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Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

The Loha Movie Review

There are Mithun movies, and then there are distillates of a parallel universe. What you are about to read, is about a glowing, incandescent and steaming example of precisely that. This movie is beyond the capabilities of mortal description, and the written word would not do any justice to capture the sheer giddy feeling I get after I’ve seen this. Beats any rush in the world, hands and feet down.

The opening sequences set the tone for what is to follow, with street toughs talking in hushed, awe-drenched voices about the King of the Mumbai crime scene, LukkaBhai (Mohan Joshi). His ‘entry’ filmed against the crusty environs of good old Mukesh Mills is one of the grittiest (verbally speaking) sequences ever shot in Bollywood. He has a verbal duel with TandyaBhai (Deepak Shirke, in a powerful cameo), his erstwhile mentor, who has been overthrown by him. The dueling is not unlike the stuff you would have seen in 8 Mile. Only, this movie came much before it, kinda like a precursor. The dialogue is so powerful, it makes your eyes and nose water.

Samples –

Lukka : “Kya hua? Kyon chilla raha hai?”

Tandya : “Arre hona kya tha? Kauwe ne cheel ka chumma liya aur cheel ne choohe ka bachcha paida kiya!”

(This is the first of the many ‘WTF’ moments that you are guaranteed…)

Tandya : “Bhool gaya kya woh din, jab tu din ko boot polish, aur raat ko tel maalish kiya karta tha? Mawaali log tereko chikna chikna bulaake tere pichchwaade pe haath ghumaate the…”

Tandya : "Abbe chal be, main dhobi ghaat pe, tooteli khaat pe lita lita ke maaronga"

Lukka : "Main tera woh bura haalat karoonga, jo deemag lakdi ka, aur chhipkali makdi ka karta hai"

(Speaking of Eminem, they say he made the ‘inside rhyme’ popular, but you know where my loyalties lie…)

Incensed by Tandya’s insouciance, Lukka has Tandya’s sister’s ‘advantage taken’, post which a broken, hollow Tandya comes to Lukka, and begs for mercy and a job.

Lukka : “Tune mujhe bhadwaa bola, bahut kadwaa bola. Abbe o kadwe karele, teri behen marne ke baad, teri haalat us AIDS lagi randi ki tarah ho gayi hai, jiske paas kabhi koi giraik nahi jaata…”

Tandya : “Ab main woh cinema (ke ticket ka) ka aadha tukdaa hoon, jiski keemat show khatam hone ke baad do kaudi ki bhi nahi hai”

Tandya (totally breaking down) : "Ab maar daal mujhe, main bina petrol ki gaadi aur bin nashe ki taadi hoon, main woh fateli saadi hoon, jise koi hijdaa bhi nahi pehenta…"

Then it’s time for Shankar (Dharmendra), who plays a clean but disgraced cop, out to fight the system. Dharam papaji is at his rugged best, both attire, voice, and dialogue delivery wise.

After a while, God makes an entry with that ethereal ‘Dikhne mein bevda, bhaagne mein ghoda, aur maarne mein hathoda’ sequence, post which when the rape victim does the mandatory, bashful thank you, he mournfully laments

“Aapka yeh kanoon, aur bhagwaan, jab bhi kisi ko deta hai, to chappar faadke deta hai, aur jab leta hai, to thappad maarke leta hai…”

Arjun (God) is an ex-Military man (who obviously is entitled to shoulder length hair even while in the services – it’s HIM we are talking about) who has a run-in in with a baddie played by Rolling-eyes Rajesh Vivek (for quality movie folks, he’s Guran from Lagaan, and a B-Movie (B for Bhoot) legend in his own right…). He loses his lady love, and his military post, as a result of which he hits the bottle with a vengeance.

After a chance meeting outside Hotel Monarch (what are the odds?), Shankar saves Arjun’s life after he collapses and gets him a miraculous, bloodless operation.

Lukka gets Shankar’s sis ‘taken advantage of’ and killed. The two team up to fight the baddies along with Mustafabhai (Shakti Kapoor playing a handless baddie turned good) who has a score to settle with Lukka for chopping his hands off.

