Producer: G.A. Sheshagiri
Director: E.V.V. Satyanarayana
*ing: Amitabh Bachchan, Soundarya, Jaya Sudha, Anupam
Kher, Kadar Khan
Music: Anu Malik
Released on : May 21, 1999
Reviewed by: Anjali Abrol
into the Kingdom of Glamour, Cake-up, Silly Dances, and Dishum Dishum fit the bill
perfectly, that being Mrityudaata. To carry the film, Balle
Balle Babu was called to Oye Oye with the Big B. That flopped, and we sighed. Some time
later, Major Saab came along, where the Big B showed his age,
Cake-up was replaced by "natural beauty", and though that was Sona Sona,
the movie sure wasn't. That flopped, and we sighed. Bade Miyan Chote
Miyan came along, and the Amitabh X 2 Era was back. He danced and pranced, thundered
and laughed. BMCM fared well, and we became alert...maybe, just maybe the Amitabh spark,
though a bit aged, was back. Then came Lal Badshah, the Shahenshah spoof, Amitabh X 2...that badly flopped, and we sighed
again, completely disheartened. Maybe the Big B just got lucky, people said, maybe he's
just banking on being teamed up with Govinda, maybe this maybe that...nevertheless, even
the older generations claimed, "Voh budha ho gaya". That may be true,
but but but but....
Along came a mysterious movie, a remake of a Tamil and Telegu hit, teamed with
Bollywood-unknown Soundarya...along came Sooryavansham. The music was not widely marketed,
the songs were mediocre, one song repeated three times over, and the audio cover was a bit
strange. Perhaps, though, the mystery, more serious and less flakey cast (take Raveena and
Ramya, for example), less glamour and more story, less commercialized and more quality
acting, is what Amitabh needed to remind the world that "Rishte mein, mai tumhara
(Bollywood) baap lagta hoon" (and that, times 2!). And so he did, and
we sighed, in relief !
Though the Baap-Beta Ladai Jhagada story is a bit recycled, the way it is
played out is not. Well-respected Thunderbolt Thakur Bhanupratap Singh (Amitabh 1) has a
son, Amitabh 2, a.k.a. Heera. Thakur has little respect for his son and basically thinks
that his son is a nakama, and makes his feelings blatantly obvious. Heera is the
meek and humble acha "don't speak up for yourself, just obey papa, sar
jhooka ke" bacha. He takes unnecessary pains upon himself and this
continues to weigh him down, weakening him as a person. Enter Radha (Soundarya), who is
unknown to both Bollywood and Heera, and aquaints herself with both rather simultaneously.
Love blooms, Radha asks Heera's hand in marriage, and he accepts (the first smart thing he
did to make him on his way to being a stronger, independent man).
Fire erupts, ashes from the volcano's (Thakur Amitabh 1's) mouth flies, and boom, out
of the house Heera and Radha go.
After a few years of mehnat and kamai, Heera gains both
wealth and prestige, Radha becomes an IAS officer, and a son is born. Though Thakur
Amitabh 1 still has nafrath towards his son, Heera remains noble, having only
utmost respect and love towards his father, which is passed down to Heera's son...and
that's enough of the plot for you to be interested, very interested...not because of the
story itself, but because of the acting....
Amitabh shines in both roles, as he uses his Big B charm and talent to convey both the
feelings and actions of Heera and Thakur, and that too, with ease. When Amitabh rumbles,
we listen...dialogues are short, to the point, and captivating. Fights are limited, silly
dances are here and there, and lovey-dovey teenage stuff is avoided as much as
possible...we are able to focus more on each character, the conflicts that arise, the
natural flow of the movie, and the resolution. Though at times Amitabh's age is quite
blatant, that is 1) a bit unavoidable, even for Cake-up Bollywood, 2) just a part of his
Amitabh charm, and 3 and most importantly) the quality of acting surpasses even the
biggest of complaints.
Oh wait, the movie was not just a one-man-times-two show...he had sidekicks. Soundarya
and Jaya Sudha, Thakur Amitabh 1's wife,
were good, though nothing to write home about...and if both sound like strangely like
gaspy "sultry" Rekha, don't be
alarmed...she has to fit her pretty little mouth somewhere near the Big B, if not in a
movie screen, at least in the speaker. Anupam Kher
and Kadar Khan provided for comedy.
Amitabh, though, carries the movie off well on his own, and it's worth watching, just
for the Big B.
HE'S BACK !!!