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Aag Ka Toofaan (1993)

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Arjun / Dharam Singh
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Sudhir Dalvi ...
(as Sudheer Dalvi)
Farheen ...
(as Farheen Ravikishan)
Shabnam
Joginder Shelly ...
(as Joginder)
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18 September 1993 (India)  »

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2.35 : 1
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Acceptable B-actioner
9 January 2018 | by See all my reviews

Another entry from Kanti Shah's medium-competent early years, AAG KA TOOFAAN ("Firestorm") is a typically convoluted though acceptably entertaining B-action film, entertaining enough to fill an afternoon but not really much to write home about.

Down on his luck former A-lister Dharmendra stars as Arjun and Dharam Singh, twin brothers on opposite sides of the law (what's new?). Arjun is a police inspector (one of the few still uncorrupt on the force) while Dharam has become a dacoit, or bandit, for reasons he will explain at great length around 30 minutes into the film (long story short: his wife was killed by mobsters). As the movie begins, a corrupt local crime boss has used Dharam's attempted assassination of him as an opportunity to cover up for his own murder, knocking off his brother in hopes of gaining access to his inheritance. With his nephew Kishan (future Bhojpuri star Ravi Kishan in an early heartthrob role) returning home from school, the mobster hides his father's murder, blaming it on dacoit Dharam. Meanwhile, Kishan falls in love with beautiful country girl Radha, whose brother objects to their union (naturally), even as his uncle tries to marry him off to another beautiful bride.

Stuffed to the gills with plot (we haven't even gotten to the chaos that erupts once everyone's secrets come out), AAG KA TOOFAAN still isn't nearly as hard to follow as a lot of other B-grade Bollywood action flicks, though it still gets difficult to keep track of the ten or more characters' constantly shifting motivations from time to time. Beyond that, there's little that's terribly distinctive. Ravi Kishan has a hangdog handsomeness that's endearing, and proves himself capable of throwing punches with the best of them (it's easy to see why he went on to become a regional star). Most of the other male leads do serviceable if undistinguished work, though Dharmendra frequently looks tired (though not nearly as tired as he would by the late '90s, when his partnership with Shah finally imploded).

The females are solid overall and share a likeable chemistry, particularly when they come together - surprisingly - to start kicking butt in the finale. Nevertheless, aside from this brief girl-power digression (presaging Shah's wilder C-grade female dacoit film MUNNIBAI from several years hence), the only other notable moment comes early on, in a party scene where the mobsters cavort with a female dancer. Apparently having just discovered his zoom lens, Shah goes absolutely wild in this sequence, pulsing the image back and forth in time to the throbbing beat of the music as he cuts wildly between close-ups of the dancer's chest and various revelers banging their heads in awe. It's hyperkinetic to the point of inducing an epileptic fit, and by far the most surreal and distinctive thing to happen in the entire 137-minute runtime. It's a pity there weren't more moments like this, as in the end this early Shah effort winds up merely average save for these few moments of wild inspiration.


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