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Aug 17, 2002 10:32 AM 11221 Views
(Updated Aug 17, 2002 10:39 AM)





The film made a star, a phenomena which is still rocking the Hindi Film Industry. Shah Rukh Khan, was in more than one ways a symbol of the new wave in Bollywood which is completely at odds with traditional way the Bollywood has worked. But if you dig deep it can be found that it is only a reinvention of the past, a beautiful decorated exterior for essentially the same interior; just like a bride choosing to wear an enessemble outfit in a wedding when the wedding is all the same.

BAAZIGAR released on 12th November 1993. It was the second movie from the production house of Venus and satellite television had just celebrated a first anniversary in India. BAAZIGAR was the first movie to take advantage of the satellite television for promos airing almost every 5 minutes. That ensured that audiences flock to see the movie. And the novel story line ensured they end up in complete awe of the movie. The movie is about a wronged man avenging the same. It could be the same average Hindi masala fare but it was more than that. The guy dropped all pretensions of being good and kills as easily as Amrish Puri would have. However, he is not still bad enough and worse, is still confusing enough. When the sister of the girl he kills (whom incidently he is to marry) decides to investigate her murder, he carefully goes about killing those people who could give her a clue and spares her. Why? The drama that reaches a crescendo in interval is upped a level in post interval scenes but the Kajol-SRK track almost derails it completely. Finally the girl discovers the truth and SRK dies. After all it is Hindi movie and u cant show an anti-climax, can you? And I could not understand why should a girl whose sister was murdered by this fellow cry when he is dying? What was she crying for? Her sister dying, him dying or her father being so bad or was it a collective crying parody? Anyway, u can allow a little allowance after all it is Hindi movie, it can never be completely logical.

The performances are all raw and fresh. Kajol is wonderful as a sensitive girl but displays some unpolished edges which r less visible in future movies. And she could have done with a little bit of better make up. Shilpa Shetty gave a decent performance in first film and that was probably the last time she ever gave a performance. Rakhi continues her Ma role again and Dilip Tahil is accustomed to these roles. Now comes the SRK question. Ofcourse, it is a good performance but it still has some serious rough edges to take care of especially in the blatant candor that marks some of the romantic and emotional scenes. He portrays the evil well and does make you fell afraid at some points. He even shakes a leg or two well in Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhien...........The music is a rage. However, I wish they could have got a better cinematographer and a much better background score. The use of camera is jarring at places (Shilpa Shetty is photographed as if she is 30 years old when she was only 17 at the time. The song are picturized in an oft-repeated fashion as well.)

The movie stunned you if u watched in 1993 and would probably stun you even now. The directors Abbas Mastan pride themselves on making slick pacy thrillers. This one was decent in pace (save the SRK-Kajol track) but could do with a little slickness. Perhaps it was the rawness that gave it its universal appeal. Overall a must see for an insight into what made the phenomena SRK - unpredictable (atleast till a few years after this), SRK-Kajol combo, casual spontaneous performance, good music, quotable quotes (haar kar jeetne wale ko baazigar kehte hain) and fancy clothes and cars. Above all it was a movie which divided the audience, some liked it others were hurt and still others dismissed it as rubbish. Much the same story went for future SRK movies save DDLJ.

P.S. - SRK won his first and extremely controversial Best Actor Award for this film. It is only first time in history of filmfare when the jury over ruled the popular mandate (Sanjay Dutt for Khalnayak) to give the award to SRK. As always all his future awards (DDLJ, DTPH, KKHH and Mohabattein for which he did not win) were controversial.

Rating - 3.5/5

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