Killerk (Clerk –1989) – A Movie Review

To boldly go where no man has gone before
A movie from bygone era when ‘Clerks’ or ‘Sarkari Babus’ were still honest and do gooders and thought taking Baksheesh to push paper was so not kosher. Manoj Kumar plays the part of a poor patriotic clerk called (so clichéd) ‘Bharat’ at the Ministry of Defence. The one who always had a hand on his face and has played a ‘Bharat Maa ka beta’ in most of his movies.

The movie starts with ‘Pitaji’, Ashok Kumar writhing in pain because of a heart attack. The family is distraught as they don’t have money to pay ‘Doctor babu ki fees’. Bharat comes to the rescue with the perfect medicine for a heart attack. To hell with modern medicine..if you have a couple of pencil cells and ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ ka song, you will have the patient singing and marching in no time. The doctors just fool us all with CPR and hospital bills. Daddy deario starts singing and marching in no time as the wifey and baccha log look on with pride. The miracle of a few batteries and a patriotic song belting out from the tape recorder,  has you confused if the movie is actually a comedy. And then, you get introduced to a whole array of characters :
1) An alcohol guzzling, disabled and face burned in the war elder brother Ram who suspects his wife of earning a fast buck by playing hooky.
2) A younger brother Balaram and sister Tulsi who make a a doorknob look smarter when it comes to acting skills. All these characters seem to be post doctorates in the field of overacting  and over reacting. 
Bharat’s old flame Sneh has left him to marry Vijay Kapoor who is rich and crooked. Vijay Kapoor wants a fat government defence contract so along with Sneh he plots a plan and makes Bharat majboor into stealing a file from his boss ‘Khan’ (Defence chief) and in return pay him boatloads of cash. Bharat’s family moves into a mansion and repossesses their ‘Girvi padi Jameen’ and all izz well.  Meanwhile another buxom babe ‘Pooja’ who is Bharat’s colleague is struck by constipated cupid which propels her to don gymnastics gear to seduce Bharat. She proudly says ‘I have won many cups in gymnastics  in school and college’ to which Bharat replies ‘but now I would like to go and have a cup of tea (rather than see your body double do the gymnastics)’.
And then start the twists and turns in the story which make your head reel. The director has taken ‘Is kahani mein emotion hai, drama hai, tragedy hai’ too much to heart’.
  • Balaram robs a bank with his girlfriend, (Ms. Torn Jeans and trying too hard to be tapori) ‘Sonu’. He gets arrested and is thrown in jail.
  • Sister Tulsi gets raped by a gangster when she goes to him for help to get Balaram released.
  • Gymnastics babe is illegitimate and gets molested by her own father and kills him. Just before he dies in the hospital he transfers his property to the daughter.
  • Pitaji comes to know of Bharat’s treachery and finally dies of heart attack. The tape recorder and the battery cells failed to revive him this time Tchah.
  • Elder brother gets mighty angry when he comes to know the reason of Pitaji’s demise and wants to kill Bharat.
  • Balaram the bank robber clad in shiny black leather and holding a machine gun escapes from jail and saves Bharat from getting killed by Ram.
  • Old flame ‘Sneh’ comes back to her senses and suddenly realizes that she has been a selfish money hungry shark.
  • Ram finds out that Mrs.. hooky hooker is actually selling her blood to provide for his food and alcohol and becomes forlorn for suspecting her.
After all this hum di dum drama-shama, Bharat turns over a new leaf and co-operates with authorities to nail Vijay Kapoor, who has planned operation Red Rose to assassinate the Prime Minister. Brother Balaram and Ms. Torn Jeans both die helping Bharat Bhai.
Fee fi fo fum…I smell the blood of a dead scum…Vijay Kapoor is surrounded by the policia and has no place to go. He  shoots his wife instead of Bharat and kills her before he blows himself up. The government is ever so thankful of Bharat for saving the Prime Minister of India.
Here are some of the cheesy dialogues which are repeated over and over again by some of the characters a la Mogambo style throughout the movie– ‘Mogambo Khush Hua’
1) Prem Chopra aka Sadhuram is a peon at the Ministry - ‘Isme mein bhi ek point hai’
2) Satish Shah – Bharat’s immediate boss - ‘Hindi mein bolo’
3) Om Shivpuri  aka Jindal - ‘Beauty, Beauty, Beauty-  Sweety, Sweety, Sweety’ (I kinda liked it…so poetic..)

Even though the movie has all capable and popular actors…the story and the dialogues can only give them so much leg room for artistic output. It feels, as though the actors were held at gun point and forcibly made to act in the movie. The songs are passable except for ‘Kadam Kadam Badhaeja khushi ke geet gayeja‘ which is wonderful. Manoj Kumar as Bharat grates on your nerves with his typical histrionics and his well fed frame, belies the fact that he is from a poor family. Rather, the entire family looks well fed and healthy when they are supposed to be shown as being hungry for many days. The heroines are attracted to a man wearing a bad wig, torn clothes and zero personality which is completely unbelievable.
This movie is disjointed and fractured, it feels like a collage made by a person who has taken a high dosage of hallucinogens. The director who gave us super hits like ‘Upkaar’ and ‘Roti, Kapda aur Makan’ had lost his magic touch in this movie. You see the movie with the hope of catching the glimmer of art you had expected from such a renowned director. Each scene from this movie is a gem in itself and the transition from one scene to another is like taking a bumpy ride in an auto rickshaw on a potholed street. Even before your innards can recover from one violent jerk, you are already assaulted by another one. The entire movie feels as if the director is flogging a horse which died from laughing too hard as the first scene rolled out on the screen.

