Toofaan ab karegaa roshni ka faislaa,
Diyaa woh jalegaa jis mein dam ho.
Only Amitabh could say these lines with the charisma with which he does.
Rajkumar Santoshi directs this fast paced thriller with his usual touch of comedy and songs. His intention was to bring together all actors with names starting from the latter 'A'. However, Akshaye Khanna turned down the role which eventually went to Tushar Kapoor.
The movie caught my attention when I first saw the poster at New Excelsior theatre in South Bombay. During those days Amitabh was sporting a french beard and it was a refreshing change to see him in this avatar. Check out the similarities with the Deewar poster... signifying the arrival of a Big B movie. (wasn't Amitabh supposed to be in blue shirt, instead of red?)
The film revolves around a group of 5 police officers assigned with the task of moving a suspected terrorist, Dr Iqbal Ansari (Atul Kulkarni) from the jail to the court. The story unfolds to reveal the darker motives of the politician and the corrupt police in falsely implicating Dr Ansari.
Amitabh stands out tall as the leader of the police group, DCP Anand Srivastav. Ajay Devgan as Angre puts in a villainous performance (perhaps bettering the one in 'Deewangi'). Aishwarya Rai's work as Mahalaxmi in the movie is not just restricted to songs-dance or being the glam quotient. Akshay Kumar provides the comedy relief with his role of the corrupt cop who is moved by Amitabh's speech towards the middle of the movie. Tushar Kapoor plays the role of a newly joined officer who aces at shooting.
The film gets its repeat value from scenes where
- Angre makes the hawaldaars slap their DCP (Amitabh) and says 'tumne mujhe maaraa toh chamdi pe lagaa, maine maaraa toh yahaan (pointing to the DCP's heart) lagaa. isko bolte hai badlaa; jimein maar khaane waalaa bhi roye aur maarne waalaa bhi.'
- Tushar Kapoor breaks out the sad news of hawaaldaar Sawant to Ahswini Khalsekar (Mrs Sawant).
- Tanuja (Dr Ansari's mother) slaps Amitabh on learning that her son was killed. I do not remember any other movie where Amitabh has been slapped these many times.
- Akshay Kumar throws the total filmi dialogue when he is going to be killed 'kisiko bataana mat ki mujhe kaise maaraa gaya nahi toh duniya ka pyaar aur mohobbat se bharosa uth jaayega'
Ram Sampath (of Peepli Live fame) provided a decent soundtrack. I especially like the haunting melody of 'Mere maula' and the catchy rendition of 'Uparwaale' by the trio of Sonu, Kunal and Sukhwinder.