Namak Halaal (1982) Poster

(1982)

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10/10
One of the funniest movies ever made
lordguha25 April 2000
This is undoubtedly one of the funniest movies ever made. Amitabh as a country bumpkin, Arjun Singh, is hilarious. The best thing is the laughter never stops. The plot is a same-old same-old story where child is separated from mother who sacrifices everything for her duty - with a happy reunion at the end. There are villains (Ranjit) and there are brothers (Sashi Kapoor) and there are vixens (Parveen Babhi) and there are lovers (Smita Patil) and there is a blind brother and a grandfather thrown in for good measure. But this movie is about Amitabh and thats all you remember at then end.

Amitabh comes to the city to make a decent living and his dialogue delivery and mannerisms are hilarious. Later in the movie he turns into the Angry Young Man he is famous for but the humour stays. Memorable parts include his walking, talking and speaking english, the song (pad gungaroo re bhand, meera nachi thi) and everything with his dadoo.

All in all I was rolling with laughter throughout the movie. If you want 3 hours of entertainment with Amitabh at his absolute best - this is it. It will easily give it a 10/10.
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8/10
Considering the consideration that India gave Amitabh Bachchan
ranganatheunny17 July 2005
This movie will tell you why Amitabh Bacchan is a one man industry. This movie will also tell you why Indian movie-goers are astute buyers.

Amitabh was at the peak of his domination of Bollywood when his one-time godfather Prakash Mehra decided to use his image yet again. Prakash has the habit of picking themes and building stories out of it, adding liberal doses of Bollywood sensibilities and clichés to it. Zanzeer saw the making of Angry Young Man. Lawaris was about being a bastard and Namak Halal was about the master-servant loyalties.

But then, the theme was limited to move the screenplay through the regulation three hours of song, dance and drama. What comprised of the movie is a caricature of a Haryanavi who goes to Mumbai and turns into a regulation hero. Amitabh's vocal skills and diction saw this movie earn its big bucks, thanks to his flawless stock Haryanvi accent. To me, this alone is the biggest pull in the movie. The rest all is typical Bollywood screen writing.

Amitabh, by now, had to have some typical comedy scenes in each of his movies. Thanks to Manmohan Desai. This movie had a good dose of them. The shoe caper in the party, the monologue over Vijay Merchant and Vijay Hazare's considerations, The mosquito challenge in the boardroom and the usual drunkard scene that by now has become a standard Amitabh fare.

Shashi Kapoor added an extra mile to the movie with his moody, finicky character (Remember him asking Ranjeet to "Shaaadaaaap" after the poisoned cake incident"). His was the all important role of the master while Amitabh was his loyal servant. But Prakash Mehra knew the Indian mind...and so Shashi had to carry along his act with the rest of the movie. It was one character that could have been more developed to make a serious movie. But this is a caper, remember? And as long as it stayed that way, the people came and saw Amitabh wearing a new hat and went back home happy. The end is always predictable, and the good guys get the gal and the bad ones go to the gaol, the age-old theme of loyalty is once again emphasized and all is well that ends well.

So what is it that makes this movie a near classic? Amitabh Bacchan as the Haryanvi. Prakash Mehra created yet another icon in the name of a story. Chuck the story, the characters and the plot. My marks are for Amitabh alone.
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7/10
Only Amitabh Bachchan could pull this one off!
birdoberoi2 March 2004
For anyone who may not know what a one-actor movie was like, this is the best example. This plot is ridiculous, and really makes no sense. It's full of cliched situations, hackneyed lines, melodrama, comedy... you name it!

But Amitabh Bachchan can make anything convincing, and this movie is by no means an exception. Everyone turns in a decent performance - Shashi Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Ranjit, Om Prakash, Smita Patil... But it is the Megastar who overshadows everyone with his towering presence. Without him, this movie would have been a non-starter... The story is about separation / mistaken identities / misunderstandings / love / hate / loyalty / good vs evil - everything, really! Amitabh's is a brilliant performance on all counts, in an otherwise silly film! And did I mention that it is ridiculously funny?
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A Classic Indian Comedy Thriller
Chrysanthepop25 November 2007
I've liked most of the comedies by the Shashi Kapoor- Amitabh Bachchan duo than the more serious films they did e.g. 'Deewar'. Another title that comes to mind right now is 'Do Aur Do Paanch'. 'Suhaag' too works as a semi-comedy.

