Aa-ya-ya-ya-ya-aa! Gupt...gupt... Gupt aa re... Gupt...gupt... Woh kya hai?
(sing it with me folks) Gupt...gupt...
Oh right, I should probably move on to the write up now.
Director: Rajiv Rai
Screenplay: Rajiv Rai, Shabbir Boxwala
Cinematographer: Ashok Mehta
Actors: Bobby Deol, Kajol, Manisha Koirala
Music: Viju Shah
Directed by Rajiv Rai, who delivered super hits Tridev
prior to this film, Gupt
is a whodunnit starring Bobby Deol, Kajol and Manisha Koirala. The music and promos of Gupt were well received by the public at the time and the industry was expecting another hit given Rajiv Rai's previous successes. Gupt lived up to its hype after release as the film's combination of murder mystery and romance struck a chord with the public, thus giving Bobby Deol his very first hit. Incidentally the same year his brother Sunny's films Border
were hits as well. Clearly a good year for the Deol parivaar
then, the only daag
on the celebrations being Bobby's other film, Aur Pyar Ho Gaya
In Gupt, Bobby plays Sahil, a lonely young man with no real friends, who feels alienated from his family and over the years has come to resent his step-father. He spends his nights at clubs singing catchy songs about being a lonely heart searching for a friend
...and spends his late nights glaring so fiercely at his step-dad, who tries to gently chide him for his irresponsible ways, that the dad's dialogue just dies on his lips.
The step father Jaisingh (Raj Babbar) is actually a nice guy and loves Sahil despite his rude behaviour. He is a politician, a Governor to be exact, and appears to be stuck in a political debate with a whole bunch of 90s villains.
(Sharat Saxena, Dalip Tahil, Prem Chopra)
He also has a group of 90s character actors as close friends.
(Kulbushan Kharbanda, Paresh Rawal, Raza Murad)
Anyway, the universe listens to Sahil's wishes when his childhood friend Isha (Kajol), having completed her boarding school, returns to town and enrols in the same college as him. Sahil is also befriended by a girl called Sheetal (Manisha) at college on the same day. Isha, by the way is the daughter of Jaisingh's secretary Ishwar (Paresh) while Sheetal is the daughter of Meghnath (Dalip), who is one of the people Jaisingh has been discussing politics with.
I think we all see where this is going... love triangle!
So while Sahil's marriage is arranged to Sheetal by both Sahil and Sheetal's parents (who believe them to be in love), Isha and Sahil are busy romancing each other.
♫ tu ho koi phool tou chura loon, apni zulfon mein lagaa loon (if you were a flower I would steal you and put you in my hair)
♫ tu ho koi jaam tou udaa loon, apni pyaas main bhujaa loon (if you were a drink I'd drink you and quench my thirst)
On Sahil's birthday, when Sahil was planning on telling everyone that he was going to marry Isha, Jaisingh announces Sahil's engagement to Sheetal. Sahil is livid at his stepfather and when he goes a step too far in insulting Jaisingh he gets a kadak
slap. In return Sahil picks up a knife and threatens to kill his stepfather but ofcourse his mother steps in and so Sahil leaves fuming.
At night when Governor Jai Singh is in his study alone a drunk Sahil comes back to exchange more barbed words but instead finds his stepfather dead. Sahil is caught in a compromising position and everyone thinks he is the murderer. A court case follows where everyone testifies against him, including his mother, and so Sahil is sent to jail.
this be my *sadface*
Isha is distraught and laments about what has happened. Sheetal confidently tells Sahil that she does not think he is guilty. You can tell who I like more. Good thing Sahil has enough presence of mind to trust Sheetal's level headedness and so he sneakily hands her the locket that he found on his father's dead body. The locket that will be the clue to the murderer.
*insert jail sequences here*
Sheetal uses her connections to visit Sahil in jail and he asks her if she is willing to help him escape. Ofcourse she is! I'm pretty sure it is obvious to Sahil that Sheetal is in love with him but Bobby never makes it seem like he is taking unfair advantage of her emotions, which I appreciated.
*insert escape sequences here*
The rude and authority-defying but highly capable Uddham Singh (Om Puri) is called in by the police to help find and arrest the escaped convict Sahil.
