Director Kuku Kohli´s action thriller Phool Aur Kaante was the film that gave Ajay Devgan overnight success and stardom. His debut surpassed all expectations becoming a diamond jubilee in India. Though nothing special but a typical masala action drama, the film did have extensive action stunts, a super hit musical score by maestro Nadeem-Shravan and won audiences over with excellent performances by Ajay Devgan and Amrish Puri.
A typical story has been given applaud worthy treatment by the director and the way it unfolds makes it worthy of such. The film revolves around Ajay (Ajay Devgan), a college going student who is into "masti" with his friends. Eventually, he falls in love with a girl at the college (Madhoo). Things are all very happy and "lovey dovey" until Ajay makes enemies with a local goon at his school selling drugs. He is the son of the minister, but that doesn´t stop Ajay from beating the
daylights out of him. On the Minister´s insistence the Principal is forced to kick Ajay out of school. At that instant enters Don (Amrish Puri), a Godfather like figure who rules the Mumbai underworld. He saves Ajay time and time again yet Ajay shows a strong dislike towards it. However, their relationship is left a mystery. At the end of his college career Ajay and Madhoo get married and have a child. At this point the twist comes as Ajay´s child gets kidnapped. It turns out that someone is using their child in a bigger game.
Ajay knows who it is and he goes straight to him, the Don. Here the twist evolves as a relationships between Ajay and Don is revealed along with a past of hatred, memories and pain. Phool Aur Kaante describes what happens next after a bed of flowers is turned into a bed of thorns.
The film belongs to Ajay Devgan and Amrish Puri. Ajay gives a remarkable performance for his debut and despite having pretty average looks he appears very confident and shows sparks of brilliance in the confrontations scenes. His dialogue delivery and emotional scenes are perfect. He proves himself a master of action too with his impeccable stunts. Madhoo gives an average performance here. She doesn´t look her best at all, but acts well. I have never been a fan of Madhoo and she didn´t impress me much either. She in fact annoyed me in the second half with her crying. Amrish Puri gives a startling performance as Don and definitely a memorable performance in his career. He has a full fledged author backed role, where his character has gray shades. His confrontations with Ajay are a major highlight of the movie.
In terms of direction Kuku Kohli has done a good job in presenting a commercially viable film. With this film, he has shown that he is a extremely underrated, especially with personal favorites like Suhaag and Haqeeqat. With Phool Aur Kaante he has handled both parts of the film well interspersing humor, fun and frolic in the first half and action and drama in the second. Of course, he is aided by a smashing musical score (though some of the placements are irritating). The music is simply outstanding and has the duo Nadeem Shravan in full zor. It is quite evident that music was a major contributing factor to the success of the movie. Highlights include "Dheere Dheere Pyar Ko Bharaana Hai."
To support everything else, the film abounds in great technical values. Veeru Devgan´s action and stunts which Ajay carries off to perfection, stand out a plenty.
Phool Aur Kaante is definitely a movie to have in the video collection just for the bravura performances of Ajay/Amrish, the superlative action and smashing soundtrack. Though, not a great movie by any means, it perfectly blends commercial ingredients for an all time blockbuster.