There is something about a Nana Patekar cop drama that makes one look forward to it despite the time lag that may have set in. 'Shagird', despite it's near to nil publicity and zilch hype, is one such affair that one wants to watch. Thankfully, the wait is worth it as 'Shagird' turns out to be a gripping unpredictable entertainer that keeps you hooked to the proceedings for it's two hour duration.
As a Senior Officer in the Crime Branch, Nana Patekar is an epitome of a corrupt officer. He loots the rich and fills his coffers while also sharing the booty with his staff. Comfortable as being a part of the system, he is hand in glove with politicians (Zakir Hussain), goons (Anurag Kashyap) as well as officers higher up and also imparts the same training to his 'shagird', the new recruit (Mohit Ahlawat). A trigger happy cop who wants to finally leave this rut and move to New Zealand with his family forever, he devises a master plan. But then is he actually the one who is playing the game or he is the one who is being played?
This isn't the first movie about cop-politician-mafia nexus that has been made and would certainly not be the last. However while one did suspect if this would be turn out to be 'Ab Tak Chappan 2' or perhaps a rehash of any other Ram Gopal Varma gangster affair, 'Shagird' ends up surprising audience, courtesy Tigmanshu Dhulia who brings newness to the proceedings.
A songless affair, 'Shagird' also works due to it's unpredictable twists and turns. Also, quite a few scenes stand out to leave a very good impression. The hotel scene where Nana and Mohit interact for the first time, a couple of encounters that they are a part of, Nana's meeting with Zakir at his bungalow in both halves of the film (though with different intent), Anurag's release from Jail and then especially the last 20-25 minutes where you just can't point on where the proceedings would eventually head towards - 'Shagird' stays on to be a gripping affair.
Nana Patekar is terrific while an unpredictable conduct of Mohit brings spice in the proceedings. If Nana does what he has been doing quite well for decades now, Mohit too throws a pleasant surprises by playing a cop who can be a softie or a toughie on the demand of the situation. Zakir Hussain's characteristic mannerism is another strong reasons that keeps you glued to the screen. As for Anurag Kashyap, he is so loveable as a 'bhaiyya' goon that you want to see more of him. Rimi Sen is an integral part of the story, fits in well but doesn't get to play a regular heroine per se. Also, her feelings for Mohit aren't quite detailed well and seem a tad undercooked.
However the sole episode that stands out as a sore thumb is the one involving a kidnapping sequence and the scenes that subsequently revolve around it. They don't hold the kind of dramatic edge that the rest of the film boasts of. Moreover Nana's frequent references to old Hindi film songs not just become repetitive after a point in time but also irritating as it threatens to break the thrilling mood of the situation.
Leaving aside these minor hiccups, 'Shagird' stays on to be a winner with dialogues turning out to be a major USP of the film. They alternate from being acidic to humorous, hence bringing in a variety to the proceedings.
Post the success of 'masala' films like 'Dabangg' and 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai', one is back to being interested in seeing cop dramas on screen. Moreover, Nana Patekar is synonymous with films like 'Ab Tak Chappan' and before that 'Yashwant'. No wonder, you expect 'Shagird' to be better as it is helmed by Tigmanshu Dhulia (of 'Haasil' fame) who returns after a hiatus. Thankfully, the expectations are exceeded by this two hour affair that turns out to be a satiating affair.