Nana Patekar is BACK! And that, too, with a bang! Those of you who had seen the previews of Ghulam-E-Musthafa probably figured that it was yet another loud action flick with Nana playing his usual loud self. Well, this is definitely one movie where the previews of the movie have been misleading. If anything, the film, a re-make of a South movie, walks a tightrope between action film and social family drama, and it manages to balance itself beautifully.
Nana plays "Musthafa", a killer/henchman for the underworld. The don he works for (Paresh Rawal) picked him up from the streets and raised him, so Musthafa feels a strong obligation to serve the don. In walks Raveena, the typical Hindi film cabaret dancer. (Obviously, as in every Hindi film, she has a sick mother, lying in bed at home, who she is trying to support.) Raveena and Nana meet, Raveena is orphaned, Nana rescues her from a life of sleeze, and the two marry.
A surprise twist occurs just before intermission, changing the film drastically. The second half focuses mainly on the reformation of Nana and his attempts at playing saviour to a family he had troubled in his underworld days. It might sound a bit confusing, but I would rather not reveal the suprise twist, which ties the two halves of the film together.
Nana gives an amazingly heart-breaking performance as Musthafa. The real suprise of this film, though, is Raveena. She is simply mind-blowing in a scene shortly after her motherĀ“s death, when she recalls her mother teaching her how to dance and ends up breaking down crying. And she looks simply gorgeous. Paresh Rawal is very good as well. And Aruna Irani, the matron of the family Nana protects, proves once again that she is an actress par excellence.
The direction is very slick. The song "Tera Gam Mera Gam" is picturized to be both beautiful and horrifying at the same time. No other song in Hindi film history has managed to evoke these two emotions simultaneously. In addition, a film like this could easily have gone wrong, as it tries to be both an action and a social film. But, like I said before, Ghulam-E-Musthafa walks the tightrope smoothly; it draws a few tears, some laughter, and by the end, it leaves the viewer immensely satisified.