CAST & CREW
|Produced By||G. Hanumant Rao|
|Directed By||K. Bapaiah|
|Music By||Bappi Lahiri|
|Kader Khan||Amjad Khan|
Click HERE for a complete listing of Cast & Crew
Ramchandra aka Ramu is the son of a lowly gardener who lives in the city of Ujjain with his mother and a friend, Hanuman. He falls in love with the princess Indumati and desires to marry her. An evil magician Mantrik along with his disciple Sadajappa in pursuit of the power of the Goddess Pataal Bhairavi wants to sacrifice Ramu before the Goddess. He lures Ramu by promising his riches, however Ramu gets to know Mantrik’s evil intentions and beheads Mantrik. Sadajappa resurrects Mantrik and what ensues is a battle between the good and the evil. Ramu kills the evil Mantrik in the end and marries princess Indumati.
Click HERE for a complete plot summary and storyline.
I had immensely enjoyed Pataal bhairavi as a kid and still love Kader Khan’s rendition of the evil magician in the movie. What I did not know until recently was that this movie was a remake of a Telugu movie by the same name (‘Patala Bhairavi’) which featured screen icon N.T. Ramarao in the lead role. (Click HERE to read more).
This movie is essentially an Indian mythological adaptation of the story of Aladin. The genie is replaced by a Goddess – Pataal Bhairavi (played by another regular in the Padmalaya camp – Shoma Aanand) who is invoked by uttering the magic words ‘Jai Pataal Bhairavi’ when holding the statue of the Goddess in hand -an easy substitute for rubbing the magic lamp. The difference here is that Goddess Pataal Bhairavi keeps repeating nonchalantly ‘Manav, bol kyaa ichchaa hai teri?’ (What do you desire, human?) till the time the wish to be granted is not mentioned which is kind of funny.
Kader Khan does well as a comic villain and Shakti Kapoor plays an able sidekick to Jeetendra. However it is Amjad Khan who actually excels as ‘Vishvanath Chanchal’ with his comic timing and buffoonery in his endeavors to marry the princess Indumati played by the gorgeous Jaya Prada.
I personally think that the decade of 80s was the creatively the worst decade of Indian cinema. The formula films of this decade hardly gave the actors a chance to break the stereotype moulds that they had been cast in. The commercial formulas were repeated with heavy doses of melodrama, unreal situations and bleak storylines and plots. Jitendra, I feel displayed immaculate market and commercial sensibilities when he headed south and became a favorite with Padmalaya studios and gave many commercially successful movies like Himmatwala, Tohfa, Pataal Bhairavi, Mawali amongst others even in the era of video and VHS invasion. Though most of these movies would now seem either heavily laden with fake emotions and thin plots or exceedingly funny (specially on the costumes, dances and dialog deliveries), the fact remains that these movies had a mass appeal as per taste of the people who used to visit cinema halls in the 80s.
Pataal Bhairavi is fun to watch if you are a little forgiving about the details that the director failed to take care of. Amjad Khan excels in his fancy dress show and Jeetendra is at his dancing best (don’t chuckle).
The choreography is bound to get you rolling in laughter. There are typical geometrical formations and scores of ‘extras’ running in the background and lying down in circles, standing in circles and even swimming in circles. Jeetendra is wearing a cape and flying, no running like superman and jumping around with all his latka-jhatkas.
Nirupa Roy does a cameo as the Ramu’s ever woeful ‘Maaaa’ and Dimple Kapadia makes a guest appearance gyrating as if she has hurt her backside (supposedly seductively) to a song that goes ‘Chumma chumma –2, mujhko bana le Priya-tamma’ sung by none other than Salma Agha. Yup, our very own Pakistani import who sings in such a heavy nasal voice that all Dimple Kapadia fans are left to wonder that what financial crisis forced Dimple to even accept this song let alone dance to it. The camera angle (and this is what I noticed in all Padmalaya films) is ridiculously low for all such ‘thumkas’. (I shall prove my point when I discuss Himmatwala and add a screen capture of Sridevi dancing before another low placed camera).
I truly feel that the movie should be watched for Kader Khan’s dialogue delivery and the way he goes about reciting ‘Bol Ambe', Bol jagdambe’ and his evil business. His falling for the princess is a little out of tune with his character and his shaving off his beard which apparently contained his magical powers at the slightest of instigation becomes difficult to digest even in this bizarre magical tale.
Bappi Lahiri dishes out some foot tapping numbers and one song ‘Mehmaan nazar ki’ stands out. However the lyrics are a big let down. Consider this that the song ‘Mehmaan..’ actually goes something like this ‘Mehmaan nazar ki ban jaa, ik raat ke liye..’ which is kind of creepy considering that when translated it means ‘Be my guest for a night..ahem’. So when you are watching this movie with the kids, just ensure that they do not pick up any lyrics. (But then it is still better than Emran Hashmi crooning ‘kabhi mere saath koi raat guzaar..’ now what can be more direct than that? Anyway.)
I recommend you watch ‘Pataal Bhairavi’ for the following few reasons:
- Some very funny dancing and high pressure dialog delivery by our own ‘Jumping Jack - Jeetu Bhai’.
- Some ‘ass’tounding gyrations by the gorgeous Jaya Prada.
- Amjad Khan dancing in a huge Ghaghra-Choli along with Silk Smitha (rare right)
- And above all, Kader Khan essaying the role of the evil magician (5 star).