Joshilay had the opportunity to succeed with factors highly in its favor. Ranging from a solid cast, an epic story and a great production team, the film fell victim to director Shekhar Kapur leaving the film half way. Thus, when Sibte Hasan Rizvi took over the film, it quite evidently affected the way the film came out. An inexperienced director, Rizvi does not make use of the things that were working in the filmÂ´s favor.Â
The film revolved around two men Karan (Anil Kapoor) and Daara (Sunny Deol). Both were wronged by Yogi Thakur (Rajesh Vivek)Â and his partner Raja Singh (Kulbhushan Karbandha). Daara was separated from his family and left near a circus where he was brought up and KaranÂ´s family was murdered in front
of him. After Yogi and Raja rob a village they are nabbed by the police. In the chase Raja betrays Yogi and hands him over to the police running away with the loot him self.
Twenty years later, Raja Singh has become Raja Saab, a dreaded ruler of many village and a respected man. Daara and Karan are both grown men now thirsting for revenge. Where Daara is the fun and witty type Karan is the silent and angry type. Yogi Thakur is also released from jail and thirsts revenge against Raja. The twists incurs when Daara wants Yogi Thakur alive to find about who his parents were and Karan wants Yogi Thakur dead.
In terms of a script and screenplay Javed Akhtar was clearly inspired by Sholay. It was blatantly obvious that he was trying to recreate the Sholay magic, whether it be the story which moves along similar lines with the revenge angle or the characters of Daara and Karan which remind one of Jai and Veeru from Sholay. While the first half was noble, the second half is full of loopholes hence the movie falls flat.
The portions shot by Shekar Kapur are obviously different from those that are shot by Rizvi. The first half of the film moves along at a superb pace and maintains a certain amount of zing in it. It is in the second half when the movie falls flat. One wishes that Mr. Kapur had finished the movie and that we might have actually had an all out blockbuster and not a half baked attempt at one. Sibte Hasan Rizvi evidently lost interest in the movie and let the direction go slip shod in the second half. The portions in the second half bore the viewer and the climax isnÂ´t very exciting at all.
In terms of performance the two males leads are the pillars of strength. The Sunny Deol/Anil Kapoor appeared earlier in Intaqam and Ram Avtar, both of which were poor flicks despite the duo having crackling chemistry. Here again the performance and chemistry of the duo is great. Sunny Deol gives a performance which instantly reminds one of Dharam-saab in Sholay. The facial expression and persona of the character he plays is almost identical though Sunny Deol does lend his own charm to the movie. He is great in the comic scenes and proves he does have a penchant for comedy. Anil Kapoor on the other hand has a subtle and angry character which he plays perfectly. It reminds one of Munna from Tezaab, though nowhere near as powerful. Anil is the perfect foil for SunnyÂ´s character and they compliment each other perfectly. If comparisons were to be made I would say that Anil Kapoor has a slight edge over Sunny Deol. Rajesh Vivek makes a fairly credible debut as the psychotic Yogi Thahkur. His performance clearly draws inspiration from Gabbar Singh.
Kulbhushan Karbandha does fairly well in his role. Meenakshi Sheshadri and Sridevi donÂ´t have much to do except sing and dance. Satish Kaushik draws laughter in a comic role.
The camerawork gave the film a feel of an epic and the action sequences were stylish for that time era proving a positive aspect in the technical department. Though one canÂ´t say the same for R.D. BurmanÂ´s music, which was surprisingly un interesting.Â
Though the poor attempts are visible, the classic that is Joshilay is evidently muffled in this film gone wrong due to circumstances, mainly the departure of Mr. Shekar Kapoor. Had the film remained consistent throughout it would have been a whole new story. Nevertheless Joshilay worth a dekho for the underrated team of Sunny and Anil. This without a doubt remains the duoÂ´s best film together.