Himmatwala - Review
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Where does one begin with a film like Himmatwala? You know its going to range from garish to extremely over-the-top, it being a Sajid Khan "entertainer". With the "the 80s are back" announcement, you knew you had to leave your brain behind. Yet, somehow Himmatwala makes it worse than what you are ready for - from the righteous brave-heart to the idealistic mother to the caricaturish villain to the supposedly village setting to the lousy one-liners, there isn't one moment that can hook you in.
To start off, in its attempt to not copy the 1983 film, the 2013 version brings in a few minor changes and a 'twist' which make the proceedings even more lame. Then you have Ravi (Ajay Devgn) cracking the poorest of poor jokes. Making him admit the awfulness in the very next line, only makes it worse (and when we thought it wasn't possible.)
Similarly, Paresh Rawal breaking the fourth wall asking us to come towards him and go away from him with a zooming in and out camera isn't funny to begin with. It gets even more tiresome when its repeated over and over, predictably.
When you are so clearly reminded that you are watching a film, you cannot be expected to get remotely involved in the characters or the situations. So involved are Sajid Khan and company in not taking themselves seriously, that the villain doesn't scare and the hero doesn't inspire or invoke allegiance. All the supposedly powerful and/or emotional scenes seem lame because you aren't engaged in the story.
Interestingly, Ravi's sister (Leena Jumani) gets a scene where she uncharacteristically takes charge of her life and it could imply a superficial hint at woman empowerment. But her action ultimately implies submission to what others in her life decide for her. Even if you'd like to give Himmatwala a benefit of doubt in that the social norms of the 80s apply, you realize you are being asked to believe that any of this is realistic.
Having said that, Leena Jumani is an actor who sticks out because of how quietly she plays her bit. In contrast you have this gang of very capable actors competing to look more idiotic than the next. You cannot blame Paresh Rawal, Mahesh Manjrekar or even Ajay Devgn for not making you laugh. Their timing seems to be perfect for what they've been asked to do. But, what they've been asked to do is so ridiculously not funny that you don't know what to feel for them. I would like to think that my 10-year old is too old for such juvenile non-humor.
You know you have stooped to a new low when you find relief when the songs from the 80s start playing. Relief in nostalgia from 'nayano mein sapna' and ' taaki o taaki' - yep, certainly a low! I'd like to shift the blame to having to sit through 'thank God it's Friday' and 'bum pe laat' in comparison.
I do questions myself, "Why do I even bother with such films?" "Hope and curiosity", besides the fact that I have taken it up as a job. I hope that there will be something, at least one scene, that's worth half-a-watch and I don't want to keep wondering what that'll be. However, feeble my reward be, Sajid Khan's Himmatwala has this curiously shot hypothetical situation in which he, for reason unknown, chooses to refer to Psycho. Not that I liked it or the way it was done, but it was very atypical of Sajid Khan. And that is enough for me, even if not good enough to recommend you watch it even if you have nothing better to do (unless your hope and curiosity are compelling).
Himmatwala truly has nothing that even people reminiscing the 80s would enjoy. If someone really wants nostalgia, they'd go back to K Raghavendra Rao's Himmatwala, right? Why do you need a Sajid Khan for that?
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: A few action sequences. Nothing gory, but a lot of noise and throwing of people around.
- Language: Clean
- Nudity & Sexual content: Skimpily clad Tamannaah Bhatia. An attempt to rape. An unwed character says she is pregnant.
- Concept: Good vs. evil
- General Look and Feel: Loud, over-the-top, takes nothing seriously.
Himmatwala - Movie Details
- Official Sites: YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: UTV Motion Pictures, Pooja Entertainment India Ltd.
- Producer: Vashu Bhagnani, Siddharth Roy Kapoor
- Director: Sajid Khan
- Lead Cast: Ajay Devgan, Tamannaah Bhatia, Paresh Rawal, Mahesh Manjrekar
- Supporting Cast: Zarina Wahab, Adhyayan Suman, Leena Jumani, Rajendra Gupta, Anil Dhawan
- Screenplay: Sajid Khan, Sajid 1, Farhad
- Dialogues: Farhad
- Cinematography: Manoj Soni
- Editor: Nitin Rokade
- Background Score: Sandeep Shirodkar
- Choreography: Chinni Prakash, Farah Khan, Ganesh Acharya
- Music Director: Sajid Wajid
- Lyrics: Sachin, Jigar, Sameer
- Costume Designer: Manish Malhotra , Navin Shetty, Arindam Roy
- Running time: 150 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Comedy, Family
Himmatwala - Trailer
If you cannot see a video above, click here to see it on YouTube