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...“One of the most honest Indian films that I have seen.” When I asked about the star cast, he said, “Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, and Om Puri.” Never having heard of him, I asked, “You mean Om Shivpuri?” He said, “No. A new actor. Om Puri. He’s phenomenal.” And phenomenal he was. As Bhiku Lahanya, he made his silence speak of his inexpressible pain, of the unbearable hopelessness of the oppressed castes of this country, of the history of unending exploitation. All of it, just with his eyes. In his very first scene, when Naseer’s question to him carries the sub-textual presumption of his guilt, he just stares back at him, blankly. And that blankness showed an aggressive pity for Naseer. “You are incapable of understanding anything. Let it be.” That look hauntingly told us how our systemically prejudiced judicial structure denies justice to the poor. Nobody, but nobody, could have done that role with such expressiveness. He followed it up with Anant Velankar in Ardh Satya. ...Indian Express on Jan. 7, 2017, 12:06 a.m.