Monday, December 2, 2013

Movie Review: Mr. India

Over the last few months my friend Ron has been introducing me to various Bollywood films (Filmed in Hindi, watched by me with English subtitles, lots of singing and dancing, etc.) and this weekend I saw the 1987 film Mr. India. Directed by Shekhar Kapur (who would later direct Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age), and starring Anil Kapoor (the game show host in Slumdog Millionaire) and Amrish Puri (who played Mola Ram in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) the film focuses on a young man named Arun (Anil Kapoor) who takes care of a young group of orphans and happens to live in a house that is desperately needed by the evil mastermind Mogambo (Amrish Puri) to enact his plans for world domination.

Most of the film involves Arun’s various plans to keep his home up and running, while the world seems bent on evicting him and the kids from their home. To offset costs he takes on a young woman as a boarder (played by Sridevi), and inevitably she falls for Arun and the children as well.

Also Arun happens to come into possession of a bracelet which has been scientifically modified to make the wearer invisible.

Upon his possession of the bracelet, Arun becomes Mr. India, an invisible superhero who fights for the common man in India. In fact this is where a lot of the fun of the film comes from as it plays on a common man versus basically a villain out of a James Bond film to save a delightful group of orphaned kids (also as the film was made in the mid-80s a couple of the kids break dance, which is AMAZING).

Although I was a fan of Amrish Puri in Temple of Doom (Cover your heart Indy!) Mola Ram has nothing on the Evil Mogambo, who rules his minions so well that they willingly diving into a pool of acid for him and also has the films best catch phrase (Mogambo Khush Hua! – literally Mogambo is pleased) which he uses regularly throughout the film.

The music is pretty great, and I loved the mix of superhero action and romance both in the main film and played out through the various musical numbers.

In the end, the best I can say is Bookmonkey Khush Hua!

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