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Taarzan-The Wonder car

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Posted: 08 August 2004 at 2:49am | IP Logged
Taarzan-The Wonder Car

By Taran Adarsh, Aug 6th, 2004 - 1830 hrs IST


Hell hath no fury… like a car scorned! The name TAARZAN is generally associated with the legendary jungle hero. But the star and kalakaar of TAARZAN THE WONDER CAR is a car, which fights, feels, rejoices… in fact, behaves exactly like a human.

There have been a string of 'killer car' movies in Hollywood. Films like THE CAR, KILLER CAR, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, KILLDOZER and of course, the unforgettable CHRISTINE [1983], have entertained millions of viewers worldwide.

Loosely based on CHRISTINE, TAARZAN THE WONDER CAR falls in the same mould as a revenge film. Except, of course, the revenge seeker in TAARZAN THE WONDER CAR is not a man, but a machine [car].

The car does just about everything that a Hindi film hero would do, including punishing the evil-doers. Frankly, the efforts that have gone into the making of TAARZAN THE WONDER CAR need to be lauded. At least someone has had the guts to swim against the tide and offer a genuinely hatke fare!

But, of course, a concept like TAARZAN THE WONDER CAR is alien for Indian moviegoers. Yes, there has been a CHALTI KA NAAM GAADI [Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar, Anup Kumar] and a SHATRANJ [Mithun, Jackie, Juhi], but never has a car been projected as a hero. In that respect, TAARZAN THE WONDER CAR is truly different.

However, making the car behave like a human and adding the track of an aatma to the storyline may just look implausible to a section of hardcore Indian moviegoers.

Raj [Vatsal Sheth] is the son of a car designer, Devesh [Ajay Devgan]. Devesh designs a swanky car, much ahead of its times, and goes to a company to fix a deal.

However, the four partners of the company [Pankaj Dheer, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Shakti Kapoor and Mukesh Tiwari] disagree on certain terms and abort the deal. But without the knowledge of Devesh, they copy the design of the car and register it in their name.

When Devesh threatens to move court, the evil four, with the help of a corrupt police officer, kill him and along with his car, throw him in a lake. Devesh's family thinks that he has died in an accident.

Kartar Singh [Amrish Puri] owns a garage where Raj works. Raj finds a car in a junkyard and takes it upon himself to transform it into a macho machine. How the wonder car takes the villains to task, eliminating them one by one, forms the crux of the film.

A storyline like the one in TAARZAN THE WONDER CAR hasn't been witnessed before. Hindi moviegoers have so far witnessed icchadhari snakes [NAGIN]/animals [dogs, elephants, cows] or ghosts seeking revenge [Ramsay films, BHOOT], but a car taking evil-doers to task is indeed a novel experience.

If the novel premise of the film is its USP [since a theme like this hasn't been witnessed before], the very plot is also a downer. For, the car in TAARZAN THE WONDER CAR behaves like a super-hero. It repairs itself, it fights, it reacts, it survives calamities… exactly like a Bollywood hero. Now this aspect may seem far-fetched to those who choose not to believe in such cinema.

Of course, a Hindi film is incomplete without the mandatory song and dance routine and TAARZAN THE WONDER CAR has that as well, with the new pair [Vatsal and Ayesha] handling those portions effortlessly.

Directors Abbas-Mustan have handled a few sequences with aplomb. A few dramatic scenes and the underwater sequence in the climax are simply superb. An overall stylishly-executed fare, the film entertains at most parts. The only time the graph goes down is when the romantic portions take over. The romantic track has little novelty to offer.

Another factor that stands out is the car, designed by famed automobile designer Dilip Chhabria, and the thrills that have been executed by action directors Kaushal-Moses. In a revenge saga, where the car does all the killing, you'd expect mutilated bodies, blood and gore. But TAARZAN THE WONDER CAR is devoid of all that. The thrills in the film, mainly the one in the climax as also those involving Mukesh Tiwari [before intermission], are amongst the high points of the enterprise. Kaushal-Moses deserve full marks for making the most of the opportunity and handling the thrills with dexterity.

Himesh Reshammiya's music is pleasant. The title track as well as 'O Sajan' and 'Ooh La La' stand out. Cinematography is of standard.

Vatsal Sheth, who makes his bow on the big screen after his television debut a couple of years ago, acts ably. He has screen presence, dances well, emotes as required… but only thing, he looks skinny at places. He needs to work on his physique for sure. Ayesha Takia doesn't really get a chance to display histrionics, but does her glamorous part with confidence. Ajay Devgan, in a brief role, is as usual.

Amrish Puri tends to go overboard. Farida Jalal is, like always, dependable. Rajpal Yadav is a scene-stealer yet again. Pankaj Dheer and Mukesh Tiwari impress. Gulshan Grover and Sadashiv Amrapurkar are okay, while Shakti Kapoor is fair.

On the whole, TAARZAN THE WONDER CAR is a different experience that will find its share of supporters and adversaries. At the box-office, the film will have to rely on kid-power to make it big. Had the film released during vacations, the outcome would've been much better.

Rating:- * * .

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