I am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian. I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears. I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati and other languages.
Mumbai producers like financing films about evil characters. I don’t care for them myself but enjoyed the 9 Dalmatians, starring Glen Close as Cruella Devil. I only saw the film on television because I don’t screen Hollywood movies, since I know what is going to happen based on the title.
Cruella wanted to kill puppies in order to make herself a beautiful coat. I found myself rooting for them. I also enjoyed the animal solidarity in saving the black and white puppies. There are many evil characters in Mumbai movies, and I have a few favourites.
Dhadkan, director Dharmesh Darshan
Sunil Chetty plays Dev, a poor man in love with the beautiful and rich Anjali (Shilpa Shetty). Dev is not a happy soul because he was raised by his mother (Sharmila Tagore), who got him out of wedlock. She tells him that she has never regretted his birth. She falls in love with Anjali and asks her not to hurt her son.
Anjali’s father (Kiran Kumar) comes back from a business trip and tells Anjali that he has found a match for her. She tells him about Dev. Her father reluctantly agrees to meet him. Dev turns up in old sandals and casual clothes. He basically flaunts his poverty.
Anjali’s father cannot believe the impudence and forbids the marriage. She runs away at night only to find her father waiting for her in the dark. He tells her about his honour and threatens to kill himself if she marries Dev.
Anjali marries Ram (Akshay Kumar) her father’s choice. Dev’s mother dies when she hears that Anjali is marrying someone else. Dev comes back into her life years later with a systematic road map of evil. He now has enough money to destroy Ram, and reclaim what he regards as his: Anjali. I liked the evil plot because there were no guns and bloodshed.
Aankhen, director by Vipul Amrutlal Shah
Amitabh Bachchan is a cauldron of evil in Aankhen. The man did not smile in the whole film. He plays Vijay Singh, a bank manager who was fired because of his unorthodox ways of dealing with incompetent employees.
Vishwas (Akshay Kumar), Ilyas (Paresh Rawal) and Arjun (Arjun Rampal) are blind men who are being trained by Neha, (Sushmita Sen) to rob a bank. The person pulling the strings is Vijay Singh. He kidnaps Neha’s brother to force her to train the blind men.
Neha’s tears about her brother do not bother him. She realises that she is dealing with an unstable mind because the whole idea of blind men robbing a bank seems impossible to her. She then wonders what he will do to her brother.
Vijay Singh is so evil he has already dug graves for the blind men, because he will kill them after the robbery. Something went wrong and he shoots a potential witness, implicating Neha. There is so much evil packaged in one man. What makes the film exciting is that Vishwas, one of the blind robbers outwits him.
I don’t like evil intentions prompted by politics such as Aakrosh but hey, one man’s meat is another man’s poison.