Freitag, 24. August 2007

Do Matwale (1991) - Review in English

About the story: Amar (Chunky Pandey) takes his mother (Sushma Seth) to Bombay as she suffers from cancer and needs treatment. Already on his very first day, a pickpocket robs him of all his savings, but Amar gets his money back thanks to Ajay (Sanjay Dutt) who, though he’s a thief too, as a sort of Robin Hood only robs rich people and hates seeing poor people cheated. Shortly thereafter, Amar tries to prevent Ajay from mugging rich drug dealer Gorakh Nath (Kader Khan) – as a result, Ajay ends up in jail and henceforth hates Amar as his enemy. The latter meanwhile has other problems: As he needs money for his mother’s operation, he starts working for Gorakh Nath and his accomplices Kasturi (Kiran Kumar) and Pyaremohan (Gulshan Grover). Moreover, he falls in love with the doctor Pooja (Shilpa Shirodkar) who happens to be Ajay’s sister. Of course, Ajay (meanwhile released from prison) refuses his permission for Pooja’s marriage with a criminal from the drug scene, not even his girlfriend Sonu (Sonam) can change his mind. When Ajay arranges for another marriage for Pooja, Amar elopes with her and marries her. His mother bitterly scolds him for this and orders him to return Pooja to Ajay who, after having furious-desparately chased and now found Amar, trusts upon her word and lets Amar go to fetch Pooja. But right in this moment, a catastrophy descends upon the family...

God, what a lousy effort! In terms of story irregularities and trash in Hindi films, I’ve got used to quite a lot and it takes a long time until my tolerance borders are crossed, but Do Matwale easily manages to do so, and not just once. The two womanizing villains Kasturi and Pyare soon get on your nerves the same way as Shakti Kapoor who this time plays not one, but two idiots. Fortunately at least his third (!) role is a normal one, and I would have liked to cast a veil of silence over the other two, but sorry – Shakti’s final appearance is probably only bearable for people who cut their teeth on the Indian sense of humour. More than that, the film’s dramaturgic composition is very weak, and sometimes you get the feeling that all scenes have been thrown in a pot and then the succession order has been drawn by lot. Sorry, but in my opinion a stringent dramaturgy is something different.

A further problem is the cast of the leading roles. In two-hero movies Sanjay was not always granted good partners or antagonists like e.g. Govinda, but even a Sunny Deol must, in retrospect, be considered as a piece of luck when you are suddenly confronted with a talent-free guy like Chunky Pandey. And here it is double fatal as Do Matwale demands for two equally strong leading men. To state it clearly: this film would have needed two Sanjay Dutts – one for Amar, who loves his mother and therefore becomes a criminal, and one for Ajay, who loves his sister and therefore puts himself in the wrong. Of course, Sanju could play only one of them, and even if he is completely convincing as Ajay and definitely no wrong choice, you sometimes can’t help wishing he would have played the other role. Not only because Chunky messes it up, but also because it is the better role with more screentime. What’s the use of giving Sanjay’s role (as a compensation?) the attribute "James Bond Sean Connery 009" if it’s named only once and, moreover, doesn’t have anything at all to do with the character?

Sanjay’s fans will nevertheless enjoy this film as Sanju – like in all his films in the early 90es – looks splendid, acts convincing and even swings his hips in a smart dance clip. Apart from that, however, there are only two more reasons for watching this movie: Ajay’s girlfriend Sonu, an admirable strong character who really stands up to Ajay (what a pity that Sonam was not granted more screentime for her great performance), and the surprisingly well-wrought Gorakh character whose permanent indecision between good and evil Kader Khan carves out very subtly. What a pity that the film didn’t get more little highlights like these – obviously trash was more important.

Produced by Pushpa S. Choudhary; Directed by Ajay Kashyap
156 Min.; DVD: Madhu, English Subtitles (including songs), towards the end permanently a bit too late.
© Diwali

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