August 4, 2007


Title: Apne
Year: 2007
Dharmendra, Kiron Kher, Sunny Deol, Shilpa Shetty, Bobby Deol, Katrina Kaif, Javed Sheikh, Viktor Banerjee, Aryan Vaid.

This is the first time I have seen 2
plagiarised movies in a row. The saving grace is that whereas Partner was literally an Indian translation of Hitch, Apne is just heavily inspired in parts from Rocky- even the theme song is a take-off on the Eye of the Tiger- remarkably silly.

The story is somewhat
convoluted, so bear with me here:
Baldev Choudhary (Dharmendra) is an ex-boxer, who once won an Olympic silver medal in boxing. He was (apparently) super close to realizing his dream of winning the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship- but was falsely implicated in doping charges (did that happen back then? If this incidence is supposed to have happened in his youth, we are looking at the 1960s here- I know drugs were aplenty, but supplementary drugs???) and banned from boxing.

Baldev leaves boxing behind forever- and therefore he now idiotically puts the heavy load of his failed hopes on the head of his eldest son, Angad (Sunny Deol). Angad behaves like a sensible young (not really) man, and chooses to become a businessman rather than languish in the boxing ring until the day he gets recognition.

acts like a 5-year old, and resents Angad (despite the son being widely applauded in his city as a complete success), even though Angad has apparently done what Baldev should have been doing- got a house for the family, educated his brother, gotten his sister married. Baldev in turn has wasted away a decade or so in alcohol, until one day he meets a new pupil (Aryan Vaid). He is later ditched by this student as well, and his frustrations grow further.

In steps
Karan (Bobby Deol), who is Baldev's 2nd son. Karan has a physical disability, which leaves him unable to move one of his hands (which he rests on his stomach for the 1st half of the movie), and therefore cannot box. However he appears completely capable of performing the miscellaneous gymnastics we are subjected to, in lieu of being a pop star/musician.

By a convenient accident,
Karan is one day healed and he promptly decides to fulfill his father’s dream by becoming the next heavy weight champion of the world (yeah, right). He however gets clobbered by Luca, the reigning heavy weight champion (I have limited knowledge about the subject, but: one, Luca appears more featherweight than heavy/ two, I thought it would take a long time to go from a nobody to India's representative in the world heavy weight championship- but what would I know?!).

Prepare to further suspend all reality: once
Karan goes down, Angad is all fired up and decides to go bash Luca- not on the street- but in the boxing ring! He trains in one month (yes, ONE), and is all set to demolish Luca, which he does spectacularly. End of story.

This movie is unintentionally funny. I cannot fathom the fact that it was declared a hit in North India- never underestimate the power of the Punjabi movie at work.

Some funny points:
1- It is hilarious how Bobby and Sunny are supposed to be boxers- where Sunny at least is
somewhat built, Bobby has a amazingly flabby stomach, which wobbles in his boxer shorts.
2- For some strange reason, Victor
Banerjee is reduced to playing a Punjabi Muslim friend of Baldev. It is weird to see Mr. Banerjee doing a Punjabi accent sprinkled with Urdu words- its like seeing your favorite uncle dance on the street when drunk- embarrassingly funny.
Javed Sheikh also puts a blot on his considerable body of work- he has what barely qualifies as a guest role, as another old friend of Baldev.
Baldev drinks like a fish throughout the movie. Yet, in the climax, when Bobby needs a liver transplant, he almost attempts suicide to give him his own- how come he doesn't himself need a transplant- his liver must be useless by a lifetime of alcohol as well! At least the doctors should have given him some guidance- it was necessary for the melodrama I guess.

Despite all its flubs, its not bad- could be worse. All the actors put in great effort-
Kiron fully redeems herself as Baldev's long-suffering wife. Dharmendra is very believable as Baldev, and a treat to watch in a decent role after a very very long time. He speaks volumes with his eyes; his acting is a million times better than what Sunny and Bobby have ever managed. Perhaps its this sincerity of the actors that carried the movie through the box-office.....but in all honestly, I still cannot recommend it to you :)


babaganoush said...

ah well... thanks for saving me an evening which may have got wasted otherwise..

so the Macho Man Deol brigade just refuses to give up!! it might have been good if he casted his d'ter with Hema as a sister to the brothers!! maybe made her a handicap and made papa Dharam go into the ring just to earn money for her dowry!!

you see the family is not being put to 100% use!!

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

:) thats so funny.

Btw, yes I finally have Suhani news- my cousin confirms there was a girl of that name in Shieling House (Shaad's school). Suhani was maybe a year or so below Shaad at school- no hints of romance though.