Sunday, April 22, 2007

A pure masala movie: Meri Jung

This is another pure masala movie that I end up watching every time it appears on TV. It is a true entertainer, and yet somehow the way the movie was put together makes it seem like a pretty good movie.
The movie was made in 1985 by Subhash Ghai, starring Anil Kapoor, Meenakshi Seshadri, Nutan, Amrish Puri and Javed Jaffrey. It is a revenge drama within a revenge drama. There are some eminently hummable songs such as the title 'Zingadi har kadam' (sung throughout the movie) and the fast and peppy 'Bol baby bol' (had an incredible effect on the reputation of Javed Jaffrey as a dancer). Listen to the songs here.
The movie storyline is fairly simple. Anil Kapoor's father is prosecuted for a murder that he did not commit by Amrish Puri, and is hanged. Amrish Puri knew he was innocent, but let the hanging happen. When Anil's mother Nutan tried to plead with Amrish Puri, she is humiliated and loses her mind. Anil brings himself and his sister up through hardships and becomes a fire-brand lawyer.
He is one day approached by Meenakshi, whose sister, a doctor, has been accused of giving poison to a witness who subsequently dies. She has been framed, and seems like little chance of acquital. Anil is unwilling to take the case, but a chance statement by Meenakshi makes him take the case and at great personal risk, he wins her freedom. This impresses Meenakshi and her family tremendously.
At the same time, he is aware of the injustice done to his family by Amrish Puri and is thirsting for revenge. At one point, he comes into conflict with Amrish's son, Javed Jaffrey who wants to take revenge by seducing Anil's sister to his side. She falls for Javed, but at one point, Javed kills an older lover in front of her, and things move into high gear. By this time, Nutan has been found, but her memory is gone.
Anil takes the case of Javed Jaffrey's prosecution, and in many twists and turns, Javed is convicted and Amrish goes mad. A good ending for people needing a happy ending.

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