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Itihaas (1997)

3.6
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Ratings: 3.6/10 from 126 users  
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Wealthy, powerful, and influential Thakur Digvijay Singh and beautiful Naina are bethrothed and are to be married soon. But Naina has fallen in love with the son, Karan, of Thakur's ... See full summary »

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Title: Itihaas (1997)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Karan
...
Naina
...
Balwant
...
Thakur Digvijay Singh
Shakti Kapoor ...
Navlakhi / Dholu
Sapna Bedi ...
Anjali
...
Rukmani
Mohnish Bahl ...
Inspector Ujagar Pandey (as Mohnish Behl)
Neelima Azim ...
Naveli
Kanchan ...
Ganga
Brahmachari
Arun Bakshi ...
(as Aroon Bakshi)
Arun Khedwal
Gopal Poojari
Mukhtar Khan
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Storyline

Wealthy, powerful, and influential Thakur Digvijay Singh and beautiful Naina are bethrothed and are to be married soon. But Naina has fallen in love with the son, Karan, of Thakur's employee, Balwant. When Thakur finds out about this, he instructs his men to bring in Naina alive, and Karan dead. Karan and Naina run from this community all the way to Bombay. The Thakur announces a hefty reward, and soon bounty hunters are all over Bombay looking for the hapless couple. When Balwant hears about this, he too goes to Bombay, and does locate Karan and Naina. Karan is relieved to see his dad, but his relief soon turns to disbelief, as Balwant instructs him to let go of Naina, as he himself has come as an agent of the Thakur, not as his father. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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User Reviews

 
Evil repulsive Thakurs stealing lovely virgin village girls...
28 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spoilers...

ITIHAAS was released in 1997 the same year as KOYLA and there are striking similarities. In fact one has to ask ... was 1997 the year of evil repulsive Thakurs stealing lovely virgin village girls? Did this really happen - or maybe it still does? There is also a similarity in a cinematic style with lots of panoramic mountain location musical numbers - they must have acquired some new equipment, because the film quality in ITIHAAS is excellent. I could watch it just for the scenery

  • but this film is also fun.




I never was much of a fan of Twinkle Khanna until I saw this film. She's a doll and really wonderful here - perfect as the childlike & impulsive village girl Naina who is coveted by the evil Thakur and loved by Ajay's character Karan. Twinkle does some excellent high- energy dancing and while one is tempted to compare her with Madhuri, there is no reason to do so. Both of these ladies have their own personal charm and grace. There is one delightful rather grand number where Twinkle catches the lustful eye of the evil Thakur (Raj Babbar) - he is sort of kneading his thigh in response to her hot heaving- breast dance. How do that do that thing with their ... ?

Amrish Puri plays Ajay's Dad - just as he did in ThakShak and Phool Aur Kaante. As the completely devoted slave of the Thakur, Puri even kills for his master who he calls "Hookum!" You really have to imagine Puri's deep voice saying "Hookum!" throughout the film as if this is the final word, direct from God.

There is a weird line in the film where Hookum the Thakur says to his decadent Londonized sister (who has the lustful hots for Ajay) that "these people need to worship money and power and that as long as he is there to be worshiped, he will be their god." Not very democratic, but perhaps a chilling reflection of an older world of social hierarchies and caste systems.

Ajay is his adorable, boyish exuberant explosive self - teasing & taunting the village girls with a cobra and forcing them to dance for him. This is the young Ajay. He LOVES his Mother and she feeds him by hand: "Ma, your fingers taste better than the food!" Oh my! Another world...

Naturally the second half of ITIHAAS gets more and more violent. It's not quite as gruesome & bloody as Koyla - but there is one scene where the police (at the Thakur's bidding) have a real go at thrashing the strung-up love-struck Ajay. Once again Veera Devgan directs the action and I can't help but wonder if Ajay got hurt?

Except for Ajay getting beaten up, I thoroughly enjoy this film. It is not a great film, but certainly good fun entertainment. There are lots of nice songs - and no Johnny Lever! Uhm, however the comic role is taken by Shakti Kapoor. Twinkle is delightful and you get a glimpse of the early action-Ajay. How did Amrish Puri ever manage to sleep at night? I recommend ITIHAAS not just to Ajay fans, but also to those of you who enjoy these BW films from the 1990s - still relatively untouched by our western consumer values.


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