Gora Aur Kala (1972)

If you are enticed by a story built on more than a few ludicrous suppositions and where skin color informs character, you might enjoy Gora Aur Kala. Or you might think—as I did more than once—that the racism inherent in all of it is so despicable that even Madan Puri atop a Disco Throne (before disco!) and the delicious irony of medically separated Siamese twin princes being separated again by fate hardly make up for it. But then again, it is all so very very over-the-top that I giggled at least as much as I cringed.

Said Siamese twins are the sons of a Maharajah (Dev Kumar) and his Maharani (Sulochana Latkar). Doctor Randhir (Randhir?) warns the royal parents that both twins cannot in all probability survive the surgery, word of which does not reach Zorawar Singh (Madan Puri). He is plotting with his henchman Dilawar Singh (Rajan Haksar) (and oh hell, I am going to dispense with surnames in this review because they are all Singh) to rid himself of the heirs and the King (who thinks of him as a valued friend) so that he can take the throne himself.

Doctor Randhir does manage to successfully separate the boys, afterwards making these mind-boggling pronouncements to the elated Maharajah and his loyal right-hand man Prithvi (Premnath):

He forgets to mention an actually believable development of the surgery, which is that the “dark” twin will also never have the use of his left arm, but never mind.

Zorawar soon murders the King, but Prithvi and Doctor Randhir manage to escape with the twins and the Maharani through a secret passage (unfortunately, they leave the door open behind them and thus ruin the “secret” part of it). After the usual plot machinations that separate the family are through, the Maharani has given herself up to save her sons and is imprisoned and tortured on a Wadia Brothers-worthy rack:

The fair twin, named Karan (Rajendra Kumar), is brought up by Prithvi and taught the art of sword-fighting and to fight against injustice and other badmashery. The poor dark crippled twin (aptly called Kali and played by Rajendra Kumar covered in shoe polish) and Doctor Randhir are “taken in” by a band of dacoits.

I have to say, I positively guffawed at my first look at adult Kali. That is a serious blood deficiency!

The shoe polish budget must have been crippling for the producer, but at least Kali isn’t green. Also I couldn’t help thinking: what if he had grown up as the prince he was supposed to be instead?

(image source)

Kali is now a full-fledged Robin Hood type, robbing only the wealthy who take advantage of the poor and making sure the local villagers get a share of the loot. Local belle Phulwa (a young and very pretty Rekha) is in love with Kali but he doesn’t have the good sense to appreciate it.

She is not at all pleased when Kali kidnaps Zorawar’s beautiful daughter Princess Anuradha (Hema Malini). He and his men attack the procession bringing her home after years living away. He is only supposed to loot…well, the loot, but is so smitten with her that he brings her home to rape her.

The way Rajendra Kumar plays Kali sends a loud and clear message (especially given the film’s title) that while fair equals noble and good, dark skin means a person will be cruel, loutish, mentally deficient and distinctly lacking in table manners.

It’s so crudely done that it is cartoonish, but it makes me uncomfortable all the same. It doesn’t help that I know during this time frame Rekha was generally considered “dark” herself and thus is an obvious pairing with Kali. It’s probably mostly accidental (except on Rekha’s part) that Phulwa is a great deal of naughty fun and Kali probably the luckier guy.

Contrast this with Karan’s behavior after Anuradha escapes (with Phulwa’s assistance, and dressed as a man) and Karan finds her unconscious outside his home. He is shocked—shocked!—to discover that the boy he has rescued is a woman, and removes her clothes underneath the shield of a blanket. So noble! So pure!

But I know which broad I’d rather have cocktails with.

I digress. Karan, whom Anuradha deceives into thinking she is a maidservant to the Princess, returns her safely to the palace and romances her on the way.

I marvel at his sartorial tastes: Hey Karan! The Partridge Family called and they want their outfits back!

That night an obsessed Kali breaks into the palace to get the Princess back but is captured and caged and poked at with sharp sticks before he manages to escape. He also finally (unknowingly) meets his twin brother Karan when he goes to rob his house. They have a swashbuckling duel during which Kali feels the same pain as Karan after cutting him. I laugh and laugh.

Karan learns that Anuradha is the Princess herself, and sets out to teach her a lesson which naturally leads to love. I become distracted at this point by the palace decor, a mish-mash of styles that I can only call Greek Mughal Disco. You have to love a mirrored throne and pillars decorated by live caryatids!

