Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hindi Movie: The Burning Train

This movie was a stunner when it first arrived on the scene (1980). The effects were nice, and the story was not too familiar, so seemed fairly novel, or rather let me clarify, the storyline of the characters (mini-plots) were familiar, but not the main story.
The Burning Train was a mega multi-starrer with an large cast of characters, starring such people as Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Vinod Mehra, Jeetendra, Danny, Hema Malini, Parveen Babi, Neetu Singh, and others. Produced by B. R. Chopra, it was one of those films that are eminently watchable now, but for some reasons, was a flop at the time of release. I typically will watch most of the movie anytime it comes on one of the TV channels.
Story is simple. The design made by Vinod Khanna, an employee of the Indian Railways, wins the competition for a super-fast train between Delhi and Bombay. Danny had also tried for the competition, and when his design fails, he is extremely disgruntled, to the extent that he is ready to sabotage the train. There is a bit of preamble showing the life story of Vinod Khanna and his workaholic life causing the breakdown of his marriage to Parveen Babi. Similarly, the splitting of relations between Dharmendra and Hema Malini is also shown. Anyhow, the train starts, and soon, the bomb placed by Danny kills people in the engine room, and then a fire starts on board. Soon, the train is burning, and hence the title of the movie.
There are spirited efforts by people on board to stop the fire, and the camadrie between people irrespective of religion at the time of despair is also show in certain incidents. Various attempts to stop the train are failures, and finally in the end, the engine is delinked with the other bogies, and led up an uphill track to stop them.
The scenes about building an uphill track in one day, and their efforts to stop a runaway train seem unbelievable. How can a train keep on running without people being able to stop it, even if sabotage has been done?
The music of this film is pretty great, especially the sentimental song 'teri hain zameen'. Hear more of the music at this location.

The Burning Train

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