Qayamat


Director: Harry Baweja
Music: Nadeem-Shravan; Lyrics: Sameer
Year: 2003
Running Time: 2 hours 36 minutes

Ok, so this film "borrows" generously from "The Rock" and perhaps a bit from "Mission Impossible", "Indiana Jones" and probably a number of other films that I missed, but when they are all smushed together along with typical Bollywood melodrama, music and hyper patriotism it makes for a strangely entertaining roll in the mud that had me chortling at times in disbelief. And I am not necessarily a chorterler by nature. This is just so over the top and silly that I took a complete liking to it. And how often do you get to see three villains who have that maniacal "bad guy laugh" (though one of them is a woman) and do it in unison like a street corner doo-wop group gone insane. Not only that, but they get their own musical number as well - it is so nice seeing the villains get a chance to dance - heroes and heroines aren't the only ones who have rhythm. Throw into this the absolute pleasure of viewing three of Bollywood's newest and most delectable actresses and this is a film that manages to deliver in spite of its lack of originality.

Sanjay Kapoor and Arbaaz Khan play two brothers who are trying to move up from being mere gun smugglers to being cutting edge terrorists - career advancement is not always a good thing. We are introduced to them and their partner in crime (and likely in bed as well), Isha Koppikar, when they visit a fellow gun smuggler. Isha is packed into a tight as a can of sardine's dress that seems to hide nothing but her deviousness - yet she still somehow manages to conceal a small handgun that she uses effectively to kill the gun smuggler and his bodyguards - with the help of Sanjay and Arbaaz who make good use of their stiletto like cell phones. Afterwards they break out in their first of many fits of insane laughter as they high five each other - and then like good terrorists hit the disco where Isha scorches the lens and they perform a near menage-a-trois on the dance floor. These killers enjoy each other's company and when they are not threatening to murder 10 million people, they are rather sweet in a fruit of the loom way.
Backed financially by an evil bulging eyed Pakistani general who enjoys cutting a cake in the likeness of India (“there goes Kashmir”), they seize an abandoned prison that sits on a small island and hold hostage a few hundred sightseers. They have a deadly face-deforming virus and the missiles to deposit it in the water supply of Mumbai and they threaten to do so unless they get a zillion dollars and a blind date with Rani Mukerjee (oh, wait that would be my demand). The Indians put their best man on the case - the rugged poorly shaven Suniel Shetty who looks as if a smile would crack his face like a broken vase. The island is nearly impossible to reach unseen and only one man ever escaped . . . and fortunately he is handsome and can almost dance - Ajay Devgan. Put the breaks on - it is time for a lengthy flashback. Ajay was a master criminal in cahoots with Arbaaz and Sanjay, but after he falls in love with the stunning Neha Dhupia (Miss India 2002) he announces his plans to retire and so his co-workers double-cross him and try to kill Neha. He ends up in jail with a major grudge to settle. He gets his chance in spades.
The last forty minutes of the film turns into a non-stop action roustabout that is wacky and totally over the top fun as Ajay gets that menacing look he is famous for and becomes Rambo squared. There are a number of fun sequences with use of wires and a suspension of belief as various explosions send him skyward a few times, but on one occasion he still manages to throw a hand grenade while in propulsion mode. This is the type of action film in which every punch is a loud as a Rush Limbaugh lie and just as phony as everyone goes flying back first down distance. Some comedy relief is interjected by the adorable Riya Sen, who is 90 percent eyes and lips and is one of the hostages. The poor thing has to spend much of the film in a wet halter-top and like the trooper she is never complains of the cold!
There are a number of songs - the disco one, then one with Riya that starts off with her in a bubble bath - yet more water - and then a few with Ajay and Neha. The disco song - Qayamat - is probably the strongest, but though all are serviceable, none really grabbed me in the same way that Riya's pout did. They are wise enough to stop the music once the action really kicks in.
Brainless fun with solid performances by all - the three villains in particular were delightful and it is great seeing Isha get a meaty ice killing bad girl role - she was the Khallas girl in "Company". Neha glows, Riya purrs and Ajay glowers and Bollywood is saved by the good guys - what more could you want? Oh ya, that date with Rani.

My rating for this film: 7.5

Song 1

Song 2