Posts tagged ‘Biswajeet’

January 18, 2012

The humanity!

This is quite possibly the finest example of drama overload in Biswajeet’s entire career—maybe even in all of Hindi cinema history! I can’t stop watching it. I shared it last week on the MemsaabStory Facebook page, but since it is still making me laugh every single day and laughter makes the world go round, I thought I’d share it here too.

Hare Kanch Ki Chooriyan is seriously the mother and father of Nahiin Face movies.

November 28, 2011

My ten favorite picnic songs

When I was a kid I dreaded the words “Let’s have a picnic!”. Picnics were nothing but an ordeal to get through: weather (the Beiges never let a little cold rain stop us), poison ivy, bugs, indifferent food. My father did not know or care to know how to barbecue so it was always sandwiches, which I could have just as easily eaten indoors where ants weren’t crawling on them.

Little did I dream in those days that halfway across the world beautiful people were picnicking in STYLE—even at night!

September 10, 2011

Jaal (1967)

As with most unsubtitled, murky films with missing key scenes and transitions—and likely some reel mix-ups—I early on tossed any attempt to understand the plot by the wayside. But Jaal contains some highly entertaining elements like good songs, including a beach romp with Helen, Johnny Walker, and a host of emaciated goris in bikinis; Nirupa Roy in her element as the disturbed, bereaved Aunty; Tarun Bose as her creepy butler; and miniature boats and flashing lighthouse lights. Mala Sinha is given full scope for the things she does best: looking terribly chic in 1960s outfits, and going berserk in her own inimitable style.

March 15, 2011

Hare Kanch Ki Chooriyan (1967)

I was pleasantly surprised by this no-holds-barred launch vehicle for producer-director Kishore Sahu’s daughter Naina, although possibly not for the reasons he intended. It is a colorful and melodramatic soap opera of the first order, and the actors are given full scope for expressing every emotion from despair to…well, utter despair. Rarely have I enjoyed other people’s anguish so much. It is also surprisingly progressive, especially for a star daughter’s debut: she gets pregnant while unmarried, and is eventually accepted by the townspeople as a single mother! There’s even a little plug in favor of sex education.

Plus the music is superb: in addition to some pretty love songs are two Helen numbers (and she has a sizable role) and a picnic with everyone doing the twist! Happy, happy.

July 28, 2010

Kohraa (1964)

While reading Shilpi’s first post about her father Tarun Bose I realized that I had never yet seen Kohraa, a remake of Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca.” One of the benefits of my poor memory is that although I’ve read the book and seen the Hollywood film version, I couldn’t really remember how it all ended. This helped keep me attentive, although honestly this version too is so well done that I would have been anyway. From the opening scene until the screen went black at the end, I was positively riveted. It’s a faithful (if uncredited) adaptation of a story well-suited for an Indian setting. The wealthy Maxim de Winter is easily transformed into Raja Amit Singh (Biswajeet even sports Laurence Olivier’s pencil-thin mouche) and his mansion Manderley into a sprawling seaside haveli full of wind-swept rooms. Waheeda Rehman is absolutely perfect as the timid orphaned bride who finds herself up against a formidable enemy in housekeeper Dai Maa (Lalita Pawar at her awesome best!).

September 19, 2009

Do Dil (1965)

do-dil

At last! I have seen a film where I liked Biswajeet! He suits his role here perfectly, and the movie is good fun despite nothing really new story-wise. The music is wonderful, by Hemant Kumar, and it co-stars the lovely Rajshree, the ever-elegant Durga Khote, baby-faced Mumtaz and PRAN. It also illustrates the value of a good director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee. He takes the somewhat hackneyed fairy-tale plot and lifts it up a notch by getting good performances out of his actors (keeping some of them *cough* Mehmood *cough* under better control than is often the case) and keeping everything moving along at a good pace (he edited the film too). Plus, the locations in Jaipur and the Amber Fort add authenticity and are beautifully photographed, which is a visual treat.

April 24, 2009

Mere Sanam (1965)

meresanam_friends

If ever a film really really really (really) wanted to be a Shammi film, it’s this one. It has:

  • Feisty Asha Parekh as the reluctant heroine (eventually won over after being stalked relentlessly by the hero)
  • A gaggle of girlfriends around her (chief amongst them Laxmi Chhaya!)
  • Sidekick Rajendranath (complete with loony antics)
  • Pran in an orange wig
  • Lovely lovely songs by OP Nayyar (sung beautifully by Rafi and Asha B.)
  • Kashmir, gorgeous Kashmir (and quite a few plot elements lifted directly from Kashmir Ki Kali)

All it really lacks is Shammi himself. Instead, we are given…Biswajeet. Poor Biswajeet. However, he does his best to imitate Shammi and mostly it’s a fun-packed and stylish delectation; it does go a bit off the rails at the end into kidnapping and murder territory (oh, Pran. Pran, Pran, Pran). The DVD picture quality is pretty bad too: someone should restore this one for sure! A very young Mumtaz graces the screen with her presence briefly, and there is the usual assortment of character actors and rotund funnymen adding to the entertainment. And I simply LOVE the songs.

March 12, 2009

Vaasna (1968)

vaasna

This film’s stern message is pretty much summed up in my “Effects of Alcohol” poster, although the poster is more efficient in delivering it. But the poster does not have Raaj Kumar and his gravelly voice, Padmini emoting as a put-upon wife and mother, a Comic Side Plot (Laxmi Chhaya being romanced by Rajendranath), lovely songs by Chitragupta with lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi, Memsaab’s favorite victim Biswajeet, or—most importantly—a Helen dance.

In short: if you have a few hours to spend being bashed over the head with examples of the ruination alcohol will bring to you and your melodramatic loved ones, the film offers some worthy extras. If you are pressed for time, just read the poster.

February 9, 2009

Main Sunder Hoon (1971)

msh_naachmerijaan2

Pointless plot provides framework for awesome songs and cute star cameos: that pretty much sums this film up. It is a Mehmood vehicle, and although Mehmood does his best—and provides some funny moments—the fabulously picturized Shankar Jaikishan songs, peppered by short appearances by stars like Waheeda Rehman and Rajendranath in a “behind-the-scenes” look at movie-making, are what made it worth sitting through. I got this film on the strength of one of its songs which Richard over at Dances On The Footpath had posted. I defy anyone to watch it and then NOT spend the rest of the day bursting forth with “Naach meri jaan—fa-taa-fat!”

October 31, 2008

Kismat (1968)

Here is a 1968 James Bond-meets-Chitty Chitty Bang Bang cheesefest from the Master of Masala himself, Manmohan Desai. While I haven’t seen all his films, I’ve seen most of them, and this is the first one that’s been devoid of any message (well, except: “betraying your country is wrong”). There’s no religious symbolism, or paeans to the poor and downtrodden, not even a single tearful Ma; just a villain named Scorpion, an unwitting hero, his beloved, his friend, his friend’s clever car, and some microdots hidden in a guitar. Sounds good, right? Wrong. Better editing (and possibly a higher kitsch budget) could have made it entertaining; but as it is, it’s an unfocused, meandering, silly film.

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