Abhimanyu | 1989 | Movie Review


Year of release—1989

Director— Tony Juneja

Writer—Gyandev Agnihotri, Based on: Sakalakala Vallavan (Tamil)

Producer— Tito

Lead Actors— Anil Kapoor, Poonam Dhillon, Kimi Katkar

Abhimanyu is a failed remake of the Kamal Hassan-starring Tamil hit Sakalakala Vallavan (1982). The story is of a poor but clever farmer (Anil Kapoor playing Abhimanyu) who teaches a fitting lesson to an arrogant rich man (Shakti Kapoor playing Pannalal) by marrying his sister (Kimi Katkar playing Geeta) by fraud and using her as a blackmail tool.

Nowhere in the Tamil hit did Hassan dress up as a Pandit and mouth Sanskrit chants foolishly in songs with double entendre. Tony Juneja and Gyandev Agnihotri introduced this idea just to make fun of pandits and practising Hindus.

In this scene, Anil is shown molesting Kimi – the most effective way to make a woman fall in love with you in the 1990s.

Note the lyrics of this song – “Unless I force myself upon you and violate your modesty, you can’t achieve anything in life.”

What was the last Bollywood movie you saw where a Moulvi was misusing a religious language to molest women?

The film turns tense when Shakti rapes Anil’s sister Poonam Dhillon (playing Tulsi). Poonam begs brother Anil to marry her to Shakti so she can ‘get justice’. Anil is overjoyed at the idea. 

Watch this scene, where the clear message being sent to men here is – rape a girl and she will be forced to marry you.

Shakti refuses the marriage proposal. This leads to a new plot turn.

Anil and Poonam disguise themselves to lay a trap and make Kimi and Shakti marry them. Anil stands to get the sister of his sister’s rapist so he can harass her and take his revenge, while Poonam stands to marry her rapist to save her honour. Wow!

Anil, who uses a fake identity to trap Kimi, reveals his real name only on the wedding night, much to her shock.

Next, we are shown Abhimanyu chanting Hanuman Chalisa to justify his act, which incidentally ticks every box in the prevalent ‘Love Jihad’ pattern.


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