This film was recommended to me by a friend although I ended up watching Insaaf: The Final Justice, produced in 1997, instead of Insaaf circa 1987. The mistake turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I ended up enjoying the film I wasn’t supposed to see. Was it corny? Yes. Were some of the scenes absolutely ridiculous? Yes again. Did it entertain me? Absolutely and that’s all that matters in my mind.
I’m new to Bollywood films so I enjoyed watching how the influence of America has made its way over to the sub-continent. Take the opening credits as an example. I couldn’t believe my ears but I’m hearing the Terminator theme. Normally this would be disappointing, especially without any robots in the film (they’re weren’t), but I found it hilarious. And it only got better. In the middle of the film, a bunch of kids are dancing in the park to the Axel Foley theme. Seriously, how can you top something like that?
As for the film itself, it can be boiled down to a story about rival gangs. Good and evil are very black and white with Akshay Kumar starring as Inspector Vikram Singh, an all around bad-ass who is a mixture between John Rambo and John McClain. Vikram plays the good guy who refuses to cooperate with the corrupt Chiman Bhai (Paresh Rawal). I’ll have to tip my hat to Paresh Rawal who played a very convincing mob boss much in the mold of Tony Montana. Even though I don’t know a lick of Hindi, I’ve come to appreciate his inflection and intonation. Of course, no action film is complete without a beautiful woman. This film is heavily influenced by the gritty action movies of the late 80s and early 90s so it was no surprise to see Shilpa Shetty fill the role.
The ratings for this film on IMDB were horrid which I can understand because certain scenes were rather painful to watch. I also haven’t seen too many Bollywood films so I’m still trying to get over the constant pausing of the story for a 5 minute music break. As an American I’m just not used to it although I must confess that the most popular song in this film, Baara Aana De, managed to get stuck in my head causing me to listen to it about 10 times on Youtube after watching the film. In spite of the poor reviews, I found Insaaf: The Final Justice to be an interesting examination of America’s influence on Indian pop culture. Perhaps a college student might find this blog helpful for a term paper…eh probably not.
3 out of 5 stars.