|HOME | MOVIES | REVIEWS|
|August 20, 1999||
Dumb and dumber
In 1985, director Rahul Rawail made a film called Arjun. It was an honest film about an unemployed Bombay youth who is forced by circumstances into the world of crime.
In 1999, Rawail has made another film that he has called Arjun Pandit. This film is about an honest young yoga professor who lives in Hardwar and is forced into a life of crime, again due to circumstance. Only, this time round, these are brought about by an vengeful lady love.
Over the last 14 years, the honesty that prevailed in Rawail's films (Arjun, Dacait) has eroded to such an extent that all he has today is an honest protagonist. Vide Arjun Pandit.
The storyline would have been totally cliched, but for Juhi Chawla who plays a character with negative shades -- and an unexpected twist. Yet, neither she nor Daler Mehndi can save this film.
Mafia don Haldiram (Ashish Vidyarthi) has a quiet, unknown but deadly henchman who goes by the name of Arjun Pandit (Sunny Deol). Haldiram has a fierce rival in Ramanibhai (Mukesh Rishi), so he uses Pandit to bump off the latter's men.
At which point -- using a flashback that lasts more than half the duration of the film -- the director decides to reveal the past that made Arjun Pandit the person he now is. Pandit was originally Dixit, a man who religiously performed puja everyday and lived an inconsequential life as a professor.
Until the day Nisha (Juhi Chawla) came in his life. He falls in love with her and, at her urging, kills the spoilt son, Sanjay (Arbaaz Khan), of the local MLA, Sharma, in defence of her honour. When he has done the good deed, she turns him over to the police claiming that Arjun killed Sanjay, whose only fault was that he had come to apologise to her.
Sanjay's mother bails Arjun out, who goes to Bombay in search of Nisha. Despite what she has done to him, he still adores her. To the extent of hitting anyone who speaks of her in a disrespectful manner, kidnapping her to celebrate her birthday, destroying her marriage and burning her skimpy clothes (not that he objected to her wearing even skimpier garments when he was romancing her!)!
The film is a fruitless exercise that has no point to make; the only thing it succeeds at is sending out totally confusing messages. For Arjun is, at one minute, the righteous protector of ideals and, at the next, an insensitive scum who slaps Nisha or drags her by her hair or forces her to marry him by the simple expedient of holding a gun to her brother's head.
Somehow, the director does not realise that Juhi Chawla looks like a woman now -- her laugh is irritatingly girlish, she is made to jump around like a teeny bopper and wear mini skirts almost throughout the film. Sunny Deol is made to speak pure Hindi to the extent that it actually seems funny and does not, in the least, jell with his personality as an action hero.
Rawail, who displayed excellent cinematic sense in Arjun, does not highlight either his technical finesse or style in this film. The story outdated and the attempted twist in the tale does not work as it is in total variance Nisha's character and convictions.
Dilip and Sameer Sen have done a decent job with the music, helped along by the fact that the film has only three main songs. And some of the Hardwar scenes are good. But Arjun Pandit, the film? It is a stray bullet that has only one way to go -- down!
Do tell us what you think of this review
SHOPPING HOME | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS
PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK