This movie is a remake of an English movie, that of The Desperate Hours (1955, the one starring Humprey Bogart), and it seems to be a desperate attempt to use a classic Hollywood movie to make some money. The debate of western movies being “adapted” into an Indian milieu has been done to death, and I am not going to speak about that here. What I’ll speak about is the movie as a standalone.
Plot: Three dangerous convicts escape from prison and take refuge in the house of a newspaper editor. They have to hold out there until they are contacted by a female friend who has their loot. The editor’s family is unwillingly sucked into the ordeal.
Director: Raj Tilak
Cast: Raj Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Mala Sinha, Ranjeet, Danny Denzongpa, Parveen Babi, Vijay Arora
#10Things I Liked and Disliked about 36 Ghante
What I Liked
- The concept. While it was quite riveting, the credit goes to Desperate Hours.
- The editing. The movie fit nicely into the groove of a thriller. There was always something happening which kept up the tempo. It was also under 2 hours, which is a good thing.
- Made sense. There were no major plot holes or logic leaps (except one, see below). Though copying without acknowledgement is criminal, I must say that the adaptation of the movie (Indianization) was done nicely.
- Parveen Babi. For whatever few scenes she was in, she lit up the screen. Not because of her acting, but just because, well, Parveen Babi is Parveen Babi!
What I Disliked
- The stereotyping. Why does every happy family in those times had to be introduced with a religious song sung by the man in pristine white clothes and the woman in a traditional saree? Why are clothes used to establish character for women — bikini for the bad woman and the longest saree for the good woman?
- The hackneyed laugh given to Danny Denzongpa’s character. Singularly, this was his worst ever role, but I haven’t seen them all. It becomes grating ten minutes into the movie.
- The most precocious child ever. The kind who is almost as tall as his father but will bring the house down because his toy is broken.
- The songs. Had to fast-forward through all of them after sampling them for the first ten seconds.
- The biggest logic leap ever. If a gang of criminals are using your home as a hideout and holding you captive, why would they allow you to roam scot-free all over town, especially when one of you is a newspaper editor who has good relations with the police?
- The dialogs. Since we have Raj Kumar and Sunil Dutt, brace yourself for the most chest-thumping lines ever, many of them cringe-worthy.
In conclusion: Yet, it was good as a one-time watch. No classic, that’s for sure.