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Updated: May 31

The Indian cinematic landscape has witnessed a plethora of stories highlighting the struggles of the common man against an apathetic system. Kaagaz stands tall amongst these narratives, not just for its powerful story but also for its unique distinction of being told in two parts. Released in 2021 and 2024, respectively, Kaagaz 1 and Kaagaz 2 chronicle the extraordinary true story of Lal Bihari Mrit, a farmer from Uttar Pradesh who was declared dead by the authorities and embarks on a relentless fight to prove he is alive.


Kaagaz 1 introduces us to Lal Bihari, played with remarkable conviction by Pankaj Tripathi. Lal Bihari's world is turned upside down when his conniving relatives, in cahoots with corrupt officials, declare him dead to usurp his land. This act throws him into a labyrinthine legal battle, where he is denied basic rights and treated as a ghost in his own life. The film masterfully portrays the absurdity and cruelty of bureaucratic inefficiencies, where Lal Bihari is forced to prove his existence repeatedly, facing ridicule and disbelief at every turn.


Kaagaz 1 beautifully captures the emotional turmoil Lal Bihari endures. He witnesses the disintegration of his family, the loss of his livelihood, and the constant struggle to be seen and heard. Despite the overwhelming odds, Lal Bihari refuses to be broken. He embarks on a self-driven legal battle, armed with unwavering determination and a sardonic sense of humor. The film celebrates the power of the human spirit and the indomitable will to fight for what is right.

Kaagaz 2, released earlier this year, takes the narrative forward. Directed by the late Satish Kaushik and starring Anupam Kher in the lead role, the film delves deeper into Lal Bihari's legal battle. We witness his tireless efforts to navigate the complex legal system, facing numerous setbacks and betrayals along the way. The film showcases the unwavering support of his wife, played by Neena Gupta, who becomes his pillar of strength throughout the ordeal.

Kaagaz 2 also explores the impact of Lal Bihari's fight on the broader social and political landscape. It portrays how his case becomes a symbol of hope for countless others facing similar injustices. The film ends on a hopeful note, highlighting the power of perseverance and the ultimate triumph of truth over injustice.


Kaagaz, as a two-part saga, transcends the realm of mere entertainment. It serves as a powerful testament to the human spirit's ability to overcome adversity. The film compels viewers to question the flaws within the system and fight for their rightful place.

Lal Bihari's story, immortalized through Kaagaz, is an inspiration not just in India but across the globe. It reminds us that even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, the pursuit of truth and justice is a fight worth fighting. The film's enduring message resonates deeply, urging us to stand up for ourselves and for those who are unable to do so.

Kaagaz is a must-watch for anyone who appreciates powerful storytelling and is inspired by tales of resilience and courage. It is a compelling reminder that even an ordinary citizen, armed with determination and the will to fight, can bring about change.

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