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The making of MERI JUNG, its famous courtroom scene & American film ILLEGAL - An overview by Bobby Sing
30 Apr, 2018 | Articles on Cinema / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / M

Released in 1985, MERI JUNG was a critically acclaimed film with praiseworthy performances and a novel kind of subject revolving around lawyers and their questionable practices in the court playing with the hidden truth. Directed by Subhash Ghai, the film won both the Best Supporting Actors Filmfare awards for Nutan and Amrish Puri along with other major nominations. And it actually established Anil Kapoor as a mature actor, who never looked back doing more intense and powerful roles post both MASHAAL and MERI JUNG.
 
The film’s music by Laxmikant Pyarelal was a big hit and the title song is still remembered for its meaningful lyrics (Anand Bakshi) and melodious pieces, also used in the film as its theme music. Featuring Meenakshi Sheshadri as the female lead, it was produced by N. N. Sippy, who again roped in Ghai as the director post a decade after his debut in Sippy’s KALICHARAN (1976). Interestingly it was also the last film Ghai directed for another producer, before starting directing films for his own production house.
 
Another major feature of MERI JUNG was the hugely appreciated debut of Javed Jaffery, who instantly earned a reputation of ‘an exceptional trained dancer’ with his immensely popular song ‘Bol Baby Bol’ performed along Khushboo (the young actress who later became a cult figure, for whom even temples were built in the south). Such was the impact of Javed’s dance performance in the film that a special dance song was added in another film of his, just to encash his ‘widely accepted’ image of a dancing star. And continuing with his routine cameos, Subashh Ghai chose to appear in this song only saying ‘Rock N Roll’ in his typical comic style as a musician. In addition, what might surprise many, one of its catchy track ‘Jhoom Le Jhoom Le” had the names of both Subhash Ghai and Laxmikant as the key singers in its credits.
 
As per the reports about its making, the project was supposed to be directed by Ramesh Sippy as SHATRANJ with Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan and Anil Kapoor playing the key roles (with Anil doing the negative role of Javed Jaffery). But since Amitabh couldn’t do it, the whole project went through major changes and got made as MERI JUNG directed by Ghai with Anil playing the lead role, that was actually written for Amitabh Bachchan. The film was later also remade in more than one Indian regional language in the subsequent years.
 
Coming to the more important part of the write-up that might be news for many, MERI JUNG was the first and only film written by Javed Akhtar for Subhash Ghai and it had some partial similarities with American film noir ILLEGAL released three decades back in 1955.
 
Illegal  Warner Bros FilmDirected by Lewis Allen and starring Edward G. Robinson in the lead, ILLEGAL revolves around a cunningly clever lawyer who is known for winning his cases with unexpected twists and revelations. The film begins when he successfully send a person to death winning a case against him. But just a few hours before the execution, he comes to know that the man is innocent and hasn’t committed the murder. Filled with guilt, he at once calls the prison authorities and tries his best to reach in time stopping the execution, but fails to do so. Not able to accept his grave mistake, the lawyer resigns post the incident and becomes an alcoholic.
 
Thought not exactly in the same manner, but MERI JUNG also begins with a similar kind of incident wherein the cruel lawyer (Amrish Puri) remains indifferent towards the sentence and Nutan is unable to save her husband despite getting the proof to prove his innocence.
 
Moving further ILLEGAL also has an exactly similar courtroom scene as seen in MERI JUNG that ironically happens to be the most electrifying and famous sequence of the film. It’s the one in which Anil shockingly drinks poison from a bottle right within the court in order to prove it hasn’t got any poison at all and his client has just been framed for an undisclosed reason. As soon as the judgment is announced in his favour, he rushes towards the clinic (as planned) and the doctor cures him well in time before something drastic happens.
 
Exactly the same sequence is there in ILLEGAL too, but no doubt Subhash Ghai wins the contest, the way he presents it on the screen bringing you on to the edge of your seats.

Cheers!
 
(Note: The article was first published on UC-News Mobile App in April 2018) 

Tags : The making of MERI JUNG and its inspirations by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Inspired Movies, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing, Borrowed Concepts, Inspired Scenes in Hindi Films
30 Apr 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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