“When did we claim to solve the issue of honour killing” – Ajay Devgn

Aakrosh has released over the weekend and while majority of critics as well as audience have given a thumbs-up to the film, a few reviews have questioned the relevance of the film being projected as an issue based affair. During the promotion of the film, this Priyadarshan directed film was said to be based on the concept of honour killings, a reality that has made headlines, especially in last couple of years. "While the makers had been screaming all around that subject of honour killings was always a backdrop with the film in entirety being a commercial action affair, a few select reviewers perhaps watched the film with a different expectation. They haven’t been able to digest the fact that Aakrosh actually unfolds as a thriller rather than picking the issue by its horns and making huge noise about solving it", says a veteran insider from the industry. His comment is justifiable as well. If Aakrosh had been sold as an out and out ‘issue based’ film, actors like Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna wouldn’t have felt shy in doing so. After all Akshaye has been a part of serious drama like Gandhi My Father while Ajay’s National Award winning background too has been worthy enough to expect him in an issue based film.

However, Aakrosh actually has been designed as a commercial entertainer and hence comes across as one as well. "Exactly", says Ajay Devgn who has done his bit in such dramatic films in the past, case in point being Gangaajal and Apaharan, "We always maintained that honour killing was just the backdrop of the film. It was just an element plugged into the film, that’s it. Did we ever claim that we would solve the issue of honour killings in the country?" In fact before the release of the film, when someone questioned him that whether with Aakrosh, he was adding on yet another serious film to his profile a la Thakshak or Zakhm, he was quick to dispel such speculations. "’Come on, you could see it from the promos itself that the film was far more stylised than being real", he says in an amused tone, "If at all the film came close to anything, whether in terms of setting or treatment, it was Gangaajal." He too is surprised though with confused expectations that some seemed to have carried. "Our idea was always to entertain the people and those who have seen it so far have by and large been entertained", continues Ajay who is glad though that his performance – yet again – has come for appreciation from all quarters. "We never went into any ‘bhaashan-baazi’ mode, whether in the movie or as a part of its promotion. We always said and maintain that Aakrosh has been an action thriller with good dose of drama in it. We never thought ki chalo, let’s sit down and analyse that country mein honour killings kyun hote hain? Toh phir chalo, ab iska solution propose karte hain. Aisa kucch nahi hua tha."

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