By Atanu Raychaudhuri(21 Jul 2008)
Kalicharan is a taut thriller about a criminal who is used by the police to fight a bigger menace because of his resemblance to one of the most dare-devil police officers, Prabhakar Shrivastava. Somewhat similar to what happened to the simpleton in DON, here the criminal Kalicharan had to be tamed first, and then taught the tricks of the trade. The commissioner, again played excellently by the veteran Prem Nath, plans to put Kalicharan into the police force as Prabhakar Shrivastava, who is actually killed by Lion's men (read LOIN, as pronounced by Ajit, who plays the role to the T). In the process, Kalicharan has to spend tender moments with Prabhakar's two small kids, and also reciprocate to Reena Roy's romantic overtures. How he manages to be part of the family and also bring the bad guys to justice is the story of Kalicharan. Well acted, and well directed, this (and the later Vishwanath) is an example of a crisply edited crime thriller, and showed what Subhash Ghai was capable of if he did not want to be a showman. Shatrughan Sinha must be praised for an over-the-top performance, when the script needed it. Ajit's dialogue saara shahar mujhe LOIN ke naam se jaanta hai was a major influence of later films. Kalyanji Anandji made some hummable tunes that became instant hits, for example, Lata's ja re ja o harjai, and the kids' ek batta do.