Or patriotism Johar Mehmood style! Teaming up the two comedians for the first time, the film, produced and directed by IS Johar, is in turns serious, lightweight, funny, tacky, corny and stupid as it contrasts Mehmood’s brand of no-holds-barred comedy against the cynical deadpan humor of Johar. However, it ultimately fails to go beyond its items and gel together into a cohesive, coherent unit.
The story, for what it’s worth, looks at twin bothers born Christians but who are left separately in the house of a Hindu Priest and Muslim Mullah to be brought up as Ram (IS Johar) and Rahim (Mehmood) respectively. They grow up to be dreaded revolutionaries fighting the Portuguese to liberate Goa. Along the way, Ram falls in love with the haughty Rita (Sonia Sahni), the daughter of the Portuguese Governor, and tames her (of course) while Rahim falls in love with fellow revolutionary, Simi (Simi Garewal). The film, a lost and found, with Christian boys growing up as a Hindu and Muslim a good 12 years before Manmohan Desai’s classic Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), went on to be a sleeper hit that year (1965). It raised Mehmood’s then soaring stock even higher and leading to a more crazy collaboration between him and Johar, Johar Mehmood In Kong Kong (1971).
As I said, there are moments of zany, frothy fun especially when Johar and Mehmood play off each other. The hit ‘items’ include the duo in drag (but of course!) and a local plastic surgeon turning 4 people into Mehmood so you have a song with 5 Mehmoods prancing about as the Portuguese struggle to identify the genuine maal! The glamor quotient sees the sexy Sonia Sahni being introduced opposite Johar who tames her Portuguese shrew into an ideal Bharatiya Nari while Simi Garewal, in an early role, plays a fiery knife-wielding freedom fighter paired with Mehmood with relish!
The music by Kalyanji-Anandji is a definite plus point with Yeh Do Deewane Dil Ke, Mera Desh Azad Hoke Rahega and Ankhiyon Ka Noor, in particular, standing out.
All in all, Johar Mehmood in Goa is largely undemanding viewing, which has its share of fun while it plays out, but leaves one with little else to think about thereafter.
Hindi, Comedy, Patriotic, Black & White