Pros: Screenplay, Subhash Ghai, Anil Kapoor, Nutan, Amrish Puri
Cons: Weak plot, Average music album
From time to time I tend to put in reviews for some of Hindi Golden Oldies. One of the stand out Hindi movies of 1980s was Meri Jung. The meaning of the title is My War and it is the story of a young man's struggle against a conniving lawyer.
Deepak Verma (Girish Karnad) is a honest cop who is framed on murder charges. Public prosecutor G.D. Thakral (Amrish Puri) plots against him and gets him a death sentence. Deepak's wife Aarti Verma (Nutan) is shocked by this and looses her mind.
Years later, their son Arun (Anil Kapoor) enters the scene. Arun is a qualified lawyer now and practices law and helps those who cannot afford a lawyer. All these years, he has maintained his thirst for revenge against G.D. Thakral alive and is looking for a chance.
The chance arrives in the form of the case of Dr. Dinesh Mathur (Pariksh-it Sahni). The case is referred to him by Dinesh's sister, Geeta (Meenakshi Sheshadri).
Does Arun get his revenge against G.D. Thakral? Does his mother's senses come back? Check out this Subhash Ghai offering for the details.
Subhash Ghai is one of the premier directors in India. His strength is amazing screenplay and on screen clashes and drama. Meri Jung is a prime example of the Subhash Ghai brand of cinema. The plot is a tried and tested theme of good guy - bad guy, but what really made this movie a big success in the 1980s was the fact that for the first time the audience was exposed to courtroom melodrama.
The dramatic standoff between a public prosecutor and a budding young lawyer really caught the public's imagination. And to deliver the performances for these two key roles, Subhash Ghai got the two people who would over the years become superstars in their own right.
Amrish Puri plays the public prosecutor G.D. Thakral. His booming voice and dialog delivery make him an ideal choice for the portrayal of the conniving lawyer who would do anything to succeed. For his dramatic performance, Amrish Puri won the Best Supporting Actor award that year.
Complimenting him was Anil Kapoor playing the young Arun. Before Meri Jung, Anil had already shown his credentials with strong performances semi comic, semi tragic roles in movies like Woh Saat Din and Saaheb. But, Meri Jung showed his full range of melodrama and showcased his versatility as an actor. Unfortunately, he was pipped to the Best Actor award by Kamal Hasan that year.
Another great performance in the movie came from Nutan who played Arun's mother. Playing the role of a widow who looses her mind after her bereavement, she excelled so much in her role that she won the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance. After this movie, she became the Mother of choice for all bollywood directors!!
The movie also saw first meaningful roles for two other stars, who sadly failed to make a mark in Bollywood but succeeded elsewhere. Khushboo who failed in Bollywood, but went on to become the top actress in Tamil Nadu made her debut in this movie. The other star was Javed Jaffrey, who plays the role of G.D. Thakral's son. Though Javed failed in Bollywood, he still is one of the best standup comedian in India.
All in all a great cast was assembled by Subhash Ghai and added to it his unique style of screenplay and melodrama made sure that the movie was a big hit.
Music of Meri Jung
No bollywood movie is complete without it's music album. If you have a great music album, your movie is already half way through to success. The music of Meri Jung was given by the duo of Laxmikanth Pyarelal and the lyrics were by Javed Akhtar.
Though the album was an average one, it gave two of the biggest hits of 1985. The two hits were:
1) Bol Baby Bol: The song was as much famous for it's youth appeal as much for Javed Jaffrey's excellent break dance on the song. For the first time on the silver screen of India break dance was seen.
2) Zindagi har kadam: The lyrics and the music of the song simply blew the audiences away and it straight away became one of the biggest hits of 1985. The song was sung by Lata along with Nitin Mukesh and Shabir Kumar.
All in all, a classic Subhash Ghai offering. The movie would set the ball rolling for the career of Anil Kapoor.
I would give this melodrama a 3 star rating.