* term courtesy of Aspi
Cute, right? You can tell from the get-go.
Just so you know which Haseena Maan Jayegi we're discussing, it's the 1968 one with Shashi in a dual role, Babita, and entirely too much Johny Walker (most of which is in isolated scenes and can be skipped easily).
but the movie cuts to intermission before we find out if the person being held is indeed Kamal, meaning that Rakesh is about to rape Archana on her wedding night. Yeah, I know. I los tmy patience right there. Without giving away the remaining arc, just know that identities continue to be mixed up, and many easy opportunities to identify whom Archana actually married are bypassed in favor of wild staring, tragic letters, and courtroom antics, all set against the extra-dramatic backdrop of a war with China.**
I should also say the plot kept moving along pretty well, even though what happens is stupid and unnecessary; I lost track of who was Rakesh and who was Kamal at one point (which is probably sort of embarrassing to admit, isn't it?) and was not sure how things were going to be tied up. But while Haseena Maan Jayegi could have been worse, I'm still not going let it off the hook because it squandered a lot of good potential.
Everyone I show these pictures to has said something along the lines of "He's oddly unattractive as a woman, given how pretty he is as a man." "Dilbar Dilbar Kehte Kehte" is the standout song for me; it's been stuck in my head for a week, and the Shashi vs. self dance-off accopmanied by Babita's confused, cheerful shimmying (see third and fourth pictures from the top) are the stuff that superwow is made of.
Update to post (June 26, 2008): I just saw a blog post about great filmi villains, and Shashi's evil Rakesh makes the cut!