Director: Manoj Kumar
Writer: Manoj Kumar
Cast : Manoj Kumar – Bharat
         Ashok Kumar- Pitaji
         Rajendra Kumar- Khan
         Rekha- Sneh (Old Flame)
        Anita Raj- Pooja – Gymnastics babe
        Mohammad Ali- Ram
        Zeba- Mrs. Hooky/ blood seller
        Rajiv Goswami- Balaram
       Sonu Walia- Ms. Torn Jeans aka Sonu
       Prem Chopra- Sadhuram
       Satish Shah- Sharma – Bharat’s immediate boss
       Sonika Gill- Tulsi
       Om Shivpuri- Jindal
       Dina Pathak- Bharat’s Mommy
Genre: Clueless or maybe Comedy
Rating: Not to be missed. Must be seen at least once.



    Tulsi's dialog is ultimate!! :D
    Got to see this movie now!!
    Fantastic review!!
    All the very best for the contest!!
    Cheers :)

  2. superb review!!!!
    the last line was the clincher!!

    best wishes for the contest!!

  3. Magnificent, not be missed at all. And another gem from the same person was Painter Babu, I think he launched his brother in that one.
    This one is a winner. Truly funny :D

  4. Let's face it. Iam not so courageous to see this one.

  5. ROFL!!! I must see this movie. Your review is so brilliant, it has really tempted me. Wonderful

  6. complete.
    now I don't don't need to see the movie again...
    but I seems so interesting

  7. ROFL this was hilarious .. good one here LP Best wishes

  8. Doesn't seem to be a good movie despite the superstar cast. I think sometimes a bunch of popular movie stars are put in a film with poor storyline because the director or whomever in charge think that the movie stars will attract people to watch the movie.

  9. i so want to watch this movie......really.... i also want to check the history.....of it....did it work....? any awards....?

    cause may be people of that era loved it..... i mean as a kid i loved Krantiveer.....but now it feel more sort of a comedy ..... can't believe nana patekar got a national award for that..... :D

  10. Hillarious LP... i so wanna watch the movie now... brilliant stuff...

  11. LP you deserve a trophy. You actually sat through a Manoj Kumar movie-the grand daddy of all cliches.

    Me thinks the hero has a sis so that she can get raped, the bro sees red and goes on a killing spree.

    The plot seems gory with convoluted twists.

    But babes you did a great job!

  12. Love it - I so want to watch the movie now....
    They've managed to throw everything into one movie - heart attack, alcoholism, bank robbery...

  13. What a typical Bollywood flick!!! Other countries have themed movies.. comedy or action.. but our movies.. ALL IN ONE :-) Good post!!

  14. In good old days we were not allowed to have crush or even talk about boys, so Rinks and I got fixated on MK. He was a safe bet, never touched the heroien and was accepatble to parents as he was older than our dads. We talked MK, we walked MK and we dreamt MK... :)

    We saw almost all his movies san Killerk, Kalyug ki Ramayan, Painter Babu. Oh man now after reading your review I am tempted to watch this Killerk. Thanks for reminding what I have been missing.

    I guess Rajiv Goswami who plays older brother is his son :) Bharat Kumar never grows old...
    Reading this made my day...


    Desi Girl

  15. OMG, u actually sat thru this movie!!! I saw the first 15 mins and was horrified with the acting and how old everyone was looking. 15 mins is all I could sit thru:-) U deserve the Nobel prize for watchin it!!

  16. You actually saw this movie.. :(
    My god... I can never sit through a MK movie... :( and all his overacting....
    But really hilarious review...

  17. Hey where is my comment? Ugh!

    Wanted to say I loved the review. And dude, you actually sat through the movie? You cannot possibly be that bored. :)

    I did wake up after reading it though and was laughing loudly here :)

  18. I've been a 'fan' of this movie since ages:)My orkut profile has had the video of Ashok Kumar's miraculous revival from heart attack for long:)

    great review!

  19. Superb review..loved it, it had me in splits..hats off to you for having survived such a film for three hours(I suppose) only your humor could have saved this..all the best :)

  20. Lol.. too funny LP :)) Loved the dialogues that you attached with the pictures, especially the last one.. hehe.. I am a huge fan of Manoj Kumar but have never watched this movie, or dont remember watching it, if I ever did watch it. Now I should watch it, atleast like a comedy movie :)

  21. LP superstuff...I have never dared to watch a Manoj Kumar movie except for Kranti, for these very reason, but am surely going to watch this flick and I it will be a riot thanks to your review...

    Great, All the best for the contest!!

  22. Hats off to you for deciphering the movie enough to post a comment! :D Definitely worth seeing! :D :D

  23. If you want to know why sometimes movies are made with a single objective that no one should see the movie than please watch this movie.

    You will totally be confused whether this is a comedy movie or a robbery movie or a deshbhakti movie or a romantic movie or a ....

    Such a stupid and wrong casting I have never seen in any movie in my lifetime

    Rarely you will find so much of underacting by each and every actor whether it is Shashi Kapoor, Ashok Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Rajendra Kumar anyone.

    I can write endlessely for this movie but let me reserve it for the next time as one can write any amount of review for this movie. You can loose all your tension.

    The most noticeable character is the youngest brother with a stain gun. He seems like Rajpal Yadav is doing some comedy scene.

    The movie deserves a special award for the most confused movie.

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  26. I just couldn't leave your website before telling you that I truly enjoyed the top quality info you present to your visitors? Will be back again frequently to check up on new posts.


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