Archive for September 12th, 2009

September 12, 2009

Pukar (1939)

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I’m in love again. Almost on a Shammi scale, even. I first saw him in Humayan, where his lust for vengeance was constantly thwarted by a target who was nice to him. But his eyes and his bristling manner enchanted me, even then. And now! Chandramohan plays the Mughal emperor Jehangir in Sohrab Modi’s classic Pukar, and he is spectacular. Sometimes I had to stop the film just to sit and gaze at him.

To be fair, the entire film is spectacular. It is overwhelmingly magnificent, a sumptuously visualized and thrillingly plotted tale of love, murder and justice. I will forever be in my friend Muzafar’s debt for sending it to me. He also sent me 1941’s Sikandar, with Prithviraj Kapoor! These two films along with 1943’s Prithvi Vallabh form a trilogy directed and produced by Modi, and I feel so lucky to be able to see them. Again though, it really begs the question: why haven’t these treasures been restored, subtitled and put on DVD? Why?? I don’t know if I want to live in a world where Gunmaster G9’s shenanigans take precedence over this masterpiece!

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