Ek Hasina Thi – The PYT revenge

After a long time I got to watch a movie in a hall. I went just because it was one of the much talked about Ramu movies, which are ‘zara hatke’ as the papers call them, but going by the way Ramu had disapointed me with ‘Bhoot’ I was a little apprehensive. (That’s another story altogether, but lemme mention that I laughed my way through ‘Bhoot’, and I wasn’t alone in doing that). I was already aware of the basic plot thanks to our papers and the hype, but I tried emptying my mind of all prejudices and watching this movie with a clean slate.

So as we all know Saif Ali Khan (SAK from now) is a smooooooth operator, charming his way into young nubile things…err their hearts too. His modus operandi involves shocking PYT’s by saying the actual thing he intends, feigning jest when it suits his convenience and teasing them with the real thing once in a while. He does the same with Urmila Matondkar (Ummmm.. ok Um from now). Um is supposed to be this PYT (pretty young thing, in case you were still trying all kinds of abbreviations) who seems to attract males like magnets. Ramu tries showing this by showing a forgettable character – a neighbour trying to be fresh with her, when his wife is away. He also shows that Um seems to be pretty adept at judging what the guy *actually* wants, but somehow this judgement or intuition of hers is very shortlived the moment SAK steps into her life. She shuts out all the little warning signals that her brain might have ever sent to her. It makes one think that Um is actually a dumb blonde in disguise. Anyhow, so SAK initially gets the same reactions as her neighbour, but does the smart thing of obliging Um by saving her handbag from a thief and now swishes into her life. Um is the typical bait for him, who thinks that SAK is gonna marry her sometime soon, even though he lives out of a suitcase, 3 days in delhi and 2 in bombay (she never bothers abt the weekends).

One fine day, SAK requests her to accomodate a (ghastly looking) friend for some hours before he hops in to a flight for HongKong or some place. She obliges. The guy turns out to be some slug from the underworld and he conveniently gets killed in an encounter, with the address of Um’s place in his pocket. Needless to say, Um is now under full suspicion. To top it all, she does nothing to defend herself, as she has been expertly brainwashed by her BF. During this sequence, Ramu uses the usual Bhoot ploys to create alarm in this situation, by throwing normal everyday sounds at the viewer suddenly in an attempt to scare him. Things like the doorbell ring, the phone toot, the pressure cooker whistle now seem to do be laden with a sinister air.

Um is taken into police custody and has some tough time being the ‘apsara talkies’ as she’s called by the jail goondi. Her cell mate tries to give her an intro to jail life and in doing so warns Um of a certain goondi who bites off ears. Very predictably, she herself turns out to be the ear biting menace, Ramu you are getting really predictable now. And as predictable as you are again, we are spared any ear biting scenes.. c’mon that mention is just so that the jelly baby that Um has become, quivers just a little more.

SAK, the smooth criminal that he is, in the meanwhile pretends that he’s trying to save Um somehow. At the same time, Um has been taken under the wing of the actual Ma of the jail, who’s respected not only by the prisoners, but even the police ‘Ji’ her. She’s the only one who tries to drill some sense into Um’s brain (realises that Um is a dumb blonde in disguise 🙂 ) and introduces her to the hard reality. After several such moves from SAK and Ma, Um finally realises the true character of SAK and now plots revenge. No, we are spared any durga avatars or the like thankfully, to synonymise with the change in character. The only thing that Ramu shows is Um cutting off her Rapunzel locks (wonder how they stayed as set and curly as ever, after staying in a prison with an ear eating monster for months) to around shoulder length. Wonder what she achieved with this.

With the help of Ma, Um manages to escape the jail and heads for Delhi where Ma has everything set for her. Loads of cash, gun lending goondas, a secluded place (read chandni chowk in delhi), swanky cars, they all are at her beck and call. Suddenly a lower middle class girl like her, who’s not even supposed to be able to afford a cell and a deo (that’s the reason the police gave for suspecting her) finds herself driving mean machines.

Now Um follows SAK as closely as possible (much like the pug puppy in the hutch roaming ad). She watches him rolling in cash and in bed with his new girl friend. She watches him dealing with the trigger happy underworld dadas. She follows him around in an unusually barren Connaught Place and on an empty Shanti Path. She follows him a lot around PVR Saket and watches over him at Buzz. Having meticulously planned his death, she waits for the opportune moment and strikes. SAK suddenly finds one of his loyal friends murdered but doesnt suspect anything. A little later he finds himself in a soup with the underworld. Again, he suspects someone from his own clan rather than the delicate Um. All this while, the police has been tracking Um’s moves and as is traditional, always misses her when she’s closest. Due to her pug puppy habits, they manage to uncan the gang of SAK’s underworld slugs. In the meantime, Um manages to suitably bump into SAK when he’s in the thick of things and offers him help, the selfless lover that she is. At one of the encounters that the police has with SAK, he is enlightened by them that it is Um who’s been plotting revenge all this while. SAK and Um have a confrontation where Um again feigns fear and agrees to do as he bids, but later turns the tables on him. She manages to take him to a secluded place somewhere in the hills in some godforsaken place, where no human ever turns up and executes the death sentence she’s planned.

All in all an eminently watchable movie.

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