less than the sum of its parts: Fakira

This movie should have been better. It's got great ingredients: Shashi Kapoor in "a masala film he made with gusto" (so said Aspi when he told me about the movie, and I agree!), the always reliable Shabana Azmi, Amrish Puri's brother as the bad guy, Danny Denzongpa,

a comic sidekick who's not too annoying (Asrani), and lots of Recommended Masala Allowance features, like a drive-in lair,

quite possibly the inspiration for the Charlie's Angels logo,

a cool female bandit (Aruna Irani),

a Clapper prototype (used to awesome effect during a fight),


pigeons who deliver fire cracker-looking bombs,

murdered parents, flames, Dussehra effigies, long-lost brothers, treachery, an undercover female cop, revenge, a charity auction, and steamy bits.

Phew! Even with all of this, Fakira, except for the fun performances and the never-ending parade of delightful elements, didn't really do much for me. When I was reading Filmi Geek's review, which you should do too, and she mentioned that there's a corrupt politician, I thought "Oh, he was a politician?" That's how little I was grabbed. I wasn't inspired to pay equitable attention to everything that was going on. But I agree with Filmi Geek that it's a reliable timepass - don't go out of your way, but if you come across it, there's a lot to have fun with. Which, after all, is probably the major point of a movie like this.


Unknown said…
Thanks Beth for bringing back some old memories...I think this was one of the few commercial films Shabana acted in..

Hey, I spotted a kiss there...how come no one created a racked about that?

Anonymous said…
"Always reliable"?!


Anonymous said…
Apologies for following up on my own grumpy comment, but I want to address Kamla's observation - to be honest the kiss looks like more in the stills than it did in motion - it happened quickly, during a song, as they were turning away from the camera, and was only visible for that one moment in the screencap.

Still, it makes one sit up and took notice. I thought the naughty bits of this film, including that kiss, and the busted bed that Beth also showed below it, were rather bold for its time! It was the most interesting things about this film, really. It makes me wonder if it's not a coincidence that both principals have edgy art-house credentials alongside their commercial endeavors.
Sanket Vyas said…
This is one of those movies that tried to cram WAY too much into it's running time to satisfy each and every person that came to see it. I saw it as a child in India when it first came out and enjoyed the heck out of it - probably wouldn't want to revisit it. This is another one of those movies that my friends & I refer to as 'Bollyweed' movies - meaning the makers of the movie must have been smoking something or you need to in order to properly enjoy it ;) Pretty good soundtrack though...
AD said…
Wasn't this Asrani's meatiest role too? And his character had to be called Popat. Cruel fate!

I also rather enjoyed Madan Puri explaining his villiany to Shashi Kapoor rather patiently and with a smile on his face - like a kind teacher instructing an errant pupil.
Unknown said…
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Anonymous said…
hey Beth, truthfully Wasnt Aruna hotter than Shabana Azmi in this movie???;))
Aruna had more Oomphh value she outshines the heroine
filmyink said…
i hav just started watching the mov; feeling bored already((((
Anon and themuse - To be honest, I hardly remember this film, and at the time I watched it I was I actually GAVE AWAY my copy after viewing it :) I know, I know, hard to believe I gave away a Shashi film! While it's fun to see Shabana in stuff like this because of how discordant it seems with her later work, she does sometimes get lost in the shuffle (particularly Amar Akbar Anthony, I think).
filmyink said…
true ; i am regretting why i got the VCD Shabana was good in parallel cinema not commercial ones ;no wonder it wasnt worth remembering!!!
Apparantly Shashi made some wrong choices; we r human after all ))))

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