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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"There is nothing outside of the text" (Derrida, 1976).
Who is Ashok Tyagi? I think this a case like the Missouri Breaks - a film where the star (Brando or Dev) dominates the director (Arthur Penn or Ashok Tyagi(Dev?)) and leaves his sticky prints over every frame of the film. When the star is the legendary Dev Anand - the diabolical Derrida of the Hindi film - the film must have the characteristics of his masterworks - a deconstructionist take on plot, logic and acting and all other aspects of film making.
This film takes the viewer on an anachronistic journey to a simpler time - the 70's - when the Indian film was not burdened with plot, technique, or any other structure. Just throw in a couple of smugglers, some improbable heists and some bombastic dialog - and you have a jubilee hit.
More interestingly, it marks the first time that such a pantheon of bad actors from so many decades have graced the screen at the same time. Starting with a doddering Ashok Kumar representing the 40's and 50's, Dharamendra holding up the 60's, Prem Chopra standing up for the 70s, Jackie and the amazing Amrapurkar for the 80's, and a bevy of buxom belles - Shilpa & Anu Agarwal - for the 90's , this leaves Dev Anand to represent all these decades - as well as the new millennium - as his evergreen self.
In fact, the film is a tribute to the various films of these legends - a plot that spins off the original Jewel Thief, daring diamond heists from Dharam's Jugnu, a classic Dev car/hat song & seduction sequence with Anu a la Zeenat in Heera Panna. Other highlights that include inane dialog that harks back over the years, characters with names like "Jukaso" that come from "Chosta Rica" and suffer from "lymphosarcoma of the intestine", henchmen that wear clothes of the same color from head to toe, sudesh bhosle belting out songs in fake rd burman voices, dev nicknaming dharam with the strangely intimate moniker of "tuffy", prem chopra as a honest minister named "neelkanth", daring escapes from bathrooms without the use of helicopters, and more plot twists that continue to boggle my mind with each viewing...in particular, a final sequence involving a helicopter and a hand that is most likely the lost epilogue of Romero's 1978 Dawn of the Dead.
This is a film that must be viewed repeatedly by the discerning viewer to catch every nuance and its immense meaning. All in all - dashing Dev Anand does not disappoint his fans even as Tyagi gets the credit for the film. Please watch this film with all your friends and family and see it as often as possible. Shahkaal does so so why can't you? This is a brilliant ode to the past which places this film in Shahkaal's top ten films of all time. All in all - a great achievement and second only to "Elaan-e-Jung" in its ability to reverse all progress in Indian film by twenty years - harking back to the films of Shahkaal's disturbed childhood. All credit to Amrapurkar and Dev Anand who have the ability to leapfrog any film into Shahkaal's List just by their very presence. Having won the Phalke award, will Dev now stop making his bi-annual films? Please say it isn't so - Dev! If you have got this far in my review, you are a soul-mate so please see Shahkaal's reviews for various later stage Dev Anand and classic Ramsay brothers films. May such films continue to be made!
This movie is one of the only big time sequels made in Bollywood. Though something happened to the script in the end, but nonetheless it was basically entertaining.The plot revolves how the diamond merchant (Dev Anand)returns in this movie as a big time merchant whose only ambition in life is to bring the Kohinoor ( Diamond) to India for exhibition. Now how the diamond comes and gets stolen and who is the theif is what the ploot is about. The only misconception people had about this movie was that this was a Dev Anand's production, but in fact it was after nearly 15 years that he worked for a Production house outside rather than his own. The producer for this movie was T.P.Aggarwal.
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