Archive for January, 2009

January 31, 2009

Yesteryear trendsetters

If you, like me, have been wondering what was totally hip in 1973’s filmi world, look no further!

I am sadder than I can possibly express that this gem is not in color. The commentary almost makes up for it: Who is “a gajra-wearing ‘idli'”? Or wears “chest-hair displaying velvet trouser-suits”? Or always remains the same—“paunch and all”?

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January 27, 2009

Blog abandonment

Gemma and I are taking a short vacation (well, she is vacationing—as usual—and I’m working)…so please forgive our unresponsivness for the next few days!

January 25, 2009

Bhai Ho To Aisa (1972)

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Manmohan Desai! How I adore you. And this sort-of-medieval swashbuckler with snake gods, sword-fights, dacoit Ranjeet, Bela Bose as a greedy courtesan, and Jeetendra and Shatrughan Sinha as brothers on opposite sides of that pesky line between good and evil has not changed my mind one little bit. The setting is gorgeous too, as the movie was shot on location at the spectactular Laxmi Vilas Palace belonging to the Maharajah of Baroda. It’s much less loony than the film it vaguely reminded me of (Dharam-Veer); I guess, my dear Manmohan, you hadn’t quite reached your full masala stride yet. Still, it’s an entertainer in your trademark style, with lots of action and well-drawn characters.

January 23, 2009

Trivia time #35

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In what film does Hema Malini sing a song holding a little doll, which then comes alive (as a miniature Hema) and sings along with her?

January 22, 2009

Raaste Ka Patthar (1972)

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This was a pretty good movie until the last half hour, when a different bad film was tacked onto it. Such is life. At least the bad one was only half an hour long. Until then, I was enjoying an interesting story with eye-searing ’70s style and the yummy goodness of young Amitabh, Shatrughan Sinha and our homegirl, Laxmi Chhaya. She got third billing after those two, and although strictly speaking she wasn’t the heroine, she had a central role and she was fantastic. Why was she not a star, why? Sigh.

The makers of Life…In A Metro apparently saw this film at some point, because one of the story threads in that was lifted from this (either that, or lending your boss the key to your apartment so he can cheat on his wife is a common practice in India—please say it isn’t so!).

January 22, 2009

AR Rahman gets 3 Oscar nominations

For best score, and two for best song: “Jai Ho” and “O Saaya”! He is a genius, after all!

Slumdog also gets nods for best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, cinematography, editing, and sound editing and sound mixing.

Woo-hoo! Ten nominations in all!

January 21, 2009

Sharafat Chhod Di Maine (1976)

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Despite a silly plot filled to the brim with irresponsible adults and many creepy (as in “ewwwww” creepy) developments, I could not help but find this entertaining. As noted in my previous trivia post, the film featured all of the best dancers of the era in several very fun songs: Laxmi Chhaya, Padma Khanna, Bindu, Faryal and Jayshree T, along with the inimitable and legendary Helen (who appeared as herself, and was given a well-deserved tribute in the dialogues). Hema Malini and a very young Neetu Singh had dances too, and Madan Mohan’s music along with the plentiful eye candy—both human and inanimate—conspired to prevent me from running away screaming as I should have, in all honesty.

Warning: Post below contains many screen shots of dancing girls, so if they are not your thing you’ll need to use your scroll bar (although I must ask: how could they not be your thing?).

January 21, 2009

Trivia time #34

In what film do Helen, Laxmi Chhaya, Jayshree T, Bindu, Faryal and Padma Khanna all appear as dancing girls (not all in the same song; there are three songs in which they appear)?

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January 19, 2009

Dillagi (1978)

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Basu Chatterjee’s films are difficult for me to like. There: I’ve said it! They tread a fine line: even the ones that do work for me (Piya Ka Ghar, Chhoti Si Baat), despite being funny and sweet, ultimately find me getting restless. The ones that don’t work (Rajnigandha, Baaton Baaton Mein) just bore my socks off.

Dillagi had moments which made me laugh very hard (like the scene captured above where Dharmendra puts on one of Hema’s saris so that his own rain-soaked clothes can dry). It also helped that I watched it with Beth, whose witty commentary kept me entertained even when the film didn’t. It had potential, but in the end Hema’s character was so egregiously tiresome that it made me want to poke my eyes out. It also rendered Dharmendra’s pursuit of her—the essential plot point—completely unbelievable for me.

January 19, 2009

They like me!

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My pals over at Turbanhead have made me a guest contributor on their wonderful site.

Do check it out: it’s eclectic, hilarious, eye-opening and chock full of goodness (like the photo above), and I am very honored to be part of it in whatever way they deem fit.

(ps: I do not have a creepy porcelain doll collection, but only because I never thought of it.)

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