Himmatwala 1983 – Endless Nonsense

Like most odious Bollywood films, Himmatwala (1983) has its origins in South India, or what North Indians mischievously refer toΒ asΒ gaand Bharat.

In 1981, a South Indian director with the unpronounceable appellation of Kovelamudi Raghavendra Rao cobbled up a plain awful movie in the Telugu language called Ooriki Monagadu starring Krishna and Jayaprada (who won notoriety in 2013 for supporting the criminal Sanjay Dutt).

Kovelamudi was a blessed soul since he hailed from Andhra Pradesh,Β a state where Dum Biryani flourishes but civilization, class, and culture are still work in progress.

Given the insatiable passion of the Telugu natives for anything simian in style and content, Ooriki Monagadu turned out to be a super-hit, fueling the ambitions of Kovelamudi to set his sights on the bigger North Indian market.

Bollywood Version

For the Hindi version, Kovelamudi toiled hard to find the worst actor in the universe and after a long search found one in the shape of the bizarre Amritsar lad Jeetendra, whose screen actions, at the best of times, closely resemble that of an escapee from the notorious Agra mental asylum.

To play the female lead, the director imposed only one condition – the girl should have thunderous, plump thighs to rouse the somnolent snakes in North Indian trousers into a frenzy.

Finally, Kovelamudi happened uponΒ Sridevi, a scheming starlet from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, a land partial to the ardent worship of plump women like Khushboo and Jayalalitha and dark men like Rajinikanth and Vijay.

Sridevi was no Helen of Troy.

With a face not designed to launch 10 catamarans let alone a thousand ships, Sridevi still managed to capture the hearts, minds and, above all, the frenetic hands of millions of panting young South Indian boys, men and not so young men.

Sridevi’s distinguishing traits were those common to all successful South Indian starlets – the clumsy gait of a washerman’s overburdened ass, eyes of a loony, callipygian hips, and the general demeanor of one not well endowed in the upper story.

But her thundering thighs set her apart!

Such are the origins of Himmatwala, the movie which decisively proved North Indians are no less crass in their movie tastes.

Himmatwala went on to become a super-hit and sensitive souls like yours truly living in Mera Bharat Mahaan in the 1980s still remember with anguish the untrammeled assault of the song Naino Mein Sapna on the auditory passages.

Our premature deafness owes in no small measure to the relentless blast of Himmatwala songs from loudspeakers near and far, day and night for months on end in the benighted land of Ashoka, Aurangzeb and Narendra Modi.

Torture Ad Infinitum

The singular achievement of Kovelamudi’s Himmatwala (1983) is that for sane individuals, the film appeared to be targeted completely at quadrupeds (four-legged creatures where the tail is not vestigial).

Alas, since four-legged creatures lack the Rupiah to buy tickets it was left to the North Indian bipeds to do the needful.

North Indians, of all shapes, girths and colors, gleefully flocked in massive numbers to theatres, turning the Himmatwala monstrosity into a blockbuster.

Thanks to the lavish, wanton display of her plump thighs that more than hinted of the lush forest above, Sridevi was immortalized, in the feverish gasps and gushing eruptions of 300 million Indian men, as Thunder Thighs.

Besides Sridevi and Jeetendra, Kovelamudi roped in Amjad Khan, Asrani, Kader Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Swaroop Sampat and Waheeda Rehman to add to the miasma of Himmatwala.

Amjad Khan played Sher Singh Bandookwalla, a wicked fellow terrorizing the people of a nondescript village.

When Sher Singh is not actually shooting enemies into flames on straw piles, his favorite threat to terrify and cow people into submission is to have them throw on the rail tracks and their bodies torn into pieces by the rushing train.

Thank God, the Rajdhani Express was not plying those days!

Jeetendra plays Ravi, the son of a honest schoolmaster who abandons town, forsakes family and loses sanity after his lily-white reputation is stained by the diabolical Sher Singh on false charges of rape.

Sridevi essayed the role of Sher Singh’s haughty college-educated daughter Rekha, dressed in thigh-flaunting attire or black tights.

After two decades outside the village, supported by the hard labors of his mother doing menial work, Ravi returns to the village as an engineer in charge of a new dam coming up in the area.

Ravi’s return to the village sets in motion his encounters with the cruel Sher Singh, the villainous Munimji (Kader Khan) and the unfunny buffoon Bhushan (Asrani).

