About the story: The killer Master Madan (Sanjay Dutt) was hired by Lucky Sharma (Chetam Hansraj) to kill the sensationalist journalist Anthony Gonsalvez: He filmed Lucky as he strangled a woman and blackmailed him. Master Madan indeed does meet a man who calls himself Anthony Gonsalvez in the hotel-room in question. However, when the man (Arshad Warsi) notices that his live is in danger, he claims that his real name is Champak Chaudhary and that he has nothing to do with this Gonsalvez person. As Master Madan was going to wait with the fulfilment of his commission until Lucky has paid him, he gives Champak the chance to throw light on the situation for him. Champ now tells him that he gorses passports and in prison got to know a man called Raghuvir Sharma (Raghuvir Yadav) who buried some expensive diamonds. After their release he joined Raghuvir’s daughter Jiya (Minisha Lamba) and adopted the identity of Anthony Gonsalves, whose body had been found a short time earlier...
Anthony Kaun Hai? (Who is Anthony?) is no masterpiece but a well-crafted movie in which Arshad Warsi has the lead for a change, while Sanjay supports his inspired partner from the Munnabhai movies, which IMO is a nice gesture on his part. The part is certainly no challenge for him – characters like this sophisticated, cold-hearted and stylish killer (red Ferrari, excellent taste in wines), Sanju is able to pull of in his sleep. On screen his mere appearance exudes so much authority that one becomes almost automatically submissive to him and Arshad’s small time crook Champ submits to him like an obedient child. Obviously, the plot does not allow Arshad and Sanjay to continue their brilliant performance as Munnabhai and Circuit but one nevertheless notes at all times that the two are an experienced team.
Arshad gives a solid performance. From time to time his acting suffers from the slow speed of the entire movie, but he manages to pull of the most important thing: to make Champ loveable enough for the viewer to worry about him and to want him to survive. Gulshan Grover as Inspector Suraj Singh gives a solid performance. He seems to have stepped straight from the set of Tathastu to the one of Anthony Kaun Hai. However, like all minor characters he has little enough to do. Most attention is given to Manisha Lamba but she does not make very good use of this opportunity. Anusha Dandekar as Champ’s ex-girlfriend has more character and presence than her colleague but her time on screen would fit in a thimble. The main focus of the movie clearly is Champ and his story, and therefore the frame where Master Madan rules with his silencer-gun in one hand and wine-glass in the other. With this flashback-narration Raj Kaushal indulges in some enjoyable detail, for example when Master Madan is not impressed with Champ’s narrative style and asks him to start again in a different style, for example in the style of Yash Chopra. Thanks to the solid performances of Sanjay and Arshad this works very well. They are a good reason to watch this movie anytime, although it is not a masterpiece, as I mentioned earlier. In any case, it delivers two hours entertainment. (And afterwards one can always watch Amar, Akbar, Anthony, or at least Amitabh Bachchan’s song “My name is Anthony Gonsalvez”.)
Produced by Nikhil Panchamiya; Directed by Raj Kaushal
126 Min.; DVD: Adlabs, English Subtitles (including songs); the DVD also contains a Making Of.
© Diwali; Translated by gebruss
P.S. In a Stardust interview (8/2006) Arshad reveiled that it was his idea to cast Sanju for Master Madan – and that there was no need to talk it into him:
There was a buzz that you convinced Sanjay Dutt to do the film? And that he gave priority dates for this film?
Arshad: That’s right. Actually, I felt that Sanjay would be the best choice for the role of Master Madan, and when I approached and asked him if he would do the film, he immediately called his secretary and had the dates allotted for the film. I was excited and glad that he did the film because I was able to convince him.