Mohra (transl. Pawn) is a 1994 Indian Hindi-language action thriller film directed by Rajiv Rai. It features Suniel Shetty, Akshay Kumar, Raveena Tandon, Nasiruddin shah (in his 100th film), with Paresh Rawal, Gulshan Grover, Raza Murad and Sadashiv Amrapurkar in supporting roles. The film went on to become the second highest-grossing Indian film of that year and was declared a blockbuster.

Mohra
Mohra.jpg
Poster
Directed byRajiv Rai
Written byRajiv Rai
Shabbir Boxwala
Produced byGulshan Rai
StarringSuniel Shetty
Akshay Kumar
Raveena Tandon
Naseeruddin Shah
CinematographyDamodar Naidu
Edited byRajiv Rai
Music byViju Shah
Distributed byTrimurti Films Pvt. Ltd.
Release date
  • 1 July 1994 (1994-07-01)
Running time
177 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageHindi
Budgetest. 3.75 crore[1]
Box officeest. 22.65 crore (equivalent to 126 crore or US$17 million in 2020)[1]

The film received nine Filmfare nominations in 1995. It was also the first collaboration between the trio of Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal and Suniel Shetty who went on to collaborate several times later on.[2] Originally, Divya Bharti was cast as the female lead but she only managed five days working on the film before her death. Raveena Tandon was cast as her replacement. The film was reported to be inspired by the 1987 film Death Wish 4: The Crackdown.[3] while the climax was inspired by the 1992 Hong Kong film, Hard Boiled. The film is also remembered for its songs which became chartbusters in that year. The popularity of the song "Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast", which was picturised on Raveena Tandon, led to her being nicknamed 'the mast mast girl'.[4] The song was an adaptation of the popular Qawwali song "Dam Mast Qalandar Mast Mast" by Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.[5] The film's soundtrack album sold more than 8 million units, making it the second highest-selling Bollywood soundtrack album of 1994, behind only Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!

PlotEdit

In 1987, a convict named Vishal Agnihotri is imprisoned for killing four criminals who brutally raped and killed his sister-in-law. He tries to get justice in court but fails, and the men are freed from prison with the help of a corrupt public prosecutor. Then, the criminals visit Vishal's home because he tried to file a case against them. Driven by vengeance, they try to rape Vishal's wife, Priya, but she kills herself with a knife. Angered at all this, Vishal decides to take the matter into his own hands and murders the four criminals and the public prosecutor himself. He is sentenced to life in prison for the crimes, confined to a maximum-security prison.

7 years later, in 1994, when journalist Roma Singh visits the same maximum-security prison for a report that she's writing, a few of the convicts try to rape her. The attempted rape reminds Vishal of his misfortune, and he intervenes to save Roma. Roma hears Vishal's story and decides to help free him. She is heard by her boss, Mr. Sandeep Jindal, (a blind businessman and owner of "Samadhan Newspaper" where Roma works) who reopens Vishal's case and convinces legal authorities to allow Vishal his freedom so that he can start living a normal life once again.

Once Vishal is freed, Jindal tries to recruit him as a hit-man. His responsibility is to kill some anti-social elements in the city, mainly the two powerful drug lords Jibran and Tyson and all the people who work for them. Jindal tells Vishal that these drug lords are responsible for creating people like the group of four men he killed in the first place, by bringing drugs to the streets and corrupting the locals with them. Vishal refuses at first as he has just got out of prison and now wants to live a normal life. However, the memories of his murdered family come back to haunt him as he spends a day alone and empty-feeling in his now-dusty estate, and he agrees to work for Jindal. Jindal convinces Vishal to kill Kamdev Kulkarni, the Commissioner of Police, at the end, pointing him to be the main culprit and protector of drug lords in the city. Vishal starts killing each of the drug-suspects, one from Jibran's gang and the next from Tyson's gang, to ignite the rivalry between them.

At the same time, a young and sincere Police Inspector named Amar Saxena is trying to catch the drug-trading suspects. He is unhappy about the release of Vishal, who he believes deserves to be in prison because of the murders he committed. Things become even more complicated when Amar finds Vishal at most of the murder scenes of criminals involved in drug-trading. Meanwhile, Roma and Amar fall in love with each other and officially start a relationship. Amar's colleague, Sub Inspector Kashinath Sahoo, is very greedy and becomes an informer for Jibran, one of the targeted drug lords. He discloses all internal matters of the police department to Jibran in return for money, that too as per the duration of his conversation throughout.

