|Even when costumed insanely.|
|Head-to-toe peach is not acceptable on anyone, not even Shashi Kapoor.|
|Not that there's anything wrong with that|
While Shashi's performance was passable, it didn't quite convince me. Maybe I'm just so accustomed to seeing him as law-abiding that I couldn't imagine him dallying with vigilantism. Phaansi is one of the dozen films he had release in 1978, and he does not bring his A-game to this one, apparently having saved that for Trishul, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, and Amar Shakti. He's better in the first two songs ("Jab Aati Hogi Yaag Meri" and "Bachchiyan Jawan Te Boodhiyan")—bring on the puppet moves!—which both also feature flirting with Sulakshana than he is snarling lines at Ranjeet. It's not that Shashi can't snarl effectively—see Junoon, for example—but I think introducing him as a sunny loverboy and then lurching into enforcer after tragedy strikes his family doesn't quite work here. Interestingly, he can do it the other way around, as in Ganga aur Suraj (also with Sulakshana Pandit) where he's a rifle-toting badass from the get-go and then reforms. It's easier to imagine someone like Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, or Amitabh Bachchan doing better at this particular mix of canoodling and vengeance.
|Don't cry, Shashi. I still love you.|
In fact, Shashi is really the only significant problem I have with this film. (Wow, I never thought I'd hear myself say that.) Director Harmesh Malhotra, who also did the excellent Gaddar (discussed at length in this episode of Masala Zindabad) with many of the same people, and writer Ravi Kapoor (Ashanti and Sheshnaag, among others) have created a good story with several interesting characters representing many different shades of evil. It's not just "good vs. bad"—there's a lot more to it than that. The hero himself is not exactly perfect, and the lovely idea of reform and change is embodied by the person to whom this film truly belongs: PRAN.
|"Throw self on bed and pout" is a behavior I associate with Jan Brady.|
|I am not pleased with the lack of punctuation here, but it's too late at night to open Photoshop up again.|