KARNATAKA

It’s a family affair

MALE BONDING: Dharmendra (centre) with Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol in ‘Apne’.

MALE BONDING: Dharmendra (centre) with Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol in ‘Apne’.  

Apne (Hindi)

Cast: Dharamendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol,

Shilpa Shetty

Director: Anil Sharma

Fight one more round when your feet are so tired that you wish your opponent would crack you in the jaw and put you to sleep. Fight one more round because the man who always comes back for another round is never the loser. This is the mantra of Anil Sharma’s film. It could as well have been Dharmendra’s credo as he attempts to come back to A-grade cinema after a prolonged stint in the anonymity of C-grade circuit.

Here as a boxer who had to bid adieu to the sport under a cloud of allegations, he is a winner. He towers above his sons. And is veritably the life and blood of this film. He is predictable when angry but he lets himself go in the emotional sequences, there would not be many hearts that won’t weep with him. He looks haggard and wrinkled at times, but as a father of grown-up men, he is allowed that luxury. While Sharma leaves his riotous days of Gadar and The Hero behind, it is actually the story that moves the audience. Set in India and North America, Sharma shows an aged boxer — Dharmendra — who wants his elder son — Sunny Deol, largely underutilised — to win the world title he could not. The son has other priorities. All is bleak until the younger son — Bobby Deol in a well etched out role — rises to wipe off the stain from the father’s slate. His transition though from being a nobody to a world beater is a shade incredible: too fast-too forward. Sunny gets to do his bit at the end. Watch it for Dharmendra. And some nice story-telling. Watch it with your apne.

ZIA US SALAM

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