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…
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.
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.
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.
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.