Hark back to taaki taaki and tap dance to tathaiyya as the (r)awful 80s are re-awakened from their garish grave and served re-heated; as old wine in an old bottle. Vintage? Not truly. Just as we thought Jeetendra’s white shoes and coloured wigs were laid to rest in filmi museums, Sajid Khan dips into his cookie jar of movies, masti and ‘naus-talgia’ for yet another peek into the petty-past. Got himmat? Read on:
After years, Ravi aka Himmatwala, a big-city street-fighter, (Ajay) moves back to his village that’s suffering the ruthless reign of Sher Singh (Mahesh). Singh terrifies the gaonwallahs by day, and sleeps with a sherni at night (a stuffed toy-tiger, before you Tiger Savers wake up). His bro-in-law Narayandas (Rawal, sporting a Goldilocks wig in grey) with a Kader Khan hangover (nicely done) is his partner-in-paap. While Himmatwala is on a revenge mission (maa kasam!), he falls in love with sher-ki-beti, Rekha, (Tamannah); who’s a chori with most guts and the sexiest ghaaghra-cholis. Well, there’s more melodrama: A weepy maa in white, a bechari behen (yes, she gets molested too); a gaon-ka-mandir (crucial to the climax. Hail 80s!) plus tons of dialogue-baazi (maa-ka-doodh, maa-behen ki kasam, et al). Lastly, Himmatwala also braves it with a Sher (thankfully not Singh, the real thing).
Ajay bends iron rods, fights tiger claws and takes the laws into his singham paws. Too much, huh? Well, that’s our Himmatwala – 100% filmi! With bone-crushing action, power-packed dialogues and perfected herogiri – Ajay stays true to the title and does well. In her Bollywood debut, Tamannah makes a decent impression. She’s superhot (her midriff demands a separate acting credit) and shows conviction, but later gets lost in transgression. Paresh Rawal entertains in parts, but often goes OTT. Thankfully, Mahesh Manjrekar’s acting doesn’t time travel and he evokes a few laughs.
In this remake, Sajid Khan’s passion for the 80s kitsch is entertaining to begin with, but gets suffocating after a point. While few scenes (grand and outlandish) win ceetees, the rest try too hard to get any reaction. He also attempts ‘Nazi’jokes, gay-gags and revisits Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho‘(we braved this too!).
This one might impress the wannabe Himmatwalas out there. But it’ll take more than himmat to go back to the gawdiest era of all. Rest, as they say, is history. Repeated!
Himmatwala returns to his gaon to avenge his baap’s death. Here he meets sher, sherni, maa, behen and other assorted creatures.