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Arjun (1985) & Ankush (1986) (Movies To See Before You Die - Thrillers)

12 Jun, 2013 | Movies To See Before You Die / Thrillers

In the decades of 70s & 80s, India was operating under a dark cloud of uncertainty and unemployment leading to increase in crime, exploitation and misguided youth wandering on the streets all over. Though the same problems still exist around us in the new millennium too (to some extent), but those were the times when there existed a big wide gap between various classes of the society and directionless unemployed youth was one of the biggest concerns for the country in both the cities and the rural areas.
The subject was well adapted in the films too namely in Gulzar’s MERE APNE (1971), Manoj Kumar’s ROTI KAPDA AUR MAKAAN (1974) and many more. But in the mid eighties two films touched this core issue in a much contemporary style, considering the social changes in the surroundings in the right manner and addressing the problem exactly like the youth was facing it in their real lives. The two films were ARJUN (1985) and ANKUSH (1986) which were widely appreciated by both the critics as well as the viewers in their respective years of release and further they went on to set some new trends in Bollywood in the mid 80s.
Arjun - Bobby Talks Cinema.com However where ARJUN was an out & out commercial venture having all the ingredients of a completely filmy portrayal of the problem, ANKUSH on the other hand was an off-beat kind of cinematic achievement with a highly realistic and touching depiction of the burning issue in a quite bold manner.
Written by Javed Akhtar (after the split in the famous Salim-Javed team), ARJUN was directed by Rahul Rawail and had music by R. D. Burman. The team of Sunny, Rahul and RDB together gave their second hit after the much appreciated BETAAB in 1983 and it established Sunny Deol as the new representative of the spirited youth strongly. The film revolved around an interesting plot which showed how the educated unemployed young ones can be misused by the corrupt politicians for their own interest and the youth never gets to know the games being played at his back. It featured a hit track “Mamaiya Kero Kero Kero Mama” which became a cult song at that time in the younger brigade and the film also had a pulsating background score with the much needed punch and energy (especially the whistling sounds added beautifully).
Apart from being a major breakthrough in the career of both Sunny Deol and Rahul Rawail, ARJUN is also remembered for the great performances of Prem Chopra, Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal, Anu Kapoor, Raja Bundela, Supriya Pathak and A. K. Hangal. But more importantly, not many know that it was ARJUN only which later even influenced RAM GOPAL VERMA to make his first breakthrough film SHIVA and the veteran has repeatedly said this many times in his honest interviews. Hence if you want to have a totally filmy feel of the problems faced by the unemployed youth of the 80s then do watch ARJUN as a must and enjoy that era in an entertaining mode with all the usual masala ingredients of a Bollywood movie.
But in case you wish to see a highly truthful representation of those times with an offbeat and at your face approach by another well known director, then ANKUSH is the one to go for at first even before ARJUN.
Ankush - Bobby Talks Cinema.comANKUSH came silently in the year 1986 and it neither had any big stars to impress the viewers nor any upbeat soundtrack to get an instant recognition. The film quietly made its own way into the hearts just because of its strong content, fabulous acting and a cult spiritual song which is now unanimously included in the 5 best bhajans or spiritual songs in the history of Hindi film music. The track was “Itni Shakti Hamein Dena Data”, which is now also sung in many educational institutes as their morning prayer.
The film simply caught the pulse of every restless youngster in those days with many real life insertions in its well written script like corruption in the college examinations, ignorant professors and principles, women harassment in the offices, indecent favours demanded by the superiors and later a brutal rape of an innocent girl by her boss just for having fun. A group of young unemployed men doing various questionable activities to meet their daily expenses was exactly like what could be seen on the street corners of various localities. And their mutual clashes had already become a routine column in the newspapers.
Director N. Chandra just used all these real life inspirations brilliantly in his film and supported by a talented star-cast (lead by Nana Patekar), he was able to give a cult film to the industry which is still remembered for its flawless execution till date. In short, ANKUSH was one of the best films of the 80s which deserves to be seen as a must for its meaningful subject, path breaking execution and superb performances by the entire cast.
Interestingly in ARJUN, the title taken from MAHABHARTA indicates towards the way, its lead character is used by two cunning politicians one by one against each other. Whereas in ANKUSH, the title means a pointed instrument/weapon used to control the elephants in ancient times by their trainers (or Mahavats), indicating towards the much needed control over the energetic, misguided youth. Apparently both the titles and the films give you two different viewpoints on the problem of unemployment and its possible consequences in a developing country and therefore need to be seen as a must to get the real picture of those times from the eyes of two visionary directors.
ARJUN – Directed by Rahul Rawail   Starring – Sunny Deol, Dimple Kapadia, Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal and more.
ANKUSH – Directed by N. Chandra   Starring – Nana Patekar, Nisha Palsikar, Raja Bundela and more.

Tags : Arjun (1985) & Ankush (1986), Movies To See Before You Die Thrillers, Indian Films on Unemployed Youth, Must See Movies List by Bobby Sing, Not to Missed Bollywood Films, Bollywood Movies on Unemplyment, Worth Watching Movies List by Bobby Sing.
12 Jun 2013 / Comments ( 4 )
vikas mnadhar
i have watched arjun many times.truely a cult movie....one of my all time favourate....after ur recommendation will definitely watch ankush.
Bobby Sing

Thanks Vikas and I am sure you would love watching ANKUSH even more.


Both are true classics. And yes Ram Gopal Varma mentioned about Arjun in many of his interviews 👍

Bobby Sing

Sorry for the late reply as many comments got hidden due to a technical glitch.
Thanks a lot for your supportive comment Navin.
Keep Visiting and Writing in.

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