Tigmanshu Dhulia?s Shagird is about the Delhi crime branch, a law enforcement unit that gleefully perpetrates crime itself.
The department, run by ACP Hanumant Singh, played by Nana Patekar, is relentlessly brutal and corrupt. A newbie officer Mohit, played by Mohit Ahlawat, makes feeble noises about the cash and killings but soon, he also learns to toe the line.
This dark student-teacher drama is played out against the backdrop of UP criminals with names like Bunty bhaiya, played by Anurag Kashyap, and politicians who are of course just criminals with legitimacy.
Shagird has moments of power and a rough, sweaty texture that throbs especially as the camera snakes through the bylanes of Old Delhi.
The story isn?t startling or new. Still, this intricate web of deceit and betrayal could have been a compelling thriller but Dhulia, who co-wrote it with Kamal Pandey, just doesn?t weave it skillfully enough. There is a strange childhood love angle and an even more ridiculous kidnapping plot.
We all know that politicians are corrupt but surely they aren?t shooting people in broad daylight on the streets of Delhi. And this gang is so dumb that they don?t even notice the gigantic television van following their car. And did I mention that Rimi Sen plays a leading news journalist, the type who goes to meet a dreaded terrorist wearing a tank top.
Nana Patekar fans will enjoy his purposefully eccentric, casually ruthless cop but honestly, it felt like d?j? vu to me. I?m going with two and a half stars.