Movie Review: Kisaan

By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network

Two surprises...

* One, KISAAN is the present-day interpretation of Manoj Kumar's classic UPKAR. With changes, of course.

* Two, going by the promos, the general feeling is that KISAAN is a shining example of regressive cinema. It isn't!

With multiplexes spreading far and wide in the country, movies that ruled the roost in the 1970s - especially those depicting rural India - have disappeared from the face of Hindi movies. One of the prime reasons why UPKAR worked was because the conflict between two brothers was not so explored then, but post UPKAR, there have been dozens of movies that highlighted the conflict. Hence, KISAAN gives you the feeling of déjà vu at several points in the story.

But despite the similarities, KISAAN works in most parts because it's engaging. The drama, even though predictable, is well handled and keeps you engrossed at several points.

Final word? Try out this desi stuff.

Dayal Singh [Jackie Shroff], a widower, raises two very different sons; Aman [Arbaaz Khan] is formally schooled to become a city-based lawyer, while Jigar [Sohail Khan], through lack of funds and inclination towards anything other than farming, is kept by his father's side.

When Sohan Seth [Dalip Tahil], a shrewd businessman, convinces many beleaguered farmers to sell their land for his commercial interests, it shatters the harmony of the village and Dayal's family is jeopardized. Aman and Jigar are pitted against each other. The ground at their feet, is it motherland or simply property?

Surprisingly, KISAAN catches your attention from the word 'Go'. The sequence at the panchayat [Sohail Khan's intro] only enhances your interest in the film, but the film actually takes off when Arbaaz starts drifting away.

At the same time, KISAAN has its share of loose ends. Times have changed and the writers could've updated the content to suit the current times. Also, Arbaaz's change of heart towards the end looks like a complete compromise, from the writing point of view.

Puneet Sira has handled many a dramatic scene well. This is his finest work thus far. Daboo Malik's music is of a mixed variety. A couple of tunes are nice - 'Humko Kehna Hai' and 'Neechhe Saari Duniya Hain'. However, the visuals in the remix version of 'Mere Desh Ki Dharti' look out of sync. The makers should've maintained the desi look. Neelabh Kaul's cinematography is nice. Action scenes [Mahendra Verma] are rustic, which gel well with the mood of the film.

Jackie is in form after a long, long time. Arbaaz doesn't make much of an impact, but Sohail does. In fact, Sohail is only getting better with every film. Dia enacts her part well, while Nauheed is alright. Dalip Tahil is as usual. Sharat Saxena and Vishwajeet Pradhan don't get much scope. Romeo is passable.

On the whole, KISAAN springs a pleasant surprise. At the box-office, the film is targeted at the Hindi belt and the single screens specifically. Also, this one deserves to be tax-exempted!

Bollywood.com Rating: 3

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