In this film Sanjay does just a special appearance!
About the story: Wealthy and widowed industrialist Yashpal Nanda (Saeed Jaffrey) lives together with his sons Vijay (Rahul Roy) and Arjun (Govinda), Vijay’s wife Madhu (Farha Naaz), and Nilesh (Dalip Tahil) who was married to Nanda’s late daughter Nisha. Even lawyer Saagar Srivastav (Paresh Rawal) is considered a part of this happy family which is about to get a new member as Arjun wins the heart of pretty teacher Pooja (Manisha Koirala). In Shimla, both of them evade an accident by the skin of their teeth – they have no idea that this accident was an attack. For Saagar is not as loyal as he seems and has only one ambition: to get the Nandas’ fortune. He persuades Madhu that her husband betrays her, and when Madhu starts quarreling with Vijay, a bullet from her revolver lethally hits him. To save Madhu from being charged for murder and to save the family’s honour, Saagar blackmails Pooja to take the blame and to go to jail for Madhu...
Achanak (= suddenly) starts as a cheerful romance and ends as an intrigue thriller. Those who love Hindi masala films will be happy about this even though the story, especially in the second half, is knitted rather crudely. Anyway, Govinda thus is given the chance to show his acting skills from the (shrill) comedian to the able dancer (despite of being a bit overweight), and from the lovable guy to the serious character actor. His co-star Manisha Koirala is in top-form too, and Paresh Rawal is once again a really smeary villain. But all three of them could not prevent Achanak from being a film you can, but certainly not must watch. Not even as a fan of Shahrukh Khan and/or Sanjay Dutt who are to be seen in short appearances during the turbulent final scene when Govinda and Johny Lever chase the fleeing villains through various film sets. Okay, it’s quite nice how Shahrukh and Sanju play themselves amidst this trouble, but not so sensational that it would upgrade the film nameworthy. No comparison to how Sanju had upgraded Meri Aan five years before with his superb Qawali.
For all Sanjay fans who still are indecisive about whether they need to see Achanak or not, I will hereby give a clue about Sanju’s appearance which really just lasts a few seconds. Sanju sits in a make-up tent on the sets, sporting blue jeans, a black open vest and a black tika on his forehead. He’s called for a shot and mounts a horse for a scene with several horsemen. But the shot is spoilt by Govinda and Johny who rush with motorbike and bicycle through the galloping horde. Whereupon Sanju, half amused, half indignant, dismounts his horse and disappears, saying, "Is this a shooting going on? It was the motorcycle first, then a cycle. Arrange all this first. I’ll go and exercise until then, okay?" And that’s it. End of the story. A nice allusion to Sanju’s bodybuilding, but not very much more. Whether you want to purchase the whole movie for these few seconds, you must decide for yourselves. I’m staying out of this. ;)
Produced by Vijay Galani; Directed by Naresh Malhotra
156 Min.; DVD: Eros, English Subtitles (not for the songs)