Friday, 2 December 2011


Directed by: Shashilal K. Nair
Starring: Mithun Chakraborthy, Meenakshi Sheshadri, Shakti Kapoor
Released: 1987
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

A film about a tightly knot family consisting of a man, two orphans, a monkey and a dog. Yes, you heard right. And if the children´s tears leave you cool, the crying dog and sobbing monkey will make up for it (maybe). But here we are running too much ahead....

Birju is an honest con artist, who is raising two children, whom he both had found as babies trown away by their parents. To earn a living for them, himself and two faithful beasts – a monkey and a German sheperd dog, he slogs day and night, but never complains, because the closeness and love between all the members of this curious parivaar makes up for all the possible hardships. Where would Birju find a time for love? However a fate brings love straight to his home. Being thrown out of the house by her in-laws because of in-suficient dowry, a young woman Anita tries to commit suicide, but is rescued by the joint effort of the two small kids and their two animal companions (let´s not question the near impossibility of the deed, after all this film is not short of miracles and WTFs).
Looking high but happy.
She finds a comforting shelter in a poor hut Birju shares with his family, and taking the matters of the house into her own hands she seems to be completely happy and satisfied in the new sorroundings short of wealth but not of love and appreciation. But nothing is permanent and soon it seems that the parivaar shall be torn apart, because the dowry Anita had lost previously, is now found, and her husband would like to claim it...

The main leads are Mithun Chakraborthy and Meenakshi Sheshadri (I wanted to see the film for her, because it´s actually pretty difficult to find her films), and even though Meenakshi has less screen-space, she and her character prove that screen-space is not everything. Except for several dubbed crying scenes and rather brow-raising rescue by the children she is pleasant to watch. She has something that makes her different from other Indian actresses, and maybe because she doesn´t remind one of Sridevi in any way she got her share of success even during the greatest Sridevi craze in the mid-80s. Her dancing is amazing and in the song Ram Bakht Hanuman she expresses so much pain she feels (both mental and physical) your heart goes out to her.
The heart-stealer!
Mithun does the usual righteous, poor and lecturing others role, which I´ve seen him doing quite a few times already. He seems to be very comfortable with these kinds of characters and so delivers a good performance without much effort. The children, especially the girl, were good. The animals are way smarter then all the other famous beasts put together (yes, even more then the pigeon from Maine Pyar Kiya or Tuffy from Hum Aapke Hain Koun!) and they handle everything from offering in a mandir to driving a car to catch the bad guys.
Yo, problem?
The story itself is interesting enough and has substance, but could have been handled better, and the film overall suffers - from being an 80s film! Too many unnecessary scenes and subplots. Too many scenes in serious need of being shorter. Too many illogical things. Too many miracles. Some really WTF stuff (like when the monkey at the end turning into Hannuman and jumping all around, setting the place on fire). 

Hmm. Seems legit.
No disrespect to hinduism, but there was some serious and less then impressive overuse of godly interventions. And let-us-put-this-crap-into-it-as-well-it-will-be-rocking-like-hell ending action scene, in which for whatever reason is always the WHOLE cast including the two kids, the monkey and the dog.... the latter two save everybody´s sitting parts.
You shall not pass.
You shall not pass.
You shall not pass.
You guys watch too much Lord of the Rings!

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