Sangharsh is often touted as a remake of The Silence of The Lambs although it just shares some similar plot elements and is overall a movie on its own. Tanuja Chandra's previous work Dushman was a gripping albeit unoriginal thriller which was interesting enough and had a top-notch performance by its leading lady. For me, Sangharsh was an equally effective and entertaining suspense thriller and I had great fun watching it. The movie is centred around the character of Reet Oberoi, a young CBI Officer diligent and a rather smart woman who took up this profession because of her patriotic nature, hate for criminals, but more than anything her wish to overcome her own fears. The Central Bureau of Investigation entrust to Reet the case of Lajja Shankar, a fanatic child murderer. The one who actually can help Reet capture Lajja is a jailed convict, professor Aman Varma. She turns to him for help and this unconventional approach, along with the many of their proceeding meetings later get her into trouble. But the most important thing about them is that the two have actually fallen in love. Aman was the only one who could really understand the real reasons behind Reet's despair and determination to do what she does, and she actually at some points finds a confidant in him.
Technically, Sangharsh could have been far better made but the writing makes it much more watchable than expected. The script is written well enough to create an efficiently disturbing movie which at times is really terrifying. The dialogues for the most part are good, and the atmosphere is dark and dim. The movie is quite an unconventional kind of a romance because the relationship between the leads is conveyed more through tension and gradual openness. The chemistry between Akshay Kumar and Preity Zinta is amazing. In so many instances a moment of wordless interaction between the two says it all, bringing out their deepest feelings. My favourite scene is the one in which they first meet without bars. For almost a minute they keep looking at each other, with her expressive tearful eyes ultimately exposing her true feelings. Also, the one in which he faints in her hands when he is injured is effective. Some of the aspects that contribute to the film's suspense include the background score, which is quite effective. The action scenes are for once excellently shot. Among Jatin-Lalit's songs, "Dil Ka Qaraar" and "Mujhe Raat Din" are the best. "Manzil Na Koi" is a very nice song but it is very redundant in the movie as it adds nothing and just breaks the mood.
Kumar delivers one of his finest performances as the witty and intelligent Amar. His assertive dialogue delivery is stupendous, and so is his overall persona. Zinta is fabulous in one of her first roles. At the time of this movie's release, everyone was citing Zinta's rather complex role as an example for young and even established actresses in mainstream Hindi films. She has almost no songs in the movie, for the most part she looks ordinary, wearing no make up, and that contributes a lot to her serious screen persona. Not to say that it is her best work or anything of this sort, but her lack of experience actually makes her more convincing; she plays her character's confusion, fear, vulnerability and determination exceedingly well. Ashutosh Rana plays his second villainous role in a Tanuja Chandra movie after the aforementioned Dushman, and he is frighteningly convincing. Towards the end, the film becomes increasingly more intense, and the climax scene is very good. The ending itself is bittersweet, but it was good because there was no other way around. To sum it up, Sangharsh is a watchable and enjoyable thriller which successfully blends suspense and romance. It is not a great film, but still can be watched with family and friends, particularly for those who like Hindi films.
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