Synopsis: Ravi (Ajay Devgn) returns to his family's village once he finds out his mother and sister were not dead as he had long thought. There he finds a village cowering at the grip of Sher Singh (Mahesh Manjrekar), his daughter Rekha (Tamannaah) and his brother-in-law Narayandas (Paresh Rawal). Of course the himmatwala (braveheart) is tasked with setting the village free.
That bears being in all caps at the beginning of any discussion because no one I know in the blogosphere was willing to go see Himmatwala. The bad word of mouth even had me dreading the fact that I was hooked into it via the Bollywood group.
But… I didn’t hate Himmatwala!
In fact, I had a good laugh… or maybe a hundred!
|They are the same and not.|
If you didn’t like the original Himmatwala, don’t worry — I didn’t either. I gave up on it less than halfway in. Kitna boring hai!
But this version is definitely not boring. If you don’t like silly movies and heroic antics — aka Paresh Rawal and Ajay Devgn — or you are in fact one of the snobbish tight-asses I recently complained about, then you won’t like the bulk of it. But there are some plot tweaks and twists thrown in that even this queen of spotting the twists wasn’t expecting in such a film! (Hint hint: Ritesh Deshmukh’s appearance is short-lived but very important!)
But I think the crux of what makes this Himmatwala different from the first is that this Himmatwala is a slapstick comedy (hullo, Sajid Khan), and if you try to pretend it’s the original or take it seriously, you’re gonna have a bad time.
So, simple advice: Don’t take it too seriously.
There were some lagging moments, but for the most part, Himmatwala made me laugh from start to finish. There’s some mincing words, some putting crabs (ACTUAL CRABS) in people’s pajamas, asides directed right at the audience, a couple of visits from a tiger, the chicken dance (at a wedding!), some literal butt-kicking/bum pe laat (also at a wedding!), spoofing the infamous shower scene from Psycho…
Does Paresh Rawal’s squeaking voice get old? Yes. Are some of his lines flat? Yes. Does that negate the fact that he is hilarious and the master of comic timing and that he rocks that Dali-style mustache? Absolutely not.
Even the hero himself cracks some rib-tickling good lines when, of course, he’s not being overly serious and macho. If you’ve seen Singham or any of his movies since, you know Ajay Devgn is all about the ultra-dramatized hero role — and playing the titular himmatwala seems tailor-made for him. I’d say that this role is a lot more geared toward Ajay than the original was toward Jeetendra, though I can’t profess to be any great fan of Jeetendra anyway.
|Have some fun, ji!|
Less perfectly fit for the role is the heroine. Sure, she generates her own share of laughs, but I wish Tamannaah’s thighs hadn’t been on glaring display the whole time. C’mon, guys. They’re not that great. Really. And she’s fine enough that she didn’t bother me, but she’s certainly not the next Sridevi.
|Sadly could have done without|
Sonakshi, though I liked TGIF.
If you are expecting something groundbreaking and new, that Himmatwala is certainly not. If you are expecting something archetypal that will generate laughs with its ridiculousness, that it certainly is.
Oh, and wait, this movie is set in the 80s? Not just remaking the 80s? Could’ve fooled me, minus a few notso special references to the year.
Though its tagline of “the 80’s will be back” seems to ring true since a Chashme Baddoor remake comes out next week.