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|March 6, 1999||
Déjà vu again
As the name implies, Laawaris is a story of an orphan who turns first goon and then a new leaf when he falls in love.
Akshaye Khanna plays the orphan and thug who offers people protection for a fee. Captain Dada -- for that's his professional moniker -- works for an effeminate goon who sports gold chains named Kalra.
The film starts with a fight and ends with one. You have fights in homes, streets, even hospitals. And in the last, you have villains threatening doctors, pushing nurses around and killing ward boys, not to mention scaring the patients out of their skins.
Amidst all the violence and pointless screaming, a lawyer (Jackie Shroff), wife (Dimple Kapadia) and their son come into the area.
But when Captain Dada lost his heart he also had a change of one. So he changes his name to Vijay and promises to live a decent life hereafter. That might remind you of Amitabh Bachchan sporting the same name and acting as the orphan in a film with the same name. That's how original Laawaris is.
Honey Irani's story lacks originality and seems a hangover from the time her ex-husband Javed Akhtar made the original Laawaris. The modern version ends up with only the star cast to boast about.
Akshaye Khanna is endearing, the only. person who is worth watching. Despite his short term in films, he manages pretty well. But his height works against him, with everybody, including Parmeet Sethi, who plays a baddie, being taller than him.
Manisha has nothing much to do except look beautiful. Though she does a fine job of that, you note again that she's certainly a director's actress. A director of Mani Ratnam's calibre can tap her talent in a film like Bombay, but her talents are wasted here.
Jackie is his usual mature self and Dimple again plays the woman of substance who slaps and advises the naughty boy in turns. The scene-stealer is their child who thinks Captain Dada is a hero since he fights like a man and is gentle with women and children.
The songs are good enough with two of them making it to the charts. One is Tum Ne Jo Kaha, a lift from Barbie Girl, and the second is Aa Kahi Door Chale Jaaye Hum. Javed Akhtar's lyrics are simple, yet pleasant.
But for that you needn't visit the theatres, you know.
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