waited for a long time. Great show.
What a theme of Ab Tak 56 that was. Salim and Sulaiman well known as Salim Sulaiman just took Ab Tak 56 to great heights. With no songs and pelvic-3D-thrust dances, they have used their music positively in the BGM that grips. If only I was worried that I missed the movie in theatres, it was because of the background score. The titles read Murad Siddiqi as the editor. I don’t know anything about him but his job in the movie is a commendable effort.
Shimit Amin chooses to take the reality path in movie making and emerges as a winner. With no unwanted situations and scenes, the movie has a tight screenplay. Except for the lastpart when the movie begins to loose away from the track and treads on the revenge mode, it has been well made. All these exceptions are however handled in the final conversation that ends by saying, Once a Cop, Always a Cop. Watch it, if you haven’t yet for it’s just 56 as of now.