16 February 2013 | MartinHafer
Enjoyable but not without its flaws
I have often said in previous reviews of Indian movies that I am certainly no expert. Having not grown up in India, it's not surprising that I only began watching Indian films in the last 10 years or so. That's because they just weren't readily available here in the States. But, because so many wonderful films are made in India, it's not surprising that sooner or later they'd make their way over here.
Veer Pratap Singh is the beloved lord of his town. As the film begins, the townspeople are having a HUGE party to celebrate the lord's birthday and to thank him for his benevolence. However, a young man interrupts the party and announces that Singh is a tyrant. At first you think the guy might just be a nut as EVERYONE loves the lord. However, as the film progresses you see more and more signs that the master of the town is indeed a total jerk-face--and not only is a crook and liar, but he mocks the gods. And, again and again, you think as you watch 'this guy is gonna get his real soon...."--but it sure takes a while. In the meantime, the hatred of the wicked lord has spread slowly and only five men, one woman (who the lord has impregnated) and an odd character who is a mystical brother of Singh stand up against them. What's to happen? See the film.
I enjoyed watching "Hum Paanch" very much--it kept my attention from start to finish. However, at the same time I can understand its very ordinary current rating of 6.0, as the film has a couple problems compared to the more modern Indian films I have seen. The most obvious is when the characters sing. Compared to the more modern Indian films, the sound quality is horrible and sounds, literally, like they are singing into tin cans! It sounds very fake and there isn't a lot to enjoy about these interludes. Normally, I really LIKE the songs--here in "Hum Paanch", I didn't. Second, the story took way too long to resolve itself. While you knew what must happen in the end, this ending just took too long and had too many diversions. Now I know that at a little under three hours "Hum Paanch" is actually shorter than most Indian films today, but in most of these longer ones I've seen, the film maintains its momentum. Here, it dragged a bit. Enjoyable but far from a must-see.