Friday, 30 January 2015

Darr (1993)

Kiran (Juhi Chawla) studies in Shimla (Switzerland, undisguised). She is happily engaged to daredevil navy officer Sunil (Sunny Deol). But there is another secret suitor, her college mate Rahul (Yes, Shah Rukh Khan), a shy, awkward one who sings a song for her, guitar to boot. He just doesn't show himself. Instead he chooses to terrorize Kiran, stammering (Kkkkkk...Kiran) on the phone, shadowing her and attempting to kill Sunil.   

Yash Chopra's Darr is a rare Hindi commercial movie with a stalker shown in negative light. That took some time, otherwise heroes were stalking heroines no end anyway and making it to the marriage hall with them, all smiles and end credits. Darr does glorify the stalker's madness as a kind of feverish love.

The film's trump card is clearly Shah Rukh Khan's unconventional take on the Hindi film villain. The mannerisms that became repeated over several films and have now become mimic artist fodder, were very effective in Darr.  

The high point is when the three protagonists come together before the truth pops out. Songs, though beautiful, mitigate flow and all sense of dread. Still, this is a decent take on possessive love. For once, even if in patches, story does take over starry airs. In ego-infested star-insecure Hindi film territory, this is a monumental achievement.        

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