Sonntag, 19. August 2007

Mohabbat Ke Dushman (1988) - Review in English

About the story: Rehmat Khan (Raaj Kumar) is the head of an extended family which includes his elderly, very traditional mother Amijaan (Dina Pathak) as well as the servants Rustom (Pran) and Hashim (Sanjay Dutt); the latter two serve the family with genuine loyalty. Sworn enemy of the family is the evil and godless Shabaaz Khan (Amrish Puri). One day, the young teacher Shamajaan (Hema Malini) attracts Shabaaz’s attention. He abducts her to a brothel from where she manages to escape. She finds refuge with Rehmat’s family. The entire family becomes very fond of her and Rehmat falls in love with her. However, when Shabaaz spreads the rumour that Shama is a prostitute, Rehmat’s mother insists on her leaving the family’s home. Rehmat, who does not care about the rumours, continues to keep her as his lover. Meanwhile, Hashim meets his childhood friend Reshma (Farha Naaz) again after many years, and they fall in love. Reshma, too, finds refuge in Rehmat’s house when her brother Abu (Suresh Oberoi) – a close friend of Rehmat’s – is killed by Shabaaz’s retainers. When Rehmat’s mother discovers that Rehmat and Shama are secretly a couple, she arranges everything for a marriage between Rehmat and Reshma. Shortly afterwards, she discovers the Reshma and Hashim love each other and accuses Hashim of bringing dishonour to the family he pretends to serve so loyally. As obedience is very important to Hashim and because he loves his master Rehmat, he is willing to give up his love. However, when he leaves the family’s home and Reshma follows him this is interpreted as an elopement. Rehmat’s mother demands Hashim’s death...

In this movie, Sanjay’s part is definitely subordinate to Raaj Kumar’s who plays the main lead, although his part becomes more substantial in the second half. And he seems less relaxed than in the roughly contemporary Mardon Wali Baat, which probably is due to the fact that his part gives him less opportunity for development. Sanjay is at his best when he is at the centre of the scene – as soon as he becomes the loyal servant surrounded by the family he acts with visible restraint. As already mentioned, his best moments are found in the second half when he meekly endures a beating with a riding whip administered by Rehmat’s mother and when he gives up his love for his loyalty and conscientiousness – here Sanjay is able to give his emotions a free reign. Farha Naaz is a charming partner for Sanjay and their dance number in the snow is simply cute (yes, this adjective for once can be applied to Sanju). And Amrish may rarely have looked more diabolical than with his eyebrows and beard styled as in Mohabbat Ke Dushman (= Enemies of Love).

In conclusion: Not a great but a watchable movie dealing with such staple themes as Good and Evil, Love and Defamation, Friendship and Sacrifice. Not a must-see for Sanju fans but neither one to be avoided, it is a nice way of whiling away a rainy afternoon.

Produced and directed by Prakash Mehra
159 Min.; DVD: Samrat, English Subtitles (including songs)
© Diwali; Translated by gebruss

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