And of course, his Mills & Boon meeting with Rekha (Sridevi) who quickly gives up her callous behavior after seeing the light of “compassion, love and humanity” and before long falls headlong in love with Ravi.

But before this interminable movie can end and Sher Singh defeated into abject submission we have to endure one monstrous frame after another spanning the spectrum from the hopelessly ridiculous to the utterly insane.

A mute guy Govind (Arun Govil) and his chirpy lover Champa (Shoma Anand) add to the cacophony until they’re both dispatched to their maker by director Kovelamudi.

The sight of Jeetendra and Sridevi repeatedly trying the dancing thing is not for those with delicate health.

Artistic people with high blood pressure or a heart condition must close their eyes when these two hopeless bonobos, Jeetendra and Sridevi, start ‘dancing’ in the interests of maintaining good health.

Devgan Torture

Veeru Devgan (father of Ajay Devgan who reprises Jeetendra’s role in the 2013 remake of the remake) is the fights director of the 1983 Himmatwala.

A crass and incompetent dolt, it’s safe to say what Veeru Devgan knew of choreographing stunts can be written on one side of a matchbox with space to spare.

That Indian filmmakers should stoop so low as to remake this horror show a second time is a depressing reflection on Bollywood and the millions that embrace such offal.

Directed by a thief called Sajid Khan, the 2013 version of Himmatwala releasing this Friday features Ajay Devgan, Tamanna Bhatia, Mahesh Manjrekar and Paresh Rawal.

Given Indian moviegoers’ utter lack of taste, don’t be surprised if the 2013 version of Himmatwala turns out to be as horrible as the 1983 version and as stupendous a hit.

12 Responses to "Himmatwala 1983 – Endless Nonsense"

  1. Naveen   March 28, 2013 at 12:46 am

    Loved the review!

    The SI flame burns bright! πŸ˜€

  2. Naveen   March 28, 2013 at 11:23 am

    is SI reviewing the new version too?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    In two minds!

    But if you have a burning itch for Tamannah Bhatia, I’m willing to step aside in the Christian spirit of Thy Need is Greater than Mine. After all, tomorrow is Good Friday! πŸ˜‰

    Releasing at 11:30AM at the Regal near your place.

    • Naveen   March 28, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      Quite frankly I would like it if SI watches the movie and reviews it with the trademark Si style.

      I hate to deprive faithful SI readers of that pleasure.

      If you really don’t plan to watch it then I will share you burden tomorrow.

      Will confirm which show I can make it tomorrow am. Let me know what you decide.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      I’m dealing with a medical issue of a family member (a prescription mistake by the doctor on the strength of the dosage has created a mess-up with the pharmacy).

      So please go ahead and do it. Thanks!

      I’ll send you an e-mail in a little while.

      • Naveen   March 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm

        That sounds bad. I am sorry to hear that.

        Himmatwala – I’ll take a deep breath and do it. πŸ™‚

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        Thanks! πŸ™‚

  3. Naveen   March 28, 2013 at 11:28 am

    “gaand Bharat” I have never heard any North Indian refer to South India like that. Maybe a recent term.

    I grew up in UP for most of my schooling and the only term used for Madrasi, which was common to all south indians.

    North Indians had no clue what is AP vs TN vs Kerala vs Karnataka.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    I’ve heard some chutiyas use that expression.

  4. ravich   March 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    So Telugu people have insatiable desire for Dum Biryani, lag behind in being civilized, lack class and culture. Whereas Tamils worship plump women and dark men?

    And you say, Given Indian moviegoers’ utter lack of taste…

    You my friend, are better than them because you live here in US? Though, you too come from same stock?

    I like your reviews, and you are right, this movie is probably crap.

    Sarcasm is good, but being offensive to your own ilk is like spitting against the wind.

    I like your reviews. Your review of ‘Yojimbo’ and on Kurosawa helps your readers find out gems.

    Please don’t insult them.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: You my friend, are better than them because you live here in US? Though, you too come from same stock?

    I don’t know what stock I belong to.

    I only know that I don’t belong to the livestock race of cow-ca-cola drinkers, Salman Khan dick-suckers, Allu Arjun worshipers and Samantha lickers. But I do confess to having a moderate appetite for Dum Biryani!

    Speaking of stock, race etc, I’ve heard strong rumors from close relatives that my ancestor was a General in Chatrapathi Shivaji’s Army.

