NAAJAYAZ 1995/ Mahesh Bhatt I was surprised to see Ajay in a film with Juhi Chawla. I didn't know they had ever been co-stars. However it is the presence of Naseeruddin Shah that makes this film quite good and different than the norm. I first saw Naseeruddin Shah in Ijaazat with Rekha when I had just gotten into BW films and was blinded by SRK and more glitzy fantasy. Even though I could see that Naseeruddin Shah was an excellent actor, I was spoiled by SRK's magical appeal and thus missed the man who is obviously one of India's great acting talents with over 120 performances to his credit and still working. The plot of this film is nothing new, but I felt Naseeruddin Shah's presence was somehow forcing the film to be deeper, thus better. You could see how the Ajay-year-1995 had not yet grown into his more subtle acting skills that were to emerge from him but you could feel him watching and trying to learn from Naseeruddin Shah. Whenever there is a scene in Naajayaz that you feel have "been there" before in BW films, you suddenly realize that Naseeruddin Shah is playing it with an intelligence, sensitivity, and depth you normally don't see from the cast of regulars. Reema Lagoo was also quite good in this film and really looking very lovely. I liked her portrayal of Ajay's mom and Shah's faithful beloved. Juhi Chawla is purity itself and she looks so young here. Oh dear, time moves so cruelly on women. She plays a police woman and an undercover cop, shades of One 2 Ka 4, and does some very nice dancing. There is even a scene where she does a sort of Choli Ke Peeche 'heaving-breast' dance Madhuri style. One wonders if this is this the way undercover cops in India traditionally catch criminals ? For a funky Ajay must-see, there is a dance where he wears what looks like a table-cloth, a baggy t-shirt, and a ski-cap-beany. Yep! Hilarious! He must die of mortification when he looks back on some of these bizarro old dance numbers they had him do -- pre-Malik! There are some very tender moving scenes among all the revenge and madness, along with Ajay doing stunts on motorcycles, lots of exploding trucks, and of course Ajay & Juhi in love. So sweet! This film was a real surprise and I recommend it as a good 1990s BW fare especially for Ajay, Juhi, and Naseeruddin Shah fans.
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
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October 28, 2020