Monday, November 11, 2013

Aata Majhi Satakli!

It was a boring Sunday night made exciting by the time spent flicking the remote buttons. There was not a single season that we hadn't already seen nor was the reality in the shows as real as we would like it to be. To make matters worse, the movies on air seemed worse than Krrish 3. With not much of a choice and even lesser to lose we decided to spend some “quality” time watching Himmatwala. That’s how bored we were.

Initially we thought it was the 1983 moving starring Jeetendra. We were more than eager to jump into the time machine and experience those village fights, evil zamindars and munshijis and emotional Mas who cry rivers of tears each time their invincible son is hit with the local goon’s lathi. Joining the bandwagon would be the oppressed behans and the heroines with their thumkas, dancing around trees and in melas, not particularly in that order.  

It turned out to be the 2013 remake, with Ajay Devgan flexing his brawny muscles and Tamannah venturing into big bold Bollywood with a yesteryear remake.  Given how boring our night already had been, this dampener was not all that surprising. However the optimist in us saw the silver lining that was vehemently shying away from any little sanity we had left last night. Ajay Devgan was known for his powerful and intense roles in Zakhm and Hum Dil De ChukeSanam. He would have definitely breathed in some freshness into this role, wouldn’t he? He would surely be better than Jeetendra. With that thought planted firm into our minds we relaxed against the cushions, put our feet up in the air and began munching the popcorn.

Our optimism did not last long. Twenty minutes into the movie and we had already begun feeling the absence of good old Jeetendra in his made to fit white trousers. Those (in) famous snowy white shoes that I couldn't stand sight of at one time were drearily being missed right now. I was mentally taking back all the sarcasm that I might have let out in the past about this particular Kapoor.

Yes, those fights, the cunning saala, the cruel zamindar and the Ma clad in all white were all there. So was the vulnerable behan screaming “bachaao” and the Zamindar’s feisty beti going all demure and innocent on meeting the Himmatwala. But the charm and rustiness so characteristic of the eighties was entirely missing.  No doubt Ajay looked as much the Hero, but the style that is characteristic of Jeetendra was nowhere to be seen. Tamannah looked very much at home in the apasara outfits but could in no way match the screen presence that Sridevi had. Mahesh Manjrekar probably snarled his best for this shoot but his feet were too small to fit into the shoes the Late Amjad Khan left behind. Leela Jumani as the behan need not even be spoken about, there are few who can match Swaroop Sampat’s innocence and simplicity, Leela surely is not one of them. Paresh Rawal would have been the only saving grace for the remake if any, had he not decided to ape Kader Khan instead of using his own versatility.

Last and equally bad were the songs. If dancing on huge drums coated with holi colours made us roll our eyes then, they made us wish for a fast forward button on the remote now. The lesser said about the music the better, esp. the remixed scores.

We couldn't get through the entire three hours. It was plain impossible to do so. Watching the actor who gave us “Zakhm”, doing this movie had begun to hurt a lot more than expected. No doubt the original was gaudy but it somehow seemed less garish after watching the remake. Even an item number could not pep this one up.

There was only one thing that could salvage whatever was left of my Sunday night- I picked up a PG Wodehouse to curl in bed with. 


  1. I read both your blogs. The post on the survival strategy for newspapers was insightful.

    These days when I watch movies from the eighties I can't stop but laugh. The hero would don a mustache and no one would recognize him. Then there was the regular lost and found story. Nonetheless, the present heroines can never match the charisma of a Sridevi or a Hema Malini.
    Thanks for visiting Freebird.

  2. How could you watch Himmatwala? Even a gun to my head will not motivate me to do that :). The original was super silly. I can only imagine how the remake is. I tell you, books are a much better refuge for days when you are bored.

  3. @ Alka - very true, those movies are a riot aren't they :P
    Thanks for visiting gutenbergliveson.. it is my way of staying in touch with the Industry I worked in for over a decade :)

    @Rachna- hehehe, should tell you how BORED i was :P I agree, books are def. a better choice over most hindi movies out there, i finally had to resort to a Wodehouse to regain sanity :)

  4. I like the title very much,perfect for the movie !
    There indeed are better ways to spend Sunday nights than watch this torture with the stupid fair and lovely ads in between :).

  5. I am in awe of you. You had the guts to watch the movie! ;)

  6. @aragorn- no doubts about that!

    @Pankti - hehehe now we know what boredom can do to is :P

    @ali - thank you :)

  7. Ha Ha! You watched it! It is funny at times! But, at others it's pretty unbearable! But, even I watched the Dream project of Sajid Khan!
    Loved Tamanna! Ajay Devgun was his hero self as usual!

  8. @anita - thank god! Somebody other than me has watched it too! Everyone has been throwing brickbats at me :P


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