HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN (1999)

” HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN” (1999) was the third collaboration between actor Salman Khan and producer/director Sooraj Barjatya at that time (Maine Pyar Kiya -1989-  and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun -1994 being the previous two).

Although “HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”  will remain a classic for many cinema lovers and is their biggest hit as of now (2018) my personal favorite Sooraj Barjatya – Salman Khan movie (and to be honest my all time favorite Salman Khan movie ever) is this modern tak on the Ramayana story which was released in 1999.

There have been quite a few hit director/actor Jodi’s in The Hindi Film Industry (Yash Chopra-Amitabh Bachchan, Prakash Mehra-Amitabh Bachchan, Yash Chopra- Shah Rukh Khan, Shakti Samantha – Rajesh Khanna and David Dhawan – Govinda). But if there ever was a Jodi that seemed tailor made for one another it was the director – actor combo of Manmohan Desai – Amitabh Bachchan.

amit-man

And if there was a director – actor combo who could fill these enormous shoes it would have to be David Dhawan – Govinda in the 90’s or the Sooraj Barjatya – Salman Khan combo.

sooraj-salman

Rajshri films was a banner found by Tarachand Barjatya in the 60’s and their first production was released in 1962 – “AARTI” (Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari and Pradeep Kumar). Rajshri films would go on to produce many movies throughput the decades to come. Some successful, some unsuccessful and some very successful.

Rajshri films would also introduce the Indian Cinema to artists as Raakhee Gulzar (though the first movie Raakhee shot for was Sunil Dutt’s ” RESHMA AUR SHERA”  with amongst others Amitabh Bachchan, ” JEEVAN MRITYU”  would be her first released movie), Anupam Kher and Madhuri Dixit (though Subhash Ghai likes to take the credit for introducing Madhuri Dixit it was Rajshri Films who introduced her with the 1984 film “ABODH” .

The 80’s were a hard decade for Rajshri Films. Although their “SUN SAJNA” (1982 -Mithun Chakrevotry and Ranjeeta Kaur), Saarandh (1984- Anupam Kher and Rohini Hattangadi) and “EK BAAR KAHO” (1980 – Navin Nischal, Shabana Azmi and Anil Kapoor in one of his earliest roles) were (semi-)hits most of their films in this decade did not do all too well…

 

All that would change when Sooraj Barjatya would go on to produce and direct his first directorial. A movie that would change the fate of Rajshri Films, the hero of that film who had one release to his credit in which he was the brother of Farooque Sheikh, the hero of that film, the heroine of this film and the career of a flop hero who was the son of a legendary actress. Even the music directors of that film who till that point gave some brilliant music in films that flopped would have a great boost… ” MAINE PYAAR KIYA ” released in 1989 and Rajshri Films was back! Salman Khan was the new heartthrob, Bhagyashree was the perfect girl next door and Mohnsih Behl whose films as a hero had flopped was THE new villain in tinsel town.

sooraj

It was though of as impossible for this director – actor duo to surpass that movie. Imagine the shock in the film industry when they returned with their next offering 5 years later. A film that would forever change the Bollywood (how I hate that word) films were made! 1994 saw the release of the super blockbuster ” HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”. A film with a record number of songs (which became hits), a film with no actual villain in a time when the “action movie wave” was at an all time high, a film with only “good souls”. A film which was a remake of a small Rajshri film released in the 70’s “NADIYA KE PAAR”.  It was in this film that Sooraj gave Mohnish Behl another make-over. Mohnish’s mom – the legendary great actress Nutan- had been a Rajshri heroine way back. When she has seen “MAINE PYAR KIYA’  legend has it that she called the Baryatja’s and expressed her displeasure about the fact that her son was cast as a villain (and to be honest Mohnish did a damn good job!). And her concern came true for all the movies Mohnish got after this release were roles as a villain. So when “HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”  was planned it was a shock that the role of the elder brother was given to Mohnish. But once again he was superb in the movie. But though many loved Madhuri Dixit in the movie for me THE star of the movie was Salman Khan!

After this Sooraj Barjatya and Salman Khan faced the “SHOLAY-curse”. After “SHOLAY”  whatever Ramesh Sippy made (with or without Amitabh Bachchan) his work would be compared with “SHOLAY”  and it was not possible to surpass that movie. That is until…

HSSH

For 99% of the movie lovers “HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”  will be the ultimate Salman Khan (or Sooraj Barjatya-Salman Khan) movie. Not for me! The movie which followed their mega succes was not that big a hit as it’s predecessor but according to me if there ever has been made a feel good movie by the Indian film industry which can be watched over and over again (and this is being said by a devotee of Amitabh Bachchan here) it was their next film “HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN”  which was released in 1999.