There is a Space Age Wine Cellar aspect to portions of it as well.

Dilawar’s son Shamsher (Prem Chopra), who is Zorawar’s senapati and aspires to Anuradha’s hand in marriage himself, is furious at this development. He arrests Karan and chains him up in the dungeon and horsewhips him. Back in his den, Kali feels the lashing of the whip too and, yes, I laugh and laugh.

The good Doctor naturally immediately realizes what this all means. Karan is locked up in a cell next to his mother, who tells him her sad tale and that of his father (although neither realize who the other is at the time); and Prithvi rides out to rescue Karan and is himself arrested by Shamsher and thrown into the same cell as Karan.

Of course he and their neighbor recognize each other, and there is a joyful Ma-Beta-Loyal-Family-Retainer reunion in the dungeon. Will they manage to escape from Zorawar and Shamsher’s clutches? Will they be reunited with Kali? Can the brothers be restored to their rightful places? Or will their mutual love for Anuradha create an insurmountable rift? Will Anuradha be trapped by Shamsher Singh?

I can’t resist this one: when Karan and Anuradha at one point go to the palace in “disguise” they are amazed when Shamsher sees right through her flimsy veil. I can’t stop laughing, plus I am so happy that someone is finally not fooled by this silly tactic!

Still, despite all this, the Disco Thrones (yes there are two), and lovely songs by Laxmikant and Pyarelal (look them up online, do), Gora Aur Kala is not very good. Even the last minute message that “fair and dark are human equally” is way too late and way too weak to make up for the relentless racism underlying every other second of it. This would have been a lot more fun had the brothers merely been identical twins. There was no reason for most of the storyline to create the fair-dark dichotomy; and if the true intent was to promote blindness towards skin color, then throwing traits like mental retardation (seriously) into poor Kali’s makeup undermined that message thoroughly.

And I stand by what I said earlier: Hema may have been the “Dream Girl” but Rekha made Phulwa the only one in this movie I actually rooted for.

66 Comments to “Gora Aur Kala (1972)”

  1. Hahahaha… If the partridge family called back for their costumes, many heros of this era would have had to run around naked.

    A naughty inappropriate thought.. if the other brother could feel the lashes, would he feel ‘love’ too?

  2. So how many movies did Prem Chopra’s character futilely chase the various characters played by Hema? Until Aas Paas, I’m guessing.
    And what, he actually sees through a disguise in this one? Wow!
    I’m happy to see you accurately pinpoint the downright racist depictions in the movie – I’ve always forgotten Rekha was dark, all I’ve appreciated is her practically perfect looks and excellent Hindi diction.
    Love Dheere dheere bol and Ik na ik din yeh kahani banegi. Now I won’t watch this movie unless I accidentally stumble across it on TV. Was always curious about the story and I’ve read it in your inimitable style.
    Poor Dev Kumar. Always being struck down prematurely.
    The subtitles, as usual, seem to be full of unintended humour.

  3. Yikes.

    I’ve heard of this film (well, its name, anyway), and have (and liked) the songs, but I’m so glad you took this one for the team, Greta, and warned the rest of us off it. I like early Hema more than early Rekha, but I have very little patience with Rajendra Kumar, the disco sets don’t appeal to me, and the story sounds completely – well, ludicrous and dreadfully racist. Certainly not something I’d want to see. I think I had this on my wishlist – will go and remove it, pronto.

    • Hema was gorgeous here, and there was nothing wrong with her character—she was sweet, etc. But Rekha’s Phulwa was just so so charismatic that she stole the film from Hema in my opinion. I’m not saying she always did, but here at least for me she did.

  4. You are patient to have sat through it! Sounds like the kind of film I abandon after the first 15 mins..

    • And nobody could blame you really, although much of it was so very ridiculous that it was hilarious. But in several places particularly I was really bothered by the (possibly unintentional, but that doesn’t make it any better) racism of it all.

  5. I’ve never been able to stomach Rajendra Kumar, and a white (heavily pancaked, green eyelids, pink lips :) and black version … hmm. I’ve never really thought of Hema v/s Rekha. Both are utterly gorgeous, though I know what you mean when you say, you’d rather have cocktails with the latter. For all her goody goody image on screen though, Hema is a real revelation in interviews these days, she’s mischievous, bindaas, and talks pretty openly of all the ‘love’ behind the scenes. I loved the Karan Johar show with Zeenat and her. Zeenat was more politically correct, while Hema just laughed her way through.

