Producer: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Starring: Nana Patekar, Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Anupam Kher, Tom Alter, and Suresh Oberoi
Music: Rahul Dev Burman
Lyrics: Khursheed Hallauri

Genre: Drama
Recommended Audience: General
Released in: 1989
Reviewed by: Aniket Joshi
Reviewer's Rating: 9 out of 10

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Parinda marked Vidhu Vinod Chopraīs entry into mainstream commercial Hindi cinema. Looking at the present scenario of Hindi films, there are only a handful of directors who can combine technique, form, crisp storytelling, and an exciting cast to deliver an entertaining yet intense film, and Vidhu Vinod Chopra proves that he belongs in that list with this film. Chopra has chosen to taken on the often-repeated subject (at least nowadays) of the Mumbai underworld. However, the difference lies in the fact that he chooses to blend the raw intensity of the backdrop with the emotional front of the main protagonists. And he scores, mainly by not getting melodramatic with the emotional scenes and keeping the story moving ahead at a steady pace.

The story revolves around two brothers, Kishen (Jackie Shroff) and Karan (Anil Kapoor), who have spent their childhood growing up alone on the streets of Mumbai. In order for Karan to have a better upbringing and education, Kishen
joins Anna Seth (Nana Patekar). Anna owns an oil factory, but thatīs a mere prop to cover up his dealings within the underworld. Karan is unaware of the fact that his brother is working for a gang. Inspector Prakash (Anupam Kher),
Karanīs best friend, is aware of Annaīs gang activities and wants to bring him to justice. Anna knows that Karan and Prakash are best friends, so he sets up the murder of Prakash when Prakash and Karan are supposed to meet after Karanīs arrival from America. Karan is devastated with the happenings, and is even more shocked to learn that his brother Kishen is a gangster, and that too working for Anna, the man responsible for Prakashīs murder. What follows is a gripping tale, filled with twists one after another, which ultimately lead to a nail biting and memorable climax.

The filmīs true "heroes" are the technical crew and the captain, Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Binod Pradhanīs cinematography is probably the best in comparison to other films released around that time. Heīs very successful in creating a mood that is necessary for a gripping drama, and which is also able to draw the viewer into the film. The background score is also praiseworthy - surprisingly so - mostly because Hindi films before the mid-1990īs lagged drastically in this department. The sets (Bijon Das Gupta) of Annaīs factory are very memorable, mainly due to the fact that quite a few memorable scenes also take place there. Renu Salujaīs editing for this film, remains her best work till date, she fetched a National Award for effort. Chopraīs biggest achievement in the film is that heīs able to combine technical finesse with a focused and gripping narrative along with some fabulous performances from his cast.

Anil Kapoor plays his role with conviction, and his biggest achievement is displaying the vulnerability of his character so perfectly. Jackie Shroff delivers probably one of his best performances with this film, which also won him is first Best Actor award. Anupam Kher, Suresh Oberoi, and Tom Alter do well in their brief roles. Madhuri Dixit, the only female character in the film, has a small role as Paro (Karanīs love interest and Prakashīs sister) yet still does well in the few scenes she has. However, the most interesting character in the film was Anna, and Nana Patekar fitted into the role like a glove. Nana delivers one of his best performances in this film as the fire-phobic gang leader. Heīs extremely successful in blending the two diametric characteristics of Anna, intensity and insanity.

The film also consists of quite a few memorable sequences. The first one that will probably pop into anyoneīs mind whoīs seen the film is the climax. Anupam Kherīs murder is also shot well, and Chopraīs touch of symbolism is present in the hordes of pigeons flying around. R. D. Burman also gave a memorable composition, "Tum Se Mil Ke", rendered nicely by Asha Bhosle and Suresh Wadkar. However, the songs do pose as a hindrance in the narrative. Even though there are only four songs in the film, the film couldīve done without any of them. The "shaadi" song between Anil and Jackie towards the pre-climax is not necessary at all. However, given the commercial pressures directors at the time (and even today) were put under, itīs not a big flaw.

Parinda is a gripping drama, which is also emotional at the same time, and will always be remembered as one of the best films made in its genre.