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October 25, 20001
If you have seen Ziddi, Zor, Salakhen, Arjun Pandit or Gadar, watching the latest Sunny Deol starrer Indian would be a pointless exercise.
Like they say, you have seen one, you have seen them all.
Only, Indian lacks story, credibility, excitement, thrill, and the most important factor -- entertainment.
The film kicks off with the Lashkar-e-Jehadi group and its leader Wasim Khan (Mukesh Rishi) sulking after their fresh defeat in the Kargil war. Wasim Khan's plans to create tension in India are foiled by the fearless and dynamic DCP Rajshekhar Azad (Sunny Deol). That is how far the jehad and the jehadis get.
As an aside, one observes, gone are the days when police officers used to roam in jeeps, or at best a FIAT car. Only a smashing maroon Tata Safari will do for our hero, not to mention designer shirts and jeans.
After nabbing Wasim Khan and putting him in a high-security cell, Azad bumps off corrupt pa-in-law, DGP Surya Pratap Singh (Raj Babbar).
When not gunning down corrupt cops, bashing sinister politicians or forming a mini-army of four unemployed youngsters, Azad takes a break to shake a leg with short-tempered wife Anjali (Shilpa Shetty).
Alas, Azad's moment of glory is short-lived. Anjali discovers that Azad is her dearest daddy's killer, thanks to the capricious CBI officer Joginder Singh (Om Puri trying to redo a Gupt).
Simple! Anjali wants the Big D -- divorce.
However, our director does not waste much time on the simpering women in the film and moves on to business.
Post-interval, Azad has a new enemy to deal with. As if the man did not have his platter full already.
Stinking rich and influential Shankar Singhania (Danny Denzongpa) wants to buy an illegal plot. In doing so he manages to evoke the wrath of the righteous Azad.
Not only does Singhania participate in shady deals, he also has contacts with terrorists like -- you guessed it! -- Wasim Khan. How innovative!
Needless to say, our ever-dependable Azad aka Sunny Deol buries all the baddies in their rightful graves, saves the country's honour and proves that he is a true Indian.
Phew! What a guy!
Sunny has gone through this rigorous exercise of beating up people black and blue time and again. During his Ghayal days he bashed four or five goons at a time. In Ziddi the number increased to 15-20. By the time Gadar came around he was thrashing 100 and more. Ditto for Indian.
The point is: how many more? Honestly, one is quite fed up of hearing the Dolby sounds of Sunny's whacking playing havoc with the eardrums.
Another disappointment is that unlike in Damini, Ghayal or Gadar, Sunny doesn't have a single punchy line to mouth in Indian. Even the action is dull, except for a stray car somersault sequence.
Sunny's co-star Shilpa Shetty has absolutely no role to speak of. She keeps popping up in designer outfits after long breaks only to disturb the pace of an already disturbed narration.
As for the rest of the actors, the less said the better. It is a shame that director N Maharajan has not been able to extract decent performances from anyone in the cast. Actors like Om Puri, Shakti Kapoor and Rahul Dev have all been reduced to blink-and-miss roles.
Plusses are the film's sleek camerawork by A Ramesh Kumar and an imaginatively picturised dance number featuring the sexy duo of veejays Malaika Arora and Sophiya Haque.
But other than the foot-tapping Deewana, none of the ditties are worth a mention. Same goes for the movie as a whole.
Moral of the story: Be Indian, miss Indian.
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