Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Khoon Pasina

Rakesh Kumar, director of Do aur Do Paanch
K. K. Shukla, writer/scenario-creator of Mard, Suhaag, Amar Akbar Anthony, and Parvarish
Kader Khan, dialogues of Parvarish, Dharam Veer, Muqaddar ka Sikandar, and zillions of others
Prakash Mehra, director or producer of things like Zanjeer and Namak Halaal
Amitabh as avenger and deadpan comic
Vinod in a leather suit with leopard-fur collar and cuffs
Nirupa Roy as Maa
Rekha in full-on feistiness
Aruna Irani and Asrani in serious roles
Kader Khan as the supreme bad guy
Ranjeet refusing to button his shirt
+ Moti the wonder horse

a whole lotta nothin'

How all these wonderful ingredients turned into such a lackluster film, I do not know. This was even more disappointing than Ram Balram; while the latter is decidedly a worse film, Khoon Pasina had many more fine ingredients, and thus the letdown was greater and more tragicaly wasteful. Look what it had going for it!

Childhood friends of different faiths
get separated by violence instigated by an evil bad guy (Zaalim Singh, played by Kader Khan).

This is just the first of many, many bad wigs in this film. Please also note the jaunty fringed sleeves.
After Zaalim's first attempt at bullying is defeated when villagers stop being bystanders and come to the aid of the victims, he flat-out says he's going to destroy them and their civilized unity and tolerance. Look out, o nation of India!

Oh how I love drawings and animations in title sequences. Hand-drawn communal awesomeness! In the colors of the flag!

One of the little friends grows up to be Shera, a lone, feared avenger (Vinod in a strange wig).

Here looking a bit like Brando and later on like Amjad Khan.
Why Vinod seems to have aged far faster than Amitabh is not really explained, though perhaps separation from Maa is implied to have a graying effect?


The other one, Shiva/a.k.a. "Tiger," has also grown up to be a righter of wrongs (Amitabh), but he's got Maa

and a deliciously sassy, brave, and assertive girlfriend, Chanda (Rekha, in what is my new favorite performance of hers).


Zaalim Singh has risen to be Thakur, and he and his offspring harass the locals and exploit the workers. That is, he's a force of greed and anti-community. In a genuinely interesting side plot, his daughter Shanti (Aruna Irani) has tried to move past her family's legacy of evil by marrying good guy Mohan (Asrani).

These two just can't catch a break, and there is sad tension between them as she wishes her upstanding husband could be as effective against thugs as her lawless brothers and father.

I forget exactly how Ranjeet fits into all of this, but he's around and he's murderously baaaaad in a variety of ways. Here's something for the three members of the Ranjeet International Fan Club.


Funky costumes!



Somebody on the wardrobe team really likes fur accents and leather. I'm torn between the pastel brocade vest (worn while doing henchman-y things, of course) and Vinod's leather suit with leopard trim.
They also gave Aruna a unibrow for no explained reason.

Maybe for women, tragedy makes your hair grow instead of turn white?

Good Kalyanji-Anandji songs! "Khoon Pasine Ki Jo Milegi To Khayenge" has a wonderful boogie through sacks of grain (at 2:53 in the link),

and "Bani Rahe Jodi" is hilariously silly along the lines of "Khaike Paan Banaraswala." In it, Tiger has just dishoomed some bad guys before a wedding and demands that they clean up, get the food ready, and provide musical entertainment. Dekho!


Amitabh is so funny in this movie. If the rest of it were better, I'd recommend it just for his comedy sequences. He even gets a little bit o' romance too, stealing Shashi's Sharmeelee/Kabhi Kabhie wedding night moves.


Maybe the problems with this film started when the filmmakers tried to make Vinod look blond/gray and refused him any songs or a love interest!

This is also a good subtitle, is it not?
The reunion of the two friends is very late in the film, so Vinitabh time is brief and used up entirely on dishooming

Maybe Shera prefers to film the fight rather than participate in it.
- that is, no humor, no buddy song. Boooo! Vinod's screen time overall is scarce, though he does flail around in quicksand with a scary snake

You will never guess whose prayers save him from this!
and demonstrate his boxing skills shirtless.

