This Bollywood remake of the biggest hit of 1983 is faithful to the original with two significant additions: a pre-interval plot ‘twist’ and a key role for a Bengal tiger (see also ‘Life of Pi’). Its plot of revenge and retribution remains the same. Ravi (Ajay Devgn) returns after many years to his rural village where he finds his family home in ruins and his mother Savitri (Zarina Wahab) and younger sister living in poverty. In a flashback we learn that the source of their plight is the murderous Sher Singh (Mahesh Manjrekar), who framed Ravi’s dad for the theft of the temple’s loot. Disgraced, he hanged himself; Savitri was ostracised from the community. Naturally, Ravi decides to avenge this injustice.
The Hindi original, itself a remake of a remake, was an ’80s masala potboiler that cruised to unexpected box office success. This current version adds extra spice to every element of the ‘formula’ to update it for today’s audience. It largely succeeds. Fans of hammy acting, juvenile jokes, elaborate song and dance sequences, corny dialogue and cartoonish violence are in for a treat.
Director Sajid Khan whacks our senses with over the top set pieces intended to make us laugh and cry. Alas, it’s difficult to distinguish between the funny and sad bits. Depending on your cinematic sensibilities, you may giggle at the dated cheesy emotional mother-son exchanges or clap in the climax when God is summoned by Ravi’s mother to save her son from the baddies. He does so in the form of a CG tiger! Like the title of one of its five songs, this film is ‘tacky oh tacky’ fun.