Posts tagged ‘Vijayanthimala’

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!

April 14, 2010

Suraj (1966)

If you are in the mood for a cleverly plotted swashbuckler a la mode indienne, reach for this one. The dialogues are written by Abrar Alvi, always a good sign, and the screenplay by Javar Sitaraman; the story is intricate, entertaining and witty. If Rajendra Kumar and Ajit are a *little* too old to be playing men in their twenties, it doesn’t really matter and they look just fine opposite Vijayanthimala. She is beautiful, even sharing lots of scenes with the younger and equally gorgeous Mumtaz, and she shows us all once again that GIRL CAN DANCE. Amazing. Shankar Jaikishan’s music is catchy and pretty, and the host of supporting character actors all seem to be having fun—Jagirdar especially, as the dacoit Ram Singh. Plus, a loyal horse and clever elephant companions: what’s not to love, really?

August 17, 2007

Madhumati (1958)

This is a perfect rainy-day movie about true love and reincarnation. Bimal Roy uses weather to great effect in this film, setting the mood and atmosphere for each plot development, and enhancing the emotional impact of the story.

It begins in the pouring rain with a car wending its way along a dark, steep, winding road. Inside the car, Devendra (Dilip Kumar) and a friend are on their way to the railway station to meet Devendra’s wife and child, who have cabled to say they are on the way. Although Devendra is clearly anxious to get there, they are forced to stop by a landslide which has blocked the road. The driver goes for help, and tells them to go to a nearby haveli for shelter.

madhumati_haveli_ruined.jpg

The haveli has been long abandoned and is full of dust and cobwebs; but Devendra feels he has been there before. As the rain continues pelting down and thunder rolls outside, he asks the old caretaker about things the house used to contain. He finds a portrait that he remembers painting himself in a former lifetime (not as crazy in the movie as it sounds here). He begins to tell the story of his former life there…

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