'Namak Halaal' provides numerous laughter and entertainment. There is the loyal servant (Bachchan) who's protecting his employer, a hotel owner (Kapoor) because of the promise he made to his mother (Rehman) and he also falls in love with a fellow employee (Patil). There is a grandfather (Prakash) who wants his grandson to make it on his own. There's a siren (Babi) who's been hired to assassinate the hotel owner. Then there's the evil manager (Ranjeet) who wants to frame the mother and kill the owner in order to takeover the hotel.

Mehra puts it all together and gives us a thriller/ comedy. This gives Amitabh another chance to show his comedic abilities. The actor does reasonably well at most parts but he does tend to go over the top. Shashi Kapoor is quite adequate. Smita Patil is luminous and Parveen Babi is ravishing. Waheeda Rehman does well with her part as does Om Prakash.

The songs are a strong point. Though the first song is better to watch than listen to, the rest are both pleasant for the ears and filmed nicely. Parveen looks particularly stunning in 'Raat Baki' while Smita is sexy in the white sari rain song.

'Namak Halaal' is one film that can be enjoyed with the family. It does have its share of flaws as some of the comedy fails to be funny (mostly due to Amitabh's over the top acting).
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8/10
Worth Every Grain Of Salt!
(Reviewed on the basis of watching on T.V. 31 years after release)

Plot: A rich man and his loyal servant are murdered by his step-brother, for his property. The wife runs away with the master's son, leaving her own son Arjun with his grand father. Years later Arjun gets employed in a hotel owned by the master's son Raja babu. But the old enemies are still lurking around and are after Raja babu's life. Will Arjun be able to protect Raja babu and recognise the true identity of his mother?

Review: Prakash Mehra and Amitabh Bachchan made one of the most formidable pairs in Bollywood history by notching up seven consecutive hits from 1973 to 1984. Almost all of them were intense emotional dramas making it impossible for the audiences to hold back their tears after the climax. But there was one exception, Namak Halal (1982).

Hindi films back then followed a predictable storyline. Most of them were potboilers with generous doses of tragedy, comedy, romance, music and action. But the underlying tone throughout the film, especially at the climax was always extremely serious. Some of the sequences appeared silly and foolish but yet the characters always approached them with utmost seriousness. There were some comedies; but they followed a simple non-violent approach. But Namak Halal was the first film which introduced the concept of light-hearted action dramas. The hero loves to make a fool of himself throughout and with the same buffoonery he compels the baddies into submission. Reminds of some of the recent Bollywood blockbusters, doesn't it? That's where lies the greatness of this film for what's common today was rare back then. It shows how ahead of time Namak Halal was.

It's tough to believe a director like Prakash Mehra came up with a concept like this. His Zanjeer (1973) was one of the most serious films of the 70s; while Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978) and Laawaris (1981) were enormous tear-jerkers, although they had their share of comedy as well. Even Sharaabi, which came later (1984), also followed the same format. Unlike those films, where the underlying tone was serious; here the whole treatment is light, comic and fun. The numerous fun sequences outweigh the serious ones with most of the dialogues being hilarious. Even the climax is funny, which is the most striking aspect of the film.

Complementing the mood is the bright picture quality, glitzy sets and dazzling costumes making it the most glamorous film of Prakash Mehra ever. Some of the outdoor locations can clearly be identified as fake artificial ones. But just like in Muqaddar Ka Sikander where Mehra used them to build a melancholic ambiance; here he blends them perfectly with the cheerful mood of the film.

Big B reprises his roles from Kaalia and Yaarana (both 1981) of the simple straightforward fellow who occasionally becomes a laughing stock but with time develops enough wit to stump the baddies. Bachchan is in top form and pulls off all the shades of his character with consummate ease. There was always the danger of going overboard, but he hardly puts a foot wrong. In one scene he even spoofs his own famous crocodile- wrestling sequence from Shaan (1980). While there the whole sequence was visually shown, thus giving goose-bumps; here he narrates the whole fight in a humorous tone comparing an assailant with the reptile! It's impossible to imagine anyone else salvaging the film by pulling off a character like this.

It's always great to watch Shashi Kapoor with Big B; but unfortunately here also he sportingly plays a second lead just like most of their films together. Although the role doesn't do full justice to his heroism; he still successfully portrays the fun-loving loner who suffers from the pain of knowing that his adopted mother is after his life! What makes the film more special is the fact that this is the last film where both of them are still at their peak. This is one of the few mainstream films featuring Smita Patil and she impresses thoroughly with her simple dignified portrayal. Parveen Boby doesn't have much to do except for dancing in dazzling costumes and looking drop-dead stunning which she does with aplomb. Special mention must be made of Om Prakash, in a 'double' role. He is deliciously good as the fun-loving old fellow in complete contrast to Big B's 'daddu'. Waheeda Rehman's quite good as well. It seems Mehra liked Satyen Kappu in negative roles as he repeats him in this uncharacteristic avatar again after Laawaris.

