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Koyla
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Reviews & Ratings for
Koyla More at IMDbPro »

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21 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful warm movie

Author: 4everDi from Pennsylvania
14 January 1999

I was forced to see this movie by my college professor. I didn't like the idea of seeing a foreign file with english subtitles and thought it would be boring. I, along with my classmates, was completely wrong. The movie was wonderful. It was truly a heartbreaker and so non-American (if you know what I mean). It's a wonderful movie, see it if you have the chance-you won't regret it.

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19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

One of Shah Rukh Khan's best films

10/10
Author: springsunnywinter from United Kingdom
26 July 2007

I remember I saw this movie when it first came out in 1997 it was on TV and my eyes were locked on the screen during the opening credits with the fire all around and heart touching music. It was about 3 hours and I enjoyed every second. The film was so emotional and I loved the story about Raja a sadistic rich old man and has a dumb servant Shankar who gets treated like a dog. One day Raja seen a young village girl Gauri and sent her a photo of Shankar. Gauri liked him and agreed to marry but Raja was in his place during the so called marriage and now she is trapped in his mansion. Shankar felt really sorry for Gauri and after a really bad incident Shankar was provoked, he took Gauri & ran out and that is where the action starts with many unpredictable twists & turns. Koyla was inspired by many action movies including Rambo: First Blood & Hard Target but it doesn't mean that the film is bad. Directed by one of my most favourite directors Rakesh Roshan, his films always took Bollywood to a new level e.g. Koi Mil Gaya was the first Indian sci-fi & Krrish is the first superhero movie. Overall Koyla is a very unforgettable film, it is 10 years old & I still love it.

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17 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

YES! Bollywood insanity akin to cheesy U.S. 80's action films, but SUPERIOR!!!

Author: stevek69 from lakewood, CA
17 April 2003

"Bloody ape!!!", Rajasaheb (Amrish Puri) mutters.

Folks, Bollywood action films are NEVER merely action films--they are often a fabulously preposterous melding of action, romance, comedy, and musical genres INTO ONE FILM! In fact, many of the Bollywood films I've had the pleasure of seeing simply do NOT conform to any of the narrow genres that U.S. audiences are accustomed to. Sure, we have hybrids such as the "romantic-comedy" and "comedy-horror", and perhaps even "action-thriller-romance"...but we ain't got NOTHIN' equivalent to the glorious Bollywood-type films from south asia (India in particular).

One moment Koyla is a brutal action flick a la Bronson (gratuitous and graphic violence and carnage), the next moment Shah Rukh Khan is lip-syncing cheezy-yet-infectious pop music to the woman he loves (yes, my friends, musicals CAN kick butt), followed by Shah Rukh Khan's comedic thwarting of his persuers, only to be jolted back by the ruthlessness of Rajasaheb (an over-the-top-to-the-point-of-insanity performance by the veteran actor Amrish Puri, who played Mola Ram in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom").

Amrish Puri can certainly play a villain: but whereas the character of Mola Ram is a generic, arbitrary villain, the character of Rajasaheb is truly despicable because the audience witnesses the injustices he perpetrates. ("Give me a compelling reason to hate the bad guy and root for Indiana", I demanded. Spielberg fails to do so, and so i have always rooted for Mola Ram in "Temple of Doom". Similarly, I rallied behind the Decepticons and C.O.B.R.A. in my youth as a T.V. casualty. But honestly, what did you expect from a crapmaster like Spielberg?).

Ahh, Rajasaheb is a bad-guy you love to hate! Actually, "bad guy" is an understatement--he's a "loveable elderly sadist"--and I guarantee that you, too, will love to hate Rajasaheb! A convincing antagonist is a crucial ingredient for any action film because it drives the whole drama of the film. Unfortunately, few films successfully succeed in delivering a villain you love to hate. Koyla delivers.

Shah Rukh Khan is great as well and really hams up his performance playing Shanker. (I must, however, admit that i am a sucker for any film starring Shah Rukh Khan. I encourage you to see all his films--even the countless bollywood "romantic-comedies" that he is in--you will rarely be disappointed).

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN for one of the most ludicrous, ridiculous, & insanely POOR special effects occurring at the CLIMAX of this film. Without spoiling this cinematic delight, let me simply say that it involves an axe, slow-motion, etc... Even if we ignore the poorly executed FX, the heavy-handed use of slo-mo harkens back to the glory days of prime-cheeze-USA-action films circa 1980's.

