Taarzan - The Wonder Car (2004)

Abbas-Mustan - Director(s) / Himesh Reshammiya - Music

Sameer - Lyrics / Running time: 2 hours 40 minutes

Own it!

This article is something of a treat! In conjunction with my friends over at The Gorilla's Lament, we are presenting a small tribute to the late, great Amrish Puri. We wanted to select some films that showcased Amrish-ji's many talents, both as a villain and as a sympathetic character. I went with the softie role, and chose the one movie that had the title that I simply could not pass up. This brings us to our selection du jour: Taarzan - The Wonder Car.

Have you ever wondered what Christine would have been like if the car had possessed a softer side? Or how about if Herbie from The Love Bug had a murderous streak? This is another one of those movies that seems to be just a little hazy on who the target audience was. I'd think that most adults wouldn't feel the need for their homicidal cars to stop and save school children who are stuck in a ditch, blowing smoke smiley-faces after them as they leave. Nor would most kids appreciate the finer, subtle points of a scene involving a burning car smashing through a living room and running over someone as they called for help. Then again, I could be way off the mark.

For our cast, we have three repeat performers:

As I mentioned earlier, this film stars Amrish Puri in one of his more sympathetic roles. He's made previous appearances on AoM in the films Karan Arjun and Taal, as well as in some of the films mentioned in the Shorts collections, such as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (Shorts Vol. 1) and China Gate (Shorts Vol. 2). The man has quite an impressive resume, and was best known for his villains. However, when he needs to, he can be as paternal and generous as the kindest soul.

Also returning is Ajay Devgan, last seen playing the feisty bad guy Angre in Khakee. His role is somewhat limited in this film, as most of the time he is represented by the car itself. However he does have enough screen time to merit a special mention here.

Finally we have Gulshan Grover, who had one of the smaller roles in Ram Jaane as Bhau, the head of the crime syndicate. It seems from his recent filmography that he's gone legit, and is mostly playing police officers now. I watched two Hindi movies this weekend, and Mr. Grover showed up playing practically the same character in each of them. I'll be covering the other film in a later recap, as it was a doozy.

For this outing, we have on the roster:

Raj (Vatsal Seth) - Our hero. The son of Devan and the creator/designer of Taarzan.
Priya (Ayesha Takia) - Raj's ladyfriend and his staunchest supporter.
Kartar Singh (Amrish Puri) - The gruff and grumpy owner of the garage where Raj is employed. He seems to have difficulty with his less than gifted son.
Mr. Saxena (Shakti Kapoor) - One of five co-conspirators who try to steal Devan's car designs and murder him to preserve the secret. A board member at "Four Foxes Autos."
Inspector Sharma (Deepak Shirke) - A crooked cop, and conspirator #2.
Mr. Kapoor (Pankaj Dheer) - Conspirator #3 and a fellow board member at "Four Foxes."
Mr. D'Costa (Sadashiv Amrapurkar) - Conspirator #4 and a fellow board member at "Four Foxes." Also "blessed" with an unfortunately dim-witted son, Jojo.
Mr. Chopra (Mukesh Tiwari) - Conspirator #5 and a fellow board member at "Four Foxes."
Inspector Khurana (Gulshan Grover) - An honest, if not somewhat slow cop who is investigating the mysterious deaths.
Devan Chaudhary (Ajay Devgan) - Raj's father, and the soul within Taarzan.
Grandma (Farida Jalal) - Raj's grandma. Perhaps the sweetest lady in all of Bollywood.
Jojo D'Costa - Give him time folks. It takes him a little while to catch up to the rest of us.

If anyone notices that Tobey Maguire has gone missing, I'd look for him in India using the name Vatsal Seth. I swear these two are related. It's just spooky.

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