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Upperstall Review

Raja aur Runk


Hindi, Swashbuckler, 1968, Color

Sanjeev Kumar was a hero of low grade swashbucklers like Nishana and Raja aur Runk (1968) before he broke through as an actor into the A-grade with Sungursh (1968) and Shikar (1968). Based on Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper, the film, by and large, follows Twain's classic with the confusions caused by the switching of identities, kingdom politics and the use of the royal seal as a nut breaker and proof of actual identities. But a Hindi Film needs far more elements in order to be a 'Paisa Vasool film' so along with identity crisis and royal intrigue you have the love triangle, you have the suffering mother thrown in and yes, plenty of song and dance.

Though the film is produced by the legendary Prasad Productions, Raja aur Rank still has all the packaging of a standard, tacky B-film at best in terms of its prodcution design. The sword fighting sequences are unintentionally hilarious rather than swashbucking, and though Sanjeev Kumar enjoys himself thoroughly in an undemanding role, other performances are just about average at best.

Laxmikant-Pyarelal's music is by far the film's biggest asset with Mera Naam Hai Chameli, O Phirkiwaali and Sang Basanti in particular standing out.

Very, very average fare.

Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan

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