Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mithun rocks the shoulder pads

I bought the 1996 movie Jung solely because it stars Mithun ("I am a Disco Dancer!") Chakraborty and Ajay Devgan (star of Bhoot and Omkara) as brothers. I've watched about half of it, and I can testify to the truth-in-advertising of distributor Eros Entertainment's new ads: "We've made you laugh. We've made you cry. We've made you stop - and wonder why."

Mithun has grown up into the authority-figure role of stern police officer. As brother Ajay, an astonishly young and callow Ajay is somehow both a defense attorney devoted to helping the poor, and a frivolous free spirit. They get caught up in the machinations of a nasty crime boss, who's framed an innocent couple for a crime they didn't commit (or did they? I'm entirely prepared for some kind of bizarre last-minute twist).

The clothes, the hair, the film stock, all suggest a movie about ten years older than this one, which says something about the budget they were working with. The rock-em sock-em sound effects in the fight scenes are so over-the-top that they made me giggle, as did the crotch cam aimed at Ajay's motorscooter stunts. And the sexual politics are downright unsavory. Even the "romantic" subplot kicks off with Ajay and his love interest (the bad guy's daughter) slapping each other. She gets shoved into a mud puddle, and retaliates by falsely accusing him of rape. After he blackmails her, she admitts that she chased him and not the other way around. Then she chases him around a little more until voila! They're in love!

Nonetheless, Mithun looks great in some Miami Vice-looking shoulder pads, and it's truly hilarious to see Ajay, usually deadpan and/or critically acclaimed, in a role that's equal parts ridiculous fight scenes and undignified romantic frolicking.

Follow-up: well, I finished the movie, and the last third takes an unexpected turn into Mission: Impossible territory when Ajay disguises himself as an old man with a beard, and then dresses in drag, TWICE, once for an extended fight scene. Even his squeaky-voiced love interest with the ruffly miniskirts eventually puts on a fake beard and a turban to help one of his schemes. But the high point is when Ajay and Mithun, finally working on the same side, infiltrate the gangsters by performing in a nightclub floorshow (the concept of which is sort of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera meets the Wild, Wild West).

This is one of those movies: I can't say that it's good, by any means. But I did find it entertaining. Viewer beware?

1 comment:

Butterfly said...

You write very well.