Art & Culture

Eighties' laughable superhero fathered Tiger Shroff's A Flying Jatt

Deepa Gahlot
Deepa GahlotAug 28, 2016 | 14:21

Eighties' laughable superhero fathered Tiger Shroff's A Flying Jatt

In one of those strange Bollywood "beta to beta, baap re baap" coincidences, Jackie Shroff played a superhero way before his son Tiger got to fly around in desi superman costume in A Flying Jatt.

Shiva Ka Insaaf made in 1985, by Raj N Sippy (that he makes a reappearance in this column so soon shows he was trying out Hollywood-ian films before the others caught up), was the first Hindi film made in 3D, and it was pure Eighties hokum, more entertaining now as a curiosity than it must have been when it was made.


In a village, horse-riding bandit Jagan (Shakti Kapoor) kills Bhola's parents even before the happy family scenes are properly established. Bhola remains hidden, strangely calm in the mid of carnage, and sees only a scar on the killer's hand.

Before dying in full hammy glory, Bhola's father tells the boy to run away and seek out three men - the names and photographs are in a diary. The three jolly uncles Ram (Vinod Mehra), Robert (Parikshit Sahni) and Rahim (Mazhar Khan) live together and each has a weapons specialty - Ram whirls around a pair of sticks with crazy speed, Robert kicks steel balls with accuracy (in 3D straight at the audience), and Rahim wields a whip with expertise.

Shiva Ka Insaaf, seen today, is a barrel of laughs.

The three train Bhola and he grows up into handsome Jackie Shroff. In the kind of secularism that was possible at the time, they take him to a Shiva temple, give him a black caped costume embossed with the trishul symbol, hand him a ring with the eye of Shiva and a trident.

They rename him Shiva and tell him that the power of the warrior god will course through him, and he must now go out there and help the poor. His first job is to save villagers from bandits, which he does by swishing a sword and lopping off the villains' hair, beards and moustaches into funny shapes.


He moves to the city in village bumpkin costume, blinks through oversized glasses, speaks like a retard and gets employed in a newspaper run by Rekha (Poonam Dhillon).

As Shiva, he goes about fighting crime and becomes a hero of the masses; it follows that Rekha falls in love with him, not realising that he is her bumbling sidekick Bhola.

Tiger Shroff gets to fly around in desi superman costume in A Flying Jatt.

She in turn is wooed by Vikram (Gulshan Grover), son of Jagan (who is now the city's crime lord).

Bhola's superpowers allow him to hurl tridents, jump up and down great heights, and even fly - still in one scene he is seen chasing a car laden with baddies on a bicycle.

In the Eighties, it was all so chalta hai - an action sequence that had cars knocking down cartons in a godown was clearly shot with toy cars!

The uncles also arrive in the city to set up an orphanage, which means at some point, it will be dynamited by the villain with a remote control.

Now it's time for Bhola/Shiva to meet up with Jagan and get revenge, though the scar is not spotted till the climax.


With its non-stop silliness, rudimentary special effects, and Jackie Shroff playing a perpetually grinning superhero, Shiva Ka Insaaf, seen today, is a barrel of laughs.

But thirty-one years ago, it was a glimpse of the future.

Last updated: August 29, 2016 | 13:45
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