    • He’s not one of my favorites either, and he was far too old here to be playing a 25-year-old. I only mean too that in THIS film I much preferred Rekha’s character to Hema’s. She played Phulwa with a great deal of relish, and is really gorgeous to boot (Hema too, as you can see in the screen caps) :) Agree with you on Koffee With Karan—she was great when she was on with Jaya B. too.

  6. It never occured to me that the kala angle was racial, I blamed the behaviour more on *nurture* rather than *nature* (of a kala man), and thought that is what the film was also showing. Afterall every other film has gora, wild, some very strangely behaving, bad bad bad villains (especially Prem Chopra).

    Not sure if the last message about both gora and kala being equally human had anything to do with kala ‘not being human’ during his villainous times, which I thought were just ‘plain villainous’, with Rajender Kumar doing some bad acting by giving this villain his interpretation of a villain (rather than to a kala man’s charcter). The makers probably thought it was a good moral lesson to add to the ‘value’ of the film towards the end.

    As much as I love the Rajender Kumar of black and white (LOL!!!) days, I don’t care for him or his later coloured films (some earlier ones were tolerable).

    • If there was no racial intent, then why on earth did they need to make Kali such a caricature of a black man? Seriously, it was unbelievable. He could not have looked more like a cartoon of a blackamoor. If both brothers had looked the same, with one being brought up by dacoits, then the nature vs nurture idea might fly. But as it is, it was all about him being the “dark” one. Rajendra’s “acting” made it even worse (he played Kala as a drooling idiot much of the time) but I would imagine he was following his drector’s orders. And goras are bad only when they are actual white people, not fair-skinned Indians :)

      • >Kali such a caricature of a black man

        I blame Rajender Kumar’s horrible acting here. I guess, having been a hero all his life he thought this is the way a villain acts.

        >But as it is, it was all about him being the “dark” one.

        *Being the dark one* sure – because that’s the way *he* was, the other one being the gora one – but to me this didn’t imply that doing what he was doing was *because he was dark*.
        So I think the interpretation lies in the mind of the beholder :)

        >And goras are bad only when they are actual white people, not fair-skinned Indians :)

        Not at all. I gave the example of Prem Chopra in my earlier post. To quote;
        >Afterall every other film has gora, wild, some very strangely behaving, bad bad bad villains (especially Prem Chopra).
        I actually did mean the fair skinned Indian by the word gora, just as what the film’s name implies.
        Prem Chopra, Pran etc were Indian fair. In fact the only dark villain I can think of was Ranjeet.
        There were all these light eyed fair skinned villains too.

        • Have you looked at the screencaps? He is positively covered in black shoe-polish, with red lips and silver hoop earrings which make him look like every cartoonish depiction of a black man between 1750 and 1950. Has nothing at all to do with his acting.

          • >Have you looked at the screencaps?
            Yes. And seen the film too :)
            I don’t see a bare chest, beads, grass skirt. :)

            What I see is a dark skinned man with red lips (like Biswajeet’s, LOL!), rings in his ears like many villagers in India wear, also the particular thing round his neck worn by a lot of Indian men especially from the countryside, instead of beads. His clothes too are Indian.

            I’m not trying to prove you wrong. Just illustrating how different ones views and interpretations can be (as mentioned in my earlier comment), depending on ones background.
            I’m acquainted with the typical picture of a black man from years ago, but it’s not the dominating thought which one can immediately relate to when one didn’t have much to do with this typical image.
            I know there have been films with some dance sequences where they have shown such stereotyped characters, but they were all beaded, grass skirted, and what not, and they meant them to be what they were depicting. Even there I took it as attempts to show ‘tribal’ people which choreographers seem very fond of.

            In this case they are *clearly* depicting the twin brother, and a prince, not a man from Africa.

            On the basis of interpretation I agree to disagree with your view about it.

        • There’s plenty of kala villains. Mohan Sherry, Hercules, “Mohammed Ali”, Dhanna and the innumerable nameless henchmen. :)

  7. Was 1972 the year of double roles? Rajendra Kumar co-starred opposite Hema Malini who herself had a double role in “Seeta Aur Geeta” released the same year. One of the heroes of that movie, Dharmendra, had a double role in “Samadhi”, again released in 1972.

