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   I do not see many Hindi films... (April 24, 1991)

I do not see many Hindi films. So when I see one, I choose it with great care.

For instance, last night on video I saw a Hindi film which I though was most unusual and with a very original and daring plot. Two babies get changed at birth, and it is only in the 22nd and final reel of the film, by which time the babies have grown up into two of our film heroes and much water has flown down the Ganga, that the mix-up is discovered.

There is another original touch about the film. The fathers of the two babies, now mixed-up, are complete contrasts. One is the dada of the local bustee, hard-drinking, rough-fighting, who is repeatedly breaking into vigorous Holi dances with the bustee's musical talents. The other father is a nobleman, very genteel, who plaus the piano in his drawing-room with the grand staircase, statuary and paintings, and gives concerts on the stage before admiring and applauding audience.

The mothers of both the boys die in childbirth. Which is a good thing, because otherwise they would have been able to identify their babies (mothers always know) and there would be no film. The only people who know about the change are the villain (my friend Pinchoo Kapoor) and the midwife. But the latter is not telling, because she has been warned by the villain that if she tells he will kill her and drink up all her blood.

No, it is not a vampire film.

Now comes the deep philosophy behind the film: Blood will tell, it prevails over environemnt. So though the boy born in a decent family is brough up by the dada, he grows up to be a nice human being and the film's hero, who refuses to flight and would not touch a gun or a knife except when he has to fight in self-defence. But when he has to fight, he can really, fight, as shown in the film's climax and various other scenes throughout the film.

The other boy meanwhile, born to the dada's family, but brought up by the piano-playing gentleman with all the advantages of money, background and education, grows up to be a rogue, in cohorts with Pinchoo Kapoor.

In the film's most dramatic moments, the good boy is about to kill the good father, who is he real father, in order to save the bad father, who he thinks is his real father but is not, because the bad father is threatened by the bad son of the good father, when he is actually the bad father's son. How the good son saves the bad father with the help of the good father, who is really his father, and how the bad son fails to kill the good father, because of the intervention of the bad father, who is his father, I will leave you to enjoy on the screen.

And I think it is a very original plot, though my friends infrom me that the Hindi cinema makes about 500 films a year with the same plot.

 
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