Feroz Khan is a filmmaker whose film's always include two exclusive ingredients: entertainment and style. He has always managed to deliver with these two ingredients, though faltering as of late with films like Prem Aggan. Never the less, the eighties classic Janbaaz is no different and rates as one of his best films alongside Dharamatma. The film will undoubtedly provide more than time-pass entertainment.
The story by Feroz Khan is nothing award winning but it has enough punch to make it watch able all the way. It revolves around Inspector Rajesh (Feroz Khan), an honest and tough officer who is in charge of the narcotics department. He has a personal vendetta against drugs and mainly a specific bunch of drug dealers who drugged his one and only love Seema (Sridevi) and left her to die. He is headed by Tejaa (Raza Murad) and the rest of his cronies (Tej Sapru, Puneet Issar and Shakti Kapoor).
Rajesh’s father Rana Saab (Amrish Puri) is an upper class rich man who has contacts with very big people including the commissioner of police and ministers. He is corrupt and therefore has always had a conflict with Rajesh for becoming a police officer. Rajesh’s brother Amar (Anil Kapoor) on the other hand is the complete opposite of Rajesh. He is a playboy who is into sex, drugs, power and alcohol. He is spoilt by his dad like no other son and shares a very different relationship with him. Amar respects Rajesh for what he does yet has minor conflicts with him also, mainly on their views on love since Amar doesn't believe in love.
This changes when Reshma (Dimple Kapadia) comes to stay with them after her dad (Kulbhushan Karbandha) was killed by one of Tejaa´s goons. Reshma´s dad was the brother of Rana Saab´s wife (Sushma Seth). Reshma is strong minded, willed and confident. She falls for Amar´s charms and falls in love with him thinking he will marry her and even loses her virginity to him. But Amar turns out to be all false and cheats on her, proving he is still a cheater as always. Reshma decides to make Amar jealous and before he knows it he falls in love with her too and commits a murder out of jealousy. The law will spare no one and Amar knows Rajesh will jail him so he decides to go on the run. He finds a friend in Raja, but little does Amar know that whom he considers to be his friend is in fact his deadliest enemy. How Amar and Rajesh come together in the end to finish off their common enemies and become the ultimate Janbaaz is what forms the crux of the movie.
While one may think non-serious films abounding in action do not require much from its star cast, when horrible films in the same genre are released, one clearly sees the importance of it. Thus, Janbaaz is quite an example of a film's three principle actors taking charge of a film. Feroz Khan gives an excellent performance again as Rajesh. He plays his cool, smooth, lone soldier act again and does it with style. Khan, who is known for delivering his power packed dialogues with extensive delivery again excels here. While the aging is apparent, he is perfect in a role which seems simply tailor made for him. His confrontations in particular are a highlight of the movie. He has given himself a role that he has been known to play and one that the audience are likely to love.
Anil Kapoor delivers one of his best performances here, as a carefree playboy who has no regard for love and life. Personally, this is the best "playboy" performance ever. In the areas of action, comedy or drama Kapoor comes out trumps. This rates as one of his best performances alongside his other great films like Virasat or Lamhe. Dimple Kapadia is also excellent in her role as Reshma. She has a very gutsy role to play here and she does it to perfection. She gets right under the skin of her character and comes out with a flawless performance. Amrish Puri as Rana Saab also gives a bravura performance. He is neither negative or positive-but is a character with gray shades just like Anil Kapoor´s. Shakti Kapoor and Raza Murad do a good job as the villains. Sri Devi sizzles in a special appearance as Seema.
Camerawork by Kamal Bose is very snazzy for its' time and gives the film a very slick and stylish look. The scenes in the nightclub or the scenes where drugs are being taken are canned with unique picturizations and given gloom-ish gloss. The action sequences are also very slick and shot well.
A major highlight of the movie, like all Feroz Khan movies, is the music by Kalyanji Anandji. Most of the tunes are extremely melodious and are all out chartbusters. The best of the lot is "Har Kisi Ko Nahin Milta" which has Feroz Khan picturized with Sridevi. The tune is there throughout the movie and remains in one’s mind for long after. The title track is also punchy and perfectly picturized through the movie. "Jaane Jaana" is also well placed through the movie though its' not a very catchy number. The background music of the movie is also quite scintillate.
The direction by Feroz Khan again proves he is a master entertainer and showman. He makes a well-blended commercial product here and proves his mark in the direction department just as much as the acting department. Mr. Khan has always been a rather modern and stylish director for his time and Janbaaz is no different. While one may feel that the story of the film seems quite regular, and at most of typical filmi style, Feroz Khan has taken great steps to present it far above your average action film. Despite having a typical story he manages to make an action film with a difference. Just witness the confrontations in the movie, the characters and characterizations, or the climax.
Janbaaz is definitely a must-see movie and one to own and cherish. The movie has all required for a perfect entertainer and is one of my all time favorite ones at that. Despite the flaws in the story I love the movie for the performances, music and style and am positive many others will as well.