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Batwara: A Movie Review
Batwara is a Hindi word that means partition or division. The movie Batwara, released in 1989, depicts the conflict and violence that erupted in a village after the land reform law was passed by the Indian government in the post-independence era. The movie features an ensemble cast of Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Mohsin Khan, Shammi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Amrita Singh, Poonam Dhillon, Asha Parekh, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Amrish Puri. The movie was directed by J.P. Dutta, who is known for his realistic and patriotic war films such as Border and LOC Kargil.
The movie revolves around the friendship between Sumer (Dharmendra) and Vikram (Vinod Khanna), who belong to different social classes. Sumer is a low-caste police officer, while Vikram is the son of a wealthy landlord (Shammi Kapoor). The two friends share a bond of brotherhood and loyalty, despite the differences in their backgrounds and ideologies.
However, their friendship is tested when the land reform law is implemented in their village, which limits the amount of land that an individual can own. The landlords are unhappy with this law, as they have to surrender their excess land to the government, which will be distributed to the poor farmers. Vikram's elder brother Deven (Vijayendra Ghatge) hatches a plan to evade the law by transferring the land to their relatives and getting the signatures of the farmers by force or deception. The village head (Sarpanch) supports this plan and tries to convince the farmers to agree.
However, the farmers resist this injustice and refuse to give up their rights. A heated argument leads to Deven shooting one of the farmers dead. This triggers a violent retaliation from the farmers, who lynch Deven to death. Vikram returns to his village to perform the last rites of his brother, but is overcome with grief and rage. He blames the farmers for his brother's death and vows to take revenge. He takes his rifle and goes on a killing spree, shooting many farmers and setting their houses on fire. He then escapes to the ravines and joins a gang of bandits.
Vikram becomes a notorious dacoit, who terrorizes the villagers with his gang. He also gets support from his influential father and the Sarpanch, who provide him with money and protection. Sumer is assigned the task of capturing Vikram and bringing him to justice. Sumer tries to persuade Vikram to surrender peacefully and end his bloodshed, but Vikram refuses to listen. He considers Sumer as his enemy and challenges him to a duel.
The movie also explores the romantic relationships of the main characters. Sumer falls in love with Roopa (Dimple Kapadia), who is a widow and a victim of Vikram's violence. Vikram marries Gauri (Amrita Singh), who is a feisty and fearless woman who loves him despite his crimes. Rajendra (Mohsin Khan), who is Vikram's younger brother and also a police officer, falls in love with Nisha (Poonam Dhillon), who is Sumer's sister.
Batwara received mostly positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. The movie was praised for its gripping story, powerful performances, realistic portrayal of rural India, and its message of peace and harmony. The movie also had some memorable songs composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle and others.
The movie was a commercial success as well. It was the eighth highest grossing film of 1989 in India. It also won several awards and nominations at various film festivals and ceremonies. Vinod Khanna won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Vikram. J.P. Dutta won the Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue. The movie was also nominated for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Dharmendra), Best Actress (Dimple Kapadia), Best Music Director, Best Lyricist, Best Male Playback Singer and Best Female Playback Singer at the Filmfare Awards.
Batwara is a classic movie that showcases the talent and versatility of J.P. Dutta as a director and writer. The movie also features some of the finest actors of Hindi cinema, who deliver stellar performances in their respective roles. The movie is a gripping and emotional saga of friendship, love, betrayal, revenge and redemption. The movie also highlights the social and political issues of post-independence India, such as land reform, caste discrimination, rural poverty, banditry and lawlessness. The movie is a must-watch for anyone who loves action, drama and romance.