Himmatwala a Seriously Funny Remake


80s of Bollywood was era of white shoes, awfully coloured backgrounds during dance sequences and funny hair wigs. In order to reproduce the whole 80s phenomena Sajid Khan created a remake of 1983 Himmatwala (which was actually a remake itself of a south flick). The Himmatwala of 2013 is not an engineer and his late father was not the schoolmaster. This time Himmatwala (Ravi) is a street fighter (Ajay Devgan) who is son of a priest. Ravi’s father commits suicide because of Sher Singh (not bandookwala this time). Sher Singh is the bad guy of the village who grabs the lands of poor villagers and terrifies them with his story telling skills. Narayandas (Paresh Rawal) is the brother in law of Sher Singh and crime partner. The original Narayandas role was played by Kader Khan and in this film at many points; Rawal adequately replicates Khan’s style.

The Himmatwala makes a comeback after years to the village and find his mother and sister in a miserable condition. That leads to the Bollywood style revenge mission oath and on his mission Himmatwala falls in love with  Sher Singh’s daughter Rekha, (Tamannah); a spoiled child who loves to wear extremely awfully colourful (and now fully outdated) dresses.

There is lots of 80s and pure Bollywood material in the film, in order to enjoy it completely you just have to switch off your logic and see how; Himmatwala bends iron rods, and a solid dagger fails to rip his chest, a knockout punch to a real tiger makes him a pussy cat. Pure filmy action scenes are there and now we are used to it since last few years’ action scenes provide larger than life fight sequences. Briefly, Ajay Devgan stood true to the title and did his job well.

The female lead Tamannah left an honest impression, her acting carried the element of conviction, and to me it was better than the made-ups of Sri Devi in the original version (sorry! SD fans). However, this impression was in the earlier part only, because of so many characters running around the character of main female lead lost somewhere and the impression turned into lapse.

The original version was rather a serious film on the other hand this one has a serious story with full of laughers that does not allow the viewer to be lethargic. Sajid Khan showed that how much he is passionate about the 80s. Moreover, this attempt has been an entertaining one, to insert some experiments he added Nazi joke, a Bollywood version of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, and his signature gay jokes.

Overall, it is an entertainer, at least one time watch time pass fun, and somehow digestible. A comparison of two different eras is a difficult thing if 80’s was the worst era  of Hindi cinema then this is time for a better film making technology wise. Those obsessed with nostalgia might not have a soft corner for this in the end. However, personally I liked it because sometime an entertainer must be enjoyed with logic and critical thinking switched off.


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