This modern take on the Ramayana can be seen as Rajshri Films’ magnum opus with the biggest cast in their films so far. Initially when Sooraj went to Salman with the script Salman wanted to play the role of the younger brother (later played by Saif Ali Khan). Sooraj however wanted Salman for the Prem role as this role was based on Sooraj and Salman in the embodiment of that character on screen. And thank god Salman accepted. The casting is this movie is great and in two cases actually daring (and that to for two of the lead roles!).

Let me start with the daring choices: After the stupendous succes of “HUM APPKE HAIN KAUN”  everybody wanted to work with Sooraj Baryatja. So for the role of the elder brother portrayed brilliantly once again by the ever reliable Mohnish Behl Sooraj could have gotten a bigger star like Anil Kapoor or Jackie Schroff (which would have added more star value to the movie). But Sooraj and Salman took Mohnish for this role. And the gamble (if it can be called one) paid of. Mohnish was excellent in the movie. For me he was better in this one then in the previous one.

The second “daring casting”  was not so daring by the producer/director but more daring for the actress who had the guts to accept the role : Tabu. Tabu was cast as the love interest (I hate to describe the role like that since she was much too important just t call her that) of Mohnish Behl. Remember this is nit Tabu in 2018 (when this piece is written) but Tabu in the 90’s when she was also doing movies like “SAAJAN CHALE SASURAL”  with David Dhawan and Govinda. But even though she was doing heroine roles Tabu recognized the potential of the role and played Bhabhi to Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan in a role that had Jaya Pradha written all over it. And Tabu was superb! Now I can’t even imagine anyone else in this role then Tabu.

 

Like I mentioned earlier when Sooraj went to Salman with the script initially Salman wanted to play the youngest brother who is more the filmy hero in the sense that he is seen wooing the girl. Thank god Salman relented and did Prem because can you imagine a film with Salman Khan in which someone else is Prem??? Saif Ali Khan did the role and for once I liked him in the role. Once again these were the 90’s and the roles Saif was doing at the time were more as a sidekick to Akshay Kumar. Under the direction of Sooraj Saif did quite an okay job in the movie.

The elder sister of Saif’s would be wife Kareena Kapoor – Karishma Kapoor- is paired with Saif in this movie. Karishma is excellent in her role and it is due to the story, the script, the direction of Sooraj and the superb turn by Karishma Kapoor that you actually don’t notice that the hit Jodi of Salman Khan – Karishma Kapoor is not cast opposite one another. With all due respect to al the other actors (and I am a big fan of Tabu) commercially in those days Salman Khan and Karishma Kapoor were the biggest stars in this movie).

 

Now for the two other big surprises in the movie: another actress who had been cast as Salman’s leading ladt in the “Overboard” remake “EK LADKA EK LADKI” was in the film as well. Neelam had been way past her prime. After she decided not to work with Govinda anymore (they were one of the hottest Jodi’s in the late 80’s_  her career kind of ended. She was seen in a cameo in “KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI”  as herself. This was her big comeback film as the little sister of Mohnish Behl, Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan. And she nailed it!

Now for my favourite leading lady role in ”HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN” and I mean the character, the way the character was written… And the way the actress performed! My god Sonali Bendre nailed the part! Besides that she looks beautiful she is great in this role that just seems like an extension of Sonali so well did she play her part. She and Salman -in this movie-  seem like a match made in heaven. My all time favorite Sonali movie for sure!

 

Now for the big star of the movie… For me THE hero of the movie is BHAI_ Salman Khan. But don’t get me wrong… this movie is not a showcase for Salman Khan. Actually he is not seen for quite a part in the movie. For at least half a hour when the sht hits the fan Salman in not there. You don’t actually miss him because the on goings are so engaging and you are spellbound. But later you realise Salman wasn’t there then. But when he makes his comeback…

Salman rocks this movie. Just like Raju and Raj Kapoor, Bharat and Manoj Kumar and Vijay and Amitabh Bachchan… Prem IS Salman Khan and Salman Khan IS Prem. No two ways about it. I have no words to describe Salman Khan in this movie. And this is not because I am a fan because there are enough movies of BHAI which I don’t like… But this movie, well… no words to describe it. Most certainly Salman Khan’s best movie ever (till date -July 2018).

