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Directed by N. Chandra
Written by N. Chandra
Produced by N.Chandra
Starring Anil Kapoor
Cinematography Baba Azmi
Music by Laxmikant Pyarelal
11 November 1988
Running time 174 mins
Tezaab (transl. Acid) is a 1988 Indian Hindi-language action romance film starring Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in lead roles. The film gave actress Madhuri Dixit her first big break, making her an overnight star. It reaffirmed Anil Kapoor's star status, after a successful Mr. India (1987).
The film was produced and directed by N. Chandra. The music is by Laxmikant–Pyarelal. Tezaab is known for the song "Ek Do Teen", which was a chart success. It ran in theatres for more than 50 weeks, becoming a golden jubilee, and it was the highest blockbuster at the box office for the year 1988 in Bollywood. With Tezaab, N. Chandra scored a box office hat-trick with his previous hits Ankush (1986) and Pratighaat (1987).
Tezaab was critically acclaimed and garnered 4 Filmfare Awards from 12 nominations. Anil Kapoor won his first Best Actor award, and Madhuri Dixit garnered her first-ever Best Actress nomination.
The film was remade in Telugu as Two Town Rowdy, with Daggubati Venkatesh and in Tamil Rojavai Killathe, with Arjun. The core storyline is loosely based on the 1984 movie Streets of Fire.
Plot of the film: From an early age Mahesh Deshmukh had dreams of serving his country; His enthusiasm and dreams multiply when his parents are killed by a gang of robbers who plan to rob the bank where they work. He later joined the Indian Armed Forces, through which he excelled in the services he rendered honestly to his country. During college days, he meets his fellow college teacher Mogini, who loves him wholeheartedly, and after he makes a bet with his friends on him, he begins to fall in love with her, thereby convincing her of his love for her. Mogini’s father Shyamlal is a drunkard and he wants to dance and take up prostitution as his profession so that he can pay for his daily share of alcohol.
Inspector Singh (Suresh Oberoi) gets a tip about Munna (Anil Kapoor), entering his jurisdiction, so he checks Munna's file. Inspector Singh recognises Munna as cadet Mahesh Deshmukh, a brilliant cadet whom he met a few years ago at a bank robbery crime scene in Nasik, whereby Mahesh's parents and many other bank employees were mercilessly killed by a gang of robbers.
Inspector Singh tracks Munna, re-kindles his relationship and asks him where he disappeared after the bank incident. To which Munna/Mahesh replies:
He had shifted to Bombay with his sister Jyoti, where he met an impoverished and unfortunate but kind-hearted and gentlewoman, Mohini, who was forced to dance to make money for her father Shyamlal (Anupam Kher). He is a drunkard who does not want to marry off Mohini because she made money for him by dancing in nearby nightclubs. He behaved similarly with his wife (Suhas Joshi), and when she had refused to do as he wished, he threw acid on her. Mohini's Mother committed suicide thereafter.
In his youth, Shyamlal had taken a huge loan from Lotiya Pathan (a dreaded gangster) and the only way to repay it was to make Mohini dance. Shyamlal also has to deal with Chote Khan, the younger brother of Lotiya, who was involved in the Bank robbery and had killed Mahesh/Munna's parents, and also Chote Khan was arrested due to Mahesh/Munna.
After release/bailout, immediately Chote Khan had attempted to rape Jyoti, but Mahesh killed Chote Khan in self-defense. For this, Mahesh/Munna was arrested and sentenced to one year in jail, after which he changed his name to Munna.
On learning the whole story from Mahesh/Munna, Inspector Singh allows him to complete his task and stipulates some conditions, including the time and date of return/surrender.
When Lotiya hears that Mahesh/Munna is back in town, he kidnaps Mohini. Shyamlal now approaches/begs Munna to get Mohini rescued ASAP and requires that she be returned to him only. Mahesh rescues Mohini, and they rejoice to see each other again after a long time, but Mahesh asks Mohini to return to her father; Mohini becomes sad again as she had expected to follow with her lover.
As he had promised Inspector Singh, Munna surrenders whereupon he is tried and tested in Court and then sent to prison for some time.
After a retrial, Munna is acquitted of his charges and plans to start afresh in another city - Goa. However, his sister Jyoti convinces Mahesh/ Munna not to forget his lover Mohini - so Mahesh/Munna sends his friends- Guldasta and Baban - to explain to Mohini where her lover is now.
The evil father, Shyamlal, overhears Mohini's plans to escape and is enraged, and he tries to stop Mohini from leaving. Guldasta and Shyamlal have a fight in which both die, but Mohini manages to escape safely, and Mohini meets Munna again.
However, Lotiya, learning of Munna's acquittal, conspires to kill him as revenge for his brother's death - so they all meet up at a dockyard. Baban (Chunky Pandey) gets a tip of Lotiya's conspiracy and challenges Lotiya. Lotiya gets enraged, and a fight between him and Baban ends in Lotiya getting defeated. Baban wants to kill Lotiya in the fit of rage, but Munna intercepts him and stops him from committing murder.
Meanwhile, Lotiya regains his strength and goes to attack Munna with a club. Baban dies, deflecting the attack. Munna fights back at Lotiya and is about to kill him, but Inspector Singh interrupts just in time to stop him from taking the law into his hands. Inspector Singh recognizes he's breaking the law but allows Munna to fight Lotiya as he sees this as a way of Munna letting go of his anger and hatred he holds within himself. As Munna defeats Lotiya, Lotiya quickly gets up and tries to attack and kill Munna, but Inspector Singh kills him with his service pistol, and justice is served finally.
Baban does not die here; excluding this fact, the rest of the ending is exactly like the original.
Anil Kapoor as Mahesh "Munna" Deshmukh
Madhuri Dixit as Mohini Dhanyekar
Anupam Kher as Shyamlal Dhanyekar, Mohini's father
Chunky Pandey as Sushim "Baban" Choudhry, Munna's friend
Suparna Anand as Jyoti Deshmukh, Munna's younger sister
Kiran Kumar as Lotiya Pathan
Annu Kapoor as Abbas Ali / Guldasta
Suresh Oberoi as Inspector Gagan Singh
Tej Sapru as Rantej Saxena
Johnny Lever as Kainchee Singh, Munna's friend
Mahavir Shah as Inspector Tarachand Gupta
Salman Khan as Rookki
Jack Gaud as Mukut Bihari
Dinesh Hingoo as Marwadi Seth
Achyut Potdar as Namrish Deshmukh, Munna's father
Vijay Patkar as Chiraunji Surwadhre, Munna's friend
Jaywant Wadkar as Aman Pratap Ahuja, Munna's friend
Mandakini as Nikita Sharma (Cameo appearance)
Suhas Joshi as Sumira Dhanyekar, Mohini's mother (Cameo appearance)
Ravi Patwardhan as Lawyer, Public Prosecutor