Gupt


Director: Rajiv Rai
Music: Viju Shah, Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Year: 1997
Running Time: 165 minutes

Like a lonely mockingbird, the film begins with the mournful call of “Gupt, Gupt, Gupt” – but in fact it should have warned us with “dumb, dumb, dumb”. While watching this one, it almost feels as if your feet are trapped in their sheets and there is no way to free them. It purports to be a murder mystery, but the only mystery is how could such an idiotic script be written. It has more clichés than a passel of Perry Mason shows with none of the fun. With 165 minutes of running time there should be time to insert a few scenes that would make this film a little more palatable – but the director seems to prefer endless scenes of suspects being beaten up.

Bobby Deol and Kajol
Bobby Deol runs into two new girls on the same day at school. One is an old friend from his childhood, Kajol, and they immediately get a hankering for one another. Then there is also Manisha Koirala who sets her heart on Bobby as well and gets daddy to help out by going to Bobby’s stepfather – who is the Governor of the province – and asking for a marriage match. A short time later at a large function the father announces the engagement – much to Bobby’s surprise. One might have thought the stepfather might have mentioned this small matter to Bobby in the meantime but he must have been too busy – but then the dramatic scene that follows could not have occurred. Bobby blows up and threatens the Governor and later that night the stepfather gets murdered.
Manisha Koirala
There are loads of suspects, but Bobby is the main one – especially as he of course walks in right after the murder and puts his hands on the murder weapon – don’t people watch enough TV to know not to do this. At his trial, his defense lawyer actually pleads to the court that Bobby is guilty and should be punished – and no one seems to find this a little irregular. I wonder if he still sent a bill. So up the river Bobby goes where he beats up a few tough prisoners and the warden before he escapes through the sewers. He hooks up with Kajol and starts looking for the real killer. Subtlety is not his modus operandi as he basically beats them up or drops them out of windows until he finally believes in their innocence. Uproariously, they all end up in the hospital in beds next to each other – yuck, yuck, yuck. The numbers of suspects dwindle but Bobby still finds time to do a few dance numbers, as he remains one step ahead of the law. Deol is unfortunately not very graceful in either his dance routines or his action scenes and his curly unmanageable hair has a distinctly annoying 70’s retro flavor to it.
Kajol is as good as she can be especially considering the awful short skirts they put her in and Manisha looks a good deal more plumper than she would a year later in the far superior film, Dil Se. There are six songs but only the second one has much going for it. The others are tepid though the last two have an interesting look to the sets and cinematography.

My rating for this film: 4.0

Song 1

Song 2

Song 3