17 August 2009 | ijzeren_jan
Boring and formulaic curry western
A small village in India lives under severe oppression of the Thakur family. Amar (Anil Kapoor) returns from the city and pledges to free the villagers from the tyranny. He does so with considerable ease: all he needs to do is speak a few sentences to suddenly turn a bad guy into a good guy, even though sometimes he has to kick some asses to support his arguments. No matter what, within days he becomes the hero of the village that even changes its name after him. Obviously, the members of the Thakur family don't give in as easily as the rest, and that is essentially what the movie is about. Now, Jigarwala wouldn't be a masala movie without a dose of slapstick humour and a love story here and there. As for the latter, Jigarwala has two: the love between Amar and village belle Soni, and the love of one of the villagers for Tara, the evil sister of the Thakur brothers. Add a few song/dance numbers to the mix, and there you have it: a curry western named Jigarwala.
All in all, a simplistic story that is formulaic in every aspect. Flat characters, zero character development. When a character already does something unexpected, it is not because it is makes any sense, but merely because the story requires it. Okay, I know, we are dealing with a disease of pre-2000 Bollywood movies in general here, and it wouldn't be fair to slaughter an individual movie for it. But in this case I find this utter lack of insight in human nature particularly disturbing, as there is so very little that makes up for it: colourful characters, good acting, beautiful images or whathaveyou. Honestly, an average episode of the A-Team needs half an hour to tell the same story that Jigarwala needs over two hours for, in a way more colourful and amusing way to that!
I generally like watching Anil Kapoor, Amrish Puri and Gulshan Grover. But in this case the roles they played (the hero Amar, the leading Thakur brother, the evil Lakhan) suffer heavily from the movie itself. We have seen them all in very similar roles in much better movies. The rest of the cast isn't even worth mentioning, as the acting is generally poor. As for the musical intervals... well, it's a matter of taste, I guess. I for one am thankful for the invention of the fast forward button.