As promised (or threatened): Farz ki Jung. It starts as of with a suitably garish title-sequence
before introducing us to an extremely happy and devout family, consisting of Jaikishen (Amrish Puri), his Lakshmi (Gita Siddarth) and their son Vishal (Govinda). Jaikishen is known as a generous man who lives to serve others and both his wife and his son are devoted to him.
Now, early familiar happiness is always dangerous in the movies, and the viewer's worries are further enhanced by the fact that Amrish Puri is either cast completely against character or his wife and son are in for a few surprises.
You aren't exactly alleviating my suspicions here:
We are then taken to a college and introduced to a new student, Kavita (Neelam). All the girls tell her about Vishal and how great he is and how she will fall in love with him when she meets him. However, before that happens she attracts the attention of some unsavoury types. Unexpectedly, Vishal does not come to the rescue but she is well able to defend herself.
She has every reason to look smug:
Vishal seems to be friends with some of the unsavoury types (but somehow not much is ever made of this in the movie) who in turn now sing Kavita's praises. When the two finally meet we are treated to our first song.
The two on either side used up the movie's fluffy hair allowance, so nothing was left for the third:
A bit laters, Kavita meets Vishal in the library to treat him to some sweets, as her (considerably older) brother, Inspector Vikram (Shashi Kapoor) has been creating panic in the underworld>
I like the fact that this looks like a real library; on the other hand, surely they shouldn't have food in there:
We then see one of the underworld king pin's henchmen (MacMohan) talk to a lawyer about the difficulties of trying to get rid of Inspector Vikram. Apparently, the gangster's at his last post held a huge celebration when he was finally transferred, well, at least those who weren't in prison. This is followed by a chase scene in which Inspector Vikram chases a truck transporting smuggled goods. He manages to stop it but the truck driver is shot before he can interrogate him. At least he managed to confiscate the drugs and we get a small lecture on the evils of drug abuse:
While he is asking himself who could be behind this large scale drug trafficking, the viewer is given this information. And to our complete surprise the head of the drug smuggling gang (who is in league with foreign powers to rob the Indian youth of its manhood and vigour) is none other than Jaikishen, who goes by JK when he does illegal business.
I am so surprised by this development:
He has a colour-coordinated private army, too:
We then meet Inspector Vikram's family, including his wife (Anjana Mumtaz) and his mother as well as his younger sister. They are a very happy family, which does not bode well for them at all:
We follow Inspector Vikram to work where he deals roughly with some people who have come to bribe him, and then sets of to provide security at a political rally held by Jaikishen. The meeting is disturbed by an elderly gentleman who accuses Jaikishen of being an evil person. He is taken away but Inspector Vikram has become curious and goes to meet him later that day.
Oh dear, so he is a corrupt politician, too:
Please, somebody help me get rid of this awful beard:
Hmm, I suspect something:
Inspector Vikram learns that Jaikishen was a government officer in a smaller town, and was very corrupt, but when the elderly gentleman wanted to testify against him, he got himself transferred and had the elderly gentleman's family killed. After some persuasion, he is again willing to testify against Jaikishen and is going to meet the inspector in the evening, but when he arrives at the appointed place (a dimly lit warehouse with giant cobwebs, what else) he has been hanged.
Really, the beard wasn't that bad:
This seems rather strange, but things become somewhat clearer, when Subinspector Gill goes to meet Jaikishen in his evil guise and turns out to be in his pocket:
He is also married with an upright wife and a son, whom the mother suspects of taking drugs, but who the father still provides with money (I wonder where this could possibly lead)
Mum isn't happy:
Before things can get to serious, we get our next song for which the camera-man seems to have made good use of his wife's cookie cutters:
However, we are soon back with the evil people plotting how to get rid of the overly efficient Inspector Vikram. They decide that the best way forward would be to frame him for the possession of drugs and they promptly proceed to do so. Inspector Vikram is arrested and taken to prison, a course of events which leads to his mother expiring from a heart attack. Vikram's younger brother, Amar, is transferred so he can look after the family. He is also a police officer (and yes, we have never heard of him before):
Not the reunion they would have wanted, one suspects:
Vikram tells Amar that he suspects that Jaikishen framed him, and Amar goes to talk to his superior , Mr. Walia, (Iftekhar, he really is in every movie), where he meets Jaikishen briefly. After a brief comic relief interlude and some moment of commiseration between Vishal and Kavita, we are taken back to the evil people and a dance number involving a lady in pink ruffles and not much else as well as Mr. Paker (Bob Christo), the foreign agent who apart form poisoning India's youth is also after some defence files:
My poor eyes:
It turns out, that some of the drugs supplied where more poisonous than planned and the hospitals are overrun with dying young people, leaving behind young widows and helpless mothers. Inspector Amar tries to find the main supplier and manages to arrest one of Jaikishen's henchmen as well as finding the defence paper, in a rather unlikely place:
Meanwhile, Vikram has been released from Jail and is reunited with his family. However, his arrest and time in jail have taken their toll, and he seems to be unhealthily focused on revenge even day dreaming of killing Jaikishen and embarking on a career of hooliganism late in life by beating up vegetable vendors. He even goes to Jaikishen's house to threaten him, and when Vishal asks his father who their visitor was, he answers him that it was Inspector Vikram who has rather lost his mind in jail, and I can't entirely disagree with him:
I am not sure this is such a good idea:
Despite their private problems, Vishal and Kavita perform at their school, a number named “We are a new generation”. When Jaikishen is trying to give Kavita an award she refuses it on the grounds that he is an evil and corrupt person. This, naturally, leads to a rift between Vishal and Kavita, but when Vishal learns the truth about his father, indicated by this handy symbol:
he leaves his parent's house. His mother, however, refuses to believe ill of her husband and stays. This is in contrast to Inspector Gill's wife, who returns her mangelsutra to her husband when she learns that he has been taking bribes, leaving him confused and angry.
Meanwhile, a cunningly disguised Vikram overhears a conversation that an exchange of the secret documents is meant to take place between two agents named Cobra and Fishermen.
Behold, Vikram, Master of Disguises:
Also, the artwork on the suitcases is really something else:
Vikram manages to intercept the papers and leaves them in a secret place marked with a big white X . After beating up an innocent phone-booth user he tells his brother where the paper's are hidden, only to be abducted by Jaikishen's men. Amar finds the papers, even though there seem to be two rocks marked with an X
and then searches Jaikishen's home where he finds a picture of his younger sister which leads to a very awkward conversation at home. Unsurprisingly, Kavita's family isn't best pleased with her choice of boyfriend, but they do mellow somewhat at the end of the conversation.
Meanwhile, Vikram, now sporting a cap, seems to have joined hands with Mr. Paker:
What is going on there? Will the defence papers remain safe? Will Subinspector Gill ever see the error of his ways? And will we ever see more than one facial expression from Inspector Amar? What happens if someone disregards the sign?
This is fairly standard and enjoyable 80s fare, with plenty of dishoom, familial convolutions, and strange fashion choices. There is really only one major problem, which is the guy playing Inspector Amar (Dalwinder Sohal). When I first watched it I wondered who he was related to, but in fact, he is the producer of the movie. His acting, or lack thereof, is really quite painful to watch. Fans of Govinda might find that there is to little of him, as he really is mainly there to provide some romance and to dance, but the plot revolves around his father and Inspector Vikram.