Jibran, upon getting informed by Kashinath Sahoo that the hitman who is eliminating his gang members is none other than Vishal, calls Tyson to meet and ease out the misunderstanding. Vishal surreptitiously shoots Tyson at the meeting, making two gangs fall upon each other and get killed incidentally. Jibran gets wounded as Tyson shoots him but pretends to be dead, thereby saving himself from Vishal and watches Vishal shooting Tyson at point blank range. Finally, Vishal approaches to kill commissioner Kamdev, but overhears the conversation between a drunk Kamdev and Kranti Kumar (Assistant Sub Inspector), where Kamdev thinks that the unknown murderer is actually helping society to get rid of dirty elements, which the police could never do because of legal flaws and lack of proofs, and that innocent convicts like Vishal (whose career is virtually destroyed) should be recruited in the police force. Vishal has a change of heart and refuses to kill Kamdev.

Upon meeting his boss the next day at one of his lodges, Vishal informs that while most of the anti-social elements have been eliminated, Kamdev will be spared. Jindal is enraged upon hearing Vishal's decision and reminds Vishal to only follow orders and not succumb to his feelings. However, Vishal confronts Jindal and demands to know the truth on why he has been forced to become a killer and who Jindal really is. Jindal strikes Vishal violently. Vishal attacks Jindal with a paper-weight, but Jindal dodges it. A stunned Vishal then realizes that Jindal is not blind and is the real antagonist pulling the strings the whole time. Vishal wants to kill Jindal instantly, but suddenly Jibran shows up and saves Jindal. Vishal is captured and imprisoned by Jindal and Jibran who is revealed to be in cahoots with Jindal.

Jindal reveals his past to Vishal. He idolized Jibran and Tyson in his youth, but wanted to become bigger than them, thus he made them his rivals. He also confesses that he murdered his wife Pooja and Inspector Karan Saxena (who happens to be Amar's father) to cover up the truth of his corruption and faked his blindness to throw the police off his trail. Over the years, Jindal becomes wealthy and powerful through his underworld drug kingdom while maintaining his façade as a good-natured blind businessman and owner of Samadhan. Jindal and Jibran leaves Vishal to die by rigging the lodge with bombs.

However, Vishal narrowly escapes death and reaches Roma's house, asking for help. A few minutes later, Amar arrives and misunderstands the situation. He blames Roma to be in an illicit relationship with Vishal and refuses to listen to her. Vishal, upon being confronted by Amar, tries to tell the truth, but Amar is not ready to believe him. Finally, both start fighting each other recklessly and Amar knocks Vishal unconscious, throwing him in jail.

Sub Inspector Sahoo, who is brought to Jindal by Jibran to give him important information about Vishal, tells him that Vishal is alive and will tell the entire truth to Amar and the Commissioner by the next morning. In the night, Jindal reveals his long-time attraction for Roma, thus unmasking his blindfold to Roma's utmost surprise and kidnaps her. The sub-editor Siddiqui, who tries to save her, is killed by Jindal. Jindal then drugs Roma to dance for him as he lusts over her beauty.

Kamdev, arriving by the next morning, releases Vishal at his free will. Seeing this, Amar bursts out in a fury and accuses Kamdev to be an equally responsible culprit who helps gangsters all the time and protects them from being punished. Vishal confronts Amar and tells the truth about Jindal and everything that transpired in detail. Amar, who has searching for his father's murderer for a long time, promises to take revenge on Jindal.

Amar, Vishal and Kamdev go to Jindal's office to arrest him, but they find that Jindal has escaped. Jindal, at that instant, calls at his office and upon receiving the call, the trio discovers that Jindal has kidnapped Roma in order to forcefully marry her and he taunts them to save her. Amar suspects an insider informing Jindal about their every single move, and that person is present among them. He blindly arrests Kranti Kumar, thereby letting Kashinath reveal his other side and getting caught red-handed. Now, being cornered, Kashinath has to reveal Jindal's location and helps Vishal and Amar trace Jindal to an abandoned fort where drug lords from all over the country have been assembled to trigger a vicious and aggressive drug cartel from the next morning, thereby partnering with Jindal, who will become the undisputed leader.

After a melee, Amar and Vishal kill most of the drug-lords, and Sahoo kills Jibran to save himself. Cornered, Jindal forces Roma to go with him but is confronted by Vishal. He tricks and shoots Vishal, grabs him at gun point, thus compelling Roma to stay back and makes Amar surrender his weapon. Deciding to sacrifice his life, Vishal forcefully takes control of Jindal's gun and makes Jindal mortally wound him, shocking Jindal . Amar, who is holding his weapon till then, kills Jindal immediately and avenges the death of his father just as Vishal dies in Amar's lap, saluting him for one last time.

