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|August 26, 1999||
The perfect mix!
Syed Firdaus Ashraf
Which, to put it exactly, is what Baadshah is all about.
Raj (Shahrukh Khan), who is fondly known as Baadshah, is a small time detective who wants to make it big. But his mother (Shashikala) wants him follow in the footsteps of his father and join the police force.
Baadshah's main source of income stems from entrusting diamond smugglers to the long arm of the law and convincing recalcitrant brides to marry grooms chosen by their parents. In the latter category comes Twinkle (Seema), whose father (Avtar Gill) -- here comes the convolution; he is supposedly suffering from brain tumour -- wants to see her happily married. And he is depending on Shahrukh to convince her to marry the man he has chosen as the ideal husband for his precious daughter.
And Baadshah goes into action, pretending he is a blind man. With the help of his friends (Johny Lever and company), he successfully charms Seema and she falls in love with him. A 'successful eye operation' and, hey presto!, Baadshah can 'see' again! Seema declares her love and they run round trees happily.
Just as the situation gets too lovey-dovey, the father lands up -- keeping with industry standards, the romance is taking place somewhere in Europe! -- and reminds Baadshah about his duty. Baadshah dutifully plans scenarios that will make Seema realise he is a fraud. A broken-hearted Seema runs away.
Will this be the end of our romantic tale? Of course not; this is a film that still has a lot of masala left. For Seema is no ordinary lass, she helps the CBI to successfully trap her nakli father who, apparently, is after her wealth and has duped investors in a bank fraud.
That, though, was one twist in the tale that was beyond my comprehension.
Meanwhile, Baadshah gets another assignment where he is required to rescue a kidnappee from some kidnappers. The victim, in this case, is the daughter of a rich industrialist. At the airport, though, he is mistaken for another Baadshah (Deepak Tijori) who has been bumped off by the bad guys. Sharad Saxena, from the villains' team, is to replace him when our hero, Baadshah, lands up instead.
Which is how he is suckered into his new assignment, where he is expected to protect the chief minister of Goa, Gayatri Bachchan (Rakhee). There are, it seems, a bunch of villains who are out to get her. At which point, the elements of tragedy and suspense come in...
To tell you the truth, I quite enjoyed the film, especially the by-play between Shahrukh and Johnny Lever. This, despite the fact that there have been some straight lifts from the recent Bond films. Anu Malik has done a decent job with the music -- the title song is good, while others like Yahan wahan kadam kadam pe lakhon haseenaen hai and Main to hoon pagal are quite in the hummable category.
Shahrukh has performed well, so have Twinkle and her navel, which was in full view right through the film. Amrish Puri is very good as the villain with the sense of humour. Rakhee, unfortunately is wasted -- all she does is address press conferences and seminars.
All in all, Abbas-Mustan have managed to retain the element of suspense and they might well have another Soldier on their hands.
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