indian cinema heritage foundation

Thakshak (1999)

  • LanguageHindi

A poetic romance between Ishaan and Suman set against the concrete Bombay cityscape, opens the film. Ishaan, the only son of an affluent business family and Sunny, the grandson of the head of the business house, are being groomed to take over the work. They share a strong male bonding, Ishaan's controlled & silent strength an anchor to Sunny's flamboyant and recklessly violent streak. The business, a construction empire built by Ishaan's father Nagar Singh and Sunny's grandfather is rooted in violent and unlawful activities.

Ishaan, sheltered in comfort and security, begins to question his environment as his relationship with Suman, an idealistic young woman, opens a new world to him. As his love for her grows, so does his fear of losing her. Ishaan is caught between a life steeped in violence and his love for Suman who abhors violence.

Ton by his desire to leave the world of crime, and a sense of loyalty to his father and his friend Sunny, Ishaan unwillingly gets drawn deeper into violence, and finds himself a participant in an act of gruesome cold-blooded massacre. The image of a young girl disabled by the violence haunts his conscience. His quiet but firm resolve to withdraw from the business clashes with Nahar Singh's pragmatism, to build power at any cost and to legalize crime with that power, and with Sunny's refusal to release him from his oath of loyalty.

The events escalate with Ishaan's arrest, and Nahar Singh's murder. Ishaan is finally forced to make a choice between personal loyalty and a larger allegiance to Society and Truth.

Thakshak is a story about an individual caught in the eternal moral conflict, a choice between personal relationships and social responsibility. This conflict is manifest in Ishaan's character in the film who symbolizes the youth of today, caught in a web of personal relationships, their apathy to social responsibility. He is beckoned to look beyond his own world by the idealistic Suman. He love gives him the strength to stand for the truth, to rise above the personal and see violence and crime in its true and ugly form garbed under the cloak of friendship and loyalty.

(From the official press booklets)