Mini-review: Bombay 405 Miles (1980)


This film shows in excruciating detail how not to:

  • Act
  • Direct
  • Write
  • Edit
  • Produce
  • Coordinate stunts
  • Donate blood
  • Care for a child

That is all.

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49 Comments to “Mini-review: Bombay 405 Miles (1980)”

  1. That is enough.

  2. Very precise and to the point! :D

  3. I actually have fond memories of this film, i must have watched it hundreds of times as a kid, its quite vague now and i was thinking of getting it again. Even if i watch it now and its bad, it’ll always have a place in my heart as this is one of the first hindi movies i ever watched.

  4. TheThirdMan: I did not feel like wasting much more of my time on it :)

    bwdeewana: I had high hopes. And maybe if I’d seen it as a kid I would have liked it, but seeing it now was just a painful exercise in bad filmmaking. A total waste of Vinod, Pran, Helen and Amjad Khan…and Shotgun Sinha and Zeenat too, although my expectations of them are not generally as high. Sorry :(

  5. I think you need a big bucket of cold water splashed on you to extinguish the anger and frustration. Here: – take a look at the last image – LOL.

  6. Oh, that’s good! :-) I’m not angry or frustrated though…it was just boring and soooo bad. Not even a good lair to compensate. Even Vinod’s beauty could not lift it above pure mediocrity.

    Onward ho to the next one! :)

  7. Now, see? This is the kind of review that someone writes when they really don’t like a film. I liked K-A’s music in this movie, and I have to credit it with drawing the very rare audible gasp out of me with how it so “went there” at one point. This involved the kid, of course.

    • You mean the obvious dummy (one of several)? :) “The car dashed the child! The car dashed the child!” Besides for the completely nutty subtitles, the songs were the only thing I could say anything good about. But there weren’t enough of them. This film would go at least NEAR the top of my list of films whose music was too good for them.

  8. Memsaab, if You couldn’t sit through this…..
    must be the shortest review i have read on your blog.
    My sincere commiserations.

    Watch some H Mukherjee or something to get over this: I have rewatched several recently, and some are even better than what i remembered them to be!

  9. I sat through it!! Took a while, but I did! (and forced my poor sister to sit through some of it too, she didn’t like it either)…

    Am trying to decide how to remove the bad taste. Shammi perhaps is in order.

  10. This is actually one of the (few) Bollywood DVDs I own…

  11. oh, you poor thing.
    I watched Uphaar yesterday, and while it is not perfect, it is real joy in many scenes. I had not watched it ever, I think at the time it was considered a little “bold”; however, i don’t think my 8-year self at the time would have noticed this aspect at all.

  12. PC: Have you watched it?

    bawa: Most Hindi films have SOME redeeming qualities, but this one did not (except as mentioned above, the songs and the loony subtitles). I don’t think I have seen Uphaar…

  13. Well, put it on your “to watch” list at once- & you know I don’t recommend many films. It could have been polished up a bit in places, but it is such a different take on a very common hindi film plot!

    The songs are few but lovely and it has nice happy ending :))

  14. Oh, those glorious 80s. I escaped most of these films, because I was a teenager and had better things to do by then. :-D

  15. I was kind of hoping for a 70s hangover. But no.

  16. Shotgun and super-handsome Vinod and a kid?!! How can it be bad?!!!?!

  17. Never heard of this movie!

  18. Oh god, I know exactly how you feel. I just sat through one of those mid 80s beauts ‘Papi pet ka sawal hai’–Kaka, Shotgun, Kaka’s old 70s cronies as aged villains, etc. etc. Why do we do this to ourselves? *plaintive*

  19. ‘Nuff said, clearly! :) Except I must add my favorite fun-to-say assessment: AVOID YAAR.

  20. Thank you for warning us off this one. I hadn’t heard of it, but (with a cast like that) I’d probably have grabbed it if it swam into my ken…

    P.S. Allow me to warn you of another, just in case you haven’t seen it yet: Parivaar (1967). It stars Jeetendra, Nanda, Rajendranath and Om Prakash among others. Absolutely horrendous film which centres – very blatantly and in-your-face – around family planning and the ill effects of breeding like rabbits. Horrible.

