Missed that blockbuster called Sholay? Want to see the contemporary version
of that Desi Western? Go buy yourself a ticket of Ghaath and meet
an honest police officer (Om Puri) done in by a villain, Mamu, and his sidekick,
Inspector Godbole. At last, his protégé, Krishna, who has earlier doubted his
integrity for not protecting him from the villains, settles all the scores for
Though the conceptualization reminds you of Sholay, the similarity ends
there. Ghaath is too violent even by the standards of a Manoj Bajpai film. The
gore and a wandering storyline make a possibly good film in to a lengthy one,
a proper masala aimed at a box office hit, in which there is revenge, the
Johnny Walker brand of comedy, the romantic touch, yaarana and the familial
As for the story line, you have to just remember Ankush, Arjun, all the Manoj Bajpai films so far, with a bit of Satyakam thrown in, to predict all that you are going to watch. Krishna Patil (Manoj Bajpai, in a heavily typecast and repetitive role), son of an honest officer, has been a kind of an orphan. After his mother's death, the shell-shocked father, Ramakant (Anupam Kher, in a sensitive role), has left him to fend for himself, emotionally. His finds solace in a sister dear, his gang of friends, and his big, childhood dream of being a great police officer. But the system, against which the film rails so much, makes a scapegoat of him. Despite being a topper, he is sacrificed to accommodate a well-heeled candidate.
More disappointments follow. Life is real harsh for him. Always one to take the side of the righteous, he gets himself in to trouble with the corrupt police and the villain. His only support and strength is an idealistic lawyer, Kavita (Tabu in a brilliant performance as ever). But their group of the do-gooders cannot save the honest commissioner when he takes up cudgels against a corrupt builder, protected by Mamu and Godbole. Kavita loses the case against the villains. They nevertheless manage to malign the commissioner's daughter. This last straw breaks their resolve to abide by the impotent law. They take it in to their hand. What happens next? Does Ramakant Patil ever support anyone? Watch Ghaath for the answers that you can somehow guess.
The film shows how a good theme can be ruined by padding it with silly song sequences (the funniest is Kavita imagining love, or rather sex, when Krishna is almost on deathbed) and the Raveena Tandon kind of "friendly appearances". In fact, till the interval, nothing happens, as the director is too busy introducing the very many characters and their relationships.
Then the scriptwriter realizes that even when the audience can guess the story, it is necessary to develop it. So, he wraps it up in to a finale that has everything in to it: a critique of the system, a bit of the Bombay Khairnar drama, an attack on the corrupt police and so on. As the focus is so miserably lacking, superb performances by the entire crew cannot really help.
The biggest problem in the film is with its division of the good and the bad.
The villains are bad beyond belief, while the good get it in the neck beyond tolerance.
In brief, watch the film if you do not mind spending three hours watching a frame
to frame repeat performance of all sorts.