I am not a big fan of dacoit sagas, but Raj Khosla‘s ‘Kucche Dhaage’ is a crisply told tale with many surprises. It avoids some standard cliches, packs in some relevant messages without diverting from the drama, and creates a love interest which is not merely romantic.

The locations and the cinematography add to the interest value.  The village houses, their rooftops and the fields and hills around it are more authentic than one sees in recent films, as are the junior artistes who act as the villagers. There are some lovely close-ups, low angle shots and 2-shots, well-framed without being quirky.

But what of course, gets you in the guts is the sheer handsomeness of Vinod Khanna and Kabir Bedi and the gorgeousness of Moushami Chatterjee. And their costumes. Not for nothing was Mani Rabadi the favorite dress designer of the 60s and 70s.

Vinod makes his first appearance as a ready-to-be-dacoit in a blue tunic with white crochet work on it.

And then a more subtle black one with green piping.

Kabir shows off his chest in well-fitting low cut tunics,

including one in orange suede.

Both of them do get down in the dirt after a while, and switch to blues, grays and blacks. But they keep the jewellery.

They have special bullet holders in their costumes too. Each one keeps a dedicated bullet to kill the other, up their sleeve, literally.

However in the end, they bond in denim.

Moushami in her first Hindi film appearance gets orange and yellow. 

And blue. And of course, to-die-for silver jewelry.

Her red bridal costume steals the attention away from her real-life husband in his one and only film appearance here as her chubby lover.

And here’s one of the married couple in real, real life.

The two dancers, Sona and Zeb Rehman wear pinks and greens.

They both dance very gracefully too. Sona in fact, comes as quite a surprise. I had always dismissed her as a Madhubala clone. But here she brings into her brief role all the ‘ada’ of a young courtesan, alluring.

Even old Kabir Bedi gets a very well fitted yellow kurta, and a purple bandhini turban.

And Kabir also gets to cry.