About the story: As an orphaned child, Aniket (Govinda) had been adopted into the family of factory worker Pradhan (Vikram Gokhale) and his wife Bharti (Farida Jalal) and found a loving brother in their son Adarsh (Sanjay Dutt). At college, self-confident Adarsh effortlessly wins the heart of pretty Anita (Somy Ali) while he has to give some tutoring to coy Aniket and shy Guddi (Mamta Kulkarni). Even though he is a full-fledged college prankster, Adarsh basically is an honest character, supporting the poor and the workers and not even shying back from a public confrontation with the don Baba Naik (Rami Reddy). But of course, thus he gets enemies – above all unscrupulous factory owner Sabra (Dalip Tahil) who enjoys minister Dalvi’s benevolence – and finally has to watch helplessly how Baba Naik, by order of Sabra and together with corrupt policemen, destroys his parents’ lifework. While Pradhan is killed, Adarsh is arrested and brutally tortured by the police. After his release, he starts a sanguinary reprisal action against his family’s plaguers and thus again ends up in legal hassles – and lands on the path of crime as politician Azad Deshpande (Ishrat Ali), who bails him out, persuades him that a war against the underworld cannot be won by blind fury, but only by becoming an equivalent opponent. Under Deshpande’s patronage, Adarsh becomes a wealthy businessman; he changes completely, loses all faith in his father’s values and becomes grim and stony. But by trying to use Aniket for his corrupt dealings, Adarsh breaks the brothers’ mutual trust. His world of corruption deeply shocks Aniket who decides to resolutely fight it. He leaves Adarsh, and the brothers become adversaries...
Not all movies starring the Sanjay-Govinda jodi are buddy comedies à la Jodi No. 1, and maybe the best counter-example is Andolan (= revolution). Though even this film starts rather witty with Sanju as the big college prankster – but very soon the story takes a dramatic turn and becomes an action thriller about crime and corruption. Symptomatic of this development are Aniket’s college buddy Subhash who, as police inspector, only with the help of alcohol bears the corrupt world he lives in, and Adarsh’s bitter accusations against the system where everybody is buyable and there’s no point in leading a decent life in accordance with values and principles – this can only make you unhappy as the bigshots and corrupt ones always are going to win. The disillusion reaches its peak when even an honorable man like Aniket finally sees no more chance for legal means in the fight against corruption, and the only facilities for the film to counteract this disillusion are (from our point of view) very vigorous patriotic phrases.
Andolan was released in 1995 which means that it was shot in Sanjay’s most prestigious puma years before July 1994. He is radiant with self-confidence, and it is a joy watching him even when he turns the cold and emotionless angel of revenge who systematically kills his enemies in heavy action scenes. And Govinda (more slender than in his later films) proves that he has more down pat than just the comedian he’s stamped as today – he can play serious roles, too. Somy Ali has a dream body, and Mamta Kulkarni (who bagged her role after Divya Bharati’s tragical death) is simply delightful, but both roles sink into oblivion after the college scenes. In spite of Govinda’s great performance, this movie is above all Sanjay’s. He even manages to keep the audience’s sympathies on his side despite Adarsh’s turn to the path of crime, as his avenge crusade aims to crush the story’s real swines and he himself is rather to be commiserated as his life was destroyed so senselessly. Again a coincidence of fiction and reality for the actor who had committed a criminal act to protect himself and his family against others’ crimes and for this was imprisoned at the time of Andolan’s release? Anyway, like Jai Vikraanta, even Andolan had been unfinished at the time of Sanju’s re-arrest in 1994. It is to Sajid Nadiadwala’s credit that he had waited for nine months, hoping for Sanju to be released on bail and to complete the film himself, before he finally gave Sanju’s only song still waiting to be shot to Govinda and engaged the professional voice actor Chetan Sashital for the dubbing of Sanju’s dialogues. Hats off to Sajid’s loyality – and to Chetan who did a terrific job in imitating Sanju’s voice and intonation.
Andolan is a very strong and intense film. Okay, the showdown is trash as trash can, but if you like the climax of Koyla you won’t have a problem either with the finale of Andolan.
Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala; Directed by Aziz Sajawal
162 Min.; DVD: WEG, English Subtitles (not for the songs)