The best way I can think of to describe Vijaya Lalitha is as a cross between the aforementioned Ms. Chayya and Dara Singh. In one scene she goes from go-go dancing with hip-swinging abandon to one of the film's twangy guitar and Farfisa organ-drenched musical numbers to being in a wild bar fight in which she's doing all kinds of acrobatic wrestling moves and crazy backflips. The many, many fights in this movie are totally insane -- more the kind of thing I would expect from the Turkish cinema of this period -- and Vijaya both doles out and receives more punishment than you would ever see a traditional Bollywood heroine do -- and all without mussing her helmet of flaming red hair or any of her many brightly colored Annie Oakley jumpsuits.
The plot of the movie is fairly easy to follow, despite the lack of subtitles; basically a revenged-themed Western with Vijaya gunning for the gang of cattle rustlers who killed her dad and raped her sister. On the other hand, the fact that virtually all of the male actors in the movie sport greasy pompadours and mustaches did make sorting their characters out a bit confusing. The style of acting is OTT to the point of making Saira Banu look like a master of nuance by comparison, and, just in case all the agonized mugging doesn't get the point across, the filmmakers use gimmicks like shining a red spot on Vijaya's face to tell you when she's really, really angry. This is a straight up comic strip movie, pure and simple, as colorful and two dimensional as anything you'd find on the inside of a Bazooka Joe wrapper -- which, if you know me, is a compliment. To top it off, Satyam's song score, which is marked by a couple of super catchy, garage combo style tunes, is a real kicker.
Kaun Sachha Kaun Jhoota is one of those films where just writing about it makes me want to run back and watch it again. It's a crazy good time, and you can bet I'll be seeking out more of Ms. Lalitha's efforts from this point on. She totally kills.