Tridev is a film that established Rajiv Raiâ€™s name in the industry. After many years the film, which became a big hit in its time, would clearly not come across as a perfect film but more of an actioneer- and that it is and much more.
Tridev is a movie that in a sense defines the 80Â´s masala action movies! Even though it came in the late 80Â´s it proved that dumb action movies were still successful as long as they had saleable stars and pumping music and Tridev had both.
The movie is about three men frustrated with the law system, crime, corruption and those causing the corruption. They decide to put an end to all of this in their own separate ways and as they follow on their own separate paths slowly their paths cross. It is then that they realize that they have a common enemy. Sunny Deol plays the honest cop who is after a band of smugglers who are led by Bhujung Amrish Puri). After his attempts go to waste he is transferred to a new area and there the villains try to kill him. This also deters his love story with his sweetheart (Madhuri Dixit). The villains believe they have killed him but Sunny is still alive and the fact they think he is dead becomes his biggest asset as he now goes about eliminating the enemy his own way. Naseeruddin Shah plays a local don who has many cases filed against him. The difference is he only strikes to protect the innocent.
His main aim in life is to find and kill Daku Bhairav Singh who killed his father when he was young. Little does he know yesterdayâ€™s Bhairav Singh is now Bhujung. He befriends Sunny Deol and they strike a friendship. The third player is Jackie Shroff who is the son of the police commissioner (Anupham Kher). He has always been on the wrong side of the law and there never got along with his father. When his sister (Madhuri Dixit) gets kidnapped he does everything in his will to get her free, which means helping the villains. After that he becomes an enemy of the law and therefore decides to stay and help out Bhujung only to gain their trust so when the right time comes he can finish them all off. How the three men come about and finish off the villains is what the movie is about.
In terms of story the movie is nothing new but it is the treatment of an all out blockbuster that makes the film watch-able and deserving of its super hit status.
All three of the lead players do their job well. Naseeruddin Shah is a standout in his role and this is the movie that shot him to stardom with his â€śOye Oyeâ€ť number. His performance is also pretty solid considering that his role is a commercial actioneer. Sunny Deol does well as he had previously in Ghayal. He does the typical straight up cop routine well. Jackie Shroff as the black sheep and rebel does well enough. Although his role is shorter than the other two he manages to shine in his role. The three actresses donÂ´t have much to do in the movie except look pretty, dance and sing and they do that pretty well.
Amrish Puri as Bhujung does a good job as the head of the pack of villains, which includes about ten odd henchmen (a Rajiv Rai specialty). His characterization, presentation, anti Indian dialogues and the over all performance reminds me of his role in Mr. India. Anupham Kher, Shekhar Suman, Sharat Saxena, Dalip Tahil and the rest of the supporting crew (which there are a lot of) all do their parts as expected.
The film has a major strongpoint, and that is its music. This has always been Rajiv RaiÂ´s strong point right to this very day. The music is conducted by Viju Shah but composed by Kalyanji Anandji. Each and every song in the movie is a blockbuster and several favorites include Oye Oye, Bhujung Ne Kiya Hai and Mujhko Apni Jaan.
The film is also slick in the technical department with Rajiv Rai showing some talents in the action and thrills department. In fact, it has almost become his forte. Tridev was his first release after Yudh and it was also a golden jubilee. It was a raving hit and established Rajiv Rai as a force to reckon with.
The action by Veeru Devgan was good for its time. The explosions looked slick and the climax will be remembered for its extravagant bloodshed. The sets stood out as well.
In the end, Tridev may not have been a criticâ€™s film or one that won many awards but in clearly defined classic blockbuster action entertainment.