Dienstag, 21. August 2007

Tejaa (1990) - Review in English

About the story: Lal Singh (Ranjeet), Heeralal Ghosh (Puneet Issar) and Zoravar (Amrish Puri) rob a bank’s gold bar depot. Fleeing from the police, they bury their loot near the isolated house of a young couple (Surendra Pal and Beena Banerjee). When next day the gold is gone, the house’s inhabitants are suspected to have taken it: The three robbers kill the couple and hang up their little son Tejaa. But the boy survives and henceforth dedicates his life solely to the avenge of his parents’ murder. Twenty years later, Tejaa (Sanjay Dutt) kills Lal Singh and afterwards also Heeralal Ghosh. Then he turns his attention to Zoravar, meets him, calls himself Sanjay, obtains Zoravar’s and the latter's girlfriend Heena’s (Sonu Walia) confidence and becomes his partner in business. While Tejaa, supported by his girlfriend Sonu (Kimi Katkar), prepares the deciding blow against Zoravar, the latter learns about "Sanjay’s" real identity by Heeralal’s son Mahendra (Mahendra Verma)...

The vengeance movie Tejaa suffers from two things: its long-termed phase of production extending over several years, and a partially very humpy dramaturgy. Often you get the feeling that scenes from two different films have been mixed – not only because Sanjay in the Zoravar plot suddenly appears shaven and smart, in opposition to his unshaven and savaged look in the first half. The story’s stringency falls prey to breaches and unsteady scene connections. No reproaches to the actors, they did their best to preserve the suspense the story nevertheless possesses. Besides seasoned Amrish Puri, even the two ladies have their moments, especially Sonu Walia whose role is not very rich but culminates in a powerful climax. Kimi Katkar’s character initially seems to be nothing but bothersome support for Tejaa who needs a lot of time to trust Sonu and to accept that her presence is good for him. But from that moment on she belongs to him and henceforth also plays an active part in Tejaa’s vengeance plans.

Sanju himself plays the first part of the film as a kind of "lone wolf", with full beard and gloomy glances: a maverick, hard and cold, totally focussed on his vengeance ambitions and without any concern for the people around him or even for himself. Then, as smart "Sanjay" in the Zoravar plot, he leaves this image completely behind him and appears frank, relaxed and cheerfully companionable. Too bad that no one bothered to carve out better that this nice Sanjay is just a feigned facet of Tejaa – which, I suppose, also was due to the blocky making. Instead Sanju now comes across as having played two completely different figures. This and, as I said, the film’s humpy nature make Tejaa one of Sanju’s weaker films – unfortunately, because with the very consistent and credible lone wolf part Sanjay had added a new shade to his rich variety of images, a shade which is worth a watch.

Produced by Mahendra Bohra; Directed by Ramnesh Puri
Ca. 135 Min.; VCD: Bombino, without subs
© Diwali

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