Archive for October, 2007

October 30, 2007

Bullet (1976)

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I got this only because Vijay Anand directed it, but I confess that I feared it would be disappointing. How could he top Teesri Manzil, Jewel Thief, Chhupa Rustom and Johny Mera Naam?

Well, he didn’t top them, but he didn’t fall short either. Bullet has all the characteristics of his finest work in this genre—suspense, thrills, plot twists, excellent costumes, strange camera angles—strongly flavored by mid-70’s kitsch. And by strongly flavored, I mean reeking of it. The sets are atmospheric and fantastical, colored with acid greens and bright reds and yellows, and lots of graffiti.

Fab!

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October 23, 2007

Trivia time #9

In what film did Dilip Kumar play not one, not two, but three different characters?

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v9y is our winner! The movie is Bairaag (1976). Dilip plays a father who goes blind; when twin sons are born to him and one of them is blind, he leaves that son at a temple and keeps the sighted one. Of course, this is a bad decision, as the blind son grows up to be a good person, and the sighted one is not and treats his father with disrespect. Dilip’s wife Saira Banu costarred, and Helen had a small role as well.

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October 22, 2007

Blog abandonment

Well, the ALCS playoffs have really cut into my Hindi movie viewing time (each game = 1 movie).

And now we’re on to the World Series! GO SOX!

Dice-K

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October 21, 2007

Shammi’s birthday

Janam din mubarek ho Shammi! Happy happy 76th birthday!

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October 17, 2007

Chori Chori (2003)

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I have been meaning to write about this—my very most favorite film ever, of any kind—since I started this blog. Alas, procrastination is my middle name!

But finally, here goes. This film was actually made in 2001 or so, but its release was delayed because the producer died or something. It is a remake of the Hollywood film “Housesitter” but it isn’t a scene by scene ripoff. Rather, it has taken the storyline and retold it in an Indian setting with an Indian sensibility, and it’s just perfect. The script and direction (and editing) are tight and the pace perfect; there is nothing extraneous, and every scene adds dimension to the film. The songs by Sajid Wajid are wonderful and fit perfectly into the movie, and all the characters—even the most minor—are portrayed vividly by an exceptional cast which includes the legendary Kamini Kaushal.

It is the star pair, though, whose chemistry sizzles and sparks, and who are so true to life that you can immediately identify with them. Khushi (Rani Mukherjee) is alone in the world, an orphan bluffing her way through life with a lively curiosity and an open heart. Ranvir (Ajay Devgan) is a dreamer and a bit of a loner, whose large, boisterous family doesn’t really understand him, and who has learned to keep his emotions shut up inside.

October 14, 2007

Pet Sox nation

Go Red Sox!

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October 13, 2007

Trivia time #8

Name this character actor (shown here with Dev Anand), who appeared in hundreds of movies throughout three decades of cinema.

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Sreya is our winner! He is Rashid Khan, and he is ubiquitous in 1950-1960’s movies, especially those with Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor. I would love to find out more about him/his life if anyone can help.

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October 13, 2007

Preet Na Jane Reet (1966)

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Okay!

I managed recently to fill in a few gaps in my Shammi collection, including this film, which is quite enjoyable and even takes a stab at women’s rights issues (although there is no happy ending for a woman who breaks the rules, as usual).

October 10, 2007

Separated at birth

I love Shah Rukh as much as anyone, but I can’t say I’m on board with his whole new “six-pack abs” look. Like many other aging celebrities who exercise and diet to extremes, it is taking its toll on his face (I also hate all the popping veins, and I won’t even talk about the hair). Today my sister put this comparison in my head, and now I fear I may never see him in the same light again.

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It’s a slippery slope, Shah Rukh. A slippery slope. I’m just saying.

*Photo of Iggy Pop by Annie Leibovitz

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October 7, 2007

The Chopras at the Peabody Essex Museum

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Yesterday I went up to the Peabody Essex Museum near Salem, MA for part of the Bombay Film Festival there. Anupama Chopra was to hold a discussion about her biography of Shah Rukh Khan, and then Eklavya—this year’s entry from India to the Oscars—was showing, followed by a discussion with Vinod Chopra.

We didn’t think about the fact that October is basically Crazy Person Month in Salem—tourists from all over participating in the Disneyfication of the historical tragedy that was the Salem witch trials, dressing up like slutty witches or pumpkins and creating traffic snarls and parking nightmares (the usual museum parking garage fee was hiked up from its usual $5 to $20, for instance); and apparently the whole scene scared the Chopras too, because they fled soon after Eklavya started and there was no post-film discussion. Sadly, Filmigeek who was supposed to meet me there also got trapped in the mayhem and hightailed it out too.

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