About the story: Raja Sunder Singh (Danny Denzongpa) and his gang are pressing a row of villages to pay high tributes to them; resistance they do punish in the most cruel ways. One fine day, two crooks in Bombay – Yadvinder Singh (Dharmendra) and Tinku (Sanjay Dutt) – independently of each other get blackmailing letters and, as a result, land up together in the village Kashipur where they are to help the people against Sunder Singh and his men. Of course they don’t feel like that at all, but their unknown blackmailer prevents them from leaving the village, threatening that he would squeal on them if they don’t obey. To find their blackmailer, the two crooks follow every queer track: Yadwinder woos the teacher Seema (Shabana Azmi) while Tinku takes stubborn Asha (Jaya Pradha) to task. At the same time, and rather unwillingly, they score first successes against Sunder Singh and his gang. And when the blackmailer suddenly provides them with an arsenal of weapons, Yadwinder and Tinku teach the villagers how to prepare themselves for a fight against Sunder Singh. But they never forget their one and only target to find the blackmailer and to leave the village once and forever at the earliest – until they discover some unexpected truths...
A touch of Sholay breezes through this film about two crooks who are to free a village from extortionate criminals – all the more as one of these crooks is played by Sholay-star Dharmendra. And it speaks for the status Sanjay had gained at that time that the producers gave the other crook’s role to him and not to Dharmendra’s son Sunny Deol which would have been a major PR highlight. And Dharmendra and Sanjay make a terrific jodi! Why, Dharmendra without doubt has more acting skills that he could bequest to his children, and his chemistry with Sanjay in Mardon Wali Baat is just smashing. Just look at their boozing scenes or the sequence when Sanjay encourages his slightly elder co-star to woo the stunningly beautiful Shabana Azmi – they are simply stupendous.
Sanjay, on the other hand, has to deal with Jaya Pradha as his co-star and initially fights a dedicative running battle with her after having screwed her at their first encounter (and for this having got one of the probably hardest slaps in his life). The way he finally makes her woo him is splendid – I was convulsed with laughter. But at the same time there were scenes when my heart stopped beating or I just could have cried with fury. Laughing and crying are always close together in Mardon Wali Baat, and the story’s thrilling development, without any trash, is another bonus point.
It's a very good film. A must-see not only for Sanjay fans, but especially for them. For in a certain way, they may witness a new phase in Sanju’s life and career as Sanju, having overcome his drug addiction and fought back his way to the industry, now definitely knows that he has made it. He has proved himself, especially in his father’s eyes, has overcome his fear of failure and gained security and self-confidence; his body and mind are free from toxications, he is brimming with life – and in no other film from 1988 you can see all this better than in Mardon Wali Baat where Sanju doesn’t look just good but really beautiful and has a glow about him which makes the true Sanju fan weep with happiness and gratefulness.
Produced and directed by Brij
153 Min.; DVD: SKY, English Subtitles (including songs)*
*Meanwhile there is a Shemaroo release, too, even this one with English Subtitles including songs - and its Quality is much better than Sky's.