Saturday, May 26, 2007

Garv: A slightly kludgy tale

There are a large number of movies that get made on the topic of a policeman against the politician and his seniors, and a lot of them are made with an extreme amount of gore and blood. A lot of these movies strike a chord with audiences because there can be no better image that that of a honest policemen dedicated to his duty, honest to the bone, and able to thwart (or kill) the evil henchmen, politicians, criminals, etc.
Why suddenly get into all this ? A TV channel was showing a Salman Khan movie called Garv, and I am not ashamed to admit that if given a chance, I will watch it umpteen times on TV reruns. The story is not very different; 2 honest cops along with their colleagues, determined to fight it out with the underworld and anybody else getting in their path. Evil men are equally determined to have their way, and will move or bring in governments to ensure that their writ runs, and are determined to even threaten physical harm to the family members of the hero in order to quell them.
Then the tide starts turning; government is not supportive, one of the heroes (Arbaaz Khan) is killed in a battle, and evidence planted to show him as a Pakistani spy. This besmirches his reputation. At the same time, the sister of the hero is taken by the evil guys and she is exploited by all of them as a sort of punishment. Hero comes, kills everyone, but then refuses to tell anyone the reason for this mass killing (18 evil men) and is prosecuted. In the end, sister comes to trial, reveals the real reasons and hero is set free.
There are many so so moments in the movie, such as the way the policemen will typically beat up all evil people easily, about standing up to the might of a chief minister, and so on; but the movie has an appeal (of course, if you don't like Salman Khan, then you are going to hate the movie).
The part of the movie that was interesting was how they get a mandate to do encounter killings (as the Mumbai police did once some years back, and was incredibly successful at scaring the mafia, until it got stopped); and how they were able to explain this encounter policy to press people. Encounter killing is a double edged sword, it satisfies a large section of the population that does not see justice happening, but it can easily be used to kill innocents, as happened in Gujarat, where the wife had to be killed to hide the encounter details. And of course, you kill them all, so no issues about a trial, or witness recanting, and so on.
Another thing that I found interesting was the court room drama, as typically such movies end in an orgy of violence, while this movie ended somewhat tamely in the courtroom, although the flashback was full of gore and blood. Why do I like the movie ? It seems a very clean movie, with people being either good or bad :-) (no shades of grey), storyline being fairly simple and concentrating on the fight between the good guy (Salman & Arbaaz) and the evil guys. There is a heroine in the movie, but you actually don't notice her.

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