After a looooooooooong time I turned the telly on last Sunday in a rush thinking I’d missed out on the Oscars and found Tridev was playing.
Released in 1989 and a blockbuster by the yardstick prevalent back in the day; the movie is a laugh and minute even during the scenes which are supposed to be very high on the emotional quotient.
Madhuri Dixit, Jackie Shroff, Sunny Deol, Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher and a plethora of other chamaktey sitaarey (shining stars) of the era come together to make a 2 hour plus movie which is replete with the all the symbols of the 80s; and therefore was a total trip down nostalgia alley for me.
These are the tropes in the movies of the 80s and early 90s that I remember vividly-
- Minimum 3-4 outfit changes for the female lead in the course of a song.
- Each outfit quite outlandish and fairly garish and gaudy.
- Villains are OTT evil and had to have a trademark evil laughter. Said trademark had to occur with each evil soliloquy.
- Women are props. Used to pretty up a scene or as lures to get the male lead to come and duke it out with the bad guy. Women also need to sing during their captivity.
- The police always arrive after everything ends and essentially are clean-up crews.
- The back-up dancers are drab-faced people who end up dancing either like they are on meth or are stoned and never vary from either of these two extremes.
- There is *always* love at first sight.
- Love is expressed via song. At Least twice. First time: Initial expression. Second time: Reiteration.
- The fight sequence is totally of comic book proportions without the blurbs spelling out the KAPOWS.
- Each time anyone gets hit, they fly through the air a la The Matrix and the resulting sound effect is LOUD!
- There is no anti-hero: there is black or white.
- There is a weird depiction of a jungle tribe replete with loin cloths, tiger-striped clothing and jungle drums.
- The jungle tribe utters inane stuff like Jinga Lala Boom etc.
- Party scenes are usually where everyone is standing still like statues and one person moving about tipsy and singing an alcohol-related song.
- Patriotism is also OTT.
- The level and diction of the spoken Hindi is far superior than that spoken these days.
- The music is catchy and unashamedly borrowed (bits and pieces) from dance hits famous overseas.
Since the advance in special effects hadn’t happened to the extent it has nowadays, things looked made-up and really clichéd but still entertained in a way many movies of today don’t.
While I may have laughed at Sunny Deol’s “angst” at finding his dead father, Amrish Puri’s Bhujang-avatar or even Sangeeta Bijlani’s determination to find her dead brother’s killer by becoming a gangster’s moll; the fact remains is that those movies entertain!