Kisaan does not delve deep into the problems of farmers in remote India (read suicide) but scratches gingerly on the surface. It's sad, because this film had the potential of being taken rather seriously; entertaining as well as educating.
Although it briefly touches on the malady of farmer suicides and land sharks, it does not go the distance. It ends up being a 'typical Bollywood masala flick'.
The film is about Dayal Singh (Jackie Shroff), a widower, who raises his two sons Aman (Arbaaz Khan) and Jigar (Sohail Khan) singlehandedly. He faithfully toils with his sons on his ancestral land as a true farmer would. One day, his neighbour commits suicide because he had taken a meager loan and could not repay it. Also, he had given his thumb impression on a blank piece of paper to the loan sharks. That paper turned out to be his noose.
Deeply disturbed, Dayal decides to send his elder son to the city to get a degree in law. Fifteen years later, when Aman returns to his village, with a law degree in hand, he is facing a rather peculiar problem. Sohan Seth (Dalip Tahil) an industrialist wants the farmers to sell their land. He is willing to pay more than the market rate. While most agree, others are being forced. Dayal and his sons are of the opinion that no one should be forced. In one such meeting, the melee, Dayal is slapped by a local goon who has teamed up with Sohan. Being the lawyer that he is, Aman stops his dad from retaliating. However, when Jigar, who was not at the scene, learns of the incident, he exacts revenge by cutting the hand of the offender.
From there on the film sinks into melodrama with Sohan befriending Aman and causing a rift in the family. To add glamour, there is Dia Mirza paired opposite Arbaaz and Nauheeh Cyrusi as Titli (cute) who is Sohail's love interest.
Jackie Shroff is solid, giving off a very good performance as the father and farmer who is protective of his land and fiercely proud of his sons. After his debut flick HERO and later GARDISH, Jaggu stands out yet again. There's something about Sohail Khan that strikes you. I think it is the sincerity of his performance. As the hotheaded son with an immense love for his father and land, he is a powerhouse. Arbaaz's vague wig casts an unreal air around him.
The music has a distinct feel of eighties, which goes well with the theme. With over five releases this week, the film will hit bulls-eye in the rural areas of India. Producer Sohail will have to make sure they get a tax-free entry onto the theatres.