One thing is often said of reruns. These actually tell you whether a movie
is truly good. A great one will leave you falling in love all over again, and
a not-so-great one will show its true colors in the second run, sometimes even
after grossing highly in its first run.
And the pleasure of seeing a real good movie, all over again, is one of those
still unparalleled in life. True for 'Vastaav' too. This is the film that rewrote
the futures of both Sanjay Dutt and Mahesh Manjarekar.
This masterpiece from Manjarekar starts off on a light note highlighting the
simplicity of a family of four. Raghu (Dutt) and his elder brother (Mohnish
Behl) are struggling to find a proper job. Raghu finds peace and success in
a pav-bhaji stall put up by him with the help of a few friends.
Depicting the true nature of life in the Mumbai chawls, we see how the course
of events can so easily lead the average youngster astray. Compelled by circumstances,
our hero, along with his best friend, takes to crime, and soon they become underworld
Here the director is at his best, with acute and heartfelt rendering of the
Mumbai underworld. So lifelike are these scenes that it was assumed by many
that Manjarekar had connections with the underworld!
Especially wonderful is the way that the romance between the leads is handled.
Namrata excels in a small but sensitive role of a prostitute. And the role played
by 'ded-phutia', the best friend of Raghu, is absolutely breathtaking, albeit
a little melodramatic.
But what was hugely touted as the major reason of the film's success was its
ending, where we have a very sensitive portrayal of the futility of violence,
as Raghu is killed by a bullet fired from his own gun and by his own mother.
The screenplay and editing is crisp and goes lengths in establishing the high
quality of the film. An item number by Kashmira Shah went down very well with
the audience, as did the rest of the music by Anu Malik.
But what is definitely the very essence and character of the movie is the unparalleled
rendering of the cocaine-addicted underworld don, played by Sanjay Dutt as only
he can. It brought back memories of the hugely successful 'Khalnayak', where
Dutt had given a whole new meaning to the role of an underworld goon.
Overall, a must watch for those who had missed it earlier, and for those who
had liked it the first time itself, this is as good a time as any for a flashback.