Avoid, yaar, even though the yaar in question is Dharmendra or Amitabh! Ram Balram

You heard me. Your outfit here is the best thing in the movie.

You know what? With Memsaab, Filmi Girl, and Rum already giving Ram Balram waaaaay more ink than it really deserves in their noble attempts to figure out what went wrong with it, I'm going to protest this film being any further drain on the collective brain power of humankind and just say this: the songs are fun, but don't, for the love of high Helen above, let them sucker you into the whole movie. "Ek Rasta Do Rahee" shows the easy glee of Dharmendra + Amitabh (Dharbh?) and "Yaar Ki Khabar Mil Gaye" starts off with Amitabh in a poncho and a giant hat, which are exactly the tricks writer/director Vijay Anand and crew use to trap you. DO NOT FALL FOR IT. Do not fall for the poncho! Do not fall for Rekha's tambourine! Do not fall for the funny effect of Amitabh's long limbs, swathed in black, poking out from under the poncho as he dances in the flamenco/cowboy/village-defending song!

Do not fall for the sound masala premise of orphaned chor/sipahee brothers (or are they cousins? I forget, and it doesn't matter) abused by a creepy uncle who threatens them with a giant nail at the end of his crutches! Do not fall for the Helen-Zeenat-Dharmendra Dance of Distraction aimed at getting the upper hand over their evil captors on a ship! (And do not fall for the related mystery of why anyone is on a ship in the first place!) Do not fall for the heroics of Dharmendra in a harlequin pink and white jumpsuit and motorcycle helment dangling from a helicopter. EVEN DHARMENDRA IN A PINK AND WHITE JUMPSUIT DANGLING FROM A HELICOPTER CANNOT SAVE THIS MOVIE, though I totally understand why you might think he could.

Abort! Abort!

Watch the songs. Skip the rest. It's boring, it meanders without cohering, it lacks in emotional pull, and it kills off the otherwise wonderful female character who has a a child outside of marriage. It's an utter failure and waste of several good ideas and performers. Avoid, yaar! Avoid!


Filmi Girl said…
It's SO TRUE! I did that thing where the only reason I wanted to watch this movie was because I liked (and continue to like) the song "Ek Rasta Do Rahi." The rest of the movie fails so badly on so many levels...
Anonymous said…
Okay, now that FOUR of you have seen it and written about it, I want to see this film.

Even if just for the pink jumpsuit.
And the nail thingee.

You're sure it's not a cult classic in disguise?
Filmi Girl - I fell for the same thing even though you had explicitly warned me not to. Sigh. When will I learn? (NEVERRRRRRRR.)

kmatthews - I understand, believe me, I do, but I really cannot express how much you should not see this. Or if you do - because I'm pretty sure you're not going to take my advice, and I understand, because I didn't take Filmi Girl's even though in essence I believed her - have something really good lined up to do right after. The jumpsuit is towards the end; otherwise I'd say turn it off after the poncho song. Or watch through the poncho song (which will cover enough of the menacing nail motif) and then FF to the jumpsuit. The only thing you'll miss by doing that is Prem Chopra as a bad guy wearing a full suit with...CLOGS.
Sanket Vyas said…
Pretty dumb movie, agreed. But I saw this when it originally came out and you neglected to mention my favorite part of it! Namely seeing Amitabh & Rekha together and what is one of my favorite Kishore/Lata duets EVER with 'Achaa Kaho'. The song even stops midway to pay homage to a song from a great Sanjeev Kumar movie with Lata filling in for Rafi's original words.

Silly, yes. Songs rock,, yes. Cult classic? Far from it.
Bollyviewer said…
But I love the songs... and the movie is on youtube... Sigh! Will just look at the songs and avoid the movie, since you say so. Dont know how long I can remember the warning, though. A year or two from now, when I've forgotten the warning, the lure of the songs might just get to me - and there might be another *avoid yaar* post in blogland! :-)
Sanket - You're right, I did forget that one! It's good, with pretty intense chemistry. I had no clue about its reference to the other song! Cool.

I agree, this is no cult classic. What makes a film a cult classic is a huge ball of wax, I'm sure, but surely, SURELY this film does not possess whatever those characteristics are.

Bollyviewer - I understand :) Maybe the only thing really noteworthy about this film (other than the songs) is its mysterious power to attract us despite us knowing better.
Anonymous said…
I hope I get some Beth Love kudos, because it was my second time around! just for you! (all right, I know that my very bad memory negates some of that sacrifice, but still).

Shoulda, coulda, woulda...didn't.

(hee: verification word=plogyn. doesn't that sound like a good description of this film?)
Todd said…
And if Dharmendra was dangling out of a helicopter in his drawers, ala Saazish, would that have tipped the scales a little?

I feel fortunate that, while my overall recollection of this movie is not a positive one, the specific things that I remember from it are the good bits, like Amitabh's Spaghetti Western wear, Helen and Zeenat's dance (even though the whole concept of a mother/daughter sexy dance was a bit queasy-making), and... well that's pretty much it, really.
Shellie said…
So many times I have been suckered into watching a film simply because I loved the musc. So, this time, I note the warning and will surely abide.
Anonymous said…
Hi, I stumbled upon your blog from the side links on FilmiGirl's blog.

This is the second or maybe third review I've seen of this film that says 'AVOID'.

Unfortunately, I bought Ram Balram on my last Nehaflix order because I decided I needed more Amitabh films.


Popular Posts