SEE THIS FILM NOW. Even if you hate the film, you'll dig the musical sequences with the bangra-hindi-pop music. Yes, the actors are lip-syncing to other artists' songs--but you won't care.

Bonus trivia: "Koyla" means "coal", by the way. Now do you see the significance of the this film's title?

IF YOU LIKE KOYLA, but want more blood and less comedy, then I recommend Shakti: The Power (2002). Shah Rukh Khan has a minor part in it, providing the only levity in an otherwise brutal film (the spirit of Cannon's action films of the 80's lives on!!!)

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

MAN WHAT A MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author: (saifulc@yahoo.com) from Leicester, England
10 January 2002

Hey People,

I am not usually into Indian movies due to the fact that English is my first language and Bengali is my second. If I ever do watch Indian movies it would be when there are subtitles in them. However a close friend of mines sat down with me and literally translated the movie for me. And boy it was an experience. I was so engrossed in the film. It has its comedy moments and its dramas. I'd really suggest everybody to watch the movie. It may be ultra violent in places but I think the violence is justified as it makes ur more emotionally involved with the characters. Enjoy and e:mail me with what you think.

l8rz

saiful

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A "different" kind of Bollywood movie

7/10
Author: patobiero from United Kingdom
22 September 2006

At first, I hated this movie. Amrish Puri was so evil he scared me to bits, and Madhuri Dixit's character (Gauri) seemed to be a nitwit. I have always loved seeing Madhuri in intelligent, strong and charming parts (Dil, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Dil To Pagal Hai), so seeing her act like a 2-year old was annoying.

And then... Somewhere in the middle, the movie all started to "click", and I really started enjoying it. Shah Rukh Khan put in a fantastic performance which I absolutely loved. He was raw, yet charming; simple yet mysterious; and pulled off his role of deceived mute man who becomes 'enlightened' perfectly. A reviewer here said something about the fact that he could sing in the musical numbers but is supposed to be mute...but that reviewer obviously does not realise that songs are usually a suspension of reality in Bollywood movies. Characters usually can do anything and everything during a musical number! Besides, in most of the songs, it was a trick with Johnny Lever's character that 'enabled' Shah Rukh's character to sing.

Madhuri Dixit's character, Gauri, actually grew up and became much more likable. Madhuri ended up pulling off a fascinating portrayal of a young childish girl who is dragged into maturity by evil. Who wouldn't grow up, anyway, when faced with the terrors of Amrish Puri's "Rajasaheb"? And the relationship between Gauri and Shanker (SRK's character) is really sweet, complex and perfectly captured.

Rajasaheb, though terrifying, irritating, and very over-the-top, now strikes me as a fairly good characterisation. Like another reviewer said on here, a villain that we love to hate is hard to find. (see 'Dushman' starring Kajol, for Ashutosh Rana in a fantastic portrayal of another 'villain you love to hate' - much better than the one in 'Koyla', in my opinion).

I loved the other actors as well, the girl who played Rajasaheb's secretary was particularly good. Johnny Lever (though very silly as usual), the actor who played Lever's father, and Mohnish Behl (in a brief but strikingly tragic appearance)all put in well-rounded and credible performances. Very nice work.

The film is pretty violent and sometimes shocking (one particular attack actually made me physically jump), but I think it was a case of justifiable violence. The director, Rakesh Roshan, was trying to achieve a certain rawness, and he definitely succeeded. It does make you wonder, though, if he was going through some kind of "blood and gore phase" at that point in his film-making career.

All in all, 'Koyla' is very unusual for a Bollywood film, and that, in my opinion, is what makes it worth seeing.I started out hating it and finished it very happy. It is a satisfying and entertaining movie.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

excellent, Fantastic and Superb

9/10
Author: Liakot Ali from London
29 September 2008

Koyla is a great film directed by Rakesh Roshan a genius filmmaker. Rakesh has made Khudgarz, Kishan Kanhaiya, Karan Arjun, Krrish etc. Koyla is not better then any of those films mentioned but is a fabulous film. Shahrukh Khan is excellent in his role and gives a dynamic performance. Madhuri Dixit is wonderful in most of all her films and gives a good performance. Deepshika a unknown actress who stars in this movie as the prostitute is damn sexy. She is sexier then many other Bollywood actresses, i would love to get naughty with her. Amrish Puri is excellent as the villain lots of venom in his role. The guy that plays Amrish's son does a good job as the disturbed mental bad guy. The movie has many nice songs and overall is a out and out entertainer.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Could be better!

