Past Continuous – Bollywood believes in reincarnation
Bollywood, like Hinduism, believes in reincarnation — you cannot break the cycle of life and death and life again — you can only choose your wardrobe and which songs you’ll sing in each life.
Bollywood, like Hinduism, believes in reincarnation — you cannot break the cycle of life and death and life again — you can only choose your wardrobe and which songs you’ll sing in each life. And if you’re Himesh Reshammiya, you can choose how many Zs you want when you chukao your Karzzzz. In the 1980 original, Rishi Kapoor was the reincarnation of Raj Kiran; in Karzzzz, Dino Morea is reincarnated as Reshammiya. That’s the other thing about punar-janam: the first life is unfair, the second can be more so. But as the best PJ (no joke) films will tell you, the only way forward is to quickly remember the past to exact revenge in the present.
So what happens when you, an icchadhari naag, and your girlfriend declare your love for each other in a song that ends with a thundering dance on top of a hill, a landmass that can’t take the pressure anymore and crumbles? You meet a rishi whose century-long tapasya is broken because duh, ya’ll crashed into his cave. He gives you a bhayanak shraap that transports your girl to a present-day college where her friends sexually harass her, justify it, makes her forgive them, and then they rape her. She dies. But you, her fairy god-lover from centuries ago, will seek revenge. Don’t you dare scoff at Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahaani— this is the king of all punar-janam movies. This movie has EVERYBODY from the 1990s in it, almost all of them die hissterical deaths (see what we did there!) but not before partying their little hearts out till naag babu metamorphoses from a car to a Terminator-figure and kills them; only Sonu Nigam survives the carnage, probably because it was his debut film and he sang most of the songs in the soundtrack.
And then there is the cautionary tale of Suryavanshi (1992): Beware the consequences of hitching your wagon to a man who turns out to be the reincarnated yuppie version of a callous yet beefcakey (and blonde!) gladiator (Salman Khan). His facility with combat wins him the heart of a callous yet beautiful princess (Amrita Singh). He leaves her after “dishonouring” her; she lingers on as an obsessive and vengeful spirit still searching for her Suryavanshi. The real lesson here isn’t hell hath no fury like a woman scorned — it is the fact that transmogrifying into He-Man (to whom this movie owes a great debt) makes you a master at taming the shrew.
What attracts us to a PJ film over and over again? Because it tells you a singular truth of the universe: what goes around, comes around and ain’t karma a bitch.
Source:: Indian Express