Praz Gold : MOHRA (Hindi 1994) and beyond…
Revenge, action, drama, comedy, music, romance….the 70’s and early 80’s with directors like Ramesh Sippy, Yash Chopra, Prakash Mehra and Manmohan Desai gave us all these themes and genre’s in one film yet with a far wider resonance simply for the thematic impact and values these films had.
From the late 80’s to mid 90’s one saw a plethora of so-called “masala” films trying to stake claim at the same prestige and pride as some of these earlier greats; an array of self-proclaimed illegitimate violent descendants of the SHOLAY’s and DEEWAR‘s from an era bygone. Rajiv Rai’s MOHRA (the director had already staked his claim twice with the totally over-the-top, action-packed bonanza’s TRIDEV and VISHWATMA) was perhaps one of the final entries in to the genre which by then was in need of an urgent re-invention. Nonsensical violence in a crude manner, countless gang-rapes, suicides, drug abuse, crime and corruption was the call of MOHRA and for all it’s worthy the movie is a somewhat campy, violent and nostalgic trip down the hellish lanes of the 90’s “goonda-raj” which was given a huge kick aside the next year when Raj met Simran and love (or Hindi cinema) was never quite the same.
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