"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

Subhash Ghai's KARZ (1980) and its interesting two way inspirational status with some unique features. (Did You Know - 76)

22 Jul, 2014 | Did You Know! / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / K


Subhash Ghai’s KARZ which was a mixture of more than one specific genres (namely a musical, murder-mystery, suspense or family drama), was declared a semi hit in certain regions as it was considered to be ahead of its times and unconventional too by many trade analyst of that era in 1980.
But interestingly if we look back then KARZ enjoys a rare two way inspirational status like very few films do wherein at one end it is supposed to have a hugely inspired script as well as an identical soundtrack borrowed from the west. There on the other the film went on to inspire more than 10 Hindi and regional films in the country itself taking evident clues from its storyline, execution and lyrics quite frequently.
Talking about the borrowed concepts first, though Hindi Cinema had already made successful films on the subject of reincarnation like MADHUMATI way back in 1958 but still KARZ was supposed to be heavily inspired from the English flick THE REINCARNATION OF PETER PROUD released in 1975. But anyone who has seen this English original would readily agree that Ghai’s version was a much more polished and entertaining film for sure if compared to its source material. Apart from the basic plot its melodious soundtrack composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal, had a highly identical number “Ek Hasina Thi” (including its famous signature tune) straight away taken from George Benson’s “We as Love” which was a part of his album “Weekend in LA”. Besides the track “Om Shanti Om” was again a quite intelligent rehashed work of Lord Shorty’s “Shanti Om” released in his 1974 album “Endless Vibrations”.
Now conversely coming to the films inspired by Subhash Ghai’s KARZ itself, firstly it was officially remade as YUGA PURUSHA (1989) in Kannada, ENAKKUL ORUVAN (1984) in Tamil and AATMA BALAM (1985) in Telugu along with the most recent adaptation being the Hindi film KARZZZZ (2008) starring Himesh Reshammiya & Urmila in the lead. However before Himesh, Farah Khan also came up with her own re-worked version of the same theme in OM SHANTI OM (2006) and for that she even planned a respectable tribute by beginning the film with a restored song footage of original KARZ featuring both Rishi Kapoor and Subhash Ghai dancing along (made possible through the digital revolution & computer graphics). Plus she also got a new track specially arranged by Pyarelal to honour his majestic contribution to Hindi cinema as an appreciable nice gesture indeed.
Later the film’s name and few key phrases of its various songs inspired seven films in all. Including ‘KARZ- The Burden of Truth' (2002) re-using the same title with a new tag line and "Ek Hasina Thi" (2004), "Aashiq Banaya Aapne" (2005), "Dard-e-Dil" (1983), "Om Shanti Om" (2007), “Main Solha Baras Ki" (1998) and "Paisa Yeh Paisa" (1985) borrowing their titles from its various song’s mukhdas or lyrics.
But other than this rare two way inspirational status, KARZ had some unique special points in its execution too as mentioned below:
1. It was a project based on upbeat, trendy Disco music which was the forte of then immensely popular R. D. Burman. So many were shockingly surprised when Ghai chose Laxmikant Pyarelal as his music directors who were more known as the masters of Indian musical arrangements and instruments. However what LP did for KARZ proved Subhash Ghai right strongly without any doubt.
2. Similar to his odd choice for the music directors, another unusual casting option made by Ghai was of roping in Simi Garewal in the major role and that too of a killer woman or a deadly vamp which she had never played before.
3. Despite given a powerful persona as the Villain, Prem Nath didn’t have a single dialogue in the film and he only conveyed through a tapping sound made on various things like a glass, phone receiver and more.
4. With KARZ, Subhash Ghai also introduced a pretty useful concept of brand promotion on the screen and promoted the music company HMV boldly by some innovative stage designs. For instance just watch the whole dance sequence of Rishi Kapoor in his opening song wherein he is dancing on a giant record and the music company’s name is written in big letters all over in the background.
5. The soundtrack had its all songs sung by Kishore Kumar as he was a perfect choice for the particular genre suiting Rishi Kapoor. But Laxmikant-Pyarelal were too keen for using the voice of Mohd. Rafi for one soulful ghazal “Dard-e-Dil” in the film. And later both Kishore Kumar’s “Om Shanti Om” and Mohd. Rafi’s “Dard-e-Dil” got nominated for Best Male Singer and Best Lyrics category in the Filmfare awards of 1981. However Kishore Kumar won the award that year for “Hazaar Rahein” from THODI SI BEWAFAI.
Hence though KARZ did manage to achieve only moderate success at the box office in its year of initial release, yet the film rightly deserves to be rated as a cult path-breaking entertainer of the 80s and a must watch film too unarguably.
(Note : For more on this inspirational angle and on the making of this cult classic from the director himself, just click on the following link and enjoy your journey back in time.)

Tags : Karz and its two way inspirational status, Subhash Ghai's KARZ and its unique features, Unknown facts about Karz, Did You Know facts about Karz (1980), Most Resued film in Bollywood, Karz inspired music, Karz Inspired Theme, Unknown facts about Bollywood, Rare unknown facts about Hindi Films.
22 Jul 2014 / Comment ( 2 )

Hey Bobby, Nice article. i also would like to add few points here -

1.) One of the reason of Karz lukewarm success is - Qurbani released next week right after Karz and Qurbani was a blockbuster hit which impacts the business of karz.

2.) Dard-eDil´┐Ż song is one of the last hits sung by great Mohd. Rafi.

3.) Karz is a mixture of - Reincarnation, Disco, Romance, thriller which eventually came out as overdose for audiences and mostly remember for his music till date.

Bobby Sing

Hi Abhishek,
Thanks for writing in with your kind praises and contributing points too.

Keep Visiting and Writing in,

Leave A Comment
E-mail (will not be published)
Website (Optional)
Enter shown code