    That’s how we ended up in South India. If you know your history, you are aware that Shivaji’s forces invaded parts of Tamil Nadu (Thanjavur etc) and Karnataka (Bangalore etc).

    I’ve also heard some of my elderly relatives say sotto voce that as an infant I too was fed a spoon of cow-ca-kola. πŸ˜‰ But I don’t give credence to such rumors although I do strongly believe that my ancestor was a valiant General in Chatrapathi Shivaji’s Army.

    If you want to know the truth, the S in SI actually stands for Shivaji! Now that’s one common element between Rajinikanth and SI. πŸ˜‰

    • Aswin_Kini   March 29, 2013 at 2:14 am

      “If you want to know the truth, the S in SI actually stands for Shivaji! Now that’s one common element between Rajinikanth and SI.” – LOL and ROFL πŸ˜€

      SI – I like your sense of humor, but I really can’t help but laugh heartily at this comparison; A great Marathian warrior, who valiantly fought the Mughals, and a good blogger who happily indulges in taking digs at his own community at every damn chance available πŸ™‚

      Thankfully, they didn’t bury Shivaji or else he would be rolling in his grave on seeing your comment.

  5. zarboan   March 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    This is what i would just love to read from SI, ridiculing the Indians taste for crappy movies.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    I’m waiting for Ajay Devgan and that thieving Chutiya Sajid Khan to announce at 1PM on Friday that Himmatwala 2013 joined the 100-crore club after the first show! πŸ™

    • zarboan   March 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Given that the movie is being released in summer,don’t be surprised it even surpasses 200 cr mark.

      BTW,since you’ve been lately into kurosawa’s samurai movies,if you’re looking for some more great,intense samurai action,watch 13 assassins,its one of the best films I’ve ever seen.Truly magnificent movie,definitely worth watching.


      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Will do, soon.

      I’m signing up for Hulu Plus, which has all the classics.

  6. rmadasu   March 28, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Very funny review, and please do keep insulting the crap movies from India and the people with bad taste who relish them.

    I must confess that there are times that I enjoyed garbage movies like these, not very proud moments.

    I must add that the awesomeness of your reviews is directly proportional to the crappiness of the movie reviewed and thus makes their existence worthwhile in that sense.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: I must confess that there are times that I enjoyed garbage movies like these, not very proud moments.

    Me too!

    That Big B gaandu Amitabh Bachchan owes me big time for all the tickets I purchased on the Black Market to see the First Day, First show of his movies! πŸ™

  7. mrasd1411   April 1, 2013 at 9:45 am

    The writer of this review has suddenly taken a strong liking for art house cinema of Nihalani-Benegal with the acting prowess of Smita patil- Shabana Azmi- Naseeruddin Shah.

    That’s why he’s become so cynical and negatively critical about commercial cinema. Movies are meant for entertaining as well along with it being a powerful medium for showcasing one’s artistic expertise and great taste.

    This is one of the most hopeless reviews anyone can ever read. I’m pretty sure this author has definitely enjoyed most of Salman’s recent over the top blockbusters and also given favourable reviews to them. And to call an actor, who has done Gulzar films like Parichay and Kinara, a madman, it needs to have a lot of audacity and tremendous courage.

    And by the way, Himmatwala 1983 was very entertaining with amazingly creative dialogues written by Kader Khan and evergreen foot-tapping music by Bappi Lahiri. In all, a complete entertainment package.

    Catch the movie on Sahara Filmy once and I bet, you wont agree with the writer anymore.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: I’m pretty sure this author has definitely enjoyed most of Salman’s recent over the top blockbusters and also given favourable reviews to them.

    Yes, Yes, Yes! ;

    You’re 500% right!

    I’ve enjoyed the shaitan murderer Salman Khan’s movies tremendously.

    Hell, the rhythm of my life, the sanity of my existence depends on the chutiya Salman Khan’s movies.

    And here’s the proof of abiding love for Salman Khan from SI’s reviews/Reviews on SI:

    * http://www.searchindia.com/2012/12/21/dabangg-2-review-sophomoric-drivel/

    * http://www.searchindia.com/2011/08/31/bodyguard-review-mind-numbing-trash/

    * http://www.searchindia.com/2012/08/16/ek-tha-tiger-for-a-nation-of-born-chutias/

    Now, get back to the gutter you emerged from! πŸ™

    If SI has said it once, SI has said it a gazillion times – Class is too classy to be common in Mera Bharat Mahaan!

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