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HIMMATWALA Movie Review: Devgn fights a lone battle

Director :  Sajid Khan
Music :  Sajid-Wajid, Sachin Jigar, Bappi Lahiri
Lyrics :  Indeevar, Sameer Anjaan, Mayur Puri
Starring :  Ajay Devgn, Tammannah, Mahesh Manjrekar, Paresh Rawal and Zarina Wahab

March 29, 2013 03:43:42 PM IST
By Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial
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Whatever Sajid Khan does in the first half, he undoes with alarming alacrity in the second.

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HIMMATWALA, begins with a bang, literally, with Sonakshi Sinha dancing to Thank God It's Friday composed to a distinct 80s rhythm. It is quickly followed by a caged-bout, which introduces Ravi (Himmatwala, Ajay Devgn). This fight is introduced by Sajid's lucky mascot, Chunkey Pandey.

You cozy yourself in the chair, expecting to be entertained. And that is exactly what Sajid does and manages to maintain the momentum throughout the first half. But what really brings all his hard work apart is his eagerness to throw more twists and turns into the already well-twisted plot.

But his biggest nemesis is the portrayal of his characters: Sher Singh (Mahesh Manjrekar) as the sarpanch, Narayan Das (Paresh Rawal), his brother-in-law and Asrani as the Ticket Collector.

CHECK OUT: Sajid Khan - When I launched HIMMATWALA with Ajay, it raised lot of questions

As the evil sarpanch who has the entire village in his mutthi, Sher Singh is more a billy! He fails to induce that terror angle which was so required for his part. Instead, he is more comical which dilutes whatever evil he is trying to portray. Paresh Rawal is likeable to a point and then he is made to ham incessantly. Ditto Asrani.

Whatever be it, the villain of the 80s and the plot (where a rich zamindar who always held the upper hand), were designed to evoke terror. You won't find that here. Although Sajid has a ready-made template for success, he tampers with it.

That leaves us with Ajay Devgn and Tamannaah Bhatia who debuted in CHAND SA ROSHAN CHEHRA way back in 2005. Ajay is as ferocious as the Tiger who has a bit part. As the wronged son who is back in the village to avenge his father's death and his mother and sister's humiliation, he induces fire.

Tamannaah Bhatia on the other hand sets off with the proverbial bang in her initial scenes as the rich girl who hates ''garibs''. You immediately hate her. And that is a big plus for any actor.

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download HIMMATWALA wallpapers

She carries off the 80s style short dresses with aplomb and positions herself well alongside Devgn to match him 'frame for frame'. However, towards the end, when her role loses sting, she is left at the mercy of the screenplay. Sajid has failed to use her well. Hopefully, we will see more of this girl in Bollywood.

Another factor, which goes against the movie is its length - it is 30 minutes too long. Unnecessarily, Sajid tries to include humour that backfires and a newer twist that is supposed to entertain, but which disengages the viewer.

CHECK OUT: Paresh Rawal does breakdance in HIMMATWALA

To Sajid's credit, it must be said that he has maintained the quirky tackiness of the 80s and has already created his own brand of followers. He is clear in his mandate that his films are for the masses and he packs this movie too with every possible formula. There is a sarpanch, a wronged family, a rich girl, a tired mother, an abused bahu, and even a dialogue with a God as the son is being thrashed by goons, imploring her chamatkar.

Methinks, Sajid has lost out on a good opportunity to recreate a blockbuster because of his over-indulgence.

No one is able to support Ajay Devgn's ferocity, save for Tamannah. But that role was supposed to be played by Mahesh Manjrekar!

 Rating : 
2/ 5 stars
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