I was meant to review another film this week, but I misplaced the DVD before I completely finished my post and it all just got too hard. As a result, you’ll have to wait for a sensible review. And it might be a very long wait. Looking for a substitute film, I decided I wanted something I wouldn’t feel obliged to think hard about, something with some sparkle and a lot of dancing. But I watched this instead.
The super groovy psychedelic titles seemed quite promising! Also, Amrish Puri.
The story opens with a child, the orphaned Prince Satish, being bullied by his uncle. The kid is the heir to an estate held in trust until he turns 20, but guess who has other plans? Evil Uncle Amrish Puri in some jaunty neckwear! I have to say the water torture was mild in comparison to any day at the pool for me and my brothers so I didn’t have immediate sympathy for the young fellow. Then the use of snakes as training aids turned the tide.
Satish is reduced to a snivelling wreck under all this duress, and is not improved by turning into Mithun Chakraborty. Years have gone by but still Uday Bhan Singh is terrorising his nephew. I really would have expected more efficient villainy from Amrish, but then the whole film would have been mercifully brief. Still, Satish is widely regarded as a drunken, insane rapist by the time he is in his teens.
I found the Uday Bhan family conferences of evil quite amusing:
Knowing that no good girl is likely to marry her Prince, his faithful maid tees up a wedding with the first likely orphan they meet. Sadly, the orphaned Aarti (Smita Patil) is a thief and intends to steal away before the wedding is consummated and take all the cash and jewels she can carry. This is not such a bad thing considering the helpful advice Satish receives about women:
It’s obvious that we are supposed to believe Satish is such a halfwit that he has no idea his wife really might not want him pouncing on her, but it’s just so badly acted and written that I felt a bit queasy. She….well , I suggest you fast forward past the ‘rape or is it romance?’ montage, bypass blossoming True Love, continue past the revelations and betrayal and rejoin the film when Satish is long dead (Amrish Puri has knife skills), leaving Aarti with a son who looks eerily as though he will soon be played by Mithun. Although, you would then miss an excellent attempt by Smita to use her own Eyeballs of Hate (TM PPCC) against Amrish Puri – go girl!
Aarti is not a soft mother figure – she is a tigress. She tells Avinash that if he ever loses a fight, he won’t be able to call her Ma. She really is a vengeful woman. Aarti is struggling financially so Avinash takes a job as a drummer (it is never really explained) to start earning. It is a bizarre career move but it is lucky in one way as it means lots of dodgy songs.
It’s at this point my DVD seemed to be possessed. You might remember that it took multiple DVDs and wily tactics when Heather and I watched Surakksha and it really seems that the universe is determined to protect me from Mithun. I eventually got to see the rest but couldn’t screencap, and the picture quality was woeful. However – the disco part of the revenge psychodrama kicks in from here so you can have some lurid songs to keep up the pictorial content.
Naina (Salma Agha) is your part time Disco Diva and full time student. She and Avinash bond after he saves her from a gang of drunken would-be rapists. Perhaps he is repaying the universe for his father’s misdeed? I doubt it’s anything that meaningful.
Mithun’s dancing highlights just how talented Michael Jackson was!
Avinash and Naina fall in love, of course, perhaps because they both have hideous fashion sense and share a love of white pants. Aarti hasn’t raised her son to be a loverboy and opposes the match until such time as Avinash settles the score with evil uncle Amrish, although she hasn’t told him about his family yet. But the past can never remain buried, and the truth comes out and then of course vengeance is sworn.
I’ve mentioned before that I like it when screeds of argy-bargy can be condensed into a song, and apart from the threats this also has scary outfits. I get the impression that there were different people directing sections of the extras who were supposed to be party guests. Some are having a toe tapping good time while others maintain the traditional glaze of boredom. And what better way to alert Uday Bhan Singh of his imminent doom than this?
After a court scene full of shouting, staring and more swearing of vengeance, Uday Bhan and his horrible son, Chandra Bhan get horribly drunk and sing. Then junior rapes a local girl as his father shoots the girl’s brother. It’s perfectly obvious they are vile people, and I don’t think all this was needed. I do feel B Subhash thought he was making a much more worthy film than this turned out to be, but struggled to interpret the story into an original film format and fell back on badly used clichés.
By this time, my DVD had only sparse subtitles and Naina’s name changed to Neena. She has been hanging around, adoring Avinash from afar, and goes undercover to get the information he needs (whatever that is) to crush the enemy. I‘m not recommending the sailor suit for potential Bond girls among you – it’s a hard look to carry off. She also has a ridiculously flat clutch purse that somehow contains a gun and a tape recorder and some kind of truth drug.
Chandra Bhan is a stupid as he is horrible, and falls for her tricks. The women then get together to map out the final revenge. All of a sudden Aarti seems to like her prospective daughter in law!
The evil Singhs get their come-uppance starting in a neat replay of the fake rape stunt that ruined Satish’s name. The film is effectively over now despite all attempts to add more drama, but it drags on for another 30 minutes and two more songs and a few explosions. The final scenes are are most notable for the wardrobe, the Michael Jackson inspiration, the crappy effects and a chance to take one last look at some of the fab sets. Salma Agha is supposed to turn into a kickarse heroine but looks disoriented and more concerned about her lipgloss most of the time. Smita Patil gives this film a lot more than it deserves, and maintains her rage right til the end.
There was lots of significant symbolism, more injustices that had to be avenged, recurring motifs, but I stopped caring as soon as Mithun tried to ‘Thriller’ Chandra Bhan into madness. I can understand why the undead backing dancers were a bit messy, but really the choreography is terrible!
See this film if you really have to see every Mithun film ever made, have a penchant for horrible 70s/80s fashion, can tolerate Bappi Lahiri’s misuse of Billy Jean, or want to see Amrish Puri in a bowtie. Can I even give this a star rating? I don’t want to mislead anyone into seeing this film because it really is dire, and not So Bad It’s Good; it’s just Bad. And not in a Michael Jackson Bad way. There are too many men in tight white pants. Maybe 2 stars –for Smita Patil, Amrish Puri, and their duelling Eyeballs of Hate.