Considering the kind of music that garnished the Prakash Mehra films since Zanjeer, it seems unjustified to Kalyanji-Anandji for having been cold-shouldered this time around. But after having heard the five masterpieces rendered by our Bappida, there can be no complaints. This has to be one of Bappida's best albums in both Hindi and Bengali. In the 'Paga Ghungroo' song his creativity is overflowing as the song is garnished with a plethora of melodies which could easily have been set to a variety of different songs. The music undoubtedly is a major strength of the film. In spite of having a more compact script than some of the earlier films, there still are some flaws. How could 'daddu', with his modest means, afford to live in a five-star hotel? How could Arjun's mother not recognize her son despite knowing his name, surname and even his birthday?! But these facts never strike us during the running period; but only upon introspection.

Overall, Namak Halal has all the essential ingredients for providing wholesome entertainment; but what sets it apart and earns it a bonus point is its quirky treatment. It's also one of the last great films coming out of the golden era. And lastly, it's certainly a better watch than most recent Bolly-blockbusters.

Box-Office Verdict: Namak Halal was declared a 'Super Hit' and all the songs became exceedingly popular.
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6/10
Funny movie
gurdeepmann5929 June 2012
Namak Halaal is one of the funniest movies made practically because of Amitabh's comic timing The film is quite new but with some of the same separated-reunited theme along with vixens, grandfathers, lovers and villains

Amitabh plays a country bumpkin who is told by his Daddu (Om Prakash) to be faithful to the hand that feeds you Amitabh gets a job with Shashi Kapoor and falls in love with Smita Patel who also works with Shashi Kapoor Ranjeet and his dad try to kill Shashi but always fail because of Amitabh

This film is good for Amitabh's acting at his best If you get a chance watch it
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The unfortunate legacy of the Big B
david-bond-22 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Despite my great admiration for Indian cinema, Namak Halaal represents for me all that is unfortunate about the Bachchan phenomenon and the tendency to grotesque overacting and ridiculous plots that it spawned and which has done so much to cheapen Hindi cinema since. Do not get me wrong. Amitabh Bachchan is in my view a fine and multi-talented performer but this does not alter the fact that his period as a superstar has had a very detrimental effect on Bollywood films. Interestingly Amitabh's introduction to cinema owed much to his undoubtedly beautiful speaking voice (doing the commentary for a Hindi film by the Bengali director Mrinal Sen in 1968 and later also for a Hindi film by an even greater Bengali director, Satyajit Ray's Shatranj Ke Khilari). He turned in a beautifully understated performance as the rather uptight young doctor in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anand (1970) - a sort of thinking man's Love Story about a man dying of cancer - for which he very deservedly won an award as best supporting actor (to then-superstar Rajesh Khannah's performance in the title role). In Namak Haram (1973), he was again teamed with Khanah but this time distinctly upstaged the star. Zanjeer in the same year gave him famously the image of 'an angry young man' and the period of his superstardom began.

By the time of Namak Halaal, an Amitabh film revolves entirely round Amitabh. The camera contrives to make him look even taller than he really is, dwarfing the other characters and allows him to upstage even those scenes where he is not the principal. The totally incredible plot is entirely subordinated to the set-piece scenes of slapstick comedy or elaborate dance-routines at which Amitabh excelled.

The film has a star-studded cast but even an actor of the calibre of Saashi Kapoor is relegated to a rather embarrassed and embarrassing support-role. More tragic still is the case of Smita Patil, an actress hitherto known for her hugely important contribution to serious realistic cinema (and 'regional' or non-Hindi cinema), here acting for the first time in a popular blockbuster and given nothing to do but cast loving looks at the superstar. The moment where one sees her love-struck face reflected in Amitabh's chest-hair may be thought of as comic but seems to me to be one of the most distasteful images in any Hindi film.

Patil looks embarrassed a good deal of the time and legend has it that she burst into tears after the famous dance in the rain with the big B. Hardly surprisingly since the dance, like other Bachchan routines, is anything but two-way and simply involves Bachchan tossing Patil to and fro like a sort of doll.

Namak Halaal is certainly a clever showpiece for the superstar but it is nevertheless a very unhealthy piece of cinema and marks all too certainly the end of the period of the Indian new wave (which had made a star of Smita Patil)but also of the socio-political elements that (however sentimentalised) had previously characterised even much popular Hindi film-making. It ushers in the dominance of an essentially caricatural Bollywood style which is still the hallmark of the great majority of mainstream films.
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