Pankaj Tripathi starrer Kaagaz, releasing on Zee5 on January 7, is a true story of a farmer who’s been declared dead by the government.
In a sea of fresh faces that ruled the year 2020 with their extraordinary performances, Pankaj Tripathi is one actor who stood out for his memorable and incredible roles and performances and come 2021, he looks like he is on a mission to take his acting chops higher. The next film that all Tripathi fans need to look out for is Kaagaz, where he plays the role of Lal Bihari, an Indian farmer whose live felt apart when he was declared dead between 1975 and 1994.
The real story behind satirical comedy Kaagaz follows the life of a common man (Lal Bihari) who’s been declared dead by the Indian government, organises his own funeral, and eventually fights the Indian bureaucracy for 19 years to prove that he is alive. In real life, Lal Bihari visited revenue office at Azamgarh district headquarters in Uttar Pradesh to apply for a loan, where he later discovered he was officially declared dead. Over the years, he tried to captive attention of the media (and was successful), especially when he began signing his letters ‘late Lal Bihari’ and added the work Mritak (dead) to his name. And after learning that at least 100 others were declared dead, he opened Mritak Sangh Uttar Pradesh Association of Dead People, in the Azamgarh district.
While the storyline of the film is exhibited in a light-hearted and comic manner, it also makes us want to question the negligence of a government that poses a threat to one’s existence by not acknowledging it. The real challenge of the film lies in the fact that it spans over 18 years of the struggle faced by a common man to prove his existence.
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Marking his directorial comeback after almost six years, Satish Kaushik also plays a lead role in the movie. Initially called Mritak, Kaushik bought the rights to the movie in 2013. Kaagaz is produced by Salman Khan and Nishant Kaushik under the banner of Salman Khan Films and The Satish Kaushik Entertainment Production.
All images: Courtesy Zee5