Directed by: Atul Sabharwal

Cast: Bobby Deol, Joy Sengupta, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Anup Soni, Bhupendra Jadawat, Sameer Paranjape

Where to watch: Netflix

New Delhi | Mukul Sharma: A police force that believes in law and order, but finds many of its own constituents colluding with the very forces it has set out to annihilate. That was Mumbai of the 1980s, going through a churn of significant activities such as cotton mill labours’ agitation, underworld gang wars, real estate dominance and a carefully weaved nexus between the all.

Inspired by journalist S Hussain Zaidi’s book, Class of ’83 is different from all the stories which have shown Mumbai of the 1980s clamouring its way to the final decade of twentieth-century in the middle of crime and criminals and alleged collusion between the police and those criminally behind the guns and gunpowder from the underworld. It’s a story which juggles between the cynicism of police officers developed over the years of their service and the newly inducted cadets that are simply trying to fit-in. Both extremes tell a distinctly blended story of a police force that has its flaws but has to neutralise the peculiar challenges of 1980s Mumbai and Maharashtra anyway.

The film is based in the times of 1980s when Vijay Singh (Bobby Deol) is sent to a punishment posting at Nashik’s police training academy. Vijay has to brave both the professional as well as down streaks at the personal front. Just when, the punishment turns to an opportunity when an ungratified Dean Vijay’s attention is caught by five ‘back-benchers’ of the academy – Surve, Jadhav, Shukla, Varde and Aslam, with the requisite degree of smarts, loyalty, and a streak of independence.

Bobby Deol is convincingly charming as a cop, and at various points touches the ceiling of copped up perfection set before by Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan in Dabangg series), Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn in Singham series), and Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan in Sacred Games). In a compact 98-minute screen time of the film, there is rarely a moment when you feel the need to take your eyes off the screen. The strict editing and phenomenal cinematography also deserve due applauds for great synchrony of drama, and realism that they bring to on the screen. The film has its elements of sympathising with Encounter-culture, which are crispy and enticing at the same time. So one may have his/her issues with the moral dynamism of the typical ways of cop justice as shown in the film, but the entertainment and enticement quotient rarely stays bereft of gratifying audience experience.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma