Wafaa—the Review

58 Comments

“Ebhabeo phire asha jaaye”—-Chandrabindoo

[ Even like this, one can come back ]

Millions shed tears as Rajesh “the Kaka” Khanna vanished away from the public eye in the 90s, even though once a while like in “Aa Ab Laut Chalen” (Come on let’s go back) he would make a special appearance, giving us a darshan in a wig, a wig that would be, keeping in mind his age, as black as a tear from the eyes of a black hole. Of course these sporadic sightings would only make us pine even more for those glorious days when Rajesh Khanna would just slant his head and nod keeping his eyes shut and luscious lips half-open—a mannerism that would seduce no make that compel women (even some men) to drop their towels with a “Bhool kahein na humse ho jaaye” desire burning in their body.

But despite the requests of his fans, Mr. Khanna stayed away from greasepaint choosing to serve the country as an MP, wiping the tear from every eye with a “Pushpa I hate tears”, while the world of film had to stay content watching old tapes of Kaka fighting a fishing net singing “Isi liye Mummy ne teri mujhe chaaye pe bulaiya hain”.

Now at long last the wait is over. With the phenomenal “Wafaa” directed by Rakesh Sawant, one of the greatest talents of his generation (whose prior work consisted in getting his sister, Rakhee Sawant to cover herself in nothing but coins in the critically-appreciated “Hot Money”) burning up the box-office, Kaka has staged an exhilarating comeback, in the process putting the “come” back into the word “comeback”, as he essays the role of a lifetime—mega-billionaire, blonde-headed Amrit, the owner of a huge business “umpire” (as he refers to it).

Married to a buxom vixen Veena (Pakistani actress Laila), Amrit however has a big problem. A “sharirik sambandh main dooriyan” problem to be precise. Everytime he tries to “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” his wife than, because of his age, he runs out of steam, has an asthma attack and collapses in an inglorious heap, leaving his young wife dissatisfied, so much so that she starts cavorting around the palatial bungalow in skimpy bikinis, throwing tantrums and pointing her rifle at her husband. A man whom Amrit refers to as Doctorrrrrrrrrrrr diagnoses this as clinical loneliness and Amrit offers to console his wife by introducing her to his pet dog while saying “Yeh hain mera wafadar doggie, pyar karo khelo isse”.

When a virile driver, with a penchant for silver baniyans and sky-blue trousers, installs himself in Amrit’s palace, Veena’s attention is drawn to this horndog. And finally one day while Amrit tosses about his bed clutching his puff after yet another aborted take-off, Veena finally finds gratification as the driver does a “Excelletor jor dabayo mama miya pom pom” on her.

But then murder and lust and “dushman na kare dost ne jo kaam kiya hain” treachery rears its ugly head as the movie takes a turn for the dark with tinges of “Bitter Moon” and generous dollops of “To Chase a Crooked Shadow”. Things soon reach a blistering climax. India’s Hale Berry— Sudesh Berry joins the verry berry mysterious mix. The “Chal chal chal mere saathi o mere haathi” heroine breaks into maniacal laughter in fits and starts. And all the time Rajesh Khanna orchestrates the mayhem with a tour d’force “mujhe zindagi ne mara” performance.

Of course a discussion of “Wafaa” cannot be complete without a comment on the needless controversy surrounding it. Before the movie was released, a few deleted scenes of an adult nature strangely made its appearance in the public domain. Now had “Wafaa” not been such a mainstream production one would have suspected the leak to be a cheap marketing gimmick but in this case the leak can be attributed to the immense public interest in the movie as it was in production. Now these scenes consisted of a few tastefully shot love scenes between husband Amrit (Khanna) and wife Veena, which it must be pointed out were essential to the story development just like Sharon Stone’s leg-uncrossing scene was for Basic Instinct and had not obviously been introduced for pure titillation. However instead of appreciating the aesthetically pleasing footage, critics launched an obscene attack on Wafaa and the great actor in particular using many negative adjectives of the likes of “retch-worthy” in this context.

Despicable as this attack is, we brush this away with a “Kuch to log kahenge logon ka kaam hain kahena”. However what we cannot forget are the marvelous insights provided by “Wafaa” into social mores prevalent in the world:

Amrit’s Sister to bhabi Veena: Aaar tum yeh kahe rahe ho ki mere bhaiyya ki age tumse baadi hain to yeh humare jaise Americans ke liye kuch naheen.
Bhabi Veena to Amrit’s sister: Americans ki biwiaan to doosron ke saathe so bhi jaayein to unhe koi faraq naheen padta..

