Dir. Subhash Ghai
An inspiration and source for Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om, Subhash Ghai's Karz ("debt") is in virtually every respect a flawless masala entertainer. It has everything, and I mean everything. As one of Hindi cinema's canonical peechle janam stories, it has a healthy dose of mysticism and larger-than-life themes like justice, karma, and familial bonds. It has a main character, Monty (Rishi Kapoor), who is a famous stage performer, for no reason other than to provide excuses for its fantastic, over-the-top songs - set pieces like song from which Om Shanti Om took its name, in which Rishi Kapoor dances awkwardly on a giant spinning record after riding in on the tone arm. It has Pran, playing a good guy who speaks largely in couplets. It has a brilliant Aruna Irani item number that also features Pran disguised as a fakir. It has Simi Garewal, in a melodramatic yet wonderfully rangy performance - cold and creepy as a murderer, and increasingly disturbed and distressed as Monty gaslights her into explosive confession of her crimes. It has Durga Khote, who recognizes Monty as the reincarnation of her murdered son without question. It has strange, inappropriate nude photographs sprinkled throughout its sets, for the camera to focus on at symbolically charged moments. It has a bizarre, greedy villain, Sir Juda (Premnath), who communicates by tapping out codes that only his henchman Mac Mohan can understand. It has Iftekhar and Yusuf Khan in hilarious fake beards. It even has Jalal Agha. In short, Karz has just about everything there is to love about Hindi movies in one fantastic package, with a quick pace and very little fat (allowing for a little pudge around Rishi Kapoor's rapidly spreading middle).
My utter delight as I soaked in every frame of this hilarious, satisfying movie came out in the tweets I made while I was watching it, many with screencaps to highlight the visual awesomeness. Thanks to Storify, I have collected all those tweets here, and allow them to serve as my review of this fantastically entertaining movie.
So without further ado, here is the joy and brilliance of Karz, summarized via live-tweets from a gobsmacked, delighted Carla.
Be sure to click the "Read More" link after Durga Khote - there are more tweets and I'd like you to see them all.