Sridevi famously said recently that her 1983 career-making potboiler "Himmatwala(2013)" was no "Mughal-e-Azam". She was right to a point...Until now, when Sajid Khan's remake of the 1983 K. Raghvendra Rao film has come along to provide a comparative viewpoint.
And suddenly the old "Himmatwala(2013)" does appear to be a classic. It gave us the timeless Sridevi as an arrogant spoilt rich bitch who mouthed insanely capitalistic dialogues like "I hate the poor".
Thirty years later, Tamannaah Bhatia does a Sridevi.She gets into Sridevi's leather pants, with a whip to match and tortures the peasants in a village lorded over by a fatuous feudal dad who is not really evil. He is just mad. Somehow Tamannaah misses the bus and the bullock-car by a wide margin. Not her fault, really. It's the mood and milieu that this oddball of a remake generates.
We hear the larger-than-life hero Ravi (Ajay) mouth words of old-fashioned heroism with a straight face. But somehow we aren't convinced if he means business. Indeed, there was more than a dash of Shakespeare's Taming Of The Shrew in the way the original Himmatwala Jeetendra brought Sridevi to heel.
The new-age Sridevi is a squeal. She quickly changes from her audacious mini skirts and high heels with whips as accessories, to being a simpering salwar-kameez-clad doormat who is willing to walk that extra mile for the man in her life.
There are only two other female characters in the entire plot. The hero's long-suffering mother(played with commendable dignity by Zarina Wahab) and a sister (Leena Jumani). Vanquished by the villains, the mother and daughter live in the village forests.
Curiously the daughter appears to have walked straight out of a gym. Like all good sisters from the past history of commercial cinema, this one too nearly gets gang-raped. This one happens in a sealed van(Delhi's grisly rape reconstructed?) until the hero appears to literally crush the wannabe-rapists' balls. Ouch. Devgn ends his ballsy crusade with one of the film's many bravura-tinged exclamation lines: "As long as women are attacked, Himmatwalas would be born."
Chalk up a long-hurrah for this dime-store braveheart. We can look at Ajay Devgn in "Himmatwala" as the man who came in from the cold and warmed up the bucolic baddies' backsides with what he calls a "bum pe laat". That, we can say is the other side of the jadoo ki jhappi which Sanjay Dutt used to heal the world not so long ago. I guess Sanjay's jadoo ki jhappi got a bum pe laat .
Cute? That's how Ajay plays his shehar ka hero gaon ka super-hero part. He wants us to believe he is having fun with the trite part. But the boredom underneath the facade of fun shows up often enough to make us cringe.
The fractured world of Sajid Khan's "Himmatwala" is not looking for healing. It is happy being unfinished, wonky and out of shape. A wheezing grunting snoring world of demented feudalism where the Zamindar, as played by the gifted Mahesh Manjrekar is part-fiend, part-clown. Meals are not cooked in this tottering tyrant's kitchen. Instead he orders the villagers to get him khaana from their homes which he eats on a table long enough to serve as the passenger's cabin in a domestic airline. And when his daughter announces she is pregnant, the father throws a fit in the style of a 8-year-old who has just been told his favourite GI Joe has gotten flushed down the toilet.
The narrative serves up enough 'feud' for thought to make our heads go dizzy with thoughts of ruptured continuity. But gosh, are we really seeking logical explanation for what the characters do, say and convey in this film where a tiger appears from nowhere to help the hero fight the goons in the climax? Is this a film to be taken seriously? Presuming for a minute that we are expected to abandon all rationale and ...well go with flow, how do we set aside the uneasy feeling that the narrative is laughing not with us, but at us?
The second movement of the pesky potboiler is taken over by the Mahesh Manjrekar-Paresh Rawal duo doing the Amjad Khan-Kader Khan banter from the original "Himmatwala" with a dash of homo-erotic humour thrown in when the duo are forced to share a bed in a cowshed. This is where the mystery of the shapeless potboiler deepens.
The dialogue that follows between the two bedded buffoons has to be heard to be believed. To their credit, Manjrekar and Rawal, seasoned troupers both, try their utmost to have fun with their parts. Their vain efforts to infuse a joie de vivre in the clogged veins of this perverse potboiler only reminds us that stereotypical characters from conventional mainstream cinema died long before Joy Mukherjee.
Any attempt to revive the old-fashioned masala potboiler would require oodles of inbuilt humour and a developed sense of spoofiness. "Himmatwala" lacks both. It is neither fish nor fowl. How does one describe the film in a nutshell? For that we can go back to one of the songs recreated from the original Himmatwala.
Ho tacky ho tacky ho tacky tacky tacky re...
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Hhahaaha now finally that fat ugly LOSER can stop bragging that he will never deliver a flop. Sorry Ajay as much as I love u i dunno wat u were thinking when u said yes to this shitty movie
Edited on:01 April 2013 at 8:13pm
Lol.! He finally got the janta's answer.!
Thanks to him for promoting it so much that..People already were bored.! Now I want to see his face.! IN YOUR FACE MR.KHAN.!
Edited on:31 March 2013 at 9:06pm
I wanna see Sajid Khan's face right now..
he never gave a flop movie?? well here's his most awaited "FLOP Himmatwala"
Sajid Khan u suck!
unfortunately sajid looks lyk talking does nt always help ...
i knew it when karan malhotra n karan johar with such a gr8 actors could nt bring the 100% magic of old agneepath then what sajid will do that ...
it's nt every boddies cup of tea ...
That's Alfred Hitchock turning in his grave. That's you turning in yours. Your grave is air-conditioned with plush seating plus popcorn and cola. There are others sacrificing lives alongside you. And it's an excruciatingly painful death. Death by cinema. Death for cinema. Death of cinema.The man's remade Himmatwala this time. That nauseating 1983 film by K. Raghavendra Rao, best remembered for the matka song Tathaiyya tathaiyya hooo and Sridevi's colourful moves to the same. One of those badly-aged films that even YouTube would refuse to buffer for you.
And Sajid's chosen not to update it. So, here's a man trying to remake a 30-year-old film as if we are still in the 1980s, arguably the worst decade for Hindi cinema. No spoof, no parody. Just unmitigated obnoxiousness.The man's remade Himmatwala this time. That nauseating 1983 film by K. Raghavendra Rao, best remembered for the matka song Tathaiyya tathaiyya hooo and Sridevi's colourful moves to the same. One of those badly-aged films that even YouTube would refuse to buffer for you.And Sajid's chosen not to update it. So, here's a man trying to remake a 30-year-old film as if we are still in the 1980s, arguably the worst decade for Hindi cinema. No spoof, no parody. Just unmitigated obnoxiousness.Also changing their shapes and sizes in every shot are Ajay Devgn's two eyes, thanks to the inconsistent digital removal of his eye bags. Definitely not Maa Sherawaali Manmohan Desai tribute? doing the patching up.A hundred years of cinema we are celebrating, right?
And in case you are not sure what exactly you should be doing there sitting in the dark, you are also ordered when to laugh and when to applaud like a paid TV audience.Life's too precious to spend two-and-a-half-hours over films like Himmatwala. Cinema's too precious to pamper filmmakers like Sajid Khan. I didn't sign up for this job for a Good Friday like this. But I take heart from the fact that maybe, just maybe, I could s...<...
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