  21. O dear! NOT one of those forgotten/lost masala classics? :-( Vinod Khanna has been doing a lot of this lately. I watched Qaid recently, hoping for a great thriller like his Inkaar, but landed up forwarding the movie just to get done with it fast! Such waste of beautiful Vinod…

  22. I hardly watched anything in that era, totally nothing in the 90s, and don’t seemed to have missed anything at all.

  23. Well, there were occasional good movies in the 80s, and the 90s is sort of where I started and I found enough there to keep me going! :) But I’m heading back to the 60s for a while, I think!

  24. Hmm… looks like I need to revisit this one. I bought the DVD a few years ago (mainly because of the movie title and cast) and I think I found it mildly entertaining, but then again I have very bad memory and very low standards. :D

  25. I think that most people would find my standards pretty low too, LOL! I don’t know, I just got bored and then could think of nothing but how bad every aspect of it was (except the music). But differences are what make the world go around, right? :)

  26. Vinod Khanna and Zeenat Aman are nice to look at though!
    I found Amjad Khan has so funny dialogues! His suits were a hit.

    Amazing is the scene, where Vinod brings water for the child. He jumps out of the running train, run through fields, gets hold of water, runs again through the fields, without spilling water, climbs on the running train and gives water to the child. maybe they should have named the movie superman!

    I lost interest as in many hindi movies after the first 20 min. Although I really wanted to like the film. Somehow I thought you will like the film and as somebody has mentioned the music is good.

  27. I’ve been watching this on the laptop for about a week or so now and have been unable to finish watching it.

    At this point I’m only watching it for getting screencaps with non sequitur subtitles.

  28. harvey: I did not like it :) I like all the people in it mostly, but not in this.

    turbanhead: The subtitles are quite hilarious sometimes, but even they could not save it (although the one I found for this post made me fall off my chair laughing, apropos as it was) :D

  29. Wasn’t this movie made by Brij – the same person who made Victoria 203 ? I remember this being released with a lot of fanfare in its time – as a sort of sequel to Victoria 203. I think the movie did not do well. I have seen it but I cannot remember one bit of the story. Probably just as well. :-)

  30. Yes, it was made by Brij although I saw no resemblance to Victoria 203 (which I quite liked)…

    :) Vinod and Shotgun were certainly no Ashok-Pran!

  31. Poor you, better luck next time.
    did u get a chance to see ijaazat?

  32. Not yet, it’s still high up on my list though! I choose films to watch based on my mood…and lately I’ve been wanting silly and crazy, not intelligent and thoughtful :-) Not that they have to be mutually exclusive (but they often are).

  33. AHAHAHAHA… when the kid is giving you the stink eye, it’s clearly time to pack up and go.

  34. Too bad they didn’t! The child was SO annoying, spoke in that horrible kid monotone.

  35. This review must be from a female only. :P

    How can a film having Zeenie Baby in full form appear so dull
    and useless as described by you.

    I think you haven’t watched it in sleep mode. LOL.

    You can’t expect a ‘Ramu running a Daud’ or
    ‘Vishal Bhardwaj lighting Machis’ in 1980. Neither did we expect
    Zeenat to emulate Smitas and Shabanas. Forget Vinods and

    It was a film made for common mass who enjoyed it.

  36. You are correct! Zeenat’s form and figure did not help the film for me at all. My tastes are pretty pedestrian and lowbrow too, but it was just so boring.


  37. I think you are being unduly harsh. This was a real fun movie specially Pran with his “Tumhara Humraaz” and the letter from Zeenat which ends “Tumhari Radha. Dono ko pyar aadha aadha.”

  38. I’m glad you liked it, but I did not. At all. :)

  39. Oh, it was so over the top, I totally loved it! Especially Amjad Khan doing a parody of himself, the fetch-the-water-from-the-train and then the blood donation. Every possible coincidence was used in it; just when you thought nothing more could be added, a long lost twin turned up the last minute – the cherry on the topping!

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