Friday, July 09, 2004


Garv: Pride and Honour

These days it has become fashionable for filmmakers to say that they work with bound scripts, and for stars to say that they only accept films after reading scripts. Then, if films like Garv: Pride and Honour keep popping up, you just have to marvel at the script sense of filmmakers and stars!

If any person with half a brain were told a story about a cop up against a politician-gangster nexus, they’d start walking away. If they were told, hey wait, there’s a sister angle too, and a Hindu-Muslim brotherhood track too, and a courtroom drama… they’d run the other way as fast as their legs would carry them. Amazing, that Punit Isarr actually gets to make Garv with a Salman Khan!

The film begins with ACP Arjun Ranawat (Salman Khan) being taken to court, accused of the murder of 18 people. You don’t even have to see the rest of the film to know what brings him to this point. Arjun refuses to speak and pleads for a death penalty.

Flashback to Arjun killing a vicious pimp and almost being lynched by his superiors (why?). The commissioner (Amrish Puri) then asks the chief minister to sanction an encounter squad. “Encounter?” says the CM puzzled. He obviously doesn’t read papers or see Ram Gopal Varma films.

The squad is formed with Arjun and Hyder Ali (Arbaaz Khan) as leaders and they go about exterminating gangsters without anyone batting an eyelid! But of course Zafar Supari (Mukesh Rishi), the Don in Dubai (thinly veiled reference to you-know-who) gets rattled, gets the government changed, installs his puppet (Govind Namdeo) as CM, and replaces the good commissioner with one of his own men (Shivaji Satam). Strangely, his power doesn’t extend to getting the Special Squad disbanded.

The new commissioner tries to break up the team by accusing Hyder Ali of communalism and fails. Zafar actually sneaks into India with tons of RDX and lures Hyder into a trap. Odd that in the days of cell phones and wireless communication, Hyder and his men don’t call for help or even inform anyone that India’s most wanted criminal is around! Hyder manages to destroy the explosives in a big bang (which doesn’t even wake up the neighbourhood cops) before dying with a patriotic speech on his lips.

All this was enough to get Arjun into a vengeful rage, but no, if there is a sister (Akanksha Malhotra), she has to get kidnapped. And the reason why he stays silent in court, is because he doesn’t want the sister’s name besmirched. It doesn’t occur to anyone to question how come Zafar was at the CM’s farmhouse where Arjun committed mass murder?

The film is full of inconsistencies and glaring loopholes. If that were not enough, there is an annoyingly dumb romance between Arjun and a bar dancer Jannat (Shilpa Shetty), who does the most vulgar dances in ultra-skimpy clothes, to songs with lyrics that describe her as “sale la maal”. Ugh! At one point Arjun tells her she looks better covered up. Cut to her dancing with him in even tinier clothes. Besides, why doesn’t anyone tell him to wear a shirt! Salman is so fond of showing his torso, that following the scene in which he is savagely beaten, his skin doesn’t even show a bruise, leave aside welts or wounds!

Violent to the point of being revolting— bullets going through people’s heads, bones being broken, and so on-- Garv has no novelty and absolutely nothing to commend it for. Salman Khan dominates the proceedings, doing little more that scowling and speaking his lines funnily-- mumbling through clenched teeth. Watching such a movie is not entertainment, its punishment!


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