The much awaited film ‘Himmatwala’ opens with Sonakshi Sinha dancing to the tune of a disco number: “Thank god, it’s Friday!” After seeing this flick one would surely not say so!
Holding allegiance to the 1983 original Himmatwala, this movie has all the ingredients of a moony masala film. Sajid Khan’s entertainer, ‘Himmatwala’ starring Ajay Devgn and Tamannah Bhatia will disappoint the critics but has chances to get good box office collections owing to its good promotion. Sajid Khan surely needs to be honored with an IIM Ahmedabad MBA degree for getting audiences for this movie!
Ajay Devgn, (Ravi) is an action master who returns to his village to find his mother (Zarina Wahab) and sister (Leena Jumani) banished by the evil sarpanch Sher Singh (Mahesh Manjrekar) and his brother in law Narayan Das (Paresh Rawal).
How the action master along with his lover girl (Tamannah) tackles the odds with the help of divine mediation and a CG enhanced tiger is what the film is all about. Along the period, there are ample skits and scenes to compensate for the lack of a better plot and sense of logic.
Nonetheless, performances of certain characters make the film bearable. Paresh Rawal as Narayan Das is commendable. He literally reminds of the comic legend Kader Khan and his witty dialogues, something that has been missing in films these days. Rawal’s impeccable performance in the film proves that character artists are either not being used appropriately or rather being abused nowadays.
The props and the sets are in concurrence and the colors are jarring enough to remind of Doordarshan’s pre-telecast static screen days, but despite the trickery the black and white spoof on Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ shower scene, what lacks is the right approach to making a regressive age old story of revenge and justice.
It is a film devoid of cinematic aesthetics. It seems that the filmmaker doesn’t really believe in winning applause from critics, for he makes films solely with the intention of entertaining the audiences.
Tamannaah Bhatia as Rekha looks promising. She is pretty, delicate and good at her job. And last but not the least, Ajay Devgn, without whom the film wouldn’t have been possible, will enthrall his fans yet again.
One is left confused when we hear lines like- ‘Main tumhe ek baar kho chuki hu, dubara nahi khona chahati,’ whether the film is a tribute to its era or is a spoof (when Ajay reminds Tamannah it’s the 80’s and she should tear her dupatta and cover his wound), or a cross breed of the both?
The film can bore you with tired cliches you thought you’d seen the last of – the hero’s ‘maa ki kasam’, his unfortunate sister who only exists to be raped by the villain’s henchmen and tortured by her in-laws, the villain’s spoilt but good-hearted daughter who falls for the hero much to her father’s disdain, and even an old foe who turns up at a crucial moment to help the hero in return for sparing his life earlier, that character, by the way, is played by a tiger!
Sajid makes an attempt to pay homage to the cinema of yore, but what he delivers makes you sit motionless for most parts. The romance lacks fire, the drama is devoid of intensity, even the action is plain ordinary.
Verdict: On the whole, Himmatwala fails as a film. Movie has over-the-top melodrama and number of senseless twists and turns. The film is too long to bear as the director has hardly experimented or done anything to add a path-breaking punch in the movie.