5 November 2011 | shmsndr8
Quite a good film marred by Bollywood conventions
I remember seeing a poster of this film as a kid back in 1995 that had a tough-looking Akshay twisting one of his legs around the neck of a baddie. That was enough to excite me. But it was not until 2011 that I was finally able to see it. I had little expectations but I was pleasantly surprised.
The movie is quite good by Bollywood standards. The entire movie has been styled in the form of an epic with the heroes being molded as modern-day Paandavas in the Kurukshetra that a crime-filled Mumbai has become. The main story revolves around a demoralized Inspector Vijay (Akshay, probably as a replacement for Big B who could not play young roles anymore) who tries to fight crime single-handedly. His ideals clash with his elder brother Ashwin (Mukesh Khanna) who is the ACP of Mumbai. Noetheless, Vijay has high respects for his brother.
The city is lorded over by two tough gang lords, KK (Kiran Kumar) and Daata. Vijay tries to stop these ruffians with brains and brawn only to uncover a dark secret about his family. I should not reveal the rest of the movie, which has several unexpected twists and turns.
Direction-wise,Raj Sippy is quite good here. But it is in the last 45 minutes of the movie that glaring loopholes start showing. An enormous amount of suspension of disbelief is required to take these sequences seriously. But the strong performances of the lead actors make up for the defects. This is '90s Bollywood and so you have to put up with clichés of those times like attempted rape scenes, songs appearing out of nowhere, implausible powers of both protagonists and antagonists and above all, villains meeting an extremely gory end. Speaking of villains, they are almost reduced to caricatures in the beginning. Though, KK turns in an extremely competent performance in the later half which makes you loathe him with all your heart.
However, the movie boasts of good enough dialogs that stay away from excess melodrama or patriotism. The writers have achieved the right balance and even incorporated modern terms for those times, such as "Mercy Killing".
Akshay is in top form here with restraint and subtlety in the confrontation scenes. Pankaj Dheer and Kiran Kumar are quite good too. Sadly, nothing much can be said about the others. Mukesh Khanna continues with his dramatics and the heroines are mainly there to look as glamorous dolls.
Music is very bad from Jatin Lalit with only the "Pyar Ka Bukhar" having a pleasing effect for the masses.
Overall, an average 90's movie that was a semi-hit at the box office. A tighter script, good music and more plausible storyline could have made this one a masterpiece. Hope a good director like Raj Kumar Santoshi remakes this with more credibility to the plot. Incidentally, Santoshi's "Khakee" (2004) seems to be inspired by this movie. But that was a lot better and can even be held as a modern classic.
My rating - 6/10. Watch this only if you like 90's movies. You won't be disappointed.