Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 20th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: India, 2002
Director: Harry Baweja
Writers: Anees Bazmee, Amit Khan, Atul Sharma
Cast: Sunny Deol, Sunil Shetty, Shilpa Shetty, Ashutosh Rana, Kiron Kher, Sayaji Shinde, Johnny Lever, Himani Shivpuri, Shahbaaz Khan, Vishwajeet Pradhan
DVD released: 2003
Approximate running time: 173 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Hindi
DVD Release: Eros International
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.99
Synopsis: Suraj (Sunny Deol) was abandon by his mother when he was a child. Through out his life he has always went out of his way to help others while not dealing with the his own sadness brought on by his mothers departure form his life. One day he meets a beautiful young woman named Sapna (Shilpa Shetty) who helps him chase away his demons. All is going well for Suraj until one day when he meets a young man named Raja (Sunil Shetty) who also has fallen in love with Sapna. To complicate things further Suraj soon discovers that Raja is his younger brother and that his mother is still alive. Suraj not wanting to get in his brothers way sets him up with Sapna and he convinces Raja to invite mother over to meet Sapna. After so many years will Suraj finally be reunited with his mother or will the answers about her departure only further push them apart.
I have been on a Bollywood kickoff of late and one thing you notice while watching these films is that they often borrow elements or plots from Hollywood movies that were successful. This is not that usual or uncommon of a practice and in fact Italian cinema when it wasn’t its peak in the 1960’s and 197 0’s where notorious for doing the same thing that Bollywood cinema does. For those who have yet to experience Bollwyood cinema on of the main differences between the way Italian cinema and Bollywood interpret film scenarios made famous in Hollwyood is how Bollywood incorporates about a half dozen or more musical numbers in each film. These musical numbers whiling jarring at first are always entertaining and almost all of them can stand on their own outside of the main plot.
The story for Karz: The Burden of Truth mixes revenge, love, high drama and bone crunching action into one cohesive melting pot of popcorn cinema. The action scenes in this film most of them involving Suraj losing his temper and often after a long night of drinking. Suraj is portrayed by Sunny Deol an actor who is quickly becoming one of my favorite Bollywood performers. Sunny Deol has the look and physique that one would expect from and action hero. He also shows in this film that he is more then just brawn as he exposes his more emotional side. Besides numerous hand to hand fighting scenes Karz: The Burden of Truth also features several gun fights that rival Hong Kong’s bullet ballet cinema of the early 1990’s.
Other notable performances in the film are Shilpa Shetty once again playing the love interest. Shilpa looks gorgeous through out the film it is just a pity her character is not given enough to do. The films other main lead is actor Sunil Shetty who plays Suraj’s brother Raja. Making the two brothers Suray and Raja so much of opposites really helps sell what is other wise a really depressing tale about a rapist on the loose and a boy who is now a man who lost his mother because of her connection to the rapist. The flashbacks scenes are some of some of the films strongest moments and this is without a doubt because of Ashutosh Rana and Kiron Kher’s mesmerizing performances. The cast is full of colorful many characters. Ultimately Karz: The Burden of Truth benefits from a solid cast and a compelling script.
The transfer for this DVD early on shows noticeable print damage before finally settling in remaining virtually damage free for the remainder of the film. The audio while not dynamic is more then adequate and the subtitles are easy to follow and understand.
Extras for this release include an interview with actor Sunil Shetty (10 minutes) (in English no subtitles), access too all the films songs/music motif’s and trailers for current and future Eros International releases on DVD.
Overall this release is about on par with most of Eros Internationals other releases.