 

Sooraj Baryatja movies are all about traditions and values… and big families (and family functions). So the supporting cast is very important in his movies. Uptill ” PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO” (2015) – which I think id AND the least Sooraj Barytja kind of movie he made and the least Sooraj-Salman movie- there were certain actors that used to be in Rajshri Films’ movies… or Sooraj Barytaja movies. And thank god they were in this a=one as well becase they all add something to the movie with their roles and performances (my favorite being Satish Shah).

 

The supporting cast also had some other members like “overacting ki dukaan” Shammi. The fun thing is that in a Rajshri Films movie you had 4 actresses who were known for their ” cabaret-songs”  which in today’s times would be termed as ” item-songs”. Three of them (including my favorite Jayshree-T) were cast in a slightly negative role. While the actress who would later be arrested for running a porn racket was cast in a positive role.

 

Like I mentioned earlier this film about a father, mother, three sons (the eldest son is from the dad’s first marriage) and a daughter is in part a take on the Ramayana. The film is well written en very engaging. Time flies without realizing that 3 hours have passed. You are invited in the family’s home and you laugh with them, cry with them, sing with them and celebrate with them.

HSSH cast 2

 

music - ram laxman

Raam-Laxman were a music composers duo who scored music for many films (including Rajshri Films’ movies) but most of the films they scored music for were not the biggest hits. Though their music produced some evergreen songs…

After one of the duo died the other decided to remain the name and continued scoring music under the name of Raamlaxman. After “MAINE PYAAR KIYA” they did have some hit films to score for but for me ‘HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN”  will remain their magnum opus so to say. Though the songs of  “HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”  were the biggest hits ever and remain the songs they are remembered for and though the songs of “HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN”  are actually purely situational (but let’s be hones…so were the songs of “HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”) in scale this was their biggest soundtrack. Every actor (or character) had a specific singer singing for them. And for once it was Kumar Sanu for Salman Khan and not S.P. Balasubrahmanium.

 

 

As far as favorite songs go if I have to select one song from this movie as my favourite song it would be a romantic song picturized on the 6 leads and sung by 6 (!!!!) singers.

If for whatever reason you have not seen this movie yet DO WATCH it!! I watch it at least once a year (at least!). I promise you that you will have the best feeling ever after watching this one! Thank you Sooraj Baryatja and Salman Khan for this gem!

fun notes:

  • Rishi Kapoor as legend has it was offered the role of Neelam’s husband in the film but turned it down (and was later done by Mahesh Rhakur.
  • After the stupendous succes of “HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”  Madhuri Dixit WAS offered a role in this film but she turned it down and the role was offered to Tabu (thank god for small mercies)

HUM SAATH SAATH HAI (1999)

produced by Rajshri Films

directed by Sooraj Baryatja

cast Salman Khan, Mohnish Behl, Tabu, Karishma Kapoor, Sonli Bendre, Saif Ali Khan,  Satish Shah, Reema Lgoo, Alok Nath, Neelam, Mahesh Thakur, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Shakti Kapoor, Rajeev Verma, Ajit Vachani, Himani Shivpuri, Dinesh Hingoo, Jayshree T, Kalpana Iyer, Kunika, Huma Khan and Shammi

music by Raamlaxman

singers Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Udit Narayan, Anuradha Paudwal, Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu, Pratima Rao, Ghansham, Santosh Tiwari, Rawinder Rawail, Sonu Nigam, Roopkumar Rathod, Hema Sardesai, Shankar Mahadewan,

 

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Jeet (1996)

 

Sajid Jeet

Producer Sajid Nadiadwala  (who also is a director now) had started his career as an associate producer with the classic “Patthar Ke Sanam” which featured Manoj Kumar, Waheeda Rehman and Mumtaz in the leading roles. When he branched out on his own and started his own productionhouse Nadiadwala Grandson -one of the most respectable production houses today – he wasn’t that lucky at first.                                                             He started with the “The Godfather” inspired  “Zulm Ki Hukumat” which had Dharmendra in the Marlon Brando role and Govinda in the  Al Pacino role. The film did not do too well though I liked it (maybe because I am one of the biggest Govinda fans). After that movie came  “Waqt Humaara Hai” which did okay business. This movie will be remembered as the first movie which had the Akshay Kumar – Sunil Shetty combination. The film also featured Mamta Kulkarni, Anupam Kher, Jhonny Lever and one of my favourite ’90s actresses -Ayesha Jhulka.  Andolan which followed wasn’t that a big hit either, The movie had Govinda and Sanjay Dutt in the leading roles but was not your usual Govinda – Sanjay Dutt kind of film they made with David Dhawan during the ’90s. Then came 1996 and this would become the year that would change everything for Sajid and his productionhouse.                                                                                                              This would be the year that he would produce his first film with someone who would become a friend for life…

