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Dirtscapes

Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

Entertainment...Secure - The Surakksha Movie Review

Circa 1979, a very important milestone in the history of Indian cinema was reached. Fed up with the firangee posturing of the so called 'Bond Movies', the team of Raveekant Nagaich and Ramesh Pant did some soul-searching, and came up with a brilliant concept, which provided a new sense of belonging and identity to our teeming millions who just couldn't come to terms with the swaggering, 'foreign' or dare I say it (gasp) colonial ways of Messrs Connery, Moore, Dalton et al. They gestated our own homegrown riposte, a cinematic middle finger to the western Bond in the form of Gunmaster-G9 (urf Gopi, ‘khoobsurat ladki jiski ek hi kamzori’) and who better to essay this role than the only hero that there is.


Surakksha. The two k's in the name add the requisite emphasis to this bold, defying venture.(I'm guessing Numerology didn't quite have as many delirious, 'dribbling from the sides of their mouths' fans back then...)

The opening song features a bevy of extraneous beauties, all doing a queen-bee routine, trying to get their hands, feet and ample tummies on G9, with Bappi Lahiri soulfully warbling "Mosumm (say that to rhyme with the Gujju pronounciation of Possum) hey gaane ka, gaane ka (note the poetic repetition here for emphasis...this is NOT because the lyricist was short of another word), bajaane ka...(something something) yeh jeebon, yeh dooniya saapna hey, deebane ka" in the background, with twinkletoes at his suavest, dapper best, hopping around town with them chicas, trying to paint it the deepest shade of magenta he had.

It is in this song that that otherworldly theme makes it's first appearance, with Annette (she's the lady who's sung the title song for 'Hello Inspector' - that Marathi serial) giving her windpipes ample exercise by going "Guuuuuuuunmasterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Geeeeee Niiiiiiine",with some guttural death metal vocals going "Gunmaster!!! G9! G9! G9!" (you can actually 'hear' the exclamation marks when this guy goes at it, and the last 2 ‘G9!’’s sort of fade and wrestle with each other as they echo away). This theme is used evocatively throughout the movie, whenever there's some action (more about that later), with a very Tom Morello-esque guitar riff (with some wah-wah effects at times) sending the required chills down your hairlines.

For the trivia conscious (full of corn and very very nutritious again), this movie marked Tej Sapru’s debut. He plays a good guy (a colleague of G9) called Jackson (“Jakesunn” as Prabhuji calls him).

The first 15 minutes of the movie are frenzied, with some super kinetic, Guy Ritchie style editing kicking your ass so hard that it gets masochistically pleasurable. Miss it, and you better give up trying to understand the rest. The basic premise is set up here, with Suresh Oberoi as a pilot in a don’t-blink-and-still-miss-it cameo (this I suspect vies with the Ramus, Bholus, Nandus of “Ramu, Bholu, Nandu, baahar feko ise…arre kahaan mar gaye sab ke sab” fame, for the shortest ever role in Bollywood). Jackson (undercover of course) and Suresh hit upon a secret diamond mine thanks to a map. Suresh is bumped off, and Jackson is spirited away by Hiralal (Jeevan), who is the front-end for the back-end mysteriously called ‘SSO’.

Jackson’s child is played by one of the cutest kids this side of Baby Guddu, who gets a cadaver (purportedly Jackson’s) as a birthday gift. The way the kid emotes tugs at your heart (and your gut) strings. G9 later deduces that the cadaver was somebody else, surgically enhanced to look like “Jakesunn”, and he was still alive.


G9 then rescues “Jakesunn” from Hiralal’s horse-neigh-meets-yowling-cat laugh interspersed clutches, and cadges a trip to the SSO (which incidentally stands for ‘Shiv Shakti Organisation’) headquarters (which is underwater near Dock no 7 – Bhaucha Dhakka, Mumbai). It’s there that he comes fact to face with the malevolent Dr. Shiva (played by a guy only credited as ‘Balaje’), a frustrated scientist(?), (with a blue glove on his right hand – ostensibly metallic) who is hell bent upon destroying the world. He plans to do thus using an (hold your breath) ‘Atomic Generator’, and not your run of the mill Atom and Hydrogen bombs. Tchhah. G9 taunts him, counter argues with his philosophy (“Bhagwaan aadmi ki sabse badi kamzori hai” and “Mujhe gussa bilkul nahi aata” for starters) and marvels at a dead-man-brought-alive-by-the-bad-doctor zombie called ‘Django’ (who wears something suspiciously similar to Amitabh in ‘Saara Zamaana’ and the Linkin Park guitarist's headphones). G9 is then given a demo of the Shiv Shakti Kiran, which generates energy equivalent to 'one crore suns' in 7 seconds by concentrating sunlight through ‘diamonds’, and causes tidal waves and earthquakes which destroy picture perfect, cardboard cutout coastlines. G9’s anguish makes Dr. Shiva laugh in all 8 octaves. Raucous, but deeply heart-rending.