Shankar gets wrongly imprisoned, and Lukka comes to crow –

“Dekha Shankar, mujhse dosti karne waale ko Himalay ki pahad ki choti par bithaata hoon, aur mujhse dushmani karne waale ko main hari mirch ki chutney par bithaata hoon”

“Jahaan angoor na ghus sake, wahan tumne nariyal ghusane ko dekha…”

(Another juicy one which Lukka lets rip earlier on to one of his cohorts goes thus

"Phone sunte hi tumhara chehra kisi garbhavati billi ki pet ki tarah kyon gir gaya?!"

Potent stuff this...)

Shankar gets out of jail and then on it’s all about how the triumvirate systematically go about breaking Lukka’s stranglehold, and ultimately good triumphs over evil. Will not give the gory details away anymore, go and watch it.

There is also a very Quentin Tarantino-esque side plot/story with Govinda, Manisha Koirala and Dinesh Hingoo, which is a fine example of that school of movie making.

I have just one thing to say to you people. The USP of the whole movie, is the dialogue and the characterization. Period. Watch it and prepare to be amazed. I used to recite this stuff on popular demand while I was a student, and everybody thought I was making them up…till I actually showed them the movie. No one emotes while watching it, they just are too engrossed and zapped to react. Post movie, they confide that they were so, so wrong to have ever doubted me. I modestly brush it aside, saying that their reaction mechanism (or the lack of it) was worth it. One of my unquestioned, unchallenged and unilaterally favourite movies.
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12:57 AM, February 19, 2006
Blogger SEV said...

Mithun does it beautifully.. Cablewallahs have to be congratulated for keeping this cult alive, when there is nothing else; it is GOD!
Dunno if you've read this, but anyway:

We really should start a cult :)    

6:58 PM, February 20, 2006
Anonymous raghu said...

Dude you write really well...me not much into this mithun thing,cool stuff though...btw did you watch chingaari...looks like mithun da has done some good enuf acting..    

12:42 AM, February 21, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude can u write a review bout rudrasksh... its as funnny and mind boggling as loha :D....    

3:29 AM, February 25, 2006
Blogger Supremus said...

Oh God!

I couldnt stop laffing here!

Too good!

Here's cheers to mithunda LOL!    

4:28 PM, August 11, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lovely writings .cheers to u , but only after MIthunda    

4:42 AM, September 12, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please review Gunda - The ultimate movie made by man (although there is floating rumor about some extraterrestrial involvment, some even say that the director kanti shah is a bot from the future). It is soon achieving cult status that Lynch or scorsese can dream about...    

12:35 AM, October 18, 2006
Anonymous Shashank Mayya said...

hehe...I have finally uploaded Loha on google videos and desitorrents...


11:09 PM, September 23, 2007
Anonymous Anonymous said...

quote "12:35 AM, October 18, 2006
Shashank Mayya said...
hehe...I have finally uploaded Loha on google videos and desitorrents...

Cheers buddy, I had seen this movie a while ago and was just dying to see it again. cheers :D    

5:40 AM, July 31, 2008
Blogger Tejas said...

/The following comparison of Loha is wonly with Kanti Shah's greatest gem - Gunda. Loha is a great film in itself. I am just trying to point out where it pales in comparison to its successor./

When a director is given monies to spend on a project, he sometimes packs a bit too much in a film, than profound writing. Loha is a classic, but to give all the 'stars' of the movie their due screentime the story suffered as compared to the greater classic Gunda.

Prabhuji's Love tracks, songs, lack of strong characterization, use of too many locations - all such vices that spoil the fun of any big budget movie is visible in Loha.    

11:24 PM, March 23, 2009
Blogger Yusuf said...

Truly one of the legendary works of Prabhuji. The only movie I think that can surpass this master piece is Gunda.

Thanks Tapan    

5:02 PM, May 29, 2010
Anonymous Karanvivek said...

Awesome, best blog I ever read    

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