About the story: Widowed Sharda (Anjana Mumtaz) lives with her sons Raja (Sanjay Dutt) and Rahul (Aditya Pancholi) in Himachal Pradesh. Both sons fall in love with their childhood friend Chinar (Neelam) who, from the year one, has given her heart to Rahul – to the displeasure of Tahal Singh (Gulshan Grover) who also cast an eye at Chinar. At the request of Raja, Sharda proposes for her son at Chinar’s parents Sukhdev (Ram Mohan) and Laxmi (Beena Verma) – but at their return visit it becomes clear that they related the proposal to Rahul, just in the sense of their daughter. As he loves his brother very much, Raja finds the strength to abandon his dreams. Moreover, he soon has other problems to face: After the unexpected appearance of Ghulam Rasool (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), an old friend of his family, Raja learns that thakur Bhanu Pratap (Shakti Kapoor), with whom he and Rahul have tangled shortly ago, once has raped Sharda, killed Raja’s and Rahul’s father Kishna (Alok Nath) and put the blame on Ghulam. From now on, Raja has only one ambition left in this life: revenge...
About one and a half hours the story deals with nothing else than the love of the brothers Raja and Rahul for the same woman, and well, you can understand them: Neelam is sweet, cuddly and cute, and beamingly dances and brims with life throughout the film. Why she prefers the (in comparison with his as "Raju Guide" merely bubbling brother) more boring Rahul remains the script writers’ secret, even though Aditya Pancholi does his best to shape him as likeable as possible. But that’s simply not enough against a puma like Sanjay Dutt who once again radiates his charm and charisma in liters. There’s only one thing you don’t believe him: that he is to be the elder brother (except in the scenes where he playfully mocks Aditya with a dry-as-dust big-brother authority). He dances and bowls through deep snow and over green grass, moves his hips in circles that you start feeling dizzy, looks ravishing – you simply have to fall in love with him, especially in the dance clip in which he downright flips out in his joys of love.
As I said, about one and a half hours you can enjoy this love and family idyll. Only with the entry of Kulbhushan Kharbanda (solidly playing his little role), light heartedness turns to seriousness. After you learn the brothers’ parents’ destiny in a flashback, the film moves onto the tracks of action and revenge (only Chinar’s and Rahul’s wedding returns the former cheerfulness for a short while). And now at the latest, Sanjay grabs the film: Within seconds, Raja grows up and takes on responsibility for his mother (intensely played by Anjana Mumtaz) while Rahul fades into the background and only in the end is allowed to interfere again. It’s as if Sanjay and Aditya had made some preliminary studies for Aatish – concerning their chemistry, their role hierarchy and their "enmity" against Gulshan Grover (whose character in Sahebzaade probably is one of the most stupid ones in Hindi Cinema’s history) and Shakti Kapoor who was criminally neglected by the direction. He not only doesn't change appearance a bit within a time span of twenty years, his thakur even from the very beginning permanently gets rushed off his feet by Raja so that their later controversy in the last film term lacks a lot of suspense. Only the showdown (a sort of predecessor to Baaghi) knocks your socks off again.
A bonus point in Sahebzaade is the film’s optics. The movie really caters for your eyes which may indulge themselves on the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, partially wonderfully snowy against a clear blue sky, and colourful traditional costumes and dances round off the whole. Not to mention an (as I said) shamelessly good looking Sanjay in top form who obviously effortless and quite naturally holds the film in his hand every single minute.
Produced by K.K. Talwar; Directed by Ajay Kashyap
142 Min.; DVD: GVI, English Subtitles (including songs)