Banner: Rudraksh Adventures Pvt Ltd, Woodside Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, Reel And Motion Pictures LLP
Producer: Anil Singh, Nitin Mishra, Rajnish Ram Puri
Director: Sanjiv Jaiswal
Cast: Rajeev Khandelwal, Sameksha, Vikram Gokhle, Atul Kulkarni, Abhimanyu Singh, Aniruddh Dave, SM Zaheer
Writer: Sanjiv Jaiswal
Music: Vishal Mishra
Had director Sanjiv Jaiswal come up with Pranaam in maybe the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, the film would have clicked with people of that era. For 2019, where people look forward to new and more realistic concepts, Pranaam is not the best fit.
An ambitious student Ajay Singh, son of a peon, who dreams and works towards becoming an IAS officer, getting caught up in the world of dirty politics and corruption due to some sudden turn of events is what Pranaam is all about. Ajay is a bright student who studies in a university in Lucknow to fulfill his father’s dream. A huge scandal of examination paper leak has been going on since the past two years for which the university committee has been summoned and the responsibility has been shifted to Professor Tej Pratap Singh. Despite his severe precautions, the papers again get leaked and the professor is sent to jail. Ajay, being the favourite student of the professor, stands with his family in their difficult time. In a turn of events, Ajay finds the real culprit and while in a fight, accidentally shoots him as a means of self-protection. And since this is a film that has corrupt people right from the peon to the highest-ranking police officers, an innocent Ajay gets caught in a scandal that he can never come out of.
Pranaam reminds one of the Sunny Deol starrer Big Brother, where Deol and his friends are forced into the world of gangsters due to circumstances. When the protagonist loses his near and dear ones, he eventually becoming a fearless gangster who has nothing to lose. Just like Big Brother where despite of being a gangster, Deol’s character was loved by the people, Ajay in Pranaam has huge support from students. The first half of the film progresses slowly but picks up after the interval with a classic mixture of emotions, fight sequences, some strong dialoguebaazi and a climax that can be easily predicted.
Lucknow has been shown well as the backdrop of the film and the setting of the places and people around is just right. The background score and the songs are okay. The writing part is average and could have been far better had there been fewer stereotypical dialogue. Throughout the film you won’t see anything original or new. Overall, the treatment given to this film, be it direction, writing or editing, is several decades too late.
Performance-wise, Rajeev Khandelwal as Ajay is good, first as a simple boy and then as the mafia. Sameksha as his love interest is average. Atul Kulkarni who plays the corrupt Inspector Rajpal Singh is convincing, especially with some of his dialogue delivery. Vikram Gokhle as Professor Tej Pratap Singh, Abhimanyu Singh as the University President Gyanu Singh and SM Zaheer as Ajay’s father are decent in their respective roles.