Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gharshana (2004)

This is actually the second time I've seen Gharshana and obviously I forgot all about it when I put the disc in the player a second time. This might seem like it's a movie that is easily forgotten, and while it's hardly original and still a good action-drama in a very underrated genre (in the rest of the world): big, muscle-guy with moustache hits bad guys with his own fists and romances a beautiful woman at the same time. Yeah, only in India and this Telugu movie doesn't break one single convention - but sometimes it's nice to play it safe, at least so ignorant foreigners like me can get entertained.

Venkatesh plays sadistic (almost fascistic) super-cop Rama Chandra who think it's just better to kill the criminals before spending the tax money on a real trial. While not courting the young teacher Maya (Asin Thottumkal), he's also on the hunt for Dass, a very dangerous criminal - and they day he kills him everything seem fine. The problem is that he didn't kill Dass brother, Panda (Salim Baig) who's now out to get revenge for the murder of his brother and starts killing of every cop and their family involved in the case! It's up to Rama Chandra to save the day - if he can save Maya first!

India has never been a stranger to remakes, either just traditional remakes or proper legal remakes of other Indian movies - without one million geeks whining like they're dying. Gharshana is a remake of the Tamil movie Kaakha Kaakha (2003) and in 2011 the Hindi version came, Force - and yet another one the same year, the Kannada remake Dandam Dashagunam! But hush, don't mention it to the politically correct movie geeks out there. They could faint.

Back to Gharshana! This is what I call Indian Action Porn, which means that with a cock-shot or two it would be perfect as a very expensive and ambitious porn movie. All men - at least the heroes and the main baddies - are big, strong and muscular with tight trousers and with testosterone pouring out from every artifice in their body. The love-interest of the hero is beautiful and sexy, but there's always a few booty-shaking slut-like characters to inject some more SEX in the story. Not  negative thing at all, it's just fun with these amazing stereotypes and the shameless übermensch propaganda that would make Joseph Goebbels spin around in his grave of jealousy! This is American action from the eighties, but often even more over the top.

Compared to others in the same genre this is quite low on jaw-dropping wire-work, but has enough sadistic beatings, shootouts, stunts and slow-motion somersaults to make an action-fan like me happy. It has an odd grindhouse-quality also, with - it seems - different quality on the film stock, some very strange editing choices and this official DVD boasts print with water/sun damage and scratches. Not on purpose of course and it fits the slightly trashy, but expensive, atmosphere of the movie.

The story itself is more or less original but at one point they can't stay away from classic Indian Hollywood-remaking and almost scene for scene copies an important scene from David Fincher's Seven!

Gharshana is not a masterpiece or classic of any kind, but it's very entertaining and very violent, which is enough for me. I think most of you would appreciate it. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"and obviously I forgot all about it when I put the disc in the player a second time."

Yeah...I can´t tell these films apart....when seeing trailers of these films I get lost. seem to tell the difference...hahahhahhah...great review Ninja.