Holi
Release Date
8 April 1985

Holi (1985)

2h · Comedy, Drama
In a typical college in a typical Indian city, the hostel boys Madan Sharma (Aamir Khan) and his friend are a rowdy lot. The teaching staff suffer from the common apathy of most teachers in similar colleges. The administration has the usual problems, with ill-paid employees periodically going on strike. On the whole, the college is a very normal place. But on this particular day, when Madan and his friends rise from their slumber, some with the customary hangover, they are not so perturbed to find no water in the taps again, as when they hear that it is not going to be a holiday after all. Instead there will be a lecture in the auditorium by the Chairman of the Board (Dr. Shriram Lagoo), on the day of the festival of fire, Holi, and the boys decide not to attend the classes. The hostel superintendent Professor Singh (Naseeruddin Shah), the only lecturer with some human links with the students, watches with apprehension their growing restlessness. A notice announcing a further postponement of examinations adds to the bitterness. A fight erupts out of nowhere between principal Phande's (Om Puri) nephew and another student, in which the principal's nephew is hurt and the other boy is promptly rusticated. It is an unjustifiably drastic punishment, and the news spreads like wildfire. Resistance is organized in the library, in the laboratory, in the classrooms and the college grounds. In the auditorium, the first egg hits the Chairman, and pandemonium follows. To save his own job, the principal decides to track down the culprits. Professor Singh politely refuses to help. The principal now blackmails one of the hostel boys, whose father he knows, and who is in any case a loner, and a butt of jokes in the campus. Imbued with a false sense of power, the boy walks into the principal's trap. A large group of boys, all from the hostel, are immediately rusticated, and asked to vacate their rooms by the morning. The boys, not all of them actually guilty of rebellion, are now all in a rage. They make a bonfire of the hostel furniture and their textbooks. Feeling impelled to share his sense of triumph, the informer confides in the boy whom he hates and fears the most, and whose name he has kept out of the list. As a result he is mercilessly humiliated by everyone, and just about manages to rush away from his tormentors and lock himself in his room. In the gathering dusk, the young rebels sit listlessly on the steps of the hostel, their anger giving way to depression, when one of them discovers the informer hanging from the fan in his room, quite dead. Madan and his friends confront faceless policemen who come to investigate the suicide. In the morning, the police van carrying the boys away, is caught in the midst of a rowdy, jostling crowd of merrymakers, playing with colours. Madan and his friends stare blankly, hopelessly, out of the barred windows at the shouting revelers, as the van edges its way out. - Written by <afy101@hotmail.com>
7.6/10
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