Karan Arjun (1995)

April 21, 2009 at 2:48 am Leave a comment

Directed by: Rakesh Roshan
Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri, Mamta Kulkarni, Raakhee, Ranjeet.

I know a trend for SRK movies is becoming obvious in my reviews, but what can I say? I’m a huge fan of Shahrukh Khan, and am always anxious to see any movies with him in them. Anyway, if you want to really enjoy this movie…I would advise fast-forwarding all action scenes, aside from the murder bit in the beginning. The fighting in this film is long, drawn-out, and really brings the quality of the movie down. The music is great though, and the dancing (though I may have a few snide remarks later as far as artistic choices go…)

Karan (Salman Khan) and Arjun (Shahrukh Khan) are two hard-working young men who slave away six days a week in a quarry. They convince their boss to let them have their entire pay for that day’s work in exchange for the entire pay for the following day. Their boss agrees, because he’s an idiot, and doesn’t realize that the next day is Sunday…and they don’t work Sunday. Before he can take back their cash, they disappear.

Karan and Arjun run to the village where they purchase various beautiful bangles. They then race each other back home to give the bangles to their mother. They arrive there at the same time, and she admonishes them for competing against each other. Her name is Durga (Raakhee) and she loves her sons dearly…but when they present their gifts to her, she’s not too happy. Refusing to put them on, she upsets her sons.

 

 

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Their father disappeared years ago, when Karan and Arjun were just babies. It was always assumed that he’d left them. From then, Durga never wore bangles to signify her marital status. Both of the boys are upset that she refuses to wear them, so they decide to take the bangles back…Durga snatches them and decides she’ll give them to her son’s wives some day. Cue a sweet song about familial love and relationships. In the process of the song, as a side note…you find out that Arjun is quite good with the slingshot.

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That night, a man comes to their house begging for Durga and her sons to come with him. The landlord has summoned them to the mansion. Durga is upset by this, asking why he should want to see her now…having turned his back on their family for so many years. The servant explains that this is his dying wish, to see his daughter-in-law. This means that he’s Karan and Arjun’s grandfather, by the way. Durga is afraid to go there, when the evil Durjan Singh lives under the same roof (Amrish Puri). The servant explains that the next day is a festival for Kali, and Durjan’s entire family will be gone at that time. When the servant leaves, Durga confesses to her son that Durjan Singh, the landlord’s nephew, had convinced him that Durga was a horrible woman, so the landlord cast both her and his son out of his mansion. Eventually, Durjan Singh murdered Durga‘s husband, and she saw it happen. In order to protect her children, she kept silent all these years. This is also why she refused to wear the bangles they bought for her.

The next day, they go to the landlord’s house…and he apologizes for the sins he has committed. He realizes what a truly evil man Durjan Singh is, and decides to leave everything to his grandchildren and daughter-in-law. Just as he hands over his papers, Durjan Singh shows up…and he’s not happy. Durga promises that they’ll let Durjan have everything if he lets them go…so they run off. But Durjan realizes that at some point Karan and Arjun might decide to avenge themselves on him, so he sends his brother-in-laws to deal with them. But of course, before they murder the boys…Durjan deals with the landlord.

Beware the hand of death...

Beware the hand of death...Yeah, we get it...you're dying.

Poor Karan, poor Arjun, poor Durga…a gang of Durjan’s men are after them…and all they can do is try their best to defend themselves. Arjun and Karan die trying to defend their mother…Karan cries out to his brother “Pag, Arjun! Pag!” (Run Arjun, run.) Arjun ignores this plea and tries to save his brother…they both die in the process…

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Durga escapes to the temple, where she prays to Kali to bring her children back to her. She bangs her head on a stone and mourns. Kali hears her prayers, and both sons are re-born to different families.

Karan is born as Ajay to an alcoholic father, while his mother died in the process of giving birth to him. He grows up fighting and struggling to feed himself. Arjun is reborn as Vijay, to a nice couple who work at a stable. He’s good with the slingshot (hmmmm) and is a hard-worker. Vijay’s life is pretty much great compared to Ajay’s.

While Ajay and Vijay grew up, Durga went a little crazy…keeping a photograph of her sons close by her side for several years…practically living at the temple…and believing without a doubt that her sons had been reborn and would return to her. One day, in the temple…Durjan Singh and his brother-in-laws show up and make fun of Durga, tossing garlands at her to put on her son’s graves. She vows that some day she will place the garlands on their necks.

