This is one of my favorite Bollywood features. It combines unintentional (?) laughs, bad movie making (terrible editing, fight scenes where the punches clearly miss by at least a foot) with a great sense of pacing and a lively atmosphere; making this a fast, breezy and highly enjoyable two hours of decidedly Psychotronic movie watching.
The story starts with a wealthy man riding in his car with his young daughter. As they cross a bridge, they are ambushed by a trio of wildly over the top thugs, possibly sent by the man's conniving business associate (I can't tell for sure as though the film is easy to follow, there are no English subtitles). He is beaten while the daughter is unceremoniously tossed over the bridge and into the rapid waters below. Floating upstream, she lands in the jungle. In short order, she discovers that she's capable of having a rapour with the animals (mammals only, not reptiles as is clearly shown). As the years pass (!), she grows from petite young girl into a six foot amazon. Meanwhile, the father now fully recovered (it shouldn't have taken NEARLY so long to do so, but never mind) sends out a rescue team in the hopes that his daughter is still alive. The head of the expedition finds her and it's love at first sight. The two (well mostly her) battle nasty natives and poachers before being captured by a viscious tribe of... well more natives. The leader of the search party had previously run afoul of them and had to fight off the advances of the tribes' queen. She now finds him in the embrace of Lady Tarzan and hell hath no fury... Anyway, our couple are rescued by a herd of elephants (who are the closest of all of Lady Tarzan's allies) and they battle their way out. All that's left is for our heroine to decide if she wants to return to her rich parents or stay where she is as queen of the jungle.
Essentially, the film is a showcase for the towering presence of six foot tall actress Jamuna. I admit that I am not familiar with Jamuna aside from this film, but she does a nice job of carrying the picture (both literally and figuratively) on her shoulders. She absolutely looks the part and throws all she has into the role both in the action department (where she convincingly swings from the branches, crushes natives and battles several oponents at once, making them all look like dead weights) and in the er, tenderer sequences. The film makes sure that it very carefully scans her impressive figure in various shots, somehow keeping it less trashy than it might have been. Jamuna OWNS this movie and it is all the better off for it.
From a cinematic perspective, Lady Tarzan may not be the best example of Hindi exploitation filmmaking. However, you'd be hard pressed to find one that's as much pure fun as this.
*** / ****
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