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Hey Ram (2000)

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Kamal Hassan, more...
Director: Kamal Hassan
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Eros International
Genre: India, Bollywood
Running Time: 186 min.
Languages: Hindi
Subtitles: English

HEY RAM is a glimpse of the tumultuous tides of Indian history, which have hopefully reached us to a safe landing. The story begins at the bedside of Saket Ram. At 89 years old Saket Ram is trying to die as gracefully as possible. Astride waves of nostalgia and his memories, the story goes back to 1940's. Saket Ram (Kamal Haasan) and his close associate and friend Amjad Ali Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) are archeaologists working under Mortimer Wheeler at the excavation sites of Mohenjodaro. Saket Ram and Amjad do not see the need for such a division of India. Gandhiji never did like this division to accommodate an Islamic state. He wanted to accommodate all within one country as brothers and equals. Patel and Rajaji were of the opinion that it would be better to let the two communities, Hindus and Muslims, live apart in peace. Even before Patel, Rajaji and other wise men could come to a decision, the pedestrian religious fanatics had decided to fight it out directly. It was almost a civil war. Calcutta becomes an altar of human sacrifice for both Hindus and Muslims. It was 1946: Saket, then living in Calcutta is drenched in this religious insanity; Saket has already come a long way from home... the Calcutta riots make him loose his way further. He tries to find his way back to a place called home. The directions and addresses given to him are right. He even seems to know the people but linding that elusice place called home seems impossible.

GreenCine Member Reviews

Compelling if uneven tale of religious hatred by awehman February 24, 2005 - 4:10 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
If you're looking to watch Shah Rukh Khan woo college girls with his giddy antics, this is not the Bollywood you're looking for.

This is Kamal Hassan's movie, as director, writer, and star and it's more political epic than titillating song and dance. The title refers to the supposed last words of Mahatma M.K. Gandhi (I've seen it translated as O God!). The plot is essentially a tale of a man with liberal views who is traumatized and joins a group of Hindus who plan to assasinate Gandhi for giving their country away to Muslims.

The film is uneven in its visual style, but some of the styles are breathtaking. They often change camera types so sometimes the movie looks like it was filmed in the 60s and sometimes in the 90s. The period recreation and the sense of mood in locations are also excellent. I started out the movie being a little bored, but once it gets cooking, I was captivated. There are a few over-the-top scenes, the sex scenes are unusually explicit for Indian cinema, and Shah Rukh Khan is hopeless here in a serious role.

One of my favorite examples of visual overkill is when we're in the basement of the evil Maharajah and not only is he shown with a picture of Hitler on his wall to cement the "hint hint, he's a bad guy" vibe, but they follow up the scene with an animated opium-induced morphing of the Hindu svastika (a symbol for luck) into the Nazi swastika.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.00)
4 Votes
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