Koyla is one of my favourite Bollywood movies of all time. Any movie starring Shahrukh Kahn,Madhuri Dixit and Amrish Puri is bound to be highly entertaining.
I don't wish to sound cliched but Koyla has everything you'd expect from a great movie (particularly a Bollywood romance/action movie)-a superb story (believe it or not),high adventure,comedy,over-the-top action,a great romance and some wonderful song and dance numbers (all of which I liked and that's an uncommon thing for me when I'm watching a Hindi film!)The songs are also subtitled so the meaning and relevance of each can be fully understood;and some of them are just beautiful.
I could be being biased here,as Shahrukh is my favourite Bollywood actor but he does play the wounded and loveable hero better than anybody else and always with such tremendous gusto.
And then there's Madhuri,who is a damn fine actress and excudes a natural charm and beauty in any film she's in (might I add that she's one of my favourite actresses).I love the strong willed characters she's played in the past and her role as Gauri is no exception. Madhuri is also one of the few actresses who can REALLY dance and in Koyla she dances like the wind!
And what can I say about Amrish? Just that the Indian film industry has lost a true legend. He has played the archetypal villain in a manner that will probably never be surpassed and he has a physical presence on screen that is both frightening and mesmerizing.In Koyla he plays the Raj with skin-crawling relish.Those eyes!Yeesh.
The support cast are great with Johnny Lever throwing in his usual slapstick comedy which can sometimes be irritating, while Deepshka's performance was a stand-out for me.
Kudos must also be given to Rakesh Roshan who co-wrote and directed the film, keeping it engaging all the way through to the end.
Koyla is a contemporary film with a traditional feel, mainly because it's set in the countryside and has the evil Raj and his cronies exacting some pretty medieval punishment upon the poor villagers.
The downside to Koyla is perhaps the gratuitous violence (which some could argue is perfectly acceptable in an action film),the shabby special effects and the dodgy fight scenes where you can clearly see the actors are'nt even coming into contact with each other. The editing's not so crash hot either.
I also can't understand why the filmakers use (and continue to use) that terrible 'punching' sound effect which really sounds like they're beating a dead whale with a stick.
Koyla only did moderately well at the box office when it premiered back in 1997, but for me it was an instant hit even when I watched it for the first time without the aid of subtitles. I will always love this film as it was thoroughly absorbing,suspenseful,heart wrenching and just an all round fantastic movie.