Sonntag, 19. August 2007

Naam (1986) - Review in English

About the story: Widow Janki Kapoor (Nutan) has to eke out a living to raise her two sons, Ravi (Kumar Gaurav) and Vicky (Sanjay Dutt). She is worried about their future, mainly about Vicky’s, because he is a dawdler, a gambler and often gets involved in brawls. His brother Ravi works hard for the family to make ends meet, and he frequently helps Vicky out of some tight spot. To prove his worth to his mother, Vicky decides to go to Dubai and make his fortune there. Ravi again has to sacrifice, to raise enough money for Vicky’s ticket and visa – but as soon as Vicky arrives in Dubai he realizes he has been cheated, and his papers are forged. Now pennyless and out of work, Vicky fears to be spurned by his brother and mother, so he does not dare to go home (not knowing his family has already found out about the fraud and would not blame him for his failure). He meets Rana (Paresh Rawal), a drug smuggler, who hires him and pulls him deeper and deeper into a life of crime. Only his girlfriend Rita (Amrita Singh) is able to make him realise his mistake; in Hongkong he decides to leave the drug business and to return home. But when he doesn't arrive at Bombay Airport as planned, Ravi cancels his wedding with Seema (Poonam Dhillon), to travel to Hongkong and take his brother home...

It is a movie that gets to you. It made me weep uncontrollably a few times, especially towards its end. I fully understand why Naam (= Name) was a big hit at its time. It is a truly ingenious film, and the role of Vicky was a great performance of Sanjay’s. Although he has the role of a loser, he represents it beautifully, until the no-good gambler becomes the lovable character of a dreamer with a heart of gold; someone to relate to, and to feel compassion for. Sanjay harmonizes well with his film-brother Kumar Gaurav, who is his brother-in-law in real life (and who also gives a gripping performance in Naam). His gorgeous looks make the pleasure of watching this movie perfect. Naam is definitely a must-see – not only (but of course primarily) for Sanjay’s fans. 

If we can believe Mahesh Bhatt, he and Sanjay had to fight hard with Sunil Dutt, before he allowed his son to accept the role of Vicky in Naam. This makes me assume even more that Sunil tried to make Sanjay into a thoroughly positive hero figure – Sanjay’s roles up to that date make this apparent – and that the character of Vicky, which sometimes reminded me of Cal in East of Eden, did not fit into Sunil Dutt’s concept. In this respect, Naam marks a twofold milestone or watershed of Sanjay’s career. Firstly, because the movie was his comeback (after his drug addiction and the successful detox program in U.S.A.), and it made him a big star overnight. Secondly, because it drew attention to Sanjay as a serious actor with a bigger range than just the honest and brave (or nice romantic) hero. His performance of Vicky in Naam was a breakthrough that cleared his way to roles of different shades, which gave him the chance to develop his acting even further. His career as a versatile character actor had become unstoppable. 

Produced by Kumar Gaurav; Directed by Mahesh Bhatt

158 Min.; DVD: Sky, with English subs (including songs)

ATTENTION: The Sky Release is 10 minutes shorter than e.g. the Moserbaer Release. Some realy important scenes are missing on the Sky DVD!
© Diwali (translated by Anamika)

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