The film ends with Amar getting rewarded by the government for his bravery and Roma's father announcing Amar's engagement to Roma. Just then, Kashinath Sahoo, who nearly escaped suspension for corruption, enters the scene and mimics himself blindfolded, similar to Jindal. While the others laugh at him and tell him to mend his ways, Kashinath replies by saying that he is trying to convince the government to pay more salary to police officers in the wake of rising inflation, so that they do not have to blindly accept bribes and put their fellow colleagues' lives to risk just to make ends meet.

CastEdit

SoundtrackEdit

Mohra
Soundtrack album by
Released1994
StudioTrimurti Films
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Length42:16 min
LanguageHindi
LabelVenus Records & Tapes
T SERIES MUSIC
ProducerViju Shah
Viju Shah chronology
Vishwatama
(1992)
Mohra
(1994)
Ravan Raaj: A True Story
(1995)

The music for the film was composed by Viju Shah, with lyrics by Indeevar and Anand Bakshi.[6] Mohra was one of the most successful soundtrack albums of 1994, especially the song "Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast". The track is based on the popular Qawwali song "Dam Mast Qalandar Mast Mast" by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.[5] Initially, Viju Shah wanted Sapna Mukherjee to render "Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast" but, upon Rajiv Rai's insistence, opted for Kavita Krishnamurthy instead.

The film's soundtrack album sold more than 8 million units,[7] making it the second highest-selling Bollywood soundtrack album of 1994, behind only Hum Aapke Hain Koun..![8] The song "Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast" was remade as "Cheez Badi" for the 2017 film Machine.[9] The song "Tip Tip Barsa Pani" was remade as "Tip Tip" for the 2021 film Sooryavanshi.[10] The background score consisted of plagiarized versions of "The Terminator theme" and "I feel you (Babylon Mix)" by Depeche Mode.[citation needed]

Track list
# Title Singer(s) Lyrics
1 "Tip Tip Barsa Pani" Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik Anand Bakshi
2 "Ae Kaash Kahin Aisa Hota" Kumar Sanu Anand Bakshi
3 "Main Cheez Badi Hoon Mast Mast" Kavita Krishnamurthy, Udit Narayan Anand Bakshi
4 "Na Kajre Ki Dhaar" Pankaj Udhas, Sadhna Sargam Indeevar
5 "Na Kajre Ki Dhaar" (M) Pankaj Udhas Indeevar
6 "Na Kajre Ki Dhaar" (F) Sadhana Sargam Indeevar
7 "Subah Se Lekar" Sadhana Sargam, Udit Narayan Anand Bakshi
8 "Dil Har Koi" Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik Indeevar
9 "Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast" Kalyo jaisa Udit Narayan, Kavita Krishnamurthy Anand Bakshi

BoxofficeEdit

Mohra is an Action Film which was released on 1-Jul-1994 at 220 screen layouts.

Budget ₹3,75,00,000
First Day collection ₹60,00,000
First week collection ₹3,17,00,000
India gross collection ₹21,70,00,000
Overseas gross collection US$300,000
Worldwide gross collection ₹22,64,50,000

On first weekend it collected (₹1,59,00,000) and worldwide first week it collected (₹2,87,79,000). Worldwide first week collection was (₹5,73,77,000) and Adjusted netgross collection was (₹2,06,83,28,190). Total netgross collection was (₹12,01,25,000) and the film was an "All Time Blockbuster" at the box office.

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
IMDb7/10           

It was the 2nd-highest-grossing film of 1994.

AwardsEdit

40th Filmfare Awards:

Won

Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Mohra". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 20 July 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Raveena Tandon, Mohra". Rediff.com. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  3. ^ Ray, Arnab (7 July 2019). "The movie that caused the world's water crisis Mohra at 25". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Raveena: The mast mast girl!". Sify. Archived from the original on 15 December 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  5. ^ a b Amit Baruah, R. Padmanabhan (6 September 1997). "The stilled voice". Frontline. Archived from the original on 30 December 2001. Retrieved 16 March 2021.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ "Bollywood Retrospect - The enduring lyrics of Anand Bakshi". Daily News and Analysis. 18 July 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Top 25 films between the years 1985-1994". Filmfare. 18 February 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Music Hits 1990-1999 (Figures in Units)". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  9. ^ "Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast — Mohra (1994) New Version: Machine (2017)". Daily News and Analysis. 31 March 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Sooryavanshi Tip Tip Song: Katrina Kaif gives a tough competition to Raveena Tandon". The Indian Express. 7 November 2021. Retrieved 20 March 2022.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit