The counting should have stopped with the original

The counting should have stopped with the original

Ab Tak Chhappan 2
Hindi (U/A) ¬¬
Director: Aejaz Gulaab
Cast: Nana Patekar, Vikram Gokhale, Gul Panag, Ashutosh Rana, Govind Namdeo, Raj Zutshi, Mohan Agashe

Sadhu Agashe is back. Back in Mumbai, doing what he does best. Sadly, he is far from it, thanks to the story and screenplay by Nilesh Girkar, and debutant director Aejaz Gulaab’s helming of the project. To be honest, they had big shoes to fill, following in the footsteps of Shimit Amin, who had made his debut with the original “Ab Tak Chhappan”. One gets the feeling that the count should have stopped at 56.

A reluctant Sadhu Agashe (the ever-stoic, ever-dependable Nana Patekar) is back, thanks to persuasion by old mentor Pradhan (Mohan Agashe) on pleas by the
Maharashtra home minister (Vikram Gokhale), who himself has been tasked with bringing down Mumbai’s crime graph by the chief minister (Dilip Prabhavalkar in a small role).

However, the encounter specialist now has to contend with the city’s new top cop (an underused Govind Namdev) and yet another trigger-happy individual in his team (Ashutosh Rana). Along the way comes the journalist daughter (Gul Panag) of an old journalist friend, and Agashe continues his fight, with the underworld (Raj Zutshi is one of the dons) as well as the system, despite loss after loss.

Shaky camerawork and jarring background music (that is extremely uncharacteristic of Sandeep Chowta) only add to the film’s mediocrity. Its saving grace is some snippy editing, a smattering of dialogues, although few and far between, and restrained acting by Nana Patekar. In fact, he is the sole reason the film is not limited to a single star out of five.

In the end, despite having promised the moon, “Ab Tak Chhappan 2” fails to hold even a candle to the original. And it rankles all the more because what could have been a good franchise in a world of banal films has become a wasted opportunity.

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