Kaagaz Review: This story is based on true events. In the last years of the last century in Uttar Pradesh, the case of the deceased Lal Bihari made headlines. Relatives declared him dead in government papers and grabbed their land. Lal Bihari fought a long battle to prove himself alive in these papers again. He was sometimes called a paglat and sometimes a drummer. But Lal Bihari, who died in government papers, was not alone, there were thousands like him and even today. Writer-director Satish Kaushik’s film brings the battle of these dead on the pretext of forgery on paper.
Pankaj Tripathi was the brightest star of OTT in 2020. His debut in 2021 is also fantastic. Paper is the new pearl of his crown. Certainly, he worked hard to keep this 116-minute film on G5 interesting and lived the life of Lal Bihari by becoming Bharat Lal. The film goes through different turns and repeatedly asks whether the price of paper is more than man. That too when the man is standing in front. The judge who sees Kachori and decides which shop he belongs to, cannot judge the difference between man and paper. The paper in the system file turns into a strong iron chain. In the film, the taxpayers associated with the judicial system accept that our system has become a weapon of oppression of the common man. It was the period of 1980-90, where many corrupt accountants / registrars killed bribes and alive people with their pen. Today, in the online round also, as a proof of being alive, you have to make so many photo copies of Aadhaar, PAN, driving license, electricity bill, rent agreement and passport that the common man starts getting paper paper.
The story of the film Paper showing the last two decades of the last century is simple – easy and simple. When Bharat Lal, who runs a band group, goes to take a loan from the bank at the behest of his Pandit friend and wife Rukmani (M.Monnal Gujjar), he is told to keep something as a guarantee, the loan will be available. Bharat’s father has ancestral farms in the village. On going there, Bharat learns that two years ago, uncle and aunt and cousins made an offering to Lekhpal and got him killed on paper. Got his land written in his name. What can happen now To collect the certificate of being alive again. The story ahead shows these efforts of Bharat Lal but in the midst of this, writer-director Satish Kaushik has shown some fascinating irony of his hero’s life. Bharat Lal is dead, but a daughter is born in his house. A scene is like a slap in the face of the system in which Bharat Lal deceased’s wife goes to the government department to apply for a widow pension and the officer tells her that your demand is full of vermilion and you are wearing a mangalsutra around your neck.
Wasim is the lion of Barelvi: It is necessary to clash on the principles / If you are alive, then it is necessary to look alive. Here, more than principles, Bharat Lal’s whole life is at stake and Satish Kaushik has kept the focus of the story on his efforts to prove his life. He shows the system from the perspective of Bharat Lal. Do not add anything extra from your side. This creates tension in the film. The formation of the All India Deceased Association by Bharat Lal, contesting from Amethi in 1989 against Rajiv Gandhi, and taking out the funeral procession of his and other paper dead on the streets of Lucknow are some of the film’s high-points. There is also satire among them. The dialogues of the film also say the address. Like: ‘Taking a loan is like raising a dog. He gives protection to say. Then every day he barks and asks for bread. Do not cut bread from time to time. ‘And’ Court-courts are those gods of justice who ask for sacrifices of time and dreams. ‘
In one phase, Satish Kaushik gave successful films like Hum Aapke Dil Rehta Hai (2000), Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai (2000), Main Kuchh Kehna Hai (2001) and Tere Naam (2003). After this, he failed in half a dozen films but with paper he is again successful in touching the heart. The paper has also got the support of Salman Khan. He is one of its makers. In the film, he has also read the poem titled Paper. The song and music of the film is good. The entire Uttar Pradesh market filled with saina sausans… like item song / dance (Sandeepa Dhar) also makes its presence felt.