Saturday, December 19, 2009

sleaze-o-rama: Janbaaz

If you want a thoroughly thought-out piece on Feroz Khan's indulgence-oozing-from-every-pore 1986 Janbaaz, I suggest you read Post-Punk Cinema Club's review that discusses it through a complex lens of modern Dionysian debauchery. Me, I hardly made it through the film. It's just so gross: blood, death, flame throwers, clunky innuendos,

threatened gang rape,

addiction, sense-scarring 80s club-rock numbers that fetishize both white and black people, complete sanctioning of "boys will be boys" to a murderous extent, and women who are killed off after having sex outside of marriage (men too, actually). Even the neglected good-brother police officer (Feroz Khan) seems to get a kick out of arresting his vile little brother (Anil Kapoor), maybe cloaking his vengeful thrill under the guise of "duty." Dimple Kapadia telling Anil he turns her into a woman and Rekha's Ferederick's of Hollywood number

(and it should be noted Feroz-bhai is nearly equal opportunity when it comes to display of flesh, so, um, thanks for that studded codpiece, FK) - complete with synthesizers, ululating, and a guy in a gorilla suit - are the least of my concerns.

"Ek To Kam Zindagani"
I'll put it this way: Janbaaz makes Yalgaar look good.

The red flags are many, so I'm going to pick one out as an example. After a literal roll in the hay (and an intercut scene of splashing drops of white liquid) (seriously), Dimple tells Anil she wants to get married. He hems and haws and then later flat-out refuses, denying any commitment. She starts off moping but quickly talks herself into a plan: "The same helpless Indian woman.... It's a woman's fate to put up with every atrocity of man. No...I'm going to change my destiny. I'm a woman of today! And I won't endure any atrocity of his! If Amar is toying with my heart, I can toy with his emotions. And better than him!" Modern Indian women don't simper - they manipulate other people in a game of jealousy! And when said game goes horribly wrong, thanks to Anil's violent temper and perma-drunking, both perpetrator and his corrupt father (Amrish Puri) blame her - because in addition to being female, she was an illegitimate child, dontcha know. "I knew her tainted blood would someday besmirch the fabric of our honor," wails the father who earlier patted his son on the back for playing Russian roulette, doing drugs, sleeping around, and getting arrested. And as big reconciliation looms, she herself even takes on the blame.



No, movie. No. The drunk spoiled boy who lives in a consequence-free world is responsible for his actions. She did stir up a situation (and entangle an innocent and sympathetic Dalip Tahil in the process), but its escalation is entirely his fault. Ugh. Like the world needs more of this.

Lurching among the disheartening lack of good ideas, consequence, and forethought are some distractingly sloppy bits. Generally speaking, this is the kind of film in which I welcome a break from the violence and assault on my sensitivities, but these were just bad. Witness: comic reliefs Jagdeep and Dinesh Hingoo, hilariousawful 80s fashions,

Arti Gupta, last seen on BLB in Purana Mandir!
the aforementioned gorilla suit, a horse made to drink tons of beer and wear a hat,

Please also note Anil's puff-shouldered jean jacket.
suuuuuubtle cheating at poker,

and a corpse who is killed when a rake impales his back parallel to his spine but curiously ends up with the rake perpendicular to his spine a scene later.

Not only can the rake kill, it can move! Look out!

It's such a mess. A violent, distasteful, punishing (to the viewer) mess. Avoid, yaar.
Sorry, FK. I'm beginning to think I should stay away from your films made after Qurbani, and sadly that only leaves me with Dharmatma left to see.

Aside 1: it's the neon orange square/mirrored disco background seen in Sawaal and Kalyug!


Aside 2: in this film, but not others, Puneet Issar reminded me so much of Greg "Mr. Willoughby" Wise!

9 comments:

SunnyBlueSky said...

it wasnt a great or even an average movie but its still remembered for its music...

Rum said...

NAHIIIEEEE!!! Beth tumne kya kiya/What did you do! I have my upset review at the masala pradesh, check it out, lol janbaaz almost makes yalgaar look good but I would rather a asshat anil than a dopey Vicky or even doped-up Sanju! But lol there are soo many members of the moustache club here that I've outlined in my review! Lol i loved how Raza Murad had to a sort of grapevine-side step move whenever he walked! This movie is hilarity on ACID!

memsaab said...

Oh it sounds totally vile. I'm both glad and sorry that I didn't watch it with you (glad for me, sorry I couldn't help distract from it)...

Have you seen Kabeela? Cause Todd liked it (pre-80s Feroz) and I have it, and would love to watch it with you.

Amrita said...

AHAHAHAH!!! So sorry it scarred your retina, Beth! But this movie is like crack to me. It's so terrible and yet it's so entertaining. It's a movie written and made while everybody was on an acid trip. So it has all the horrible things from the 80s just made even more fucked up.

Bad fashion - check and WORSE
Bad hair - check and WORSE
Rapey - check and WORSE
Synth crazed music - check and WORSE
"Modernity" - check and WORSE
this could go on forever.

Pitu said...

I have watched this one many many times, and I own the dvd :) Yes, I am sick :D

Beth said...

Sunny - Is it? I didn't enjoy the music at all.

Rum - I KNOW. I was so foolish! I wish I had remembered your post from so long ago! Gah. Awful. Agree re: Raza Murad's walk - SOOOO gimpy.

memsaab - AVOID YAAR AVOIIIIIIIID. :) I haven't seen Kabeela but will try to hunt it down.

Amrita - The movieeee, it hurtz my braaaaain! I was trying to explain to Memsaab what exactly was so awful about it and I had to come back to the story and dialogues (HORRIBLE INNUENDO ALERT! WHOOOOP WHOOOOP!) as the baseline. The trappings were trash, but the real rot is what was going on and why.

I do, however, like your checklist, and if Pitu Sultan goes ahead with her 80s cheese weekend in 2010 I shall need a much longer checklist to help me navigate its perils.

Also, "check and WORSE" is an excellent concept and I promise you will see it on this site again soon.

Pitu - Do you!!! The Shashizens are SHOCKED.

Pitu said...

Rgarding the 80s movie nite, Aspi has informed me there are 2 kinds of ppl- those who like Feroz Khan with hair & those who prefer him bald. Apparently he prefers the latter. And he gave me oh so subtle hints about watching 'Janasheen'. Hmm, let's see... Feroz and Fardeen Khan, Celina in a BIKINI... why is he recommending it? *snicker*

Beth said...

That's a very interesting theory! I don't think I've seen any Feroz bald - though I recall the look of course - but how can a person not like the Feroz of Qurbani?!?! Tell Aspi that 2000s cheese is NOT on the menu.

Pitu said...

Feroz in 'Janasheen' is bald, also in 'Welcome'. I think as long as there's SOME floozy in a bikini, Aspi'll be ok with it haha!