Daulat Ki Jung (1992)

Poor Juhi Chawla and Aamir Khan can't catch a break. Let's repeat. Poor Juhi and Aamir...


...can't catch a break!


Directed by S. A. Kader and produced by Jalil Ahmed, Daulut Ki Jung (The War for Wealth) is an adventure film. Rajesh Chaudhary (Aamir) and Asha Agarwal (Juhi) are lovers who elope in the face of parental opposition, with Shafi Inamdar and Tiku Talsania playing the fierce fathers, respectively. As the young and innocent escape, they run into gangsters involved in a treasure hunt, and must join them or face certain death, because Rajesh is the only one who knows where the treasure is. As they reluctantly join the organized quest for riches, they encounter plenty of those who want a share of the prize. But will anyone get it? Will Rajesh and Asha survive? And will their love survive through a couple of triangles? And what of the parents? Daulut Ki Jung has all the answers, and lots more that's sure to amuse and surprise.

Having first seen this before I turned a teen, I wasn't sure what my response would be following over a decade and a half. I'm now admittedly more willing to appreciate the pure commercial -- or masala -- film, so that part of me has evolved since. And that means even a film as inconsistent as ever with its blend of masala goodies, will have its share of positives. I have no other explanation for my fondness of this film. I'm sure you're going, "Doh, it's Juhi and Aamir, stupid!", and that would be fair, but it's okay for some questions to go unanswered.


Check out this sample of elements: Feuding parents; Bodyguards; Mistaken identities; Disguises; A love story set on a college campus; Two love triangles; Eloping lovers; A helpful aunt; A street fight for a woman's necklace (justified, given the woman...haaye Allah!); A car accident leading to a startling discovery; A place of worship without a priest to conduct a wedding ceremony; Gangsters; Cops; Robbers; A villainess named 'Sherni' (Lioness); Long-lasting enmities; Traitors who somehow earn trust; Unashamed and unregretful displays of [protagonistic] selfish altruism; An influential snake; and to top it all off, a hero who has photographic memory, and (this makes the movie for me)...cannibals! Haaye Allah!


They make for an interesting Bollywood adventure film, indeed. And that's not all. Throw in some love of Hindi film that will give us film lovers plenty of evidence that all the heart we put into our fandom can actually do us some good. Yes, if push comes to shove...


...Bollywood knowledge (and some wit) can mean the difference between life and death...


...and can be used to strike fear in the hearts of the enemies.


New additions to the group that seeks the treasure aren't entirely wasted, and the cast somewhat makes up for a lacklustre screenplay. There's Kiran Kumar, Dalip Tahil (Aamir's dad in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)), Paresh Rawal and Viju Khote (from Andaz Apna Apna (1994)), and they're all rather good. My favorite here has to be Kader Khan, who is the primary catalyst for comic relief, and reminds one of The Undertaker (the wrestler and the World Wrestling Federation, now World Wrestling Entertainment, was very popular in India in 1992, given the advent of satellite television a couple years prior). Named 'Topchi' (literally translated as 'little cannon'), he sleeps in and operates from a coffin.


This might be an appropriate moment to debut my newest Bollywood-inspired Lego character. A fair representation of the climax to this film (sans spoilers, of course, which is a decent excuse for my laziness to search for the correct pieces/animals). If you've seen the film, consider this a piece of abstract art, with the alligator symbolizing a lot more than just a wild creature. The central character Rajesh, though, is in place. (Excuse all the silliness, I'm having too much fun with this film!)


The music (Anand-Milind, lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri) is good and fairly well-integrated. Bolo Sanam Ab Kya sums up almost every Aamir-Juhi starrer. Samjha Karo is a cute consolation song. Aye Mohabbat is hilarious but sad (refer to the opening sentence of this post). Ab Teer Chale by Udit Narayan and Anuradha Paudwal is the pick of the lot, and is aptly worded (I'll brave arrows and swords to hold my lover's hand). Check it out (here is its not so happy version):


The dialogue is redundant (and often out of place). The film is much longer than it needs to be. And it's sadly not a film I'd recommend if you are not particularly fond of the greatest filmi couple ever. (Although you could sample the first few minutes -- see link below.) Add to it that the folks over at Ultra DVD haven't digitally remastered this, which means one almost feels it's being viewed on VHS. Yet, the film does serve up some undeniable laughs (many for the wrong reasons, but credit where credit is due :D), although one absolutely must view it from within the scope of the masala mindset of the 1980s and '90s to appreciate them. For fans of the lead couple, it's certainly worth the watch, and a campy treasure in its own right. Oh, and if you're a fan of Tintin comics, you might enjoy it too. Singa Bonga! May the force be with you!


Movie/Music rating: 3/5
Watch it for Aamir and Juhi (and all that adventure!), and chances are you'll find it's a fun time-pass film. Skip otherwise.

My classification: PG-13 (for theme, violence)

Watch it for free!
Rajshri has it available for free viewing at this link (without subtitles).

And finally...
They're not related, but doesn't Juhi in this frame remind of Bhoomika Chawla? Not enough to be mistaken for the other, but there's some similarity, surely.

17 comments:

theBollywoodFan said...

This might also be a good moment to note that A. R. Rahman made it to the Time 100.

JJC said...