(Om Puri, Harish Patel, Anjan Srivastav, Ashok Saraf)
Meanwhile Sheetal takes Sahil back to her house for the night. Sahil feels lost and worried about whether he will be able to find the real killer or not but Sheetal consoles him and tells him not to worry. I love that Sheetal is so handy and calm in a crisis and is someone that Sahil can rely on to be a good friend to him. It is probably time to confess that I have a thing for the third wheels in a romantic triangle... Be it Min Hyuk in Full House
or Vanraj in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
my sympathies often lie with that person who knows that they are not loved back and have to decide how to channel their inner angst. So while all the reviews I have read so far seem to be very lukewarm towards Manisha and her character and preferred Kajol instead I found her fantastic!
I think it is great how Sheetal is a modern woman who is confident about her place in the world. She isn't afraid to get her hands dirty, be it gleefully hiring gunda
s, fearlessly challenging policewaalah
s or flirting with politicians. Sheetal is quick thinking and on more than one occasion saves our hero-in-distress. It is great to see the film treating her as a competent character without passing judgement on her overt sexuality. Yeah there really is no other way to see this song, where she finds Sahil asleep on her bed and goes off into a dream sequence that leaves little to the imagination about what she is thinking of:
♫ Naadaniyaan, beimaaniyaan (Innocence, deceit),
Hairaaniyaan, manmaaniyaan (Astonishment, doing what you please),
Kurbaaniyaan, diljaaniyaan (Sacrifice, knowing the other's heart),
Pashemaaniyaan pareshaaniyaan (Repentance, anxiety)
Mushkil bada ye pyaar hai... (This love is difficult...)
I was wondering if it was just me who still found the song appealing despite the questionable dance moves but apparently not
hehe. Good to know! Because yeah I adore it :P Especially Bobby in that ridiculous plaid jacket that you'll see a screenshot of later.
The rest of the film revolves around chasing down suspects that might lead to the real murderer. It kind of gets a bit tedious but since Isha spends this entire time distracting Sahil with some really melodious romantic interludes we do get a break now and again. Also ofcourse since Bobby is busy looking so deliciously handsome and Sheetal is often being angsty but awesome one can't really complain.
♫ Jhuki hui hai raat yeh, ruki hui hai baat yeh,
(this night has taken a bow, these talks have halted)
Yeh chaandani raat aage chale, hoooo kuch pyar ki baat aage chale...
(let this moonlit night move further along, let this talk of love continue forward)
Kab kaun jaane kahaan chala jaaye, mausam yahaan se vahaan chala jaaye,
(Who knows when one might go away, the weather may move from here to there)
Aisa na ho yeh jahaan chala jaaye...
(Maybe this world could go away)
I'm sorry, where was I? It is so hard to remember how to be coherent when Bobby is looking smoking hot in black, and somehow that bandage on the hand makes him look even hotter. *swoons* Love his random smiles too.
But it is as though all TPTB decided suddenly that they were jealous of how much fangirling Bobby was engendering so for the pre-climax song where Sahil, Sheetal and Isha are doing a dance performance to lure out one of the last suspects, so they can kidnap and question him, the costume designer made Bobby wear the ugliest, baggiest clothes ever and Bobby's hairstyle isn't looking too flash either. URRRRRGGGGHHHHH. Such a pity really because this is one dance number that is totally on crack and would have been enjoyable if the hero's costume was cracktastic instead of fugly. Example of aforementioned crack includes Sahil dancing on stage the entire time even though really all he needed was for Sheetal to do the dance so he could nab the suspect he wanted, but noooo he is on stage doing his moves even as the police is entering the hall to arrest him
! Did I mention the completely gratuitous use of traditional desi
dances? Because yeah, that just takes the crack to a whole other level. Also this song is essentially Sheetal and Isha having a passive-aggressive fight through song lyrics and certain lines are quite significant for the rest of the film. I'm always so amazed and pleased when song lyrics turn out to be meaningful in the context of the film. And this movie did that twice, the first time being in the Yeh Pyaasi Mohabbat
♫ Jaadu hai yeh kya pataa, kab kis pe yeh chal gaya
(Who knows if [love] is magic, and when it may enchant someone)
Shola hai yeh kya khabar kab kiska dil jal gaya
(Who knows if [love] is a flame, and when someone's heart might get burnt)
Sab ke liye pyaar ka yeh phool khilta nahin
(The flower of love does not blossom for everyone)
Sab ko magar pyaar ka yeh gham bhi milta nahin
(Not everyone receives this sorrow of love )
Kuch log to haar ke kya kuch nahin kar gaye
(Some people on facing defeat have done all sorts of things [for love])
Unka bhi tou naam lo chupke se jo mar gaye
(Talk about those too who have died quietly [in love])
Eventually after a couple of unexpected twists (though they weren't so for me at this point because I vividly remembered who the kaatil
was from when I saw the film in the 90s) the murderer is found but I won't go into details on that one because it would be really sucky if, like plazmah
, you get spoiled too
. LOL I still can't believe Kyun! Ho Gaya Na
has a scene where they spoil the ending for Gupt
. That just makes me want to watch that film all the more.