And even if we can forget that, there is no way to forget Kaka, who brings back the glory days once again with a subtle, nuanced performance that would make even the dead-for-decades Babumosai come back from the netherworld.

Yeh kya hua, kaise hua, kab hua, kyon hua…..yeh na poocho. Cause what we have seen in Wafaa is pure magic.

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58 thoughts on “Wafaa—the Review

  1. Yeah, even I am surprised that you could finish watching the whole movie.
    anyway why dont you review films like tintorretor jishu & others.
    it would be fun to have a review of the upcoming bengali film TRISHNA
    (I hope i dont sound too regional)

  2. Can’t believe that people don’t even want to comment on this effort of GB. I still see only one comment! Great review, Standaaaard stuff from GB’s umpire

  3. As I have said earlier, trashy movies brings out the best creative ‘keeda’ in you. Trashy movies make for good review articles. There is a scope for great literature unlike in good films. A very hillarious article. Isme naughtiness kut kut kar bhara tha.

  4. The first REAL Superissstaarr of Bollywood needed a pep-review like yours. And by the looks I think he is BACK!
    We hope Kaka is not found singing “yeh laal rang kab mujhe choodega..” in red-light areas in his next film.

  5. “Excelletor jor dabayo mama miya pom pom”

    Hilariously Brilliant!!! Jai Ho!!!

    When a reported asked Kaka,”Why did you do this role?”.

    Kaka said “bcos the producer said it is an ‘impotent’ role”

    This years filmfare should have a new cateogory “Most Promising No-Comer”…and the award goes to Kaka!!!!!

  6. GB, you deserve a Nobel Peace Prize! Thanks to your selfless efforts in watching and reviewing these movies thus allowing us , the masses,to avoid them- thus preventing many violent reactions and utter mayhem in our worlds
    I salute you!!

  7. Wafaa for me was stuff plenitude is made of. Blissful. I loved every moment of it. Kaka rocks! However, I wish the heroine’s name was ‘Pushpaaaaaa’.

  8. whoever says trashy movies bring best out of GB, I request them to read his review of A-lister Kabhi Aagey kabhi PeechHey ( but again ,that is also a trashy movie with big budget)

  9. Thanks Praveen GK for the link! GB,after reading your review and countless others I have dropped the idea of watching Slumdog .I still think Salaam Bombay is the best movie that represents Mumbai.

  10. I am going to crawl into a hole & whimper.

    Or doob maro in a chullu-bhar of pani.

    I spend my whole life pretending to be amused by wafa-bewafa jokes and THIS is my reward? Duhai hai duhai.

  11. Might I add that my gussa, unlike Mala Sinha’s, is not particularly haseen. Kaka should hope he never crosses my path on a dark night.

    Then again, from those clips, looks like I should never cross Kaka’s path on a dark night either.

  12. It is really bad that when a man wants to leave his past behind, people like you constantly play the flashback. Promising Rakesh Sawant and Rajesh Khanna are victims of your humor.
    Jokes apart….don’t you think it was too brave to watch this movie especially when the bravery awards were already distributed on 26th Jan.

  13. Now why isn’t anyone mentioning Nisshabd even a teeny weeny bit? Kaka’s old nemesis did a fairly similar take on spring-autumn relationships and was hailed as gutsy and innovative.

    Poor Kakaji gets dubbed a sleazeball. Bichara Kaka – “Wafa” pe tere maara gaya, banda yeh seedha saada.

  14. Take a bow, GB…not for the review, but for actually managing to sith through this gem of a movie. 😀

    “India’s Hale Berry – Sudesh Berry….” This was priceless…. 😀

  15. Pingback: Greatbong reviews Wafaa : NAACHGAANA

  16. In Chandni Chowk to China, Mithunda has done a role quite similar to what Kaka did in Disco Dancer. Especially the last scene in CC2C where the ghost of Mithunda comes to pep up Akshay reminded of Kaka asking Mithunda (in Disco Dancer) to sing Yaad Aa raha hain.

    Role reversed. Soon Mithunda may work in Waafa kind of film.

  17. At last a review that segrgates explicitly the movie from its actors which was warranted considering the backlash from Media on Rajesh Khanna the actor… I salute you for this..

