the only one who has strived
to remake Sholay (1975)
: Subhash Ghai
did it 2 decades ago, and very successfully, with Karma(1986), twisting the original plot with an extra helping of jingoism, a very distracting Sridevi, a happy ending and 80's excesses! I love this movie utterly- must have watched it over 5 times, each time with delight.
Title: Karma Year: 1986
Cast: Dilip Kumar, Nutan, Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Sridevi, Poonam Dhillon, Dara SIngh, Anupam Kher, Shakti Kapoor.... the list doesnt stop, but I will, here.
A lot of stuff is going on here, so pay close attention.
Dilip is the superintendent of a jail somewhere in India, and is married to a gorgeous Nutan. They have their children (who are in also the police), and grandchildren living with them, and are universally loved, especially by the prison inmates (!) who respect their essential goodness. Every one sing the completely hummable, Ae Watan Tere Liye together.
But things cant remain happy forever, and bad news comes in the form of Dr. Dang (Anupam! deliciously evil!), who has been caught and will be imprisoned at Dilip's jail. Much jingoistic and provocative dialogue is spewed, and we all all set for SOME major tragedy to strike.
And so it does. Dang escapes, killing half the inmates and most of Dilip's
family. Only Nutan
and his youngest son played by Jugal Hansraj
(who was still gorgeous then) are left alive- she cant speak and he is crippled.
Dilip is good and mad, and since now this is a matter of personal revenge, he takes off to form his own army (great filmi ploy that) against the advice of his friend Tripathi (played by beloved Vinod Nagpal, I love him). He recruits 3 inmates: Baiju (played by Jackie- "Baiju"! I have a evil cousin-grandpa by that name, but the name is still cute), Anil, and Naseer (in full commercial cinema mode here). For some reason, he has picked inmates that he doesn't know, and cannot rely on at all- you'd think he'd get someone he trusted- oh well.
He takes them off to "somewhere near the border," and stays with Dara Singh, a former inmate who IS from his trusted group. There they set about to spy (not sure how) and train (involving a lot of running) the 3 inmates, who become very close (ahem!) friends :D
So of course Jackie finds the gorgeous, fantabulous
, amazing Sridevi
and falls in love.
And Anil finds the sweet Poonam and does likewise.
finds no one but revisits his dead girlfriend's memories.
But the country and revenge come before love! And Dilip ensures that his 3 pupils learn their lessons, come back to the straight and narrow and do or die for their country.
1- Was it just me, or does it appear that Abhishek
has copied Anil's
moustaches from this movie, and made it into his regular look?
2- This movie makes me realize the potential of the Jackie-Sri pairing, hopelessly under- exploited. Too late for that, since Jackie seems out of the acting scene, and while Sri is hotter than ever, I don't see her doing a movie w/ him ever again.
3- Jugal Hunsraj was SUCH a beautiful child! and judging from this and the fabulous Masoom, a pretty good actor- WHY did he grow up to create movies like Roadside Romeo (2008)- which he wrote, directed and sang for- eugh!
4- This was one of Nutan's last full-length roles- she was still very lovely here, and appears to simply glow from within- miss her.
5- Poonam did what she was asked to no doubt, but I prefer her spunkier than this. Cute though.
1- Its unadulterated masala, from when Subhash made good masala. There are so many of my favorite actors in this movie, but I never felt that anyone was shortchanged.
2- Sridevi hams it up, and OWNS the screen every time she walks into the camera. Seriously, this was such a testosterone-overload movie that you have to give her props for making every screen moment count. She is utterly ravishing, hilarious and totally fun.
1- The "good Indian, bad neighbor" theme may make some uncomfortable, but there were plenty of such movies in the 80s and early 90s, and this was perhaps the least jingoistic of them.
Watch it for:
1- Anil, Sri and Jackie's comedy.
2- A rare Bolly visitation as Sri's uncle by Satyanarayana Kaikala- he is comically, deliciously, evil :D
3. Dang's army: their logo is a Star of David (!!!), they love chandeliers, and they are lead by Tom Alter and Shakti- what could be better?!
4. Nutan and Dilip's chemistry.
5. The Jackie-Anil bromance.
6. Anupam, who is fabulous as Dr. Dang- I had forgotten what a brilliant cartoony villain he could be!
7. The eye-candy that Jackie was (sigh).
8. Nasseer chilling.
9. SRI SRI SRI!!!!