7/10
Author: the_birs from Belgium
20 March 2008

I've just been watching this movie after a long time of hesitation because I was afraid to regret it yet the result wasn't bad after all.

I liked the general idea of the movie, the actor's playing wasn't bad at all even if there was some non sense in it (like a dumb deaf person who's singing some songs). Any way it's maybe normal in Indian movies so I can't criticize it.

So I advice to watch this movie at least one time because you won't regret the great credible lovers couple Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit.

I give 7/10 and believe this movie could be better if they payed attention to some important details.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Something new, but utterly fantastic!!

9/10
Author: NasG12 from United Kingdom
4 July 2014

I watched this film when I was young and since then I must have watched this film 13 times. It is an very entertaining film and something new for a Bollywood film. Rajasaheb (amrish Puri)is one of the best villains in my opinion and deserves an Oscar for his portrayal as rajasaheb. Madhuri's performance as Gauri is fantastic as usual as she is my favourite actress and shahrukh khan as a mute Shankar gives another fine performance. It has a very good storyline and performance and the action scenes are very well executed. What stands out the most is the soundtrack, which will surely make you dance to the tunes. Rakesh Roshan did a fantastic job and hope in future he makes films similar to this one

Must watch movie, Hope you like it 9/10

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

it had potential.....

6/10
Author: kit-kat from durham, england
2 February 1999

I feel that this film, while it had potential, failed to live up to expectations. While the first was entertaining, containing romance, drama, and several good songs, the second half dragged considerably. I would warn potential viewers that this film is graphically, and often unnecessarily violent, especially against women. The performances.... Madhuri was good as ever, although she was not given nearly enough to do in the second half, seeming to fulfill a decorative function only. Amrish Puri plays a typical bolly villain with his usual booming voice. Shahrukh plays the cute, mute hero well, however his transition to angry, avenging young man seems too far fetched. on the whole, i would not rate this film as a wonderful or warm movie.

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Some very, very broad acting and poor music tends to undo much of the good about this film.

5/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
31 July 2016

I am no expert on Indian films, though compared to most other Americans I definitely am unusual because I have seen a couple hundred films from this country. In seeing these films, one thing I have noticed is that in many of the country's movies which were made up to about 2000 is that the musical numbers were often very poor-- with music and singing that is obviously canned*. This is NOT the case today...and the musical numbers are often fantastic in the films and the highlight of the pictures. But with "Koyla", it comes in near the end of this more primitive period...and the musical numbers are pretty awful. Add to that some terrible overacting by the comic relief in the film (such as the Doctor** and his idiot son) and you've already got a couple serious strikes against this movie from the onset. The director, Rakesh Roshan, clearly can be blamed for much of this.

The story finds Raja Saab (Amrish Puri) the Lord of the land. While on the surface he seems like a kind and just man, it's all an act. At heart, he's evil, cruel and a total jerk-face--as is his awful younger brother. Saab is a dirty old man who has eyed the lovely Gauri (Madhuri Dixit). But she refuses to consent to any marriage until she can see a photo of her fiancé. Since Raja Saab is old, he decides to substitute the photo of his handsome mute servant, Shanker (Shah Rukh Khan). Not surprisingly, when Gauri sees the dirty old man on their wedding day, she refuses to marry and Raja Saab's anger is unleashed and she's kept his prisoner. Rape and murder are among the infamous things Saab and his brother commit following this wedding rebuff. But since Shah Rukh Khan always seems to play the handsome hero, you will likely assume that by the end of the picture all will be well and justice will be restored...or will it? After all, once Saab's wrath in unleashed on poor Shanker, he might not live long enough to do anything heroic.

The shame of all this is that the plot is quite good and there is a good film hidden underneath the occasional overacting, lapses in writing and mediocre canned singing. I cannot see giving this one anything better than a 5 because of these defects...and this is a bit generous. While I usually hate remakes, this one could stand a remake. Put Shah Rukh Khan in it again...and get rid of the awful comic relief!!!

*The first musical number is the strangest. The song is sung by Gauri and a bunch of children and it's all about the cannabis they've just eaten!

**The Doctor behaves almost exactly like Le Fou in "Beauty and the Beast". However, "Beauty and the Beast" is a cartoon that is mostly for kids...so why does the Doctor behave almost like a cartoon?! Yes, the acting is that broad and that bad with him and a few of the comic relief characters.

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