    “Of course a discussion of “Wafaa” cannot be complete without a comment on the needless controversy surrounding it. Before the movie was released, a few deleted scenes of an adult nature strangely made its appearance in the public domain. Now had “Wafaa” not been such a mainstream production one would have suspected the leak to be a cheap marketing gimmick but in this case the leak can be attributed to the immense public interest in the movie as it was in production. Now these scenes consisted of a few tastefully shot love scenes between husband Amrit (Khanna) and wife Veena, which it must be pointed out were essential to the story development just like Sharon Stone’s leg-uncrossing scene was for Basic Instinct and had not obviously been introduced for pure titillation. However instead of appreciating the aesthetically pleasing footage, critics launched an obscene attack on Wafaa and the great actor in particular using many negative adjectives of the likes of “retch-worthy” in this context.”

    I am amazed at the number of response this review is getting here…..I invite the readers of this forum to join “The Rajesh Khanna Forum” at the Topix where a war is being fought on this movie Wafaa….
    http://www.topix.com/forum/who/rajesh-khanna/T58CF0MJB2I0QQVGH

  18. @heejeebeejee…i saw it and its simply amazing…10 times better thn the so called best ever movie slumdog…bt yeah since an indian has made it, it wont get recognition even frm our own psuede intellectuals..

  19. Amrit’s Sister to bhabi Veena: Aaar tum yeh kahe rahe ho ki mere bhaiyya ki age tumse baadi hain to yeh humare jaise Americans ke liye kuch naheen.
    Bhabi Veena to Amrit’s sister: Americans ki biwiaan to doosron ke saathe so bhi jaayein to unhe koi faraq naheen padta..

    Now its a sexist issue. it reminds me of the movie Arth!

    anyways, the best point of Wafaa could be that “Yeh hain mera wafadar doggie, pyar karo khelo isse”.

  20. Awesome review of a to be cult masterpeice. I am dying to see this.
    However, your review & description of the character and jis business “umpire” reminded me of another yesteryear’s surreal masterpiece of RK- RED ROSE (hindi Movie)”.
    Going by your penchant for movie’s like Jimmy, am sure you have seen it.
    Oh btw, that coin new about Rakhi Sawant is cold news on 2005. What happened to the movie “Hot Money” ?

    Ullas !
    ~uh~

  21. QUOTE: “However, your review & description of the character …..reminded me of another yesteryear’s surreal masterpiece of RK- RED ROSE (hindi Movie)” END QUOTE

    Red Rose (1980) by the great Bharathiraja has become quite a cult favorite. Do not, please, speak of it in the same breath as Wafaa 🙂 Here’s the link to a fairly recent review of it.

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Business_of_Bollywood/A_rose_by_any_name/articleshow/2547342.cms

  22. Your review is no better than the movie… and please don’t say that was the intent, that you were trying to match wits, etc etc… pathetic, greatbong.

  23. Abey!! where is beete na beetai Raina??
    HILARIOUS!! :D:D
    i came to leave a comment but saw that u had deleted?? kyun?

  24. My heart goes out to Chand aka chandramohun who had to marry for *ex.
    Fiza aka bali was keeping her ‘toes’ tightly together without marriage.
    Now after marrying and enjoying “honeymoon” for few weeks, a satisfied Chand has returned to his family and Fiza is crying foul.
    Now only if both had better sense than to marry just for *ex!
    GB’s views?

  25. Dear friend I have seen the film wafaa totally. Its great film there is nothing there to comment on. People are misleading and misguiding against the film. This movie is worth seeing.

    Super Star Rajesh Khanna – The Cary Grant of India:

    Super Star Rajesh Khanna irrevocably impacted Indian cinema and culture like no actor before him. His acting perfection and application of talent were drawn solely from his inward vision. Super Star Rajesh Khanna did not cultivate the phenomenal attributes that created his “superstardom” by reason or will, but through the connectedness to his own persona that the masses then idealized. For he is one who is impervious as to who is ahead and who is behind. Super Star Rajesh Khanna’s inward vision, a special gift from the divine leads him always. Today he is the indomitable and highly respected veteran of one hindred and fifty films. For me, he is like the Cary Grant of India. Both actors are Capricorns that have played the widest variety of roles without ever bankrupting the fascination of the audience. Super Star Rajesh Khanna is the platinum standard for landmark performances and sheer screen presence. Ever since the camera discovered his photogenia it has been having a love affair with it. His Byronic inspirations of romance as autographed elegantly on screen endure. Super Star Rajesh Khanna is a Greatest Legend because he kindles our affections at the highest denominators and that is a life nobly lived means.

  26. You *actually* saw this movie? Actually? Hats off to you. I cringed through Deshdrohi, I watched it purely for the controversy it created. And you watched Wafaa in a theatre? Just curious….

  27. To Lurker : Thanks for the link. But I won’t read the link or Greatbong’s review ( if written already) before I publish mine. Just to avoid any incedental inferiority complex, you know .
    ~uh~

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