sallu

Raj Kanwar was a director who made 16 films in a span of 18 years. The thing with Raj Kanwar was that when he made a good film the film was really really good and had much repeat value. But when he made a bad film it was really cringe worthy.

Raj Kanwar Jeet

Like Yash Chopra had his heroines named “Chandni” Raj Kanwar had quite a few leading ladies named “Kaajal”.  Another thing common in quite a few Raj Kanwar movies was that through whatever circumstances the hero of the movie loved a girl in the movie that he would not get in the movie. According to me the best Raj Kanwar movies were the Rishi Kapoor- Divya Bharti film  “Deewana” which was Shah Rukh Khan’s debut movie, Laadla which had Anil Kapoor and Raveena Tandon in the lead along with Sridevi who took over the role when the heroine of the movie Divya Bharti died. “Dhai Aksar prem Ke” was another movie of his which I liked which was based on the Keanu reeves movie  “A Walk In the Clouds” and had Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwariya Rai in the lead roles. Fun aspect of this movie is that the movie also had Salman Khan in a cameo. And finally his best movie according to me is the 1996 released  “Jeet”.

“Jeet” is kind of a remake of the 1988 film  “Rukhsat” which was directed by actress Simi Garewal. “Jeet” had Sunny Deol, Salman Khan, karishma Kapoor and Amrish Puri in the leading roles and a guest appearance by Tabu.

This movie was quite an intense love story in which it was hard for me to root for one hero because both Sunny Deol and Salman Khan were two of my favourites then and both still are. I have read quite a few posts which say that “Sunny Deol ne Salman Khan ke chhuti kar di is film mein” with which I dont agree. I can see why some people might say this but one should not forget that Sunny Deol was THE main lead of the movie and had the author backed role in the movie. You might say that Sunny Deol was the Amitabh Bachchan of this movie and Salman Khan was the Vinod Khanna/ Shatrughan Sinha / Shashi Kapoor of the movie. The real movie buffs will understand exactly what I mean with this. But all of the actors be it Salman, Sunny or Karishma performed very well in this movie. For me the performance by Sunny in this movie is up there with Ghayal and Damini. Tabu in a guest appearance leaves a lasting impression and the only regret I have is that Tabu her role is too short. Though Karishma Kapoor gave one of her best performances in this movie according to me I would have loved it if her and Tabu’s role would have been reversed : Tabu in the Karishma role and vive versa.

NS Jeet

 

Nadeem- Shravan who were the undisputed musical kings of the ’90s gave a wonderful soundtrack for this movie with songs which are hummed and remembered even today. This was the movie in which Sunny Deol did his famous  “ant-killing dance” for the first time during the song  “Yaara O Yaara”.

Nowadays a movie might have 1 good song in it or maybe 2 at the most. But during those ’90s – especially when the music was composed by Nadeem-Shravan-  the entire soundtrack of the movie used to have hummable and good songs. So does  “Jeet”                 Written by Sameer the songs were sung by the usual suspects : Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Kavita Krishnamurthy and Sadhana Sargam. In a rare move Shravan made his brother Vinod Rathod sing perhaps one of the most famous songs of his singing career. And the best song – according to me that is-  in the movie was picturised on Salman Khan and Karishma Kapoor and was sung by Alka Yagnik and a singer who wasn’t at the top of his game yet but had a great hit in that song – Sonu Nigam.  I should not forget to mention that this song was deleted from some dvd’s when the movie was first released.

JEET (1996)

produced by  Sajid Nadiadwala

directed by  Raj Kanwar

music by  Nadeem-Shravan

singers  Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Vinod Rathod, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sadhana Sargam and Sonu Nigam

cast   Sunny Deol, Salman Khan, Tabu, Karishma Kapoor, Amrish Puri, Alok Nath and Dalip Tahil.