When I found this DVD I was puzzled as to how it had not registered before on my radar: Raj Khosla directed, Salim-Javed wrote the dialogues, and it stars Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha, Zeenat Aman, Prem Chopra, Amrish Puri, Helen AND PRAN along with a serious array of character actors (KN Singh, Iftekhar, Sudhir, MacMohan, Birbal, Paintal, Trilok Kapoor, Jagdish Raj and more!). How could that possibly go wrong?
And it didn’t, really, at least not terribly…but it is dull and predictable; and there is no chemistry whatsoever between Zeenat and AB or SS, or—more importantly, actually—between AB and SS. It is also a little sloppy at times: Pran has a young son who doesn’t age at all, for instance, although Pran himself does (going from dark hair in a flashback to completely gray hair in the present), and Prem Chopra fires a number of bullets from a gun inside his pocket—but somehow said pocket remains intact, without holes. These are just minor issues though, and if the story had been better, with actors not just going through the motions, they would hardly warrant a mention (at least from me).
However, the story isn’t very good and the actors DO just go through the motions so I don’t think I need to say much more and can just let screen shots speak (mostly) for me (and it). Even the songs are too boring to talk about.
Our heroes, Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) and Ravi (Shatrughan Sinha):
Our villains, smuggler Daaga (Prem Chopra), his chief henchman Balwant (Amrish Puri) and his moll Sylvia (Helen):
Vijay is a CID Inspector who receives tip-offs from a guy named Tony (Pran) about Daaga’s nefarious activities. This enables him to arrest Balwant and confiscate a gold consignment.
Daaga is not worried, though!
That lawyer? Ravi, of course.
Vijay and Ravi maintain their bromance despite this obvious conflict by respecting each other’s work (although if you ask me, Vijay is a very forgiving guy!). Alas, gloomy clouds are gathering on the horizon in the form of the shapely Sheetal (Zeenat Aman).
Each man meets her in separate incidents, and is instantly smitten, but it is Vijay who eventually (after the usual fighting and pretending not to care) wins her over. I do like Sheetal’s telephone.
Vijay says nothing to Ravi about his new romance, since he is unaware of Ravi’s own feelings for her and apparently men just don’t confide in each other about the women they love, even if they are best buddies.
Meanwhile, he continues to get tip-offs from Tony which allow him to thwart Daaga’s gold shipments.
Luckily Sylvia is smarter than Daaga is, and she suggests that they have Vijay followed to find out who he meets.
Mostly, Vijay is meeting Sheetal, until Ravi finally tells him that he wants to marry Sheetal. He asks Vijay to take his proposal to her, with predictable results. Vijay breaks up with Sheetal and vows to leave town.
Up to this point, it has ALL been predictable (and also repetitive):
The only thing of any interest has been the mysterious Tony: how does he know Daaga’s every move, and what is his motivation for bringing Daaga down? Sadly, this small puzzle is answered—predictably—right about now, and so I lose pretty much all interest in the second half. Daaga shows Ravi the photos of Sheetal and Vijay romancing, and Ravi dramatically “breaks” their friendship (to the sound of thunder crashing)—without even giving Vijay an opportunity to explain.
He joins hands with not-very-bright Daaga with disastrous results for poor Vijay, and I’ll leave it to you to figure out the rest. It’s very predictable!
I did enjoy some of the iffy subtitles, and also some of Prem Chopra’s iffy outfits.
And now and again I was all-too-briefly reminded that Raj Khosla was directing.
Veeru Devgan’s stunts and action scenes were well-done as usual, but there were too many of them and they went on too long—predictably. Even Daaga’s lair was kind of predictable (red, and decorated with a stuffed tiger, liquor bottles and a ginormous crystal chandelier) and it didn’t DO anything (like grind people up, or squish them, or anything! *miffed*):
Sigh. Such a disappointing waste of lair opportunity.
I think I’ve covered everything here so that you don’t have to sit through it unless you really want to for some reason. You’ve been warned!