Dr Shiva calls in a whole pack of ‘foreigners’ to push his Death Ray, and in the process G9 is made to sing and dance for them, and made to fight for his life with a bunch of lethargic karatekas, and the fattest Ninja in a blood-red one piece suit ever (he probably wanted to become a sumo wrestler, but his parents forced him into becoming a Ninja, and hence he over-ate a little to overcome his frustration. Some smoke, some drink, some eat. We all have our ways...). Easy pickings for G9 of course.

G9 then does his stuff, and consequently, makes Dr Shiva start and then bash up his apparatus. G9 escapes, Dr Shiva and his whole army of prim and proper hostesses (dressed in spotless white, even their socks and shoes) and his men mostly perish when his evil condo implodes, and the world as we know it would be safe once again. Until the attack of the ‘Killer Locusts’ in 1981 of course, which would force G9 to return…

PS : Almost forgot…Ranjita plays G9’s love interest, and Jagdeep is his bumbling sidekick (‘Guru aa gaye, tambu ukhaadke’)

True to form, this movie was responsible for some really cool mass hysteria when it was released. Click here for more details.
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3:19 AM, March 01, 2006
Blogger Supremus said...

Dude!

You are just AWESOME!! Man, I so so so want to rush to the nearest Indian store and rent this movie today - couldnt stop laffing till the end man - this is a masterpiece which I have missed! Tch Tch!!!

I have added you to my watch list on my site - I've been reading a lot of your engg stuff, but haven't been able to comment on them individually, but must say - you have a flair for humor...!

Great stuff here man!!!

Suyog    



3:52 AM, March 01, 2006
Blogger SEV said...

Fucking awesome. I used to think I know.. but I have my guru in front :)

Any idea of any place I can download these ? Mithun is not easily available in the UK...    



10:12 PM, March 01, 2006
Blogger Tapan said...

Suyog,
Thanks for adding me to your watchlist man, and thank you for your kind words. It's never too late to catch up on a masterpiece. Get going and hunt out this and the one dealing with 'Killer Locusts' - Wardat (review coming up sometime next week).

Satish,
Downloading these...hmmm... not really feasible man. You could try some desi torrents though...had come across a site which had ALL mithun-bhappi songs from the beginning of time till date. Will pass you the link if I can hunt it out again. Maybe on ur next trip back here, I could pass on copies of the VCDs I have... :)    



10:45 AM, September 09, 2006
Blogger Gussa Waala said...

I had a cricket (tiddi) problem in my house and out of nowhere I thought I need Gunmaster G9. That of course reminded me of this movie from when I was a kid. I did a search and found your blog. Cool :-)    



2:09 PM, December 28, 2006
Blogger Jeeban Ram said...

ROTFLMAO - Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off. Bugger this for a lark, you are a bit of an allright.
I owe my allegiance to Mithunda too. Kasam Paida Karne Waale Ki your reviews capture the soul of Mithun's movies.    



3:13 PM, December 31, 2006
Blogger Tapan said...

Gussa Waala,
Thanx man... that tiddi thing sure has some brand recall. ;)

Jeeban babu,
Awfully kind of you I say. What?
Thanx... and pleased to meet another member of the Mithun Army. Koi Shaq?!    



10:28 AM, January 06, 2007
Blogger Marvin said...

Dude, this is awesome...

Have you seen Commando? Do a review for that as well...

Mithun Da rocks...he is THE HERO....Sean Connery step aside...    



4:39 AM, December 27, 2007
Anonymous sd259 said...

ha! ha!. gunmaster g-9. i just read a review that it is "loosely" based on man with the golden gun. i remember the trailer from all those years back. never got around to see the movie. you make it sound fun! tom morello and guy ritchie. hmm...

does anyone remember the name of the sunny deol starrer in the same mold?    



7:19 AM, January 13, 2008
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across your site when for some strange reason (no doubt related to the 5 patialas of Red Label I just had, though I cannot figure out how (?)) I googled "gunmaster G9".

Very nice blog! I hope I come across it again on my next search, (Justice Choudhry) or, the next still (Painter Babu). That is, if I haven't passed out on my 6th patiala by then..

Kedar, Philadelphia    



10:46 PM, February 15, 2008
Anonymous Anonymous said...

amra chude laat... only gunmaster G-9 can save us now. Please mithun da, if you are seeing this, please come and help us. We desperately need you. Pass on the word people, gunmaster G-9 is needed. And needed desperately.

cheers,
Larry
Amravati Colony,
Durgapur.
[Team leader of the chude laats]    



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