Released August 5, 1983. Written by Javed Akhtar and directed by Rahul Rawail. Starring Sunny Deol, Amrita Singh, Nirupa Roy, Shammi Kapoor, Prem Chopra, and Rajeev Anand.
After having lost her wealth and her husband, Sumrita Devi (Roy) moved out into the countryside with her son, Sunny (Deol). Together, they created a farm that provided their food, as well as their meager income. But Sumrita always missed the good friends they’d had before their time of hardship. Both mother and son especially missed Roma (Singh), daughter of family friend, Dinesh Singh Girji (Kapoor). Sunny and Roma were inseparable as children. Sunny, even at the age of eight, had declared he’d marry Roma one day.
Years later, fate brings Roma – now a very spoiled young woman – to Sunny’s small village. He recognizes her immediately and begins a game of ‘Taming of the Shrew’, while at the same time rekindling their childhood love. Roma’s father, however, wants no part of his rich daughter marrying below her status. Meanwhile, nefarious men close to Dinesh Singh Girji plot to usurp his wealth.
The story was very typical of Bollywood movies of that time. There was nothing new to be seen…especially for anyone watching the movie today, after having seen many other films with similar plots. However, what sells a formula movie is not the story, but the execution and the personalities. With Javed Akhtar as writer, this movie already had an advantage over the others! But this movie also had Sunny Deol. In fact, it was Sunny’s debut movie, and what an amazing entrance he made! With an easy confidence rarely seen in new actors, Sunny’s debut performance was exciting, sexy, and extremely competent. His comfort in front of the camera was no doubt due to having grown up in the business, thanks to his actor-legend father, Dharmendra.
What makes this film stand out is Sunny’s gentle and amusing handling of the love interest. He’s a bold scamp; keeping things well under control with a twinkle in his eye. His natural sensuality is also in abundance, especially during the snake bite scene! He was completely charming. And finally, Sunny’s trade-mark action skills hit the ground running in scenes that were obviously shot with no trickery. From his ride on a fiercely bucking horse, to his jumping fearlessly from very high places, to the obligatory fight scenes…Sunny was nothing short of astounding in this movie.
The settings were very pleasant, giving the film an American western feel. The directing was also top shelf, getting maximum effect from every choice. It also did well at the box office that year; coming in at number 8 on the year’s top ten list.
If you’re a Sunny Deol fan and haven’t seen this movie yet…do it. If you’re Bollywood-curious and want to see what one of its stars was like at the very beginning…see it. If you’ve been exposed to Bollywood all your life, like 80’s and 90’s films, but somehow missed this one, don’t miss it! There are several online options currently streaming this very delightful movie.
Availability for Indian films online changes regularly. Check for this movie on Netflix, Amazon Video, ErosNow.com, and einthusan.com. Sometimes, films can also be found on YouTube with English subtitles.
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