Saturday afternoon and it is drizzling outside. The weather is almost perfect for some Adrak chai and onion bhajjis. Sanju is waiting for Rachel to arrive and so will have a company to enjoy some chai and bhajjis. Sanju (Sanjay Kamat) is born and brought up in Bombay aka Mumbai and is in London for last 3 years. He is passionate about Art and Drama. His love and passion drove him to London where he met Rachel; a sweet, smart girl who is passionate about Arts and Drama. She is down to earth and never gives those looks to anyone..the typical of looks of being a Londoner and I know everything! Well moving ahead, Sanju and Rachel have a project to submit about ‘Does Bollywood represents India?’ Sanju is shortlisting the recent releases and will offer Rachel a choice to pick a movie today. Looking at the clock, he picks up his I-phone to call up Rachel but suddenly rings the intercom. It is Rachel who is waiting down and Sanju lets her in. They greet each other she questions, “Which movie today? I am in a mood to watch a masala movie today!” Sanju is surprised to learn that Rachel is aware of the term ‘Masala Movie’. She looks at him and says, “Everything from India has to be about Masala – after all Indian Spices are so famous”…and then they heartily laugh.
Quickly Sanju prepares some Adrak Chai and opens a pack of half fried, frozen Onion Bhajjis. Shoves them in the oven and asks Rachel to pick up a movie. Going through the list, she is struck at the poster pic of ‘Himmatwala – Ajay Devgn and Tamanna starrer’. She declares I want to watch this movie – it is a Masala movie. Sanju is straining the hot, steamy, flavour Adrak Chai into the mugs and listening to her choice he can’t help saying ‘S*%$!!’. He quickly gets the tea and Bhajjis, he is no more interested in having them while watching a flop buster but he can’t deny either. Finally with their pen and notepads to make notes about the movie they watch. Rachel is super excited to watch it and she is in complete awe of Adrak Chai and Onion Bhajjis..it is still drizzling outside. With their earphones they start the movie.
Sanju’s notes in brief:
I have no memories of the 1983's Himmatwala but this remake with Ajay Devgn is definitely the worst, pathetic. Everyone who has watched this movie should be awarded for their bravery, tolerance, ignorance and patience. I really don't know why I even agreed to watch this movie but I am regretting this decision of mine. Bollywood produces the maximum number of movies in the entertainment sector around the world but why don't they have a quality check? I felt so very sad for Sajid Khan and I very well know how it must have felt to be a director of such a disgusting outcome. Super solid star-cast, super sexy Heroine, Super star Hero one expects a blockbuster but this was like 'Khoda Pahad and Nikla Chuha'. Well let me stop criticising the movie now, I know how much the entire team must be repenting by being a part of it and I pay my condolences to the entire team and to the viewers (like me) who are disappointed, hurt after watching this ERROTIC movie!!
Sanju was very sure that Rachel too is gonna regret watching this movie. More than that he was concerned what would Rachel’s opinion be about Bollywood? Will she write it off as too melodramatic to be digested? Will she favour Hollywood over Bollywood? Will she think that Bollywood is rubbish, glittery and backward which means is India –Indian cinema is backward?
Rachel is a sensible girl. She lives on her own and her parents separated when she was 7. She sometimes lived with her Father and his girlfriend while sometimes with her Mum & her Mum’s husband. She loves Bollywood as it shows so much of togetherness, warmth and culture.
Rachel’s notes in brief:
Every coin has 2 sides and so does every movie! Let us take a note of the positive impact it had on me....I know it needs patience and I can guarantee that you too will enjoy reading this and if you don't then do watch Himmatwala....you won't agree more that reading my post is thousand times better than watching that movie.
This movie falls in the genre of drama packed with emotions. I yet learning about genres but at least this was a family drama for me. After pushing my limits I could foresee something which was human, real, earthy and very Indian. Whether the movie does a good business or does it enter the 100 crore club is another matter but to me this movie certainly showed that there still is humanity amongst fellow Indians irrespective of any caste and creed.
1) Movie opens with a fighting scene. Definitely Hero has to win (same in Bolly and Holly) proving that one who is portrayed strong doesn't always win but an honest man with right attitude and heart full love (jigar) can do anything and everything impossible. Somewhere in the movie the Hero takes over the Tiger and the later runs for his life....Bravo Hero!
2) Even today there prevails a relation known as friendship wherein there are no vested interests. It is a pure emotion and they are soul mates, brothers. The use and throw attitude hasn't crept in yet. India still cherishes relationships. I am so touched to see the daughter and mother duo who are very poor but yet live together fighting the odds.
3) Your friend’s family is your family. Where would you find this? In true sense people disown their poor, disabled parents but this movie still gives me a message which is praise worthy. India is about caring, loving everyone equally.
4) Your true friend loves you selflessly. His happiness is yours and your sorrows are his. He is never interested in your bank balance but always wants to treasure your dreams. You dream and he achieves.
5) Indians are still very emotional and have sentiments for their cultural beliefs. I appreciated the Raksha Bandhan scene in the movie where a brother is happily ready to protect her sister from all evil. Glad that there still is lot of depth, respect, affection and purity in this relation. We in the western world need Mother’s day, Father’s day to spend together.
6) The highlight point according to me was the punishment the Hero gives to the goons (Gundas) who attempts rape on the hero's sister. He truly abides by the rules of Rakhi. It is high time that the society should start punishing such morons who have made life miserable and impossible for the Women in the Indian society. Women in the Indian society needs more respect and there should be more work done for women empowerment. I didn’t like the way the women is tortured.
7) Opposites attract and spoilt Heroine falls in love with the Hero against her father's wish. All of a sudden this girl transforms to well behaved, fully clad- wearing very Indian attires from a boisterous, sexy girl with skimpy clothes. This yet proves a woman loves to give up everything for someone she loves and there is something known as LOVE which compels one to leave the wrong for right, teaches to accept your faults and improve them which is what the Heroine does.
8) An Indian father is worried about his unmarried daughter who is pregnant. The day when a girl is born in a family, constantly the parents are worried about her secure future. To me this is so touching. I wish if the parents here would be a little protective about their kids.
9) Coming to the end of the movie...the director has touched to the core belief in god or rather goddess...Mata Sherawali. This point is no fun as Indians heavily rely on God/Goddess. She sends her tiger to rescue the Hero from the goons very much proving that the good kills the evil. We have lost the faith and have moved to practicality but the Indians haven’t!
10) Last and not the least...All is well that Ends well. Hero takes over the village as a Chief which again shows that good defeats evil. All iz Well.
Rachel’s view: Yes the Bollywood represents India in the above mentioned ways. I haven’t ever been to India but this movie gives me a strong message that what India is to the world. I only request the Indians – not to change the way they are, don’t be plastic and over practical because they are the mascots for Humanity!
Sanju is absolutely stunned and speechless after reading Rachel’s notes and so am I!
So, friends I hope you enjoyed a different perspective of this superduper flop movie Himmatwala. I strongly believe in one thing, you can learn from anything and everything. Nothing is a waste....watching a sci-fi movie is altogether a different experience but watching a rustic, earthy hindi movie too is necessary. It keeps you grounded, brings you back to the reality and reminds you of who you are and what you are. I finally take this opportunity to thank Director Sajid Khan for making such a wonderful masterpiece and also to Rachel for her precious notes....sigh!