Ajay has grown up to be a fighter, earning money for matches. Whenever the going gets rough, he gets flashbacks to his death in his past life, and wins the battle. His childhood friend Bindiya (Mamta Kulkarni) is desperately in love with him, though she’s a bit of a tomboy. Vijay has grown up to be a great shot (with the slingshot, that is) a great horse-rider, and a charming young man with a particular girl in his sight, Soniya (Kajol), the daughter of a rich criminal. Vijay’s friend, Linghaiyya (Johny Lever) cheers for him on the sidelines. Say what you will about Johny Lever, he may be an over-actor…but he’s really funny sometimes. This wasn’t one of his funniest roles, however…

Soniya’s father, Mr. Saxenna (Ranjeet), is looking for some muscle…while talking with a man over a picture of none other than Ajay himself, Soniya appears out of the blue. They talk, she confuses him, and she rushes away. After Soniya exits, Saxenna gets a call from Durjan Singh. Apparently one of Saxenna’s clients has been stealing Durjan’s goods. Since they’re good friends, and Saxenna has decided to get his daughter hitched to Durjan’s son…it would probably be a good ideal to deal with this little problem.

Ajay’s father needs an operation or he’ll die…so Ajay agrees to throw his next fight if he gets the money to pay for his father’s surgery. Ajay tries desperately to lose, but his flashbacks to his past life end up forcing him to win anyway. When Ajay thinks all is lost, Saxenna shows up with just the right amount of money Ajay needs…Ajay doesn’t ask questions, he just rushes to the hospital…but his father is already dead, so he pays for a funeral, and gives the rest of the money back to Saxenna. Ajay is then hired to help Saxenna deal with various problems (involving fighting, of course.) They go to the airport to pick up Durjan’s son…wherein you meet him, and realize this guy doesn’t have a varied vocabulary. Seriously…every five seconds he has a compulsion to yell ‘WHAT A JOKE!’ Even when it doesn’t make sense. For example: I don’t know who you are. What a joke. Let’s eat cake. What a joke. Do you know where I left my car keys? What a joke…okay, they don’t say any of this, but I’m pretty sure that would be his response if they did…

And Soniya rushes off to go meet Vijay, where they dance and romance together. This is just about the weirdest number in the movie. The example is as follows…Soniya is crawling down Vijay’s chest…

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Soniya puts his foot on her stomach…wait, what?! That doesn’t even make sense! Is she trying to seduce him by confusing him?! Why didn’t the music just cut off then and there?! Anyway, I guess somehow they think it’s a romantic gesture and finish their song together…bah. It’s a good song, despite…that…really weird bit. On another note, does anyone know what the heck this billboard is advertising? I found my eyes drawn to it every time it was in the background…

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Ajay does pretty well in his job, fighting and whatnot. He becomes Saxena’s right-hand man. And now that he’s making money, well…Bindiya just has to remark. She also flirts, and he says he would pretty much never like a girl who is a boy. This hurts her feelings, so she gets decked out and chases him across the fields and country dancing all the while. This chick REALLY has a lot of energy. I mean, they must go on like this for five miles or so…Another note, Mumta Kalkarni was really a very beautiful young girl and a fantastic dancer. Too bad she was purportedly difficult to work with, etc. etc.

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vlcsnap-142709Back to the story: You know what they say…if a girl keeps bothering him, her dream boy is sure to eventually succumb. No wait…they don’t say that, but it’s how Bollywood romances work anyway.

Soniya’s father finds out about her little affair with Vijay. He’s not to happy, and in fact…decides to burn down the stable. Vijay angrily storms into a party held to announce Soniya’s unwilling engagement to Singh JR. AKA Mr.What-A-Joke. Saxenna tells Ajay to deal with him, and they begin to fight…but an animated flash of lightning stops them, and Ajay yells at Vijay “PAG ARJUN! PAG!” Sound familiar? Well, Vijay takes his advice…startled…and Ajay gets arrested.

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The fact that Ajay called Vijay Arjun really bugs him, and he has to go to the jail to ask him about it. Well, Ajay has no idea why he yelled this. Afterwards, Soniya is dragged away to the village where Durjan Singh and family reside…she’ll get married to his son, or she’ll die. Vijay follows, and ends up…through a series of flashbacks, and meeting several people who recognize his face…he remembers who he is. And he realized that there is more than just the matter of Soniya to be settled with Durjan. But first, he has to bring his brother back and get Ajay to remember who he is as well…What will happen next? It’s up to you to find out (Note: following are a few really wonderful songs, and I mean truly awesome dance numbers without confusing foot-to-chest maneuvers or abstract billboards…but also, comes the fighting…which…as I’ve mentioned…is just terrible.)

Final rating: 6/10 Bindis. I still loved the movie, but the mind-numbingly dull action scenes combined with film grain quality sadly brought down the grade considerably.

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Entry filed under: 5 and more Bindis, Film Reviews, Hindi, Languages. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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