I acquired this little gem some time back, and have been meaning to share. The very best thing about Filmcritic magazine is its editor VN Nayyar’s virulent hatred of Baburao Patel, the man whose magazine he has completely—and apparently shamelessly—plagiarized (but without the wit).
Filmindia has a Q&A section where readers ask and Baburao answers; Filmcritic does too, using the exact same format.
One reader writes: “Why Baburao Patel is deadly against you?” and Mr. Nayyar answers: “Because I don’t see eye to eye with him and highly condemn his nefarious activities and bad ways of journalism.”
Not because you publish a rip-off of his magazine?
Baburao writes an editorial titled “Bombay Calling” with intro text in a box:
This section is the monopoly of “JUDAS” and he writes what he likes and about things which he likes. The views expressed here are not necessarily ours, but they carry weight because they are written by a man who knows his job.
VN Nayyar writes an editorial called “Hot Stuff” with intro text in a box:
This feature is my monoply [sic] and herein I shall try to reveal and unravel the facts pertaining to the Indian Film Industry and the people who run it…I hope it will be acceptable to all those who appreciate our policy of “Fear none and favour none”.
In this edition “Hot Stuff” includes this:
Baburao’s Stinking Nonsense
The immoral depths to which Baburao has fallen in abusing the persons and personalities of the industry is evident from every issue of Filmindia. The scandals which he spins about decent people to gain his own ends have become proverbial with one and all. It is a pity that all the evil in which he indulges has become his second nature and even if he wishes he cannot get rid of it. I am sorry to comment on the Press Branch of the Bombay Government. This august body or the officer incharge has, it appears, never cared to go through his stinking writings which call for a prosecution of this low writer…The way in which he expresses himself and the epithets he attributes to others make a display of utter bad manners and low-breeding. If there were any law in the Indian Penal Code to prosecute a man for massacring King’s English and exhibiting literary degradation Baburao would be sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment. His attacks are most ungentlemanly and his writing most abusive. His dictionary is that of scoundrels, ruffians and what not. After losing all respect in the eyes of his patrons and readers he has become desperate and foolish. And none but the strong hand of law can correct him.
Filmindia contains a gossipy section called “You’ll Hardly Believe—” which goes on in paragraphs like this:
THAT the Kapoors of College Street are a strange clan. They try their best to sabotage a marriage, don’t actually attend the wedding but after the wedding takes place they give a grand reception to celebrate the event. What a perfect face-saving technique! Mrs. Prithviraj Kapoor got herself actually photographed feeding film actress Geeta Bali, her new daughter-in-law, and Geeta Bali didn’t bite her either. What a loving family which always becomes wise after the event!
THAT saying that, “Newspaper people refuse to believe that glamorous film stars can cook. Well, I am going to prove all of you wrong”, film actress Usha Kiran cooked some “batata poha” and made the press boys eat the stuff. Now the Union of Journalists wants the newspaper bosses to construct more lavatories in their offices.
Filmcritic contains a gossipy section called “Believe It Or Not”. Here is an excerpt:
That Madhubala’s ominousness has proved that without her appearance BADAL would have positively been a far superior picture and the poor producers could have saved themselves from an extra waste of about two lakh of rupees which hardly have been their entire profit.
That Dilip Kumar is stated to be the latest victim of Madhubala’s misfortunes because whenever he insists on one or the other producer to co-star Madhubala with him, he gets a point-blank refusal and like an insulted man he goes back home.
Filmcritic contains two color plates in it of actors, just like Filmindia does, except the paper quality and printing aren’t as fine, and neither are the captions. Still, they are fun to look at, even if Sensational New Find Arti vanished without a trace.
The entire magazine is nothing but a wholesale copy of Filmindia, except lacking its production quality and humor (except the inadvertent irony of VN Nayyar’s avowed dislike of Baburao). It even has a section at the back on films in production called “Pictures In Making”—not even attempting a variation on Filmindia‘s “Pictures In Making” section.
Still, I’m just happy to look at all the Pretty:
I love the tiara here, and the title of Rehana’s film: Shin Shanaki Boobla Boo!
I can’t stop saying “Boobla Boo!”
Look how young Premnath is here:
And I would kill to see this movie!
I laughed out loud at “it’s all about women…and their men!”
I want to see this one too: P Jairaj looks very fine and Suraiya is lovely, and I’m sure—given the title (Rajput)—that there is oodles of honor-preserving swordplay and moustachios:
VN Nayyar may have been a respectable man, a loving husband and a good provider for his children (or not, I really don’t know), but I’d rather hang with Baburao Patel any day. Eye candy is eye candy, but BP is one of a kind, for sure.