Superstar Project 7/174.

aatankhiaatank WPIMDbLB

Aatank Hi Aatank (which Wikipedia translates as “Terror Everywhere”) is a 1995 Hindi gangster film directed by Dilip Shankar. The star cast includes Rajinikanth, Aamir Khan, Om Puri, and Juhi Chawla.

The movie feels just like an average gangster movie. I’ve read that Aatank Hi Aatank is a remake of The Godfather (which I still haven’t seen so I have no idea how much of the film is inspired by it). The story is about a former farmer who becomes a gangster boss in Mumbai. Then some family drama happens and we learn that it’s not easy to be a gangster’s wife. The film is also a revenge drama and eventually almost everyone gets shot and dies. The story isn’t very interesting and the final 15 minutes are the longest ever. The songs too aren’t very good or catchy, except the gangster rap which is hilarious.

Rap rap rap, goonda rap!
I am bad, and I am mad!
I said I’m bad. Ma-ma-ma-mad!

The cast is good but Aamir was maybe a little too young for his role. And he looks so slimy with his hairstyle and moustache in the second half of the film! Rajinikanth performs and looks just fine.

aatankhiaatank-rajinikanthaatankhiaatank-aamir

Some forum posts say that the (unsubtitled) Moser Baer DVD is heavily cut. That’s unfortunate, but apparently the uncut version of the film is on Eros Now and even has English subtitles! I would still like to buy the DVD (as I have it in my collection only on a crappy 3-in-1 disc) but looks like it’s sold out everywhere!

Maybe I should finally watch The Godfather, as my watchlist has at least a couple of other Indian films that are also inspired by it.

Rajinikanth’s total death count in Superstar Project so far: 1

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Superstar Project 6/174.

thaaillaamal_naanillai WPIMDbLB

Thaayillamal Naan Illai (“I’m Nothing Without My Mother”) is a 1979 Tamil film directed by R. Thyagarajan. The movie stars Kamal Haasan and Sridevi and also has Rajinikanth in a short guest appearance.

Moser Baer’s DVD has two large disturbing watermarks (“Moser Baer” and “West Top”) and no subtitles, so I decided to watch the Hindi dubbed version Aakhri Sangram with subtitles and better picture quality from Eros Now. The Tamil version is almost 16 minutes longer than the Hindi version – some of the stageplay stuff has been cut off as well as the childhood flashback from the beginning. The missing scenes don’t seem too important although it would’ve been nice to see the childhood scene with subtitles as it seems to add some background information to the characters, like a swordfight which eventually gets repeated when the characters are grown up.

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(I’m going to use the character names from the Hindi version that I watched with subtitles. They might be slightly different in the original Tamil version.)

Raja (Kamal Haasan) is a stage actor who a local landlord’s daughter Pushpa (Sridevi) is madly fallen in love with. Pushpa has a nice pet peacock Balwanta who can be used to guard her room and steal things. For example, once he steals binoculars for her so that she could spy on Raja. She soon realizes that Raja is also spying her. “Very good. He also has a binocular.”

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When the landlord finds out that a romance between Raja and Pushpa is going on, he agrees to marry Pushpa to Raja on the condition that Raja forgets his lower-class mother (played by Sukumari). That would also make Raja the next landlord instead of greedy Mohan who had also hoped to marry Pushpa. Raja disagrees even though his mother insists him to agree to the landlord’s condition. Later, the landlord is trying to marry Pushpa to Mohan but finds out that Pushpa has eloped to live with Raja and his mother. However, until the landlord accepts Raja’s mother to his family, Raja won’t consider Pushpa as his wife.

Rajinikanth plays a righteous goon who has been sent to bring Pushpa back home. He has an awesome intro punch and he’s great in the small role that he has. He almost defeats Raja in a fight but Pushpa interferes and explains that she actually loves Raja and Raja hasn’t forced her to elope with him. The goon understands the situation and leaves the couple alone.

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The situation gets worse when the upset landlord breaks up his relationship with his misbehaving daughter. When Mohan finds out that he cannot become the new landlord by marrying Pushpa, he kills the landlord and is elected as the new landlord as everyone thinks that Raja was the killer. After Raja hears about these events, he disguises as a religious guru and gets the new landlord to invite him to his home. It is revealed that the old landlord isn’t dead after all and Mohan has kept him alive to find out where he has hidden his treasure. Eventually Mohan discovers Raja’s true identity and puts him behind bars with the old landlord. Mohan’s plans to marry Pushpa fail once again because of a phenomenal rescue operation by Balwanta the peacock. Mohan gets banished from the landlord’s lands and the landlord finally accepts Raja’s mother as Pushpa’s mother-in-law as he realizes that greatness is not in the caste but in character.

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P.S. I wonder what the VCD cover of the Hindi version has to do with the movie…

aakhrisangram_vcd

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