Freitag, 24. August 2007

Qurbani Rang Layegi (1991) - Review in English

About the story: Singer Jai Kishen (Sujit Kumar) is attacked by the thakur (Ram Mohan) and his henchmen and, during the fight, kills one of them and is sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. Beggar Hamid (Satyendra Kapoor) becomes foster father for Jai’s little son Raj. Many years later, Raj (Sanjay Dutt) has become a carefree road-rager, earning his livings with street shows together with his beloved Basanti (Padmini Kolhapure) and her brother Daddu (Paintal). When the thakur’s daughter Poonam (Poonam Dhillon) – who like her friend, singer Vicky (Shakti Kapoor), is in show business – discovers Raj’s singing qualities, she takes him under her wing and persuades Basanti to discredit herself in Raj’s eyes so that he abandons her and totally concentrates on his career. Soon Raj is torn apart: He has learnt to hate Basanti, but he still loves her; Poonam desperately tries to win him for herself; Vicky becomes jealous and joins forces with Tony (Gur Bachchan Singh) who once already nearly has killed Raj; and to cap it all, his father is released from prison, and the old enmity with the thakur revives...

Jesus Christ, how many years did they shoot for this film? The earliest scenes were definitely shot in Sanjay’s drug phase which means, before 1984; most of the other scenes are from the second half of the 1980es, and to crown it all, there are even some mullet scenes shot around 1990. The result, released in 1991, is a botch-up of a kind I’ve never seen before. I always thought that no long-term compilation could be worse than Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke, but compared with Qurbani Rang Layegi, that Shahrukh-Raveena botch is a film you could send to Cannes. Okay, Qurbani Rang Layegi initially had potential: a good story, similar to the later produced Chaahat and with – joy over joy! – two strong female roles. But the whole project was so much delayed that continuity and an integral whole no longer were possible.

To begin with, Sanjay logically looks different in really every scene – not only the hair-style is changing permanently but also the hair colour, and not even the coy-colourful krochet-caps they put over him in the early scenes can distract from that. Next, obviously every time people remembered this project again after a few months or years, it seems that they took the chance to re-write the script, with the result that nothing accords anymore. The story has gaps you could dump the makers in (and you willingly would), the scenes are patched together like a failed quilt, and thus the whole thing jolts and rumbles away for about two hours. Musically they had cooked up nearly nothing; the main motive, sounding like Beethoven’s "Elise", is rehashed in all possible variations until you don’t want to hear it anymore, and if you – quasi as an insider gag – want to use the "Tamma Tamma" motive from the Sanjay movie Thanedaar, you should not waste it as background music at a party where you hardly can hear it at all.

And didn’t at least one man have a look at the result before the Indian film public was deceived of their hard earned money? Did no one discover all those crass flaws? Daddu and his buddies are angry with Raj and leave him because he treated Basanti so badly, and the next moment they voluptuously stick his posters onto the walls? Jai Kishen has a really humiliating encounter with the thakur after his release from prison, and then he needs only one more scene to make the thakur joyously agree to the Poonam-Raj alliance? Raj, nearly mad with remorse and despair, searches for Basanti, but only one second later he has nothing better to do than to make an Elvis-Travolta show on stage in front of a cheering public?

Oh my, I already donated more time, energy and space to this concoction than it deserves. Okay, in short: hands off. Unless you feel for a Sanjay time travel. Or for the probably worst example for the unbelievable carelessness with which Hindi Cinema expects its public to swallow such kind of patchwork from most different phases with logical story gaps and continuity flaws. For Qurbani Rang Layegi certainly is not the only result of such practises. But definitely one of the most cruddy ones. Sanju should hope and pray that, except me, no one rediscovers this scrap.

Produced by K.K. Talwar; Directed by Raj Sippy
130 Min.; DVD: T-Series, without subs
© Diwali

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