Darr (1993)

Yash Chopra - Director / Shiv Hari - Music

Anand Bakshi - Lyrics / Running time: 2 hours 56 minutes

Own it!

When I am aware of a series of films, or any other type of collection, I don't like to have any gaps. If I have one of them, sooner or later I'll get all of them. When two movies in a trilogy have been released on DVD, I hate waiting for the last one to come out simply because I know there's more and I am missing one. While I do appear to be rambling, I am coming to a point here!

Having covered Baazigar and (ugh) Anjaam, there was one other villainous role for Shah Rukh Khan floating around out there. Leave it to good old Mark to supply me with the third - 1993's Darr. As those of you that know the industry are aware, this film has a little bit of a story to it that takes place behind the scenes. While they go into much greater detail over at BollyWHAT?!, I will only relay the pertinent facts here. The short version is that when Sunny Deol signed on to perform in this movie, he was under the impression that his was the choice role to have. For the record, he does have the heroic character, and has more screen time than his evil counterpart. However, the critics and fans all paid far more attention (and heaped on more accolades) to the more interesting and memorable character that was being played by the (then) up-and-coming Shah Rukh Khan. Deol swore that he had been lied to by the producer/director Yash Chopra, and vowed never to work with him again. I'll leave the rest of the tale to far more accomplished historians, and get right onto the business at hand.

Oh and on a somewhat weird note, I chose the last film partly based on the subtitle - "A Violent Love Story," and even made a point to say I don't see that kind of descriptor used very often. As fate would have it, Darr has the exact same tagline. Even the fonts are almost the same.

We have a first here at Army of Monkeys - every single prominent character is being played by repeat performers, so let's have a look.

First up is the oft-mentioned Shah Rukh Khan. He has appeared many times on AoM, with roles in Anjaam, Baazigar, Devdas (short), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (short), Karan Arjun, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (short), Main Hoon Na (short), and Ram Jaane. Some might argue that his role in Ram Jaane was also a villain, but that one is not quite as cut-and-dried. Of all of his evil roles, this one is easily the mildest. Of course, anything after Anjaam is going to seem pretty tame.

Next we have the lovely Juhi Chawla, who was last seen in Ram Jaane along with her old pal SRK. She should know by now that if she's in a movie with him, odds are he's not going to be pleasant to be around.

Sunny Deol graces us with his perpetually perky and cheerful disposition yet again. In fact we just saw him in the previous article for Dushmani. He also made a rather brief but memorable appearance in the much-maligned stinker Jaani Dushman. We get the full Sunny Deol treatment in this one, with dour glances and double-barreled scowls all around, many to the strains of a stolen soundtrack. More on that later.

Next up is the grizzled veteran Anupam Kher, also just catching his breath from his memorable (and rare) portrayal of a bad guy in Dushmani. He's also been with us in 1942: A Love Story, (short) Khal Nayak, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (short), and Yeh Hai Jalwa. He is back to his more familiar comedic genre of acting in this film, so that should soothe any concerns you might have had that he'd be running around shooting aimlessly at our heroes.

Tanvi Azmi joins us, having last been seen as the mother in Dushman. It seems she likes movies with similar titles.

Last but not least we have Dalip Tahil. He's been featured in a few films around here, including Gupt, Mast, and Baazigar. His is a smaller role this time out, but still he's got a job to do.

For this outing, we have on the roster:

Rahul Mehra (Shah Rukh Khan) - Rahul is a little on the obsessive side, and has selected one lucky girl as the object of his affections. Let's see how his plan to woo her works out.
Kiran Awasti (Juhi Chawla) - A very pretty young woman that happens to have caught the eye of one slightly stuttering admirer. Her fiancÚ might not be all that happy about that.
Sunil Malhotra (Sunny Deol) - One of the Navy's top men (as evidenced by him getting the theme from "Top Gun" played when he enters the movie) and Kiran's intended husband. Not fond of any competition.
Vijay Awasti (Anupam Kher) - Obsessed with cricket to the point of phrasing every element of his life in cricket terms. Also fond of squabbling with his wife.
Poonam Awasti (Tanvi Azmi) - Vijay's extremely patient wife. Seriously, if I was married to a sports fan as intense as Vijay, I'd go crazy.
Captain Mehra (Dalip Tahil) - We don't learn his real name, so we'll go with Captain for now. He is Rahul's father, and also Sunil's commanding officer.

Don't you understand? He loves you, K-k-k-k-k-k-k-iran.

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