By Shevaal Singh (@being_shevaal)
The film unlocks with Sonakshi Sinha grooving to a disco number in which you will surely be left to anticipate a typical retro-themed flick with comedy, action, melodrama with song and dance – around carnival like settings with colourful clay pots mixed in equivalent quantities. The Sajid Khan’s “entertainer” ‘Himmatwala’ starring Ajay Devgn has all the ingredients of an undemanding masala film which it does shock you at regular intermissions for feeding up a 30 year old Bollywood movie formula that all in all proves fatal to the contemporary and modern idea of cinema today! The movies is barely as remarkable as the original but it however immaturely entertains.
The tale of Himmatewala starts with Ravi played by Ajay Devgn (who is well known as a master of action movies) earns his livelihood by showing his muscle power at a club in Mumbai by an ardent fan of the late Legend Michael Jackson- named “Michael Jaikishen” (Chunky Pandey -obviously). One strange day- the son of Rampur aka Ravi chooses to visit his homeland. He goes in pursuit of searching for his grief-stricken mother Savitri played Zareena Wahab and sister Padma enacted by Leela Jumani only to find them in dire straits. His mother narrates to him the tale of her miseries. Savitri wants her son Ravi to settle the scores with Sher Singh (Mahesh Manjrekar) who is their heartless property-owner, who has used his status and wealth to overpower the villagers. Sher Singh, the greedy land owner is aided by his brother-in-law Narayan Das played really well by Paresh Rawal . At his mother’s command, Ravi is all set to avenge his enemies. The film recuperates a tatty and a bizarre formula that may work well at the Box Office but will rattle sensibilities of today’s generation.
The performances of som characters make the film tolerable. Actor, Paresh Rawal as Narayan Das is outstanding. He factually reminds you of the rib-tickling legend Kader Khan and his humorous dialogue which is somewhat missing in films these days. Rawal’s impeccable performance in the film proves that character artists are either not being used appropriately in cinema today. Filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar has done a praiseworthy job as an actor in the film. Tamannaah Bhatia as Rekha looks very promising but her character lacked spark and her performance is unparalleled to the timeless Sri-Devi who first mastered this role in the first Himmatwala. Ajay Devgn without whom the film wouldn’t have been possible, will captivate his fans yet again with his witty dialogues and acting. He is thoroughly entertaining and looks mighty fit even at 43 but his in Himmatwala cannot be compared to his recent super-hits like Bol Bachchan and Singham !
The one to have made Ajay – the unconquerable ‘Himmatwala’ director Sajid Khan has certainly produced an “entertainer” (a film devoid of filmic aesthetics). The filmmaker doesn’t really believe in winning applause from critics as he makes films exclusively with the purpose of entertaining the audiences. But one needs to find some sense even in utterly contrived situation. The comedy sequences do their bit and so do the breath-taking action sequences. Fans of Devgn can look forward to his fist fight with a tiger and get swayed into the world. The songs ‘Naino Mein Sapna’ and ‘Taki Taki’ are revitalizing and melodic. But the ‘Dhokha’ song featuring divas from the television world looks very forced and unnecessary with the rest of this movie. The costume in this movie really takes audiences back in time but one should realise that The Dirty Picture and Action Replayy has recently brought back the fashion culture and –style of the colourful 80’s.
When it comes to remakes audiences don’t really expect a carbon copy of the original story but audiences love adaptions as we saw with Om Shanti Om which was a beautiful mixture of timeless romance, tolerable comedy and stunningly mesmerising moments that leave you breathless and definitely Don which starred Shah Rukh Khan has kept the storyline but gave it a more contemporary appeal . But in my eyes the best remake thus far was and will be for a long time to come Karan Johar and Malhotra’s ‘Agneepath’ which was re-creation- that took the original tale of revenge to a whole new level -that audiences loved and appreciated because it simply captured the essence of the original Big-B movie and added elements which turned this movie into a super-hit film which was 2012’s first movie to enter the 100 crore club. If Sajid Khan refreshed this tale with more than humour it would definitely have been one of the best remakes in the history of Indian cinema.
Himmatwala is a typical masala entertainer which is like ‘colourful chaos’ as director Sajid Khan would like to put it you’ll be entertained and yes you will certainly be entertained only if you had cherished the desire to travel back in time especially to an era when cinema orbited around a helpless mother and daughter duo and their life-saviour ‘Himmatwala’. The movie does entertain but in portions .Himmatwala fails to impress! A must watch for all Ajay Devgn fans though however Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala gets a 5.5/10 from mesimply because it lacked sparkle and shine with its dull comedy and immature humour. You will need a lot of ‘Himmat’ to sit through this one friends …