I wanted to re-post this review to tie in with my Prince - It's Showtime post! So, enjoy reliving the glory of Yakeeeeeeeeen!
Let’s get right to the point – Dharmendra is the STAR of Yakeen, the 1969 thriller directed by Brij. And even more to the point, Dharmendra offers up his (admittedly attractive) body for the viewer throughout the entire film. Plot? Kya plot? Kya motives? Kya emotions? The entire point of Yakeen is fetishization of Dharmendra!
Of course there is a small plot – a plotlette – to give Dharmendra an excuse to run around and dishoom-dishoom people. Here it is, Dharmendra plays “Rajesh,” who is a top scientist in charge of something that if it falls into the wrong hands could be disastrous to India!! OH NO! Sadly, exactly what this ‘something’ is is never made concrete. Do we really need to know? Brij asks.
And not only is Rajesh a top ‘scientist,’ he also has a fiancé: Sharmila Tagore. The fiancé thing is important because the two love birds end up spending the night at a cabin in the woods – alone – and hanky panky is most certainly hinted at, unlike that cabin in Junglee.
A deliciously overly-complicated plot set-up leads Rajesh to a shadowy cabal of EVIL WHITE GUYS! NAHIN! And guess what else is in store for our loyal government ‘scientist’?
Oh, hello, double role! And, obviously, the Dharmendra double will take the place of the original Dharmendra and get up to all sorts of trouble.
And that is Yakeen for you!
Here are some points of note for anyone who is interested in viewing it:
There is a reason that this movie is one of Briyanshu’s favorites. This movie is full of homo-erotic tension and lots of loving shots of Dharmendra’s butt. Here is a question for you trivia buffs – Was Brij secretly gay? This movie would lead me to say: Probably.
Dharmendra and Shetty ‘wrestle’ for what seems like 10 minutes! All that grappling, grabbing, pinning down, etc etc. put me in mind of a different kind of ‘wrestling.’
(Here is a free tip from me – if Shetty walks out of a room and tells you that it’s fine to go in there…. NO! It’s usually not fine and you should probably run away.)
Brij is fond of the GIANT CLOSE-UP!!! (I am, too! YAY!) There is nothing I love more than fast cuts between giant close-ups of everyone’s faces to indicated MASSIVE TENSION!
There were some especially creepy shots of David Abraham, who was playing Mr. Rai. I don’t know how Brij managed to make this sweet old man so forbidding looking.
“Garzon” (Garçon?) was genius! Did you know that both hair and eye color can be changed through medical science in order to match your double?
(Rajesh or Garzon? Only I can tell you!!!)
Dharmendra is a great masala actor and he does it again here – in between the dishooming and romancing, of course! One of the things I always mention when people question my love of Bollywood is the equal opportunity body appreciation. Hollywood movies almost exclusively focus on the female body as an object of sexual desire. Bollywood... well, not so much. And the actors don't seem to feel that romping around with Shetty or changing a tire in tight pants takes away from their masculinity. Who wouldn't want ladies (and some gentlemen) finding them hot?
(Garzon or Rajesh?)
I really liked his chemistry with Sharmila, even if she was given a teeny-tiny part to work with. Although, the fact that Brij killed his wife, daughter, and himself in 1990 gives some of their scenes an unintended and creepy overtone. (This link has some good yesteryear gossip in it! Click!)
And, Dehko! HELEN! And she’s dancing with THE MONKEES!