About the story: Lawyer Mahendra Pratap Singh (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) has married the widow Geeta (Gita Siddharth) whose little son Devilal, called Deva, permanently causes trouble. One day, after a stout controversy, Mahendra demands Geeta to decide between him and her son, whereupon Deva leaves the house – but not without swearing vengeance upon his stepfather. Shortly thereafter, Mahendra shoots judge Saxena when the latter catches him right-handed in bed with his wife Roopa (Beena Banerjee). Mahendra and Roopa frame Geeta for this murder, and on the basis of their testimonies in court, Geeta is sentenced to fourteen years imprisonment. As a consequence, her son Raja is born in prison but soon handed over to foster parents. After a fire catastrophe, Raja and his foster brother Mohan are taken charge of by a street entertainer (Sameer Khakhar) and his little daughter Rani, while Mahendra adopts another fire victim, little Anjali. Many years later, Raja (Sanjay Dutt) together with Rani (Farha Naaz) performs street shows himself and thus earns the money for Mohan’s (Shekhar Suman) studies; and after topping at the university alongsides with Anjali (Sonam), Mohan starts police training. Hardwarilal (Kader Khan), a criminal friend of Mahendra’s, wants his son Jimmy (Gulshan Grover) to get married to Anjali, but she, like Rani, loses her heart out to Raju. When Jimmy therefore tries to kill his rival, Raju is saved by a stranger; it is Deva (Shatrughan Sinha) who wants to use Raju for his vengeance on Mahendra – all the more when they by chance discover that they are half-brothers. Thus, however, Raju gets in conflict with the law and subsequently with Mohan who has become police inspector and now immensely suffers as he has to chase his beloved brother. When Roopa is found murdered, Raju is suspected to have committed the crime and Mahendra is to trial him, the trial converts into a settlement of many old accounts...
Similar to Adharm, Insaaf Apne Lahoo Se too managed to remain quite stringent and interesting in spite of a production phase which was even a few years longer than the then usually anyway extended dimension. Okay, there are some little gaps in the story, but such gaps were nearly as usual in Hindi films of the mid-90es as partially extremely weird costumes, the casting of primates (this was already my third Sanjay movie with a monkey – however, Sunder pleasingly stays more on the sideline) and idiotic minor characters. The last factor here once again was Gulshan Grover’s domain who, with brightly coloured hair (so that Raju usually addresses him as "Technicolor"), flounces through the film. Fortunately his film father Kader Khan doesn’t take the same line but deliberately remains a villain without ostentation.
Even otherwise the male squad is well casted. Kulbhushan Kharbanda as adulterous patriarch and lawyer suffers a bit from the script’s weaknesses which hardly give him any chance to motivate the development his character experiences, but he makes the best out of it so that he may be deigned his strong final scene. An even worse deal got Shatrughan Sinha whose role nearly has to be labelled as wasted which definitely is not his fault. Obviously all attention concentrated on Sanjay Dutt, and of course he doesn’t disappoint, even though this Raju is rather average and far away from Sanjay’s best achievements. But especially his emotional scenes with Mohan (the rather pale Shekhar Suman visibly improves only when he shares the frame with Sanju who must have been a strong inspiration for him) are wonderful, and when Sanjay, inebriated, fights a few goons in a pub, bangs against a Sridevi poster and with a merry „Aaaah Sridevi!“ gives the photo a smacking kiss, then you can watch me in the very rare situation of being envious of a pub poster. *g*
Very positive about Insaaf Apne Lahoo Se is the fact that the story offers several good female roles. Geeta and Roopa are the shorter ones, but Gita Siddharth and Beena Banerjee play them very credibly. The more productive ones are the ladies competing for Raju’s love. Sonam as elegant-sophisticated Anjali is here the perfect antagonist to the lively Farha Naaz as Rani who also can put up a fight if necessary and, especially in her first dance clip, whirls around with a radiance similar to Madhuri Dixit. Several times in this movie, Rani dances for her love to Raju who literally is torn between the two girls – which never shows better than in the clip where both, Sanam and Farha, seductively ensnare Sanju. By the way, this must have been one of the last scenes shot for this film, for the look Sanjay sports here (his attractive long-maned puma beauty at its peak) is hardly to be found in his other scenes which definitely were shot a few years earlier.
Finally, however, the climax is a slight disappointment. First Latif Khan perfectly increases the suspense towards the showdown in the court room, and this showdown even begins promisingly, and then Khan with a stupid bang destroys the effect. The more so as he afterwards doesn’t know how to end the story and opts for a final image which leaves a lot to wish. Too bad. A lot of potential was wasted in this film or fell prey to the extra-long production time. You can watch the film if you haven’t got anything better to do – but a real recommendation is something else.
Produced by L.R. Shaikh & Arun Kumar Muchhala; Directed by Latif Khan
Ca. 145 Min.; VCD: Eagle, without subs