Golden Jubilee Club- Karan Arjun : Reincarnation And Revenge Make For A Bhelpuri Entertainer

| October 6, 2013 | 0 Comments

KARAN ARJUNKaran Arjun (1995) is one of those masala films that had been a staple of Hindi cinema in sixties and seventies. Its reincarnation theme though does not have a soul and ethereal pull of evergreen Dilip Kumar and Vayjanteemala starrer Madhumati (1958), still the esoteric mix of theory of reincarnation,laws of karma and revenge proved to strike a distinct chord with the audience.

Produced and Directed by Rakesh Roshan its story about the belief that with faith anything is possible and goodness always wins over the evil, portrays the travails of Durga Singh ( Rakhee Gulzar). Durga gets married into a wealthy family of Thakurs in which the lust for power leads to one brother Thakur Durjan Singh(Amrish Puri) murdering his own brother who is Durga’s husband. Durga single-handedly brings up her two sons Karan ( Salman Khan) and Arjun ( Shahrukh Khan) without telling them about their father’s murder. As they grow up the circumstances make them come face to face with their evil uncle Durjan Singh who decides to kill Durga with an intention of owning family’s entire wealth and property. Karan-Arjun intervene to rescue their mother but they are killed too.

Now Durga just can not accept this fact . She goes berserk and pleads with Goddess Ma Kali to return her sons. The miracle happens and her sons are reborn into two different families in altogether different  milieus as Ajay(erstwhile Karan) and Vijay(erstwhile Arjun) . Durga is unaware of the miracle. On the other hand both Ajay and Vijay  are unaware of each other as well as their past life. Then typically Bees saal baad (twenty years hence), circumstances and incidents make them come together to avenge their own murders, to kill the perpetrators, redeem the honour of their mother from earlier life Durga, who has been carrying on in the expectancy of her sons return. In the backdrop of this revenge drama there are staple love angles- Arjun’s love angle with Sonia ( Kajol) and Karan’s love angle with Bindiya(Mamta Kulkarni).

Shahrukh with his energetic,boyish flamboyance and Salman with his brooding, sullen, tough-guy act turned out to be a pleasant odd-couple. More than Shahrukh its Salman’s restrain that attracted attention. In the role of a suffering mother with fierce desire to avenge her victimization,  Rakhee Gulzar gave one of her most emotive performances.Though ridiculed by the villains her faith about return of her sons in a frequent assertion “Mere Bete Aayenge, Mere Karan Arjun Aayenge” really pulled at your heart strings.. Kajol and Mamta Kulkarni had nothing much to do except be the lovey-dovey babes. Amrish Puri as a classic case of bad guy put in a fierce and fearsome performance.

The action in the film has swords, guns, fisticuffs, even catapults, head-butting, kicking and horseback chases . Its no holds barred desi action by Bhiku Verma won him a filmfare award.

Those were the days when even a three hour long movie could hold. With running time of 176 minutes, Karan Arjun was enjoyable what with a right mix of story, action, boorish, blustering bad guys, high emotional  drama, hit songs , elaborate  dance sequences and the star power with its sincere performances. It was melodrama at its ‘filmi’ best with perennial Ma angle providing all the opportunities for lump-in-the-throat moments . Surprisingly, it got an award for best editing for the editor Sanjay Verma ( no relation to Bhiku Verma).

With a running time of almost three hours (176 minutes) surprisingly, it got an award for best editing also for the editor Sanjay Verma ( no relation to Bhiku Verma).

Infact the music was highlight of the film with lyrics by Indeevar and compositions by Rajesh Roshan. Ye Bandhan Toh Pyaar Ka Bandhan Hai, Jaati Hoon Main, Jai Ma Kaali , Gup Chup Gup Chup were well composed, orchestrated and choregraphed too.

With second highest gross collection at the box office after DDLJ, Karan Arjun proved to be a popular bhelpuri  family entertainer and was declared a blockbuster hit. It entered the portals of Golden Jubilee club after one year of its release on 13th Jan,1995.


Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan acted together for the first time.Second time they came together was in Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai.

Hrithik Roshan also worked with Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan, but in the capacity of an Assistant Director  to his father Rakesh Roshan.

The song Ye Bandhan Toh Pyaar Ka Bandhan Hai is a copy of R D Burman’s composition Aao Jhumein Gayen (Paraya Dhan-1971)

The theme music from the Hollywood blockbuster The Terminator(1984) has been reprised in most of the fight sequences.

Ajay Devgan was the first choice for the role of Karan that eventually was played by Salman Khan.

Almost the entire movie was shot  outdoors  in a village called Bhangarh in Alwar, Rajasthan.


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Category: Golden Jubilee Club

About the Author ()

Dhieraj Mohan is Hindi cinema’s keen observer. With earnest interest in its dynamics and constantly changing milieu he revels in dwelling on the discrepancies, idiosyncrasies,contradictions,masala and the formula that defines Bollywood.He is a poet and a screenwriter too,who simply adores Hindi cinema’s chameleon like traits.

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