Sajid Khan had better get all the money he probably has stashed in overseas accounts to make good on his promise. The one he made of refunding the tickets if his audiences don't like Himmatwala.
But then, dear viewer, you had to see it coming. A "fun" Sajid Khan remake of all that was wrong with cinema in the '80s can be nothing but an exercise in having fun at the expense of its audiences.
And, my, oh, my, did the makers have fun. Not a minute goes without a horrible pun of some sort. Like, "Miya biwi raazi, to neechi rahega Nazi"
. Or, "Yeh 1983 hai, pallu phado aur ghaav bandh karo". Or, "Uncle, Swine Flu jaisi koi beemari hai hi nahi!" "Aa jayegi beta, ek bees, tees saalon mein aa jayegi".
As if this wasn't bad enough, once every half hour, regular as clockwork, someone or the other says "Himmatwala!" in a booming voice.
There is a reason why people make fun of Bollywood in the '80s. It was loud, nonsensical, over the top, nonsensical, garish, nonsensical... and so on and so forth. There is also a reason why it went out of fashion, which goes along the same lines as the previous sentence.
And, then comes Himmatwala, with its ridiculous story of revenge, mistaken identities, and a complete disregard of the development even of characters flat enough to skate on.
It goes like this. The Evil Sarpanch (Mahesh Manjrekar) kills off the hero Ravi's (Ajay Devgn) father. Orphaned, Ravi turns to the Big City, only to come back years later to support his mother and his sister, and to avenge the death of his father.
Then there is Rekha (Tamanna Bhatia), the Evil Sarpanch's Evil daughter, who's Evil garib
-hating soul is snatched from the fires of hell, just as the hero snatches her from the jaws of a tiger. No, really, there's a tiger. It looks just like the one from Life Of Pi
And, all it takes to make it see the error of its villager-eating ways is a punch from Ajay Devgn's fists of titanium. We'll leave the pedestrian iron to the likes of Jeetendra.
Ajay's fists, and his fake growl, which he insists on speaking in throughout, pretty much take over the rest of the film.
Oh, lest we forget, the item numbers. Lots of hyperactive bosom, glitter, flesh spilling out of inadequate costumes - just the way item numbers should be, and were, before the '90s came along and ruined them.
The acting is perfunctory, almost superfluous. What is commendable is the actors' ability to speak their lines with perfect equanimity, without spending their screen time rolling on the floor laughing. Paresh Rawal has a ball. You will enjoy every moment of screen time that he occupies.
The music will do just fine in wedding bands of the coming future. The visuals, the costumes and the sets do a great work at embodying the spirit of the '80s, and are actually really impressive.
Verdict: Himmatwala is complete, unapologetic bunkum, with not even the excuse of wit to redeem it. There's only so much you can laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. The rest of the time will be spent in utter boredom, and figuring out how to get your money back.
And now, we must go call our henchmen and get them to go after the director.