Read any recent interview of Sajid Khan and you would see him stating "According to critics, I think too much of myself," well Sajid, after watching Himmatwala critics will surely change what they say to "Sajid Khan has stopped thinking altogether." One can never imagine a day would come when you would claim all of Sajid Khan's previous works to be master pieces compared to this apology of a film titled Himmatwala!
Re-written as the filmmaker claims this remake to be, Himmatwala of the present times has pretty much the same plot with scenes twisted here and there. A tyrant Sher Singh (Mahesh Manjrekar) who has the entire village under his control uses his might and power to wrongly frame Dharam Murti (Anil Dhawan), the pandit, who catches Sher Singh committing murder. On being shamed in front of the villagers Dharam Murti commits suicide while his wife (Zarina Wahab) is left with two kids to fend of herself. Sher Singh's tyranny doesn't end here as he comes after Dharam Murti's son too. But the mother helps Ravi, the child escape. The son, now Ajay Devgn, returns to Ram Nagar after years to avenge his father's death and his mother's lost pride.
Himmatwala, with its inane ludicrousness gives Hindi cinema new lows of creativity. And Sajid Khan doesn't just stop at further violated an already over the top film of the '80s, he also brings about a reference of the famous bathroom scene from the Alfred Hitchcock cult suspense horror Psycho which should be a crime in itself.
If the original film wasn't soaked in enough melodrama, Sajid Khan takes melodrama to a whole new level with dialogues that must've been done to death in the '80s alone. So you have a mother wailing, "Tujhe teri maa ki kasam hai beta" or mouthing hackneyed lines like, "Tune meri kok se janam nahi liya, tune mera doodh nahi piya!" Yes, you can gag on those lines while they unabashedly are screened over melodramatic background score that makes you want to wail too at your bad karma of watching the film.
If the tripe cinema isn't enough to numb your sense, there's ample buffoonery in the name of humour and character-sketch that works brilliantly to leave you seething. Sure Kader Khan went the slapstick way with his characterization in the original but Sajid Khan's version of Narayandas with Paresh Rawal playing the role is preposterous. It's a pity to see the hugely talented Paresh Rawal ham away to glory courtesy a filmmaker who deems such ridiculousness as humour.
Mahesh Manjrekar tries too hard to show some menacing elements of being the bad guy but sadly, he too falls for the tawdry writing of the filmmaker. Asrani who is stuck in the time warp of being the Jailor in Sholay for the nth time essays similar role. Adhyayan Suman playing the role once essayed by Shakti Kapoor is average at best while Zarina Wahab filling in the shoes of Wahida Rehman does justice to her portions.
Ajay Devgn, the Himmatwala of the new version tries blending his valour with comedy but fails miserably this time around. There's definitely a limit to extract from a formula and Ajay seems to have reached his. South star Tamannaah Bhatia on the other hand is the only respite in the film. Not only does she look beautiful but also plays her part well.
To sum it up, you need ample Himmat to watch this Himmatwala.