Montag, 20. August 2007

Kanoon Apna Apna (1989) - Review in English

About the story: The collector Jagat Pratab Singh (Dilip Kumar) is a hard-minded advocate of law and order (= Kanoon Apna Apna). His son Ravi (Sanjay Dutt), however, has too often seen the law being violated by criminal practices and therefore is convinced that in such cases law and order have to be supported even by illegal means, if necessary. Where his father strictly follows the letter of the law, Ravi uses his fists which of course leads to permanent tensions between father and son. These tensions escalate when the sons of a corrupt minister (Kader Khan) and of his henchman Kabzaa Kanhaiyalal (Anupam Kher) rape and kill a female servant of the Singh household, then murder Ravi’s best friend – and get released because of a faked alibi. Now Ravi’s sense of justice no longer can sympathize with the father’s legalism; Ravi openly declares war to law and order as represented by his father, and when his father tells him that under these circumstances they no longer can live together under the same roof, neither Ravi’s mother (Nutan) nor his sister can prevent Ravi from leaving the house to henceforth fight injustice in his own way. To his father’s surprise, Ravi for this purpose becomes a police inspector. But initially this doesn’t serve to improve their relationship as Ravi still has his own opinions about the exercise of law and order...

If a film synopsis lacks the leading lady, there can only be one reason: She is not necessary for the plot. And indeed Madhuri Dixit as Bharti is just an add-on to Sanjay, even though a most charming one. Already their first meeting sets them ablaze (almost literally) so that they later land together under the shower. They are a marvellous couple and it’s a sheer delight watching them dancing together. In this point, Madhuri must have been a real muse for Sanju, spurring on his ambitions to be a match for this dance goddess, and today we know that in the following years Sanju became a terrific dancer in his films.

But of course, he has more to offer in Kanoon Apna Apna than just his dances with Madhuri. The main plot is Ravi’s conflict with his father, and Sanjay’s outbursts of fury and his hot-headed quarrels with Dilip are superb. By the way, you can sympathize with both of them. On paper, the system is right (father), but in practice, it often proves to be wrong (Ravi). If the law doesn’t see the truth, and it is easier for culprits to get acquitted than for victims to get justice, then what’s the use of the law? Fatally, at a certain point Ravi sits on the fence: His father, instead of accusing the real culprits, brands him a criminal when Ravi uses illegal means for the truth’s sake, and when Ravi later has to take legal steps against his father, he is branded a criminal by his mother... It needs a gruesome catastrophy to reunite father and son. On the statement that the law is for human beings but not for monsters, the father finally manages to join his son in his fight against the corrupt minister.

Produced by A.S.R. Anjaneyulu; Directed by B. Gopal
159 Min.; DVD: Yashraj; English Subtitles (including songs)
© Diwali

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