Ghazab: The Total Masala Bollywood Horror Movie

Ghazab (1982)

CastDharmendra, Rekha, Shriram Lagoo, Ranjeet, Seema Deo, Hrishan Dhawan, Madan Puri, Aruna Irani, Jagdeep, Sharat Saxena
DirectorDixit
ProducerNN Sippy

Ghazab is a Bollywood horror movie that hit theaters in 1982. Ghazab is one of the few horror movies that have the ghost as a positive character. We have had some like the Chamatkar starrer in 1992 and then some. The movie is a unique one, because it stars one of the most macho men in the history of Bollywood, Dharmendra, as a namby pamby, much different from the heroic roles that is famous for. How did the producers solve this issue? After all, the audience recognises Dharmendra as the He-Man of Bollywood who can do nothing wrong and can handle any challenge. Read on to find out.

Munna is the son of a wealthy tea estate owner, Sarkar. He is naive and as I described earlier, a namby pamby.  He is love with one of the women working in tea estate, Jamuna. He even strikes a friendship with the girl’s younge brother, Raju. Meanwhile, Sarkar is being decieved by his employees, Arjun Singh, Jatha Shankar, Munishi and Bhairav. They have a thriving business of selling drugs, hidden in the boxes of tea.  When Sarkar finds this out, he threatens to report them to the police.

The four plot a devious plan and cause Sarkar’s accident.  Sarkar survives the accident and tries to tell his son, Munna that they are in trouble. But before he can tell him anything more, Arjun Singh kills Sarkar. Now, Munna becomes the owner of the estate. Before his death, Sarkar had told Munna that he has a step-mother and brother in Mumbai. Sarkar had also told him that he should not tell anyone about his step-brother.

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Munna senses that something is not right with the four and therefore decides to bring back his brother and step-mother. The quartet find out about this and they send two impostors to Munna. The imposters convince Munna that they are his brother and step-mother. Soon, Munna finds out the truth, but they kill him as well. Jamuna and Raju see this. Jamuna loses her senses when she sees Munna falling down a cliff. The evil men cut off Raju’s tongue so that he can’t tell what happened to anyone.

Munna’s spirit reaches Mumbai, and he convinces his brother, Vijay, that he has to save the tea estate and avenge his brother’s death. Does Vijay believe him? Does Jamuna come back to her senses? What happens to Raju? All this and more forms the story of the rest of the movie.

Movie Review

Ghazab is one of the first movies to have the ghost in a positive role. Not only is this ghost harmless, he’s a classic, cliched namby pamby who needs the help of his living brother to avenge his death. Hardcore horror fans will not find their horror fix with this one. but should watch it for posterity purposes.

This is basically a revenge story – typical of Bollywood in the seventies and eighties. I can’t see why the writer added a supernatural arc to it. With actors like Dharmendra and Rekha, they could have just released this movie in the theaters as an action drama and they’d have made their money.

There’s some CGI and some camera trick that the director uses to show the twin brothers. Dharmendra seems quite comfortable in the role of the buffoon brother as well as the he-man character that he generally plays in movies.

While this is not an out and out Bollywood horror movie, it does have some wicked ideas. Like cutting off the tongue of a witness and burying another character alive. The climax is a hotchpotch of Samson’s tale, The Incredible Hulk and what-have-you.

Ghazab is one of those several movies that tried to mix the social-horror-action triumvirate in the eighties.  So, until the climax, its just a movie where some hero will drive into the village to save the day. Only here, the concept of a spirit calling the brother to the are makes this a quasi horror movie.

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About Roy D'Silva 483 Articles
Roy D'Silva loves nicely made horror films,books and series. He has spent a lifetime covering various entertainment beats and has finally found his calling covering the paranormal/supernatural/horror fiction beat.