Saazish (1975)

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Today I am going to stray from my usual format for discussing movies. I can’t offer a synopsis of the story, since it was nonsensical and bewildering and I lost the thread about halfway through. The closest I could come would be to say that it’s “The Love Boat” meets every cheesy spy movie/tv show ever made.

But I present this argument: a coherent plot is not always necessary. Despite the lack of one, this film had entertaining goodies a-plenty.

There is Jaideep (Dharmendra), a race-car driver whose girl Sunita (Saira Banu), a shrill beauty queen (Miss Cosmos), gets on my last good nerve.

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Jai is the first Indian driver to ever participate in the International Auto Race/Southeast Asia Grand Prix—“the most prestigious auto race in this part of the world”—and of course he wins it too.

There is the international press, represented by earnest blond hippies picked up at Cafe Leopold’s in Colaba:

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Jai and Sunita are being chased by Mr. Wong (Madan Puri):

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He works for the Boss (who reminded me of the Blue Men), who may or may not also be Mr. Han:

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They occupy a den which is carved out of rock but furnished with chandeliers, lopsided candelabras, gothic furniture, Victorian photographs, a stuffed leopard and of course a giant fish tank. Sadly, the potential in all of this is largely wasted, i.e. very little breakage and no incompetent goons thrown to the sharks as an example to others. We don’t even get to hang out in it for very long.

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After some dishum-dishum and a thrilling car chase, everyone boards a cruise ship staffed by PK Murray (Rajendranath), a purser-type; Lola (Helen), the ship’s dancer and object of his affection;

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and a captain who looks very much like Captain Stubing (David).

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There is a Saira-Helen dance called “How sweet dadaji.”

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Additionally there are gadgets which wink and beep a lot, and the ever-suave and unflappable Iftekhar as the head of Interpol:

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And last but certainly not least: for the last half hour or so, Dharmendra runs around (and fights, and climbs rope ladders) in his chaddies. Yes, that is a time bomb he is carrying.

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I rest my case.

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27 Comments to “Saazish (1975)”

  1. His chaddis and cheekies makes this seem like a Carry On film … wow :-O

  2. It was quite eye-popping! 8-)

  3. “Yes that is a time-bomb he is carrying … in his pants!”

  4. Well, I was going to write “…a time-bomb he is packing” but thought that would be a little too salacious. I am v.v. happy to have others sink to that level though :-)

  5. Memsaab, a hilarious review/synopsis.

    I think The Boss is based on Fantomas, the villain from a series of French James-Bond-style thrillers in the 1960s. You can see a photograph of Jean Marais in his Fantomas make-up if you scroll down on the Wikipedia page devoted to the film: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fant%C3%B4mas_%28film%29. (For good measure, Marais also played the good guy in those films.)

    The character of Fantomas actually goes back to a series of pulp novels (published every month for 32 straight months!) written before WWI by two hack writers, Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain. If you or your readers want to know more about this character and his many pop culture incarnations, you can check out the Fantomas Website at http://www.fantomas-lives.com.

  6. Ooh Fantomas looks just like our Boss! I wonder if that’s where Blue Man Group got their look from too? Interesting. Thanks for the edification! :-)

  7. I love it!!!!
    except the shrillness of saira banu, i love the whole thing! if only they had gotten someone else….but this is totaly on my list for dvd hunting. so thank u so v much!
    Dharmendra did a LOT of such trash in the 60s and early 70s (cue in banking on the public fear of the indo-china war)- its all such glorious utter nonsense :)

    (gosh- so many exclamation pts on this one :D

  8. OMG Dharmendra’s package is huge.

    And seeing Iftekhar so much is making me fall in love with him. Now I’m upset when I see a Hindi movie he’s NOT in (if there is such a thing).

  9. There something so soothing and reassuring about Iftekhar (except when he’s a villain of course!)…I love him too.

  10. Officially added to my “To Watch” list!

  11. A whole half-hour of Dharmendra running around in his underwear? Must find and watch asap! Great comment by Carla on the package – I thought the Bollywood practice of err.. ‘highlighting’ the hero’s goodies didn’t take hold until the 80s, but evidently I was wrong…

  12. Yes, Daddy’s Girl, I thought of you while watching this. To be fair, I am not convinced that there was any “highlighting” done! Seriously! You will need to watch and let me know what your opinion is.

  13. Great post!

    I’m not even sure I want to spend precious minutes of my life wondering whether Dharam has… umm… embellished…

    I should totally watch this movie.

  14. Ha! Yes, It is Fantomas indeed! We used to rave about that series when I was a boy, I’ve seen all the episodes (wouldn’t be able to tell you a single event though, it’s so daft!) But the necessary addition to Jean Marais was Louis de Fun├Ęs, who plays the police officer intent upon catching Fantomas, and of course ALWAYS miserably fails! (“Je t’aurai, Fantomas, je t’aurai!!)
    Loved that, thanks,
    yves

  15. I just read Teleport City’s post on this and knew I had to come back to yours. Carla left exactly the same joke that came to my mind, so I probably don’t have anything to say other than that I think _everyone_ should watch this movie, preferably all together and with lots of drinks.

  16. I am sad that Keith did not like it as much as I did, although I was completely sympathetic with his views. Dharmendra went a long way towards mitigating the tedium for me, but since he had only Saira (and all too briefly Helen) for eye candy, I can only imagine how painful it must have been for him. He certainly seems somewhat traumatized.

    Yes, this is a good watchalong film—hint, hint! :-)

  17. Looks like Saira is packing twin bombs herself, so seems like everyone is packing – to the delight of all viewers. ;)

  18. This was definitely a saazish to torture the film critics of that time for making the actor’s life miserable!!

  19. Saazish is based on the Alistair Maclean novel/movie : The Golden Rendezvous.

  20. I watched the movie a long time ago on TV and am convinced it was one of those films which ran out of funds after a spell of shooting. And completed a few years later. Both Dharmendra and Saira Banu change hairstyles and weights off and on in the movie.

  21. Yes, but thank goodness Dharmendra shot his chaddis scenes early on :-D

  22. The Captain’s resemblance tt a sort of Gavin Mcleod in blackface is absolutely astonishing!

  23. Isn’t it? I could think of nothing else whenever he was onscreen :-)

  24. @Memsaab,

    ROTFL. Wish it was Mumu with him in the movie. Would have been a treat then for all of us.

  25. This is a mixture of various james bond movies. The Dr No resemblance is striking and David looking like “M” in his admiral uniform.

    And Dharmendra in his chaddies reminds me of Sean Connery in Goldfinger ( the scene immediately after the credits where Felix is looking for Bond)

  26. saira Bano was sooo sexy…

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