Mard (1985)

22 Jun

Manmohan Desai’s Mard isn’t quite Amitabh Bachchan’s worst movie (*cough*Ajooba*cough*) but it comes pretty darn close. And yet, this is probably one of my favorite movies, mainly because of one single sequence.

Mard PosterStarring Amitabh Bachchan, Amrita Singh, Prem Chopra, Dara Singh, and Bachchan mainstay Nirupa Roy, Mard is your quintessential Gothic romance, Bolly-fied 1980s style.

There is a young(ish) man who lives under the dastardly bootheel of a tyrant, unaware that he is in fact the long-lost, betrayed heir to the miserable land in which he’s just about eking out a living as a second class citizen. Eventually he falls in love with the tyrant’s daughter and after many trials and tribulations, he frees his enslaved/tortured parents and his people, reclaims his land and lives happily ever after with his bride. The End.

Because this is a Desai movie, however, there are obviously other touches of 80s masala: a horse called Badal that can outrun a convertible, a dog called Moti that is billed as the Wonder Dog, etc. But the reason I love this movie is the complex relationship between the lead pair: Bachchan and Singh.

Bollywood doesn’t believe in contemplating its navel and the last time someone (Jessica Hines) tried to write a no-holds barred biography of Bachchan, he threatened to sue, so credible information about the cinematic process in Hindi filmdom is severely restricted and erratic. Hence I have no idea if the filmmakers knew what they were up to or whether the whole thing just grew out of the 80s trend of Reformed Bitch as Heroine – but the fact is Singh’s turn as the rich “white” chick who falls in love with the lowly brownie is at once bizarre and deeply fascinating.

She dresses in cowboy boots, frilly off-the-shoulder dresses and wields a riding whip as a fashion accessory. At one moment she’s in full Victorian get up, the next she’s in a skimpy swimsuit getting a massage on the top of the palace (don’t look at me – I didn’t write it). To top it all off, her evil Daddy dearest – the Grand Poobah of those parts – is called Dr. Harry and is supported by other “white” guys dressed in vaguely British uniforms.

The initial clash of wills (involving a whip – see clip below) leads her to have him trussed up and selected for some exquisitely painful whipping from her own lily white hands. When he refuses to scream in pain, she orders salt to be rubbed into his wounds. Oooh!

Well, next thing you know, he’s broken out of his chains and he grabs her, gets on a horse and heads for the salt mines! Don’t ask me where they came from – they’re the good part!

So… salt mines. And as they ride hell for leather, the vicious vegetation of the kingdom administers a whipping of its own to the delectably bared shoulders of the bitchy princess. At the end of a long hard ride, Bachchan flings her onto a pile of salt, then jumps on top of her and rubs her thoroughly all over with it. It’s been a while since I saw the movie, but this is approximately how it goes:

“There!” he pants, his hand running all over her as she writhes underneath him. “Did that hurt? Did that hurt?!”

“No,” she breathes, staring deep into his eyes. “I loved it!”

They exchange a Look of Great Meaning. Then his eyes fall bashfully from hers and she smiles a little smile of “Gotcha!”

Ladies and gentlemen, how can you not love Mard? Watch it. That one scene alone is thoroughly worth it.

[From Take Two Vol. 2. See more at Desicritics]


Posted by on June 22, 2007 in Entertainment, Movies, Review, Video


9 responses to “Mard (1985)

  1. Kokonad

    June 22, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    You should watch Gunda. 😀 Mithun da. That’s a movie which has received an 8.6 rating in IMDB (806) votes.

    Btw, are you following that Pratibha-Patil’s-brother-is-allgedly-a-murderer-story? It’s pathetic how dirty the politics are getting! 😡

  2. Kokonad

    June 22, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    You will also notice that the movie (Gunda) has rhyming dialogue…
    So after a girl is raped and killed, and is laid in bright yellow clothing on a cart, her brother comes up to her and says
    “Munni meri behen munni, munni meri behen munni, tu mar gayi? Lambu ne tujhe lamba kar diya… Maachis ki tili ko khamba kar diya?”
    Another line on congratulating someone on losing his virginity I think (can’t remember) “Hai hai mere bhai jawaan ho gaya, toota hua teer kamaan ho gaya”
    “Chhatri hoti hain kholne ke liye, chaadar hoti hain odhne ke liye aur ladki hoti hain chedne ke liye”

  3. Aspi

    June 22, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    Yes, yes, you’ve hit upon the gist of it. Mard had some way out scenes – too wink wink perhaps for the masses to comprehend. Add to all this the fact that Amitabh distinctly looked like Amrita’s Dad and now you’re in some pretty uncharted territory.

    Unfortunately according my points system, a movie with Nirupa Roy automatically got docked 10 points. Add to that there is a scene (I think) in this movie that opens with Nirupa groaning. Turns out she is in labor but for a minute it looked like she was having an orgasm – which made me want to take up sanyaas permanently. For that, I docked the movie 1 billion points and tried to put it out of my mind forever.


  4. Dee

    June 24, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Dear lord, crappy movie but it brought back memories! loved the panting Zoro review;)

  5. Amrita

    June 24, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Koke – dude are you serious?! those are actual lines?! HAHAHAHAH 😀 You’re right, I have to watch that stuff.

    Aspi – oh thanks! Now I’ve got Nirupa Roy’s O-face in my head. I’m just glad its now in your head as well 😀

    Dee – Hee hee, you’re welcome.

  6. ziarmal

    November 2, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Hi !

    Iam ziarmal from afghansitan, but iam 16 years old, i like mard film the best.

    amitabh is the best


  7. Amrita

    November 6, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    That’s awesome Ziarmal! Do come again 🙂

  8. ziarmal

    November 19, 2007 at 11:30 am

    Hi iam Ziarmal. I like 7, films the best in bollywood movie.

    It’s , mard, sholay, ganga jamuna saraswathi, coolie, don, nishbad, and khuda gawah.

    I like Amitabh the best. I think he is very famous in the world.
    He is the best actor in bollywood.


  9. Masoom_si_sararat

    March 26, 2008 at 5:39 am

    @ amrita :- what say about jaadugar., toofan.,

    for AB’s fan

    Contact Address: Pratiksha, 10th Road, JVPD Scheme, Mumbai 49.

    Contact No.: 022 – 6207579, 6206162

    well what do you think abt AB in BLACK and Mithun in Kaalpurush..

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