Khoon Pasina
India 1977
Directed by Rakesh Kumar.

Ram and Rahim are best friends, just like their fathers, though one family is Hindu and one Muslim, they are inseperable. When the villainous crook Zaalim Singh beats and attempts to kill a man in the middle of their village for daring to inform on him to the police, their fathers are the only two who dare to intercede, and when they do, the village supports them. The criminal vows to kill the two men, and to do so by creating hatred between Muslims and Hindus. The year is 1947, and suddenly the violent fighting of the partition seems to be created by a petty gangster to punish two good friends. Talk about the political becoming personal! The boys are tragically seperated, a fire destroying their homes and their families. Ram grows up to become Tiger (Amitabh Bachchan), a fierce but good hearted soul who always fights against injustice. He was raised by his friend's mother (Nirupa Roy), his own family having been destroyed. Her own son, Rahim, is believed to be dead.

But it isn't so. Rahim is alive and well, and has become the most dashing and daring bounty hunter in the province, and goes by the name Shera (Vinod Khanna). Their lives run parallel, but Shera hears often of Tiger, and though unaware of his true identity, Shera declares himself to be "very keen to meet" him. He gets his chance when the villain systematically ruins Tiger's reputation, and the villagers hire Shera to hunt him down.

Incredibly sloppy production work mars this otherwise entertaining action picture from Bachchan's glory years. The editing is almost incoherent in places, sometimes unintentionally, I'm sure, but sometimes done with obvious intent to obscure the complete lack of action choreography. To further obfuscate the action, the fight scenes are often given a hazy white border, as if the fog of war has encroached on these small fist fights. During one fight, in which Shera takes on about twenty men with guns, he kicks them all out of their hands, only he feet dangling into the frame in a dynamic leap that would put even the most constantly airborne kung fu masters to shame. In one shot, the clumsy editing appears to show people just throwing their guns at him to kick away.

The end of the film appears to have been hastily thrown together in post production, leaving the viewer to wonder what happened. Ran out of budget? Out of time? Whatever the case, several shots at the end feature the actors performing in front of screens with stills of the location propped up behind them, sort of as if they were now acting out in front of the movie screen, rather than in it.

But the story is a classic tale of intergenerational revenge and a friendship for the ages. Both the leads are exceptional. Amitabh admittedly acts like a bit of a moron, at one point releasing a tiger in the middle of the market to impress a girl, only to see it run riot, so he has to fight it to put it back in the cage again. (A double wrestles the heck out a real tiger at this point). When he finally subdues the animal, the people in the market cheer, as if forgetting that he let the damn thing out in the first place. But needless to say, the girl is duly impressed. Despite his rough edges, he is still just a sweet mama's boy. It's just "whenever there is injustice, a fire rages in my heart, and I must fight to make it right." Vinod Khanna is a real find, a super-cool tough guy who strikes his matches on people before beating them roughly about the face and neck.

The print of the film on the Eros DVD is quite poor, with lines, discoloring, some audio pops, and video jumping. With a movie as haphazardly put together as this, the defects hardly help.

Rating: Marginally Recommended (Marginally Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on November 22, 2004.


This was hilarious...have to see the movie now..LOL

Posted by: Srinivas at March 1, 2007 09:26 AM
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