Sweet geeky Punjabis meet Barbara Cartland! How can that not be delightful? As usual I am late to this party, which normally would stop me from writing about it but since in this case I found the film so much more wonderful than most of my friends and blogging compadres did, I feel the need to bloble (blog+burble) away. Incidentally, I watched RNBDJ with my sister, who also loved it, and it helped to have each other’s company and input on the rare occasions (almost entirely at the end) where the hackles did rise.
I am not a fan of Adi Chopra’s; I know I’ve mentioned elsewhere here that I did not like DDLJ much at all. But I didn’t feel this was permeated to nearly the same annoying degree of condescending-men-know-best that his other films have been, thanks in large part to Taani’s character (very nicely acted by Anushka Sharma); but also in large part thanks to the characters of Suri/Raj and Bobby Khosla (also well acted by Shah Rukh Khan and Vinay Pathak). All three are so patently ineffective at being that sort of paternalistic man that it is a joy to watch Suri’s bumbling but well-intentioned efforts to win Taani’s heart succeed—and succeed precisely because he is inept at “macho.”
When a filmmaker has limited means and can thus only make a movie that’s
don’t you think he or she should choose the color portions wisely? Alas, this is never the case. In Faulad for example, most of the action takes place in fabulously ornate palaces and havelis and on a pirate ship, and it’s all black and white. At the end, when all the action is taking place in a boring, dingy dungeon—it’s in color! I don’t need to see a gray stone dungeon in color!
Nevertheless, Faulad is a lot of fun. It’s hard to go wrong when Mohammed Hussain is directing (and Dara Singh, Mumtaz and Minoo Mumtaz are starring in) a film with swashbuckling Arabian Nights championship wrestling action and gorgeous songs (by the criminally ignored GS Kohli)!
This little gem of a film has been sitting on a shelf for several years now and I have no idea why I never watched it. I think I bought it because I was obsessed with Helen and she is supposedly in it: not only does the DVD cover credit her, but so do the actual credits inside the film, plus it was directed by her…um…significant other, PN Arora. But—she is nowhere to be seen. Strange. And, for me, sad.
Nevertheless, I should have paid it more attention. A key ingredient in liking a film for me is liking most of the people in it. This one does a superb job of drawing the viewer into the families and relationships of the main romantic pair. This is largely due to the well-written story and a great cast: a young and handsome Rajendra Kumar, the beauteous Shyama and Chitra, and the able support of Balraj Sahni, Manorama, Anwar Hussain and HelenSN Banerjee. Also the music by Madan Mohan (and the way the songs are shot) is just gorgeous! It’s a very engaging film with a reasonably exciting and suspenseful resolution.
Perhaps it’s too self-indulgent to celebrate one’s blog’s second birthday, but I am nothing if not self-indulgent so I’ll do it anyway, with this from Cha Cha Cha:
Everybody do the Indian Twist with Dara!
There are only a few things that I will watch without subtitles when they aren’t available in subtitled format: early Shammi films, really really old films (from the 30s, for example), old B-movies (if Helen and Dara Singh are in them), and—Fearless Nadia.
Imagine if you can the great joy I felt at finding this Nadia film on VCD. Thanks much Moserbaer! In 1953 Nadia would have been 45 years old and she’s paired with an equally older John Cawas. But of course young romance is not the point of a Nadia film! Nadia herself is, and she’s in great form here still: swinging through trees, riding on elephants, diving off cliffs and punching bad guys. This is all accomplished against a backdrop of outdoor jungle scenery and indoor cracktastic madness courtesy of Babubhai Mistry.
What a delightful story this is! And so well done too, on every level—direction, writing, acting, cinematography. It’s a tightly plotted comedy, romance, mystery and lost-and-found tale all in one, starring Kishore Kumar and Pran, and a heroine who sticks up for herself (in 1963!). Even Lalita Pawar (how I love her) is smiley and beautiful in it, and the songs by Chitragupta are lovely, too. All in all it’s a treat for anyone who appreciates good solid entertainment—a total winner!