mention though that the ending of Gupt left me in severe need of fanfiction craving. And I don't even read fanfiction.
haha yeah I had a great time reminiscing with rubidium11
that day about Gupt...
Aside from enjoying watching Bobby & Manisha (yeah, yeah everyone's always yay Kajol so I'm channelling my love for the other two underrated but equally awesome stars of this film instead) and loving the songs I also thought the set designs in this film were pretty rad. Sample these:
And I know the costumes in this film got a bad rep but come on! How can you beat all that 90s vintage:
And don't even ask me how much I lust after this jacket of Bobby's:
For Bobby fans Gupt is worth a dekho
simply because of how good he looks in it, especially some scenes *fans self* For the non-Bobby fans Gupt may be worth checking out simply to see one of the very few whodunnits in Bollywood that was actually successful. It has a killer twist ending which is probably what helped propel it to hit status, along with the popularity of its music. I know I've focussed in this write-up mainly on the jodis and songs but that's just me. I was the same for Soldier
as well (as you shall discover) and that had heaps of twists too. In some ways I kinda wish I hadn't remembered Gupt's ending from the 90s because it would have been fun going WTF now but that's ok I got that with Soldier because I really didn't recall anything from that movie except the songs.
Having a dozen well known villain and character actors to complete the milieu of suspects and obstacles for the hero to overcome was quite a great strategy for Gupt and worked well in its favour, I thought. You rarely get to see ALL these guys in the same movie,
let alone the same hospital room
, y'know? So it is kinda cool Bobby got to work with all of them :D Also some of those guys were hilarious, especially Raza Murad as a poetic lawyer with a humorous sher
(couplet) ready for every occasion. The inspector (Om Puri) trying to catch Sahil was funny in his own way, especially memorable is this one line in the film where he tells Sheetal he wants to see her bathroom so he can find out "tumhaari khoobsoorati ka raaz kya hai?
" (what is the secret of your beauty?). For those who didn't grow up in India it probably was a random sleazy line but in fact it was a clever reference to the Lux advertisement slogan and I suspect Manisha might have at one point endorsed the product.
With Gupt Bobby took on the mantle of action hero that his father and brother were famous for. Sure in Barsaat
he did some maad dhaad
as well but this was the first of his, many (and I mean MANY), revenge films and perhaps the seeds for that can be traced back here. Had this film flopped, who knows what kind of 'image' he would have built? He already had Kareeb
lined up during Gupt though, all very diverse roles, so perhaps his career would have been much the same. Especially since Soldier was his next big hit and that was in a sort of similar genre where suspense was married with a revenge plot.
Bonus Fun Facts:
[+] Raveena was going to play Manisha's character but the dates clashed so in the end she opted out. She has however dubbed all of Manisha's lines in the film. Not sure why?
[+] The reason Bobby didn't have a film release till 1997, a whole year after his début in 1995, was because he was busy wooing his wife to be, Tanya Ahuja, and making plans to get married hehe (I find that adorable!)
[+] Gupt's release was also delayed because Bobby had ended up fracturing his leg which meant the shooting was stalled.