I don't remember how old I was when I first watched this movie, but since the very first time, it has stayed etched in my mind. This movie is one of the masterpieces of Bollywood, a movie that gave us a superhero and was well ahead of its times. Whether it is an original idea or not I am not aware, but it sure did serve the imaginations of the entire country. Even after 23 years of its release, it makes me sit up and watch it all over again. A movie that gave us more than one character and scene to remember, Mr. India, DAAGA, TEJA, KAARGA, HAWA HAWAI, that small girl TINA, CALENDAR, GAITONDE (the editor) and above all MOGAMBO. The movie has all the ingredients of a masala hit and the standards of a good movie also. Well, in terms of technology of that time, it might not have the strength to match Hollywood movies (it was around this time that Terminator was released) but with whatever was available, it did a decent job.
The story was set in a time, when the country was going through troubles like black marketing, adulteration, unemployment and external enemies. The common man must have been, in some state of mind, looking for a super hero of some kind to relieve him of all the troubles. Mr. India touched that nerve. It was a well executed movie. No wonder that Shekhar Kapoor gained a reputation of being one of the finest directors even though he has made only a handful of movies.
If I am to pick up one single frame or dialogue as favourite, I can't. There are so many of them, whether it be the medley sung by the kids to get their football back, Sridevi's entry, Mogambo's every scene, his maniacal laughter, the Charlie chaplin scene (sridevi is one of the very few actresses capable of comedy scenes without being slapstick), the scene when Mr. INDIA goes to see GAITONDE the CRIMES OF INDIA editor, the INDIAN GOD MARTA BHI HAI scene (with our favourite GORA villain BOB CHRISTO) and...... the list is long.
Shekhar Kapoor picked up a very fine story (Salim Javed), equipped it with fine performance by it's cast, a very suitable background score that enhanced the effect of it's scenes and gave us Mr. INDIA as we saw. His ability is evident in every single detail shown. He picked up and executed an idea which, I guess, most directors are scared to even think of.
No matter how much ever I try, I will never have enough words and space and time to express what I think about this movie. Probably, most people would have same sentiments about it. Almost everyone must have cursed MOGAMBO when he gives the order to throw the kids into that molten LAVA and almost everyone must have wished that TINA hadn't touched that TEDDY BEAR bomb.