Blinding Eastman Color! To my everlasting regret, this film has not made it to DVD with subtitles yet (*now it has!*). But my friend Suhan found it on VCD with no subs and sent it to me; having seen it, I now believe that subtitles are unnecessary, although I would still like to see it nicely digitized and put on DVD (but not by Shemaroo, please). I saw (and understood) enough to tell you that it was cracktastic! And also, chock-full of plot holes and abandoned plot threads, which didn’t matter one bit.
Mostly, the visuals were so entertaining (despite the poor video quality) that I thought I’d put together another comic strip synopsis. The completely loony amalgamation of cultural references more than makes up for any lack of narrative. Plus, the songs by GS Kohli are lovely and include two dances for Helen!
All you really need to know is this: there’s an ice-skating chimp, two crazy scientists, exotic tropical jungles, spear-throwing natives, a volcano, Godzilla, King Kong, a snake pit and more; and a cast which includes Helen, Madan Puri, KN Singh, Tun Tun, Ajit and Ragini.
First we are entertained by a Circus On Ice, which besides the chimp, offers up the Rockettes and a Russian ballet, all on skates.
Jagdish (Madan Puri), his business partner Mr. Kapoor (Bir Sakhuja), Kapoor’s daughter Rita (Ragini), Dr. Sharma—who has a lab full of bubbling vials, rats, bunnies and monkeys, and a fake beard and mustache that spend much of the film coming unglued from his face—and the Comic Side Plot set off on a cruise ship. I am not quite sure what they are in pursuit of, besides a good time, but I’m *guessing* that it’s a scientific expedition (really, who needs subtitles).
They disembark in the tropics. The evening’s entertainment: a lovely dance at the Hotel Malabar (courtesy of Madhumati and Rani); and the next morning they’re off into the deep deep jungle. Alas! Rita is separated from the group when she’s swept away by the river current.
She makes her way to unknown shores which are occupied by ostriches, red spotted deer, zebras, and a very hungry tiger. These animals are not even indigenous to each other, let alone to wherever it is that they are supposed to be. Anyway. She is gallantly rescued from the jaws of death by our shikar hero Ajit (Ajit).
Ajit takes Rita to the timber estate where he lives and works. Romance is in the air! He sends a message to the rest of her party via a tribal drummer and sure enough, they all show up the next morning. Rita celebrates the happy reunion with a dance. Totem poles! Chinese dragons! Oh my.
Kapoor convinces Ajit to accompany (or guide) them, and they set off the next day. Adventures come at them thick and fast! First, there’s some dishum-dishum with a decorated tribal type (Shyam Kumar—who looks sort of like a sullen Feroz Khan). Then Ajit and Rita romance each other some more with a song, which causes Jagdish to bristle (I love Ajit’s do-rag). Worse is yet to come, though! Our friends come up on the edge of a frothy pink volcano, and as they start to cross a giant ape appears.
In her fright, Rita loses her footing and falls in, catching herself on a stone ledge. Bachao!
Can she be rescued? Where did this giant ape come from?? Tune in tomorrow to find out!