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Wednesday, October 23, 2019


Triumph of honesty!


It’s not just the story of the movie Apne, It’s the story of their lives... and the Deols triumph!
TSI | Issue Dated: July 15, 2007
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Triumph of honesty! They are arguably the most talented family of Bollywood, especially if one were to include the dream girl of yesteryears (who still makes you skip a heartbeat or two), Hema Malini, and her daughters as well. Yet, they have a very dignified and understated presence. But at a time when the country has been going crazy about the Bachchan family and its all-pervasive control on Bollywood, the man who suggested Big B’s name and pulled him into Sholay (and thus into history), Dharmendra, was himself ironically being reduced to a shadow of his past self. But true talent can never be suppressed for long. The same being true for Bollywood’s original macho man, Sunny Deol. The man hasn’t given monster hits like Gadar for nothing. And that’s what you realise while watching the movie Apne when you see Delhi’s upmarket audience vociferously rooting for him as he comes to the rescue of his ageing father when he gets involved in a fist-fight against the world’s leading heavyweight boxing champion – after all, no one can look more convincing and threatening while screaming and getting angry as Sunny can. Triumph of honesty! Apne redeems the Deols and gives back to them what they deserve – total respect! For they prove that merely dancing and prancing around are not what stardom’s all about, nor is film-making about Swiss locales and lavish sets. It’s about timeless acting, and holding the audience’s emotions throughout. Despite a not so well made initial 45 minutes or so – where rockstar Bobby dances to empty grounds and entrepreneur Sunny gets awarded by Amar Singh in a similarly empty ceremony – the film holds its own. The next two hours are a treat for the Indian audience in terms of acting, storytelling and edge of the seat cinematic pleasure.

Fighting for honour in the film, as well as in real life, Dharmendra comes back with a bang with a great performance with the film resting on his shoulders and revolving around him. This father-son story is also about ‘loving one’s parents’, though not artificially mounted on gloss. And the wronged champion boxer of yesteryears, Dharmendra, with his earthy performance, sees to it that the film never loses its emotional bonding with the audience. Triumph of honesty! Sonny (Sunny again) shows that he is not just about muscles, but about great acting, and gives a superb performance as the dutiful son who yearns for his father’s affection and love, but keeps being rebuked by him for failing him at his moment of need. And finally, when he arrives at the centre stage, he does what the audience has always loved him for... he displays that he can take on the toughest with his fists.

Bobby must have surely done Jhoom Barabar Jhoom hoping that a Yash Raj film – like it has done to all – will turn around his otherwise sagging career too. What Yash Raj failed to do for him, his ‘Apne’ did. Bobby is his best till date in a power-packed performance, which grows with every frame.

At the same time, Director Anil Sharma shows faith and belief on his ‘Sunny’ by again pulling off a great film. Kudos for his commitment to his camp. However, knowing Sunny and his immense cinematic intelligence, this film is perhaps more a product of Sunny’s love for his ‘Apne’ – respect for his father and affection for his brother. Anil Sharma is Sunny’s man and his director. And such a film, which gives Bobby and Dharmendra quite a meaty presence, would have only happened at Sunny’s direction and due to his immense involvement with the project and commitment for his ‘Apne’. Hats off to the family and its triumphant revival with a bang.
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017