Yea he was like In the 40's i forgot what no. exactly.MIA made it there too.
they show this movie on tv once a mnth..and i always end up seeing bits and peices..its not a favoirtes..but aamir/juhi (again) are just too cute. but i like that song you put up..
after QSQT, my fav movie of them is hum hain rahi pyar ke..
I love Juhi chawla..i hate when people only remmeber her rishikapoor-gaon ki chori phase.

shweta said...

Good ol daulat ki jung- isnt this where dilip Tahil played his dad once again? i remember a awful "disco" dandiya song too i think, and mad 80s fashions- good stuff that.

Darshit said...

All I can remember about this movie are the Kadar Khan in Coffin and Cannibals scene . I need to re-eat..I mean re-watch this.

That Hum+MPK+RamLakhan lines are hillarious. And well, you are so crazy abt AK it shows in Lego :-D. We do not have much treasure finding movies, especially newer one. Hardly I can remember Naksha. Are there any more? It would be cool if it is made.

theBollywoodFan said...

JJC: There's a lot that's difficult to overlook with Daulat Ki Jung, but as you say, the cast salvages quite a bit. I definitely agree with your choices for the best Aamir-Juhi movies. Juhi's been a tremendous asset to Hindi film and film fans, no doubt.

Shweta: All that '80s-inspired fashion was evident in the film too. Dalip Tahil played a goon in this. The movie with that Disco Dandiya song was Love Love Love (1989), and hey, it was well-appreciated back in the day :) As for the film itself, I think Daulat Ki Jung has a much better plot than Love Love Love, just quite sloppily executed for the most part.

Darshit: That one scene with the cannibals is just howlarious, no matter how one looks at it. I thought it was quite innovative. I saw it three times before moving on, and I can tell you I hadn't laughed as hard in quite a while :D Lego rocks, yes! And I can't think of a pure adventure film that involved a treasure hunt, but Blue (2009) sounds like it'll do it well. I'll save that discussion for an upcoming post.

Anonymous said...

And there is the Lego-Boy... :-)))) And Kader Khan in the coffin...
Well done. Very well done...

I just remember those scenes directly taken from some american adventure movie.. like the right on time lunar eclipse or was it a solar eclipse...

I see... Time to watch it again...

Take care
Kristine

theBollywoodFan said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kristine! There are hopefully more Lego adaptations to come, I hope to put more effort into the next one though.

That scene with the eclipse could certainly have been adapted from somewhere. If it wasn't a Tintin/Asterix comic (for some reason, the entire second half was like going through one, which isn't a bad thing at all!) or an Indiana Jones-type narrative, it was from some holy scripture. The bit with the songs (and it had a couple of oldies too, which were waaaay over the top for an already outrageous moment)...very original =)

Pitu said...

HAHAHA! This was such a fun movie to watch. The cave scene was awesome. I love this jodi, they shd do more movies *pout* :-( Also, if I am not mistaken, the mandir-mein-shaadi dream scene from Andaz Apna Apna (where juhi says ''main tan se aur man se'' and aamir says ''mein tan se man se aur DHAN se tumhe sweekar karta hoon'')is a parody of the similar shaadi scene in this movie, or at least I have always thought so.

theBollywoodFan said...

I love this jodi, they shd do more movies *pout*It's been a while since they paired :( I was hoping they'd have some sort of surprise guest appearance as husband and wife in Jaane Tu. Maybe Delhi Belly?

That scene in Andaz Apna Apna is just hilarious, and you might well be right about the connection. They always seemed to face parental opposition (well, except in Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke) to the point where running off to get married was about the only way out, LOL.

Pitu said...

Heehee, I know! And who in their right mind would not want Juhi as their bahu! And Aamir as their damad! Moron parents :-p Did they have parental opposition in Ishq?

theBollywoodFan said...

Seriously! They did have parental opposition in Ishq, yes. See, the folks wanted Juhi and Ajay Devgan to marry, and keep Aamir and Kajol away in the process. Such haters... :(

Darshit said...

Ref: JTYJN
How about both of them playing - Foren Returned Bhaiyya/Bhabhi of Aditi? Then they see love between two and further adding 'Ghee' to 'Aag' of Meow, by convincing her, then the song 'Jaane tu mera kya hai'??? :D

See, no opposition here. PJ & Pumpkin are too kool :)

theBollywoodFan said...

I'm happy with the lack of parental opposition in Jaane Tu, but that's a great idea with Aamir and Juhi as the bhayya and bhabi! Maybe they could have appeared in that convertible by the truck in Nazrein Milana, and maybe the gang could've waved to them? Ah, the possibilities... :)

bollyviewer said...

Kya? Juhi and Bhumika arent related?!!! You're kidding. They have similar features and the same last name - ergo they are cousins! ;-D

I loved this movie when I saw it last and my favorite memory also includes Kader Khan traveling in a horse drawn coffin! rofl

Crazy on Bollywood said...

They are looking very cute as ever.So far i remember that movie didn't do well in box-office.

theBollywoodFan said...

Bollyviewer: I kid you not, when I first saw Bhumika Chawla in a film (I think it was in Tere Naam opposite Salman), the first thing I did was check to see if she was related to Juhi :)

Kader Khan really added quite a lot to this movie. Everything from his name ('Topchi', ROTFL!) to his attire to his abode was hilarious.

Crazy on Bollywood: You're right about the film not having done well at the box office, and there was good reason for that. 1992 belonged to Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar!

memsaab said...

It's in my shopping cart at nehaflix :) Off to read your take on LLL!