So you thought that Vaastav was the comeback film of our Sanju Baba, right? It was a comeback, alright, but not the first. Years ago, once upon a time, this hunk's films weren't music to the ears of trade pundits, and the only tune to which he was singing was of the Tamburine man. To put it straight, he was mired in drugs and had far from 'arrived'.
There was also this other star kid who was just as far away from 'arriving'.
Rajinder Kumar produced Naam for Kumar Gaurav, in the latter's name, as
the movie that would catapult him to stardom. After all these years, Sanjay Dutt
has traversed the full circle of stardom, while Gaurav has had more and more films
made to bring him the still-elusive star status.
There's another person who finally made it big at the box office after a spate
of excellent but mildly successful movies - Mahesh Bhatt. It is rumored that Bhatt
waited for Sanjay Dutt to come out of his rehabilitation program, before working
on this movie. After all this, Naam has to remain some sort of an emotional
favorite of many.
As for the movie itself, it captured a theme that was very topical, and still is so in many ways. Dubai was the destination of many an idle guy right through the '80s and the '90s. This obsession still sustains in many.
Sanjay Dutt and Kumar Gaurav play siblings, and Nutan is their dukhyari maa.
The former is a no-good idler with Dubai on his mind round the clock, while the
latter is the doting, upright, elder brother. Then comes the revelation that Gaurav
is actually the stepson of Nutan, and that shames Sanjay, and strengthens his
resolve to make it to Dubai, with one last favor asked from Gaurav.
A sacrifice later, Gaurav puts him on the plane to the dream land. But that's the end of the dream, with the promised job never having existed and a don, Paresh Rawal, waiting for him with open arms. It's a different journey from here, down a 'one-way road'. Amrita Singh plays Sanjay's accomplice and lover. Emotions get the better of him as he looks for a way out, and Gaurav comes to take him back. What comes of it?
The emotions in the movie are strong, best conveyed in the Pankaj Udhas song, 'Chitthi Aayi Hai'. It's that unique touch of Bhatt that brings it along, and puts the movie many notches above the ordinary. The performances are just as taut, not excepting the brooding Gaurav. Only if he'd appeared a bit more confident and less wooden he would have made it. As it stands, Sanjay Dutt walked away with top honors in a winning role. The music is to die for; with 'Tu Kal Chala Jayega' being the best song, excluding the earlier mentioned ghazal.
Mahesh Bhatt, as his wont, tried to revive the topic in his later films, most
notably in Naaraaz. But he couldn't have hoped to create the same magic
with an aging Mithun, as he did with a fresh Dutt. All this makes it a must-see,
again and again.