The 90s were a time of great changes in the Indian landscape. Powered by a consumer culture, the society veered off its 5000 yr old course and proceeded down a road of materialism and greed. The Underworld and the terrorists joined forces to make India “tukda tukda“. The “aish mein doobi” society was too impotent to do anything. It was then that Kanti Shah, a veritable Messiah emerged on the scene, ably supported by his lackey Bashir Babar and who else but Prabhuji Mithun Da as his patron saint.
Perhaps it would be in order to just revisit 1997 and see the kind of movies that came out that year. First we had Aflatoon, that sounds suspiciously like “patloon”. The sexual innuendos were taken further by Gupt with its immortal “kuch baatein gupt hi rehni chahiyen“. Who can forget Daud with its songs like ‘Zehreela Pyar“! To cap it all there was Pardes where Apoorva Agnihotri (no less!) tried to rape his own fiancee! To cut a long story short it was a very “bhayaanak paristhiti” with sexual mores thrown to the winds and Gunda-gardi khullam khulla.
So yeah, getting back to Loha, the panacea for the ills plaguing the Bharatiya samaaj. The movie starts with rough looking goons demanding weapons and drugs from other rough looking goons. The latter direct them all to Lukka Bhai (lit: Goon), the underworld don of Mumbai who, it is claimed, can fulfill all their demands. The scene then shifts to Lukka who is confronted by his former mentor Tandyeah who accuses him of treachery (Poolice ke saath milke mera hi fultoo kar diya!). An unrepentant Lukka gives his reasons (tu saala champakali ki gali mein moongphali khaata phirta tha…kya karta main?). This only makes Tandyeah even more angry who accuses Lukka of having done boti-boti of his own mother for profit. He then threatens to capture Gol Basti that is Lukka’s fiefdom. Lukka retorts, “Phakeeron ka chehra le kar mujhse panga mat ley…warna teri halaat us khatmal jaisi hogi jo khatiya ke khaanche se din mein nikalta hai!“. Violence inevitably follows with Lukka raping Tandyeah’s sister whom he was purportedly going to use to get “Poolis aur leader ka support” (khabardar…aaj tak tum sab ne picturon mein rape dekha hoga, aaj asli mein dekho!). A castrated Tandyeah submits himself to Lukka’s mercy who then proceeds to shoot dead this “bin nashe ki taari, bin petrol ki gaadi and phateli saari“.
I could go on, but it would be a shame if you would know the spoliers this way. There is a Zee TV dekhne waala Inspector Kaale (who is later promoted to Commissioner)..(ek sher sunaata hoon…bura mat maanna)..A dishonest Minister (Wonderful! Wonderful!!!)..A retarded driver ki beti in leather tights..(Mantriji mere daddy hain??)…And of course the heroes, Dharam Paaji himself (Yeh Punjaab ka panja hai!)..A widowed Mithun Da (Dikhne mein bewda..bhaagne mein Ghoda…maarne mein hathauda!)..A patrotic Muslim don (Shakti Kapoor!)..(Agar toone is desh ke tuke karne ki koshish ki)…A sex obsessed gunda, Saleem Chikna (Woh Shankar hai na…us ne meri KAR di hai!), killed brutally on a runway by Dharam Paaji.
Rape is a national obsession. Murder happens as frequently as farting, The Police as impotent as “bina gas ka cylinder”..And Dharam Paaji catches bullets with his hands (ala Ace Ventura!)..
Loha is a movie that has a message. That earth shattering bakchodi (Tune mujhe bhadwa bola…par bahut kadwa bolaa!), shapeless women (Geeta!) and leather jacket wearing fading superstars CAN combine to make a great movie! Wholesome entertainment. Just keep the family out.
PS-It also has a parallel storyline between Govinda and Manisha Koirala! What for? Dont ask me!