11 – « Anjaam » of Rahul Rawail (22/04/1994)
For me one of the best acting performances of SRK !
Be careful, if you haven’t seen another movie of him yet, this one might make you hate him forever.
For those who already know his anti-hero roles (Baazigar, Darr), there is no longer any question here of making excuses for him, of making you love him or of tenderizing you over his fate.
Vijay is a real « rot » who in all likelihood you should hate sincerely and peacefully.
You will also discover in this thriller a dazzling Madhuri Dixit. Her perfect acting, from the loving wife to the vengeful « goddess », should make you understand why she is in my eyes (but certainly not just mine) one of the greatest actresses in Bollywood.
Through her, Shivani will experience all the emotions, the greatest joys and the most intense pains.
The secondary characters are camped by excellent actors also like Tinnu Anand or Himani Shivpuri who can be found in many films alongside SRK at this time.
They give a credibility which allows to bring to this story (a bit like Kill Bill) an additional almost mystical and fascinating dimension.
We let ourselves be drawn into this story which begins with a series of incidents and mockery between Vijay and Shivani.
How else to portray the multiple mistakes made by these two characters?
Not that Shivani is wrong and that she is in any way responsible for the tragic fate that awaits her but, let’s say it, it clearly starts very badly between these two.
From Vijay playing the bothering nightclub seducer, to Shivani triumphant when Vijay’s car breaks down after he puts hers in danger, to a cream pie gag remix,… No, things were definitely starting very badly between them…
But finally, if we already felt with the « chase » and the crazy driving of Vijay that it was not good to stand up to him, we perceive the danger much more clearly when, out of spite, he burns purely and simply the vehicle on the side of the road…
Vijay is not strictly speaking « sane » (I’m weighing my words but you have already understood that this is an understatement … ^^).
First of all, he is presented to us as a « rich kid » who tends to use the money to get what he wants (as argued by a rogue policeman very well camped by Kiran Kumar).
He’s temperamental, violent, manipulative and, you might guess … in love !
Not tender lover, no. Obsessive and tortured lover.
Very bad mix with the rest !
We will therefore witness how he will gradually destroy everything in which Shivani holds until she borders on the deepest despair, « allowing » her to unleash a (bloody) purifying revenge on all his oppressors.
Yet she was not (at all) predestined for that. Shivani is a pretty, intelligent young woman who seeks a calm life away from the spotlights, with no particular yearning for power and money. She is strong but with a great sensitivity, and very keen observer when it comes to identifying the character of someone.
Little by little, all the misfortunes in the world will befall her with for source again and again a man and this request « Ek bar kehdo ki tum mujhse pyaar karti ho! » (= Say once that you love me !).
But love doesn’t work that way and saying it with a blade in your hand has never worked well…
The moment in prison is heartbreaking and I had several bouts of tears and of catatonia (but I’m highly sensitive and empathetic at times…) in front of the horror of everything that is portrayed to us.
Fortunately, a few touches of a saving humor are distilled here and there by a Johnny Lever still in great shape and playing here (far ahead for his time) an LGBTQI + character (a little cartoonish however, but incredibly funny and endearing). His little interventions in the film are gold nuggets that we never tire of !
Finally, the last part of the film is quite … surprising for me, as much for its quality as for the level of play and involvement that it must have required for our 2 main actors. I’ll let you find out by yourself.
The film therefore keeps us in suspense with regular repercussions in the story and music catchy and sometimes very unexpected.
See for example « Badi mushkil hai (Koya mera dil hai) » (= It’s a big problem, I lost my heart) : Soft, lively music, perfect for a romantic comedy !
Yes but there you go, she intervenes in a crowded airport after a scene that would make (just about) anyone want to slap SRK !
Anyway, I recommend that you give this jewel of the Bollywood industry a chance, which proves once again, if it were necessary, that it does not only make beautiful romantic comedies and comic action films !
This is my second fav movie of SRK (Dil se being my fav). I watched it much later in life after watching many of his top movies and while watching it, I was just in awe of his acting. You wrote a pretty good summary of the movie.
I don’t agree with your second last para though. During that time in bollywood movies, it was the norm for a boy to act clingy to impress an unknown girl. All his actions, starting from offering drink, to teasing her with car, to following her in the plane and then in airport was part of that. We need to keep in mind that till the end of the song, Srk knew that Madhuri didn’t know about his car burning act and he didn’t know she was about to get married to someone else. So a romcom song was apt but dark at the same time because audience knew about his car burning act and it was already established that he was not sane and in love as you mentioned.
Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.