Or The Terrible Tale of the Atrocities Committed By Thakur Jashwant Singh (Amjat Khan) in and around a village near Mother Ganges.
When my imaginary children will ask me some day what evil is, I will show them this list of the deeds of Jashwant Singh (who, as Indian villains seem to like, often wears clothes with a big JS monogram, preferably on his breast or collar), man of EVIL:
- Giving poor old men a job just to rape their daughters, who subsequently commit suicide. Afterwards, throwing said daughter's dead bodies into the Ganges and letting poor old men loose their minds over disappeared daughters
- Killing one's own father when he hears of one's daughter killing habit by sheer force of one's evilness
- After one's father's death raising his percentage of the products of the poor farmer's work to seventy-five percent
- Having a village's moneylender and corrupt priest as one's henchpeople
- Hitting on Jeeva's (Amitabh Bachchan) beloved Dhaniya (ridiculously stunning Rekha), when she refuses trying to rape her (don't fear, Jeeva is conveniently close)
- Hitting and kicking Jeeva's mother
- Disrespecting one's own mother when she doesn't approve of one's wicked, evil ways Subsequently "sending her on a pilgrimage" to have her out of one's way
- Hitting one's sister. Also one's henchmen
- Burning down Jeeva's house and trying to kill him and his mother
- Later, burning down a lot more houses, to drive the wise Untouchable Kalu (Pran), father of Dhaniya and his people out of the village
- Interpreting the word charity as "sending masked and armed men into the house of a friend of one's father's to steal all his money"
- Letting one's evil priest guy frame Jeeva for a cow killing to ostracize Jeeva from the village
- Being responsible for the death of Jeeva's mother!
And that is just the shortened version of the list, which shows the main problem of Ganga Ki Saugand very well. The film is so in love with letting its villain commit evilness after atrocity after misdeed and its heroes enduring those acts faithfully and peacefully that it doesn't give itself enough time to let the supposed heroes act. Even by the time Amitabh finally transforms from the not very bright villager into an morally upright and awesome dacoit, there's not all that much interest in showing much of what he does for his fame, since there are still more evil things that have to be done to the rest of the cast. I didn't understand what Amitabh was waiting for anyway, except for the Thakur to kidnap Rekha a second time.
All this doesn't mean that Ganga Ki Saugand is a bad movie. It's a very professional film made by very professional people. It just isn't the slightest bit more.