On paper Ram Avtaar had everything going for it. However, once you get closer and watch the movie you end up with a rehashed and overdone love triangle only salvaged by a couple of decent tunes and leading performances.
The film revolves around Avtaar (Anil Kapoor) a happy go lucky alcoholic who has not much of an aim in life. He gets hired by a beautiful girl (Sridevi) to fight against the local "goonda" (Shakti Kapoor) who is after her land. In return she will give Avtaar all the alcohol he wants. Avtaar falls madly in love with the girl and thinks she loves him back when she doesnÂ´t. Via a flashback we find out that Avtaar had a friend Ram (Sunny Deol) who is studying abroad. Ram now returns and as fate would have it falls in love with the same girl. Upon finding out that he loves the girl his best friend loves he creates hatred in her mind hence she goes into Avtaarâ€™s arms and marries him. After marriage Avtaar finds out that Sri used to like someone else before marriage, will Avtaar find out the truth before itâ€™s too late?
Khalidâ€™s screenplay which consists of the age-old formula about two friends in love with the same girl and about how one makes the ultimate sacrifice is obviously redundant. The film is heavily inspired by Raj Kapoorâ€™s Sangam but here the story fails on many levels due to over-the-top melodrama. One sacrifice after the other loses impact hence making the film seem like a drag and overdone.
With such a stellar star cast and the coming together of Anil Kapoor-Sridevi-Sunny Deol you would expect some great performances, sadly enough they are only barely good. Anil Kapoor is the best of the lot as Avtaar. Whether it is his initial sequences as the alcoholic or in the latter half when he is married he gives a very natural performance. He is the life of the movie. Sunny Deol as Ram does an average job. As the sacrificing friend one would expect a heart wrenching performance ala Sanjay Dutt in Saajan but this is a far cry from it. Sunny seems uncomfortable in many of the romantic scenes between Sridevi. His character is also a bit ill defined hence losing impact. Sridevi gives a good account of herself, though with more care in the emotional scenes she could have had a powerhouse performance, but where subtlety is needed she resorts to crying loudly which doesnÂ´t impress much.
Sunil Hingorani does an average job at directing. He handles the first half with flair but during the post interval scenes with Anil and Srideviâ€™s marriage the film goes haywire. If Sunnyâ€™s sacrifice isnÂ´t enough Anil has to sacrifice to show that he is greater and then Sunny again gives the final sacrifice, these scenes lack the desired emotional punch.
Two of Laxmikant Pyarelalâ€™s tunes standout. First is the smash hit Eeene Mein Anghoote which was really famous back in the day. In fact, it was featured in the movie at least five times. The second is Ek Dujhe Vaaste, which is picturized on Sunny and Anil and is a "yaari yaari" song with a feel good sense.
Technically the film is as expected, nothing special at all.
In the end, Ram Avtaar is overall a sore disappointment in comparison to its counterparts. The film lacks the right amount of emotional punch that is needed for a movie of this sort hence it fails as a romance and as a drama despite a solid performance by the ever-dependable Anil Kapoor.