Since this will be at least the third blog post on Amar Shakti in as many months (first Antarra, then Memsaab), I really don't have much to add to the conversation, even in screencaps. These two intrepid gals have comparative cast discussions, plot summary, and actual analysis covered - but even with all of those things accomplished elsewhere, how can a person not write about this film, at least a little bit?
Amar Shakti may be "Dharam Veer Light," but because "light" only has meaning relative to each original product's nutritional information, not against some fixed standard of measured intake, it's still a feast of R(ecommended) M(asala) A(llowance) ingredients, and watching it leaves you feeling like a happily dazed glutton, blissed out on Shashi and swordfighting. Alternately, you might call Amar Shakti a poor woman's Dharam Veer, but it's "poor" only in the sense that Wall Street execs are poor with their new TARP $500,000 salary cap.
For starters, it has the sweet, delicious, fattening, life-sustaining chocolate curls of one Shashi Kapoor (Amar), with his powers at full blast,
and the swaggering, saucy goodness of Shatrughan Sinha (Shakti),
first as royal guard/rebellious gypsy enemies, then as "Bhai?" "BHAI?" "BHAI?!?" "BHAI?!?!?!?!?!?" "MAAAA!!!!" (Indrani Mukherjee)
It also has a few of those moments that catch even semi-seasoned masala fans like myself by surprise. Wannabe leader Hameera (Ranjeet) and Shakti agree to fight over "The Well of Fire," a lair-type structure that is somehow a physically established component of their gypsy-ish "caravan" lifestyle.
I love that they actually have a proper name for it and such a wondrous structure does not go unremarked upon. The caravan has fantabulous textiles on their magnificent tents and covered wagons!
An evil character repents and learns his lesson - and survives to act on it! Symbolic juxtaposition of good and evil, true and false, through portraiture!
Maa gives Amar a slap both physical and metaphorical as he saunters home drunk in his Napoleonic ice capades outfit. (It was less the slapping and more the outfit that surprised me, of course.)
That's the sting of truth, my son!
A bubbling well in an underground dungeon leads to a princess's bathing pool!
I know it isn't fair to blame Sulakshana Pandit for not being Neetu Singh, but I never get over my disappointment that she isn't.
Magically morphing hairdos!
You say continuity error, I say pretty pretty princess powers!
Best bedroom ever!
Almost everyone wears fringe and/or looks like an elf, and Amar introduces the world to the shirt-coordinated wrist scarf.
And, one of best things I have ever seen on film, a papier-maché fire-breathing Trojan elephant is introduced in song by Shakti and the gypsies to a packed arena awaiting an execution!
Let Amar Shakti remind us all to beware of our Desai & Co.-fueled hubris in thinking "Well now I've seen everything." We haven't - and, Helen be praised, we probably never will. Masala zindabad!
Now, how about an extra sprinkling of chocolate curls before you go?