Dushmani - A Violent Love Story (1995)

Bunty Soorma - Director / Anand Milind - Music

Sameer - Lyrics / Running time: 2 hours 43 minutes

Own it!

The Capulets and The Montagues. The Jets and The Sharks. The Singhs and the Oberois? Why not! Yes folks, it's time for another take on the tried and true tale of star-crossed lovers, and this time it's in Hindi! I'll give them a little credit though since it's not an exact retelling of the tale.

The reason I picked this one up (other than the fact that Manisha is in it) is because of the subtitle "A Violent Love Story." I figured one doesn't see one of those every day, so what the heck? This movie has some problems, but overall it's not unforgivably bad. Plus it's only one or two actors away from being a Khal Nayak reunion. That being said, let's look at our repeat performers:

First up is the always lovely and welcome Ms. Manisha Koirala. Manisha has made several appearances here at Army of Monkeys, including 1942: A Love Story, (short) Agni Sakshi, Chaahat Ek Nasha..., Gupt, Jaani Dushman, and Lajja (short). She's taking on the Juliet role here, and does a nice job. She gets to have a few good tempestuous fits, which are always fun.

Next is a long-time AoM veteran Jackie Shroff. Jackie's done a lot of time here, starring in such films as 100 Days, 1942: A Love Story, (short) Agni Sakshi, Devdas, (short) Jung, Khal Nayak, and Rangeela. If you'd like to picture him as Lord Montague, feel free. However every Lord Montague I've ever seen never looked as good in a moustache.

Also appearing is Mr. Anupam Kher. He's been with us in 1942: A Love Story, (short) Khal Nayak, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (short), and Yeh Hai Jalwa. Usually he's playing a father type role, or some form of comic relief. This is not the case in today's feature, as he takes on the equivalent of the head of the Capulet house.

Lest we forget our Romeo, we have Sunny Deol. Sunny's only been in one other movie I've featured here, but it was a doozy. He rejoins his former Jaani Dushman co-star Manisha for this film. I am happy to report that while his fighting has some glaring deficiencies, he is a lot better at it than some other actors he shares a name with.

While I don't have names for the other two performers I'd like to point out due to the Khal Nayak connection, I will mention that the actress who played Champa in Khal Nayak is back in this one (once again as the leader of a song and dance troupe), as well as the actor who played the villain (well, the other villain) Roshan Mahanta. Good news for those of you who were worried - he has hair this time. No panting cats though, so there's that disappointment.

For this outing, we have on the roster:

Jai Singh (Jackie Shroff) - The leader of one of two rival gangs in town. Quite influential, and very protective of his younger brother. He's got a major complaint against Oberoi.
Oberoi (Anupam Kher) - The other gang leader in town. He and Jai go way back, and have been upset with each other for quite some time.
Suraj Singh (Sunny Deol) - The younger brother of Jai. He doesn't seem too worried about the connections Jai has. That is, until they get in the way of his love life.
Sapna Oberoi (Manisha Koirala) - The daughter of Oberoi, and a very sweet and timid girl. Let's see... two relatives of rival gang leaders, about the same age, and interested in each other. Sound familiar?
Rama Oberoi (Deepti Naval) - The wife of Oberoi, and once a girlfriend of Jai's. As one can imagine, this has caused some complications.
Sardar (Manohar Singh) - A retired crime lord that still has a minor influence in town. He might be able to help quell some of the tension between the city's gangs. Then again, maybe not.
Raghu (Raghuvir Yadav) - An auto-rickshaw driver, and Suraj's best friend. A little on the excitable side.

"Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, um, well, in fair Mumbai, where we lay our scene..." oh it will all end in tears!

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