Khoon Pasina
almost feels as though a novice tried to make this movie following a textbook on how to construct a masala script.



It has long-lost family members, outrageous wigs (though not actual disguises), solid comedy, a helpful ani-pal, lots of vengeance, ironic punishment, and individuals posing dangerous threats to community. Sadly, somebody skipped the internship that supplies the hands-on, hearts-on experience needed to truly understand masala.* That doesn't seem possible, given who was involved, but the film just does not come together. Khoon Pasina's over-reliance on "it's in the script" shortchanges real emotion and connection. If you're really desperate for masala ingredients - and it's a yummy-sounding recipe, isn't it? - you could probably try to look past the movie's utter lack of overall effect and just revel in the great components because you know how everything is supposed to work and can mentally fill in the momentum and motivation that the writers didn't bother to provide. Though with a very abrupt and unsatisfying ending and, worse, no real emotional draw into the story, you won't get much for your efforts.

* If they had attended that internship, they would have known better than to give Helen only a fourth of a song!

11 comments:

bollywooddeewana said...

I might just watch it for the fashion (leather and leopard skin, thats one hell of a combo) and songs as i've long been curious about this movie

Banno said...

People with unibrows are said to be hot-tempered. Maybe that is why Aruna Irani's character was given one. :)

Was just watching bits of this yesterday.

I think the major reason I never liked this film is Vinod Khanna is so sad and doomed throughout the film. It's too intense for a masala film.

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

I know I have seen this, but for once, I do not remember the plot at all! I do remember the pleather and wigs though... which seems the most one can get out of this.

Beth said...

I forgot to note that there is a rip-off of the famous Spartacus scene where everybody starts standing up to claim they are the person being sought by the bad guys. "Main hoon Shera!" "Main hoon Shera!" etc.

avdi said...

I liked this one for Rekha .. she was fab here.

Rum said...

Heehee, I don't know why but this finds itself at top spot in the Unintention Masala State in the big and wide-ranging kingdom of Masala Pradesh. I HOOTED with laughter in the Spartacus part, and joined in with "MAIN HOON TIGER!!" the unexplained wigs, unibrows(completely off-putting and awfully drawn!!) and poor Vinod's cheese filled dialogues at the end! It ammounted something like Ram Balram but with a bit of pizazz and masala dil!

Amey said...

Do you mean the brocade vest on red-capped fellow with Vinod? It might be khadi vest.

memsaabstory said...

I must see this. Must. For Ranjeet and the outfits alone. *Ranjeet*

Temple said...

Beth - I am sorry you didn't enjoy this more. I loved the Amitabh and Rekha characters, the silliness of the humour, the extreme wardrobe choices, some o the songs and the attempt at some social justice themes topped off with tigers and a wonder horse.

Memsaab - keep an eye on Vinod's morphing trousers when he is riding said wonder horse. I think maybe pleather wasn't ideal for bareback riding ishtyle (kind of picturing horse accelerating and VK sliding off the back in approved cartoon fashion). The wig budget for this movie (if they were also responsible for care and maintenance of the Monobrow) must have been HUGE.

Sanket Vyas said...

This movie is one of those that can rock in a group setting IF you fast forward to just the Amitabh and Rekha parts. Favorite scene aka great party game? When Amitabh wrestles the tiger early on in the film - see how many times you can spot him wrestling a stuffed tiger instead. Then the song Rekha sings to him is just a classic.

asrani_fan said...

Great post, screen captures, and thoughts from all.

A few comments:
- it's both Vinod and Amitabh ('Tiger') who wear animal-fur collars at some point
- the tiger-wrestling reminded me of SRK's supposedly "Tamil star" in Om Shanti Om (2007)
- I can't believe no one mentioned Amitabh's incredible pale sherbet pants + matching scooped vest during the "you can't touch me" fight the baddies in the glen. Too bad the wardrobe budget for color was exhausted before they got to Asrani: all he got is a checked shirt and stipped pjs.