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Shahenshah (1988)

 |  Action  |  29 January 1988 (India)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 920 users  
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An underworld criminal name JK is involved in terrorism as well as criminal activities, he also intervene in government affairs and is a crook in the book. When an honest police inspector ... See full summary »

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, (story) (as Jaya Bachchan) , 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Vijay Kumar Srivastava / Shahenshah
...
Julie (Shalu's mother)
Rohini Hattangadi ...
Shanti (Vijay's mother)
Supriya Pathak ...
Shahida
Vijayendra Ghatge ...
Mohammed Salim (Guest Appearance)
Sudhir ...
J.K's man
Jagdeep ...
Tarachand Badlani
Avtar Gill ...
Corrupt Police Officer (as Avtaar Gill)
Bandini Mishra
Dan Dhanoa
...
Abdul
Yunus Parvez ...
Man shot dead at Salim's funeral (as Yunus Pervaiz)
Goga Kapoor ...
J.K's lawyer
Sameer Khakhar
Suresh Bhagwat ...
Shalu's friend
Edit

Storyline

An underworld criminal name JK is involved in terrorism as well as criminal activities, he also intervene in government affairs and is a crook in the book. When an honest police inspector Srivastav attempts to expose JK he is framed and evidences are tampered with so he is unable to prove his innocence, an as a result he commit suicide by hanging himself leaving his wife and son behind. Years later his son grows up an become a police inspector like his dad; inspector Vijay Kumar Srivastav; but is very much different from his dad by turning a blind eye to criminal activities, never serious with his job and accept huge sums of money to let off petty crooks. The talk of the town is a man in black clothing who calls himself "Shahenshah"; he operates as a Judge in the night, giving a verdict against his victims and killing them in a Executioner style. It looks like this man will get his hands on JK before the police does and might as well ruin the image of corrupt police inspector like ... Written by raj (krazymonster@ymail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action

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Release Date:

29 January 1988 (India)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whilst the movie was in production, director Tinnu Anand got a call from Kamal Hassan's wife Sarika from Madras, She asked if Tinnu would be interested in acting in The Love Chariot (1987), and told him Amrish Puri had promised them dates but had become very busy. They could not get actors from other south Indian languages and Kamal Hassan saw Tinnu's photograph somewhere and wanted him to play this key role. Tinnu was asked to come to Chennai the next day, just for a day's shooting. Tinnu initially told Kamal he was busy directing Shahenshah with Amitabh Bachchan and he couldn't accommodate at such short notice. Kamal pleaded him to re-consider his mind; So Tinnu went to Amitabh's door and told him what the situation was. Amitabh asked Tinnu if he wanted to act, Tinnu responded he doesn't mind because it is a silent film and it's an experimental film and they are desperate to have him. Amitabh told Tinnu to go Chennai to act, and shooting for Shahenshah could resume the day after he got back. See more »

Quotes

Shahenshah: I am greater than you, my name is Shahenshah.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bombay Talkies (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Hoga Thanedaar Tu
Music by Amar Biswas & Utpal Biswas
Lyrics by Anand Bakshi
Performed by Lata Mangeshkar & Kishore Kumar
See more »

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User Reviews

 
By the books actioner
16 March 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Sundays is quite often Amitabh Bachchan day for me these days. It's the only time in the week I can find 3 hours to sit down and watch a Bollywood movie, and my Indian star of choice is definitely Amitabh.

A righteous police officer is framed by the villains he is investigating, and in shame he hangs himself. His son grows up to be a policeman too, but rather unexpectedly he turns out to be something of a coward and a simpleton who takes bribes. At least - that's what he wants you to believe! For by night he adopts a different persona - the one man crime fighting machine, SHAHENSHAH! Endowed with unstoppable power (for reasons never explored) and quite the worst outfit in movie history, Shahenshah is judge, jury and executioner for the criminals the law can't touch.

Amitabh Bachchan gets to play something of a dual role again, reprising the betel-chewing simpleton character and the tough hero characters he's played plenty of times before. It's a good chance to show his range as an actor, but by 1987 there is no question that he was past his prime (and optimum weight) for the angry young man sort of role that made him popular (yet of course still not matured enough for the cool sophisticat Bachchan of today). SHAHENSHAH doesn't ask much of the veteran actor, and certainly can't be considered one of his best roles.

The plot for the movie is rather full of holes, but basically addresses a theme that I find to be exceedingly common in Indian cinema - the failure of the police and politicians to protect the citizens of the country. If Bollywood cinema is to be believed, corruption must be a significant problem, and there is a clear wish for a 'strong hero' that will fight on the side of the poor and the innocent. Preferably quite violently

SHAHENSHAH has a fairly stock villain character, played by Amrish Puri in what may be his 1,000,000th villain role - a role he could do in his sleep with his face. He gets up to the usual sorts of crimes - drugs, murder, bribery and trying to force poor people off their land. Oh, and he is the man responsible for dad's death, naturally. There's also a love interest, played both sassily and sexily by Meenakshi Sheshadri, who thankfully gets a lot more to do than just dance and look pretty in a good role. Mix in patriotic mothers, virginal sisters and noble reporters and you get an idea of what to expect.

There's not a lot of depth or subtlety to the plot, and I'm not sure quite how it gets stretched out to fill 185 minutes. There's quite a few lengthy songs of course, and quite a few action scenes of the "Amitabh waves a fist and 5 guys somersault away in slow motion" type, but few fresh or exceedingly interesting ideas.

The movie definitely looks stuck in the 80's, and unfortunately by the latter half of that decade Amitabh Bachchan's star was definitely fading. SHAHENSHAH is a far cry from such great movies as DON and SHOLAY. It manages to be moderately entertaining, as any movie containing such a basic mix of ingredients will be, but I can't imagine it getting a second watch any time.


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