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Pulpmovies Cult Film Reviews
Archived Posts from this Category
“Grease” meets “The Matrix” in this all singing, all dancing tale of terrorists in India.
The film starts with a TV discussion of Project Milaap – a peace initiative that starts with the release of a number of Pakistanis held for border infringements. Not everyone is happy about this idea, specifically a terrorist group led by a character going by the name of ‘Raghavan’ who are violently opposed to the idea of making any peaceful overtures across the border.
Raghavan’s group manage to infiltrate the studio and violence ensues. The day is saved by special ops hero Major Ram Sharma (Shahrukh Khan), but not before Brigadier Shekhar Sharma (Naseeruddin Shah) – Ram’s father – is fatally wounded and the daughter of General Bakshi (Kabir Bedi) – the man behind Project Milaap – is threatened.
Since he’s close to death, Shekhar Sharma decides that now would be a good time to inform Ram that he has a half brother – ten years his junior. He also makes Ram promise to find this half brother and his estranged wife so that his family can be reunited when Shekhar’s ashes are spread.
General Bakshi also has a mission for Ram: go undercover in his daughter’s school in order to ensure no harm comes to her before the Pakistani prisoners are released in ten days time.
By a happy coincidence, Ram’s half brother, Laxman (Zayed Khan), attends the same school as Bakshi’s daughter, Sanjana (Amrita Rao).
And now the comedy – which centres on Ram’s attempts to pass himself off as a mature student and fit in with his classmates - can start. But there’s more, much more.
The school staff provides a wealth of comic characters, from the forgetful and excitable principle (Boman Irani) to the Hindi teacher (Bindu) who doesn’t speak Hindi and the phlegmmy Physics teacher who’s ambition in life appears to be to see every student expelled.
And there is action aplenty.
In much the same way that Jackie Chan subverted the deadly serious martial arts of Bruce Lee and his imitators to come up with an over the top, excessively acrobatic style of kung fu that is both entertaining and very funny, director, Farah Khan, has taken the ‘Bullet Time’ effect from “The Matrix” and turned it into a very effective vehicle for slapstick comedy.
The film has fights, tensions, comedy and romance. And with the arrival of new Chemistry teacher, Chandni (Sushmita Sen), the romance and comedy combines in ways that are both hilarious and endearing. And the musical numbers between Ram and the jaw droppingly gorgeous Chadni really do set the screen alight.
In fact, both the soundtrack and the big song and dance scenes are consistently excellent. It’s the sheer diversity of the soundtrack – from uptempo dance numbers to nostalgic love songs – that keeps the film bouncing along for its three hour running time.
Khan started out as a choreographer and, in these sequences, her talents really do come to the fore, keeping things moving along entertainingly and quickly enough that you really don’t have time to question the sheer silliness of some of the scenes.
Credit should also go to songwriter Anu Malik, for coming up with a series of consistently catchy tunes.
It would probably be a mistake to try and read too much of a message into a film such as this, but it does present an interesting point about the skewed beliefs that motivate many terrorists and their inability to give up on violence regardless of how irrelevant it or their cause it has become.
And the final moments of the film really do pull together its themes of unity and reconciliation in a manner that is genuinely touching.
Overall, with it’s consistently entertaining mix of action, comedy, music and mayhem, “Main Hoon Na” really does have something for everyone. Enjoy.