I spent the entire running time of this film with a big angry WTF bubble above my head. It’s not that I shouldn’t have known: packaging which advertises Bindu as a nymphomaniac is pretty fair warning. Sadly, it is also irresistible enticement for someone belonging to the “How bad can it be?” school of risk management.
It’s bad. It’s REAL bad. It’s Haseena Atom Bomb bad.
I do enjoy the fabulous Seventies funk accompanying the psychedelic opening credits.
But I will soon discover that Usha Khanna’s music is by far the best thing about this sleazy trainwreck of a film. The track above is a fitting introduction to Mr. Natwarlal (Pinchoo Kapoor), a criminal with a den populated by ladies playing musical instruments behind a series of glittering curtains.
Natwarlal operates a gang of thieves and con artists who include Anil Kumar (Anil Dhawan) and Priya (Faryal—I adore this woman! Wish I saw more of her!) and this guy, who looks to me like a young Alok Nath (if there ever was such a thing). Update: He is the director of this atrocity, Sawan Kumar, and was also married to Usha Khanna at one point. Noooo!
Somehow they manage to avoid apprehension even though they basically use the same techniques over and over again to rob their foolish victims. Natwarlal (who is also always surrounded by a bevy of sad-looking girls draped over him) is very pleased with the way Anil manages these scams and calls him to come and collect a reward.
This annoys me. Women are people, you jackass. Not the equivalent of a huge stack of rupee notes!
The “most beautiful woman” is Rekha. She sings the seductively funky “Aao Yaro Gao” but I can’t say that I enjoy it. A seedy and exploitative ambiance has already begun to creep into the film, and I suspect that it is not intentional but a by-product of the mindset of the people behind it.
Natwarlal now sets his heart on a new bauble: a diamond necklace worth crores which belongs to the trophy second wife of a wealthy businessman by the name of Shailendra Singh (Pradeep Kumar, who is actually not the worst thing in this film). Mrs. Kamini Singh (Bindu) has a serious weakness which Natwarlal plans to use to his advantage.
Anil has no idea what a “nympho” is.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, especially when Anil still doesn’t get it, asking if the object of her lust is a Ministerial position or something. Eventually Natwarlal gets the point across, and we meet Kamini and her necklace at a party in this fabulous room which I’ve seen before. Does anyone know if it was an actual place? Or just a set? Very distinctive decor, in any case!
Her seduction technique is demonstrated (“You look like my childhood sweetheart, who died in a [fill in the blank]”) as she targets our pal Alok Nath Jr., who gets more than he bargained for—but not the necklace, to Natwarlal’s chagrin.
Clearly he is going to have to send in his big gun (no pun intended) Anil; but he warns Anil to stay away from Kamini (I guess the thinking is that Anil is too naive to handle her). Natwarlal devises a very silly plan to get Anil into Mr. Singh’s good books, then his employment, and eventually his daughter Neetu’s (Neetu Singh) heart. Anil carries out the plan in about two minutes.
This glib story setup has taken about 40 minutes, but now we are getting to the whole point of the enterprise. I already have the distinct impression that whoever is responsible for this trash is probably a sexually repressed Peeping Tom with Mommy issues who unfortunately had enough money to make a film, but it is about to get worse.
The focus now becomes Kamini and her uncontrollable urges. Deranged closeups always let us know when she has entered The Nympho Zone:
Men are both mesmerized by and fearful of her blatant come-ons. A vague attempt at garnering sympathy for her is made when, drunk and lonely, she calls in Dr. Bali (Vinod Mehra). He is sanctimonious and patronizing (although at least he doesn’t take advantage of her, which is something I guess).
And, apparently, a cold shower.
Oh, and this is useful medical advice when you are a pathologically needy alcoholic and compulsive liar:
This message delivered, all pretensions at not being soft-core pornography are dispensed with and the focus turns to Kamini’s hypnotic eyes, sweaty lustful brow and heaving bosom. The Nympho Zone!
The plot grows ever more incoherent and insane as an equally ever more insane Kamini sets her sights on Anil, and Natwarlal continues his attempts to separate Kamini from her necklace. Random characters like Vidya Sinha as Anil’s blind sister and Randhawa and Mehmood are dragged forth, but nothing even pretends to make any sense and it’s all just window-dressing for the sleaze anyway.
It’s a showcase of sorts for Bindu, but I have to wonder at the pressures or motivations that made her do this film. I can’t even imagine what she might have thought and felt while making it: she is objectified, vilified, and exploited. The men behind the scenes making sure that no view of her physical assets is left unexplored clearly intend for the audience to buy into their fantasy of an indiscriminately and sexually voracious woman. Without exception the male targets of her lust are portrayed as helpless victims: she and she alone must be punished for her desires. The refusal to take responsibility for what is really no more than the filmmaker’s own prurient desires and the implicit judgment of the woman “at fault” infuriates me.
Women of Hindustan, beware! Evil temptation lurks outside your borders and may just influence your weak minds!
Neetu tries valiantly, and looks beautiful, but Anil with his shaggy hair and double chin (channeling Fardeen Khan) is not in any way a worthy foil for her. Also, she is way too young to be involved in a project this creepy and I want to grab her hand and make her run far, far away.
Randhawa is never a Bad Thing, but his considerable charm and flowery speech patterns can’t save this disaster either.
The look of the film is very stylish; it is not a low-budget endeavour, which to my mind almost makes it worse. It certainly doesn’t help.
(Above screencaps for Shweta and Sitaji, respectively.)
These minor blessings are all far too small to negate the misogynistic trashy degrading awfulness of the final product.
I can only bang the palm of my hand against my forehead at the end too (um, spoiler, if anybody cares) when a dying Kamini asks Anil to grant her a last request.
Dear God. You mean…these eyes?
But they’re the entrance to The Nympho Zone!
Ugh. UGH UGH UGH. This pushed every one of my feminist buttons and left such a horrible taste in my mouth that I think I’d better have a drink. An alcoholic drink. Please make it a double.