Mera Gaon Mera Desh ★★★

more than a little strange to watch this after sholay, as the later film adopts so much of mera gaon mera desh's plot structure that it can seem like an unofficial remake at times. raj khosla's more grounded approach doesn't really suit him all that well - he seems to dutifully sleepwalk through the first 40 minutes of scene setting, only coming awake once the dacoit villains show up.

the last sequence, a dharmendra against dacoits shootout in the twisting streets of a remote rajasthan village that resembles high noon or maybe the climax to de toth's thunder over the plains, is the highlight not least because it finally flatters khosla's best skills as a director. still hard not to feel that despite his best efforts (and there are strong scenes and shot choices throughout) he was already somewhat adrift in the early '70s.