    • Generally 1972 was a year of AWESOMENESS, but this did not add to that…things like double roles go in cycles though :) Someone does it and then everybody jumps on the bandwagon.

  8. I wonder who recommended this movie to you memsaab? I have only heard songs from this movie on radio – Rafi’s tu mere sapno ki rani banegi (which i like – haven’t seen the picturisation though and am not inclined to find out too) and also dheere-2 bol koi suna le.

    Is the Hema-Zeenat episode on KWK referred by Bano available on utube? I would love to see that. I enjoyed Hema and Jaya’s earlier epsisode too.

    I am glad I am not the only one who doesn’t like Rajendar Kumar. I sat through suraj for the songs, vyjanthi, the horse and the elephant. Like wise Talaash.

    • I don’t recall anybody recommending it, I just had it (downloaded so luckily free) and thought I’d have a look. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised :)

      • I am glad you didn’t have to spend your hard earned paisa on faltu movie to use local desi lingo! Full marks to you for not only viewing the whole movie but also taking the effort in sharing this stuff with us. Lagey Raho Memsaab! Hope we get to discuss a more interesting and engrossing movie soon – perhaps another shammi movie?

  9. 8-D Those Rekha caps are Oompha Oompha and the subtitles are real kinky. Wonder how it got past the censors :D.

    The title itself turned me off and the posters and hoardings showing Rajendra Kumar covered with boot polish were laughable. This racism is very much real here (as else where I guess). All those platitudes are just hot air. The silent racism is some ways more jarring than overt racism.

    • I know! She was such a naughty naughty girl. Loved her—maybe the censor on duty that day liked to be spanked too, who knows? ;-) But yeah…the racism both implied and overt in this was pretty bad, and not that uncommon either. Just more OTT than usual.

  10. Dear Ms. Memsaab
    i hereby formally thank you for your immense patience to 1st sit thro the above movie and also for the details of the movie.
    i solemnly promise to only see the songs of this movie for the rest of my life (anyways thats what i ve done all along– only see the songs of this movie)

  11. Movies like “Gora aur Kala” make one deeply grateful for the FF button on the remote. Hope the chap you invented it received a Noble prize. Saw this one as a kid and knew and understood enough even then to be appalled by the racisim.:-( The worst thing about GAK is that it wants to be lauded for it’s last minute mealy-mouthed repudiation of the 3 hours of racist bilge it poured on the viewer.:-(

  12. This movie brought to mind `Teri Surat Meri Aankhein,’ in which the dark-skinned child is abandoned, even though it is a boy and he is shunned by his father afterwards too. And the desirable son seems to have undesirable traits, if I remember the story of this movie right – ek hi baar dekhi hai, kai saal pehle.
    And then I’m thinking of `Mera Pati Sirf Mera Hai’ and Radhika’s depiction in the movie. `Doosri Sita’ was another movie that came and went before one could say `Huh.’
    Wait, some songs come to mind – Dhoop Mein nikla na karo roop ki rani, gora rungg kaala na pad jaaye and Sanwali se hai mujhe pyaar (I’m recalling Jeetendra and Madhavi, perhaps) and heavens, this song about a black goat – O Kali re, Kali re, tu toh kaali kaali hai, gora sa ik bhaiyya maa abhi laanewaali hai, laanewali hai..
    `Dark-skinned’ has been an unpopular trait in our films, I’m seeing. Would be happy to be proved wrong.

    • It’s Meri Surat Teri Aankhen, and yes you are right :) And there is a lot of racism against dark skin, not just in films either! (and not just in India either!)

  13. India suffers from casteism rather than race IMO.

    Never heard of a ‘dark/black’ race in India.
    There are dark/black people who may come from a fair skinned family, which I think lead to fair being a sign of beauty.
    In meri soorat teri Aankhen the dark child belonged to fair parents, and wasn’t from any ‘dark/black’ race.

    I doubt dark people were forbidden entrance to some elite place or refused a job because of their colour and given to a fair skinned person.

    Moral preaching in films was to accept the dark skinned among us rather than racial harmony.

    Another film was ‘Main bhi ladki Hoon’ where Meena Kumari played a dark woman, who had a fair skinned sister.

    • You really don’t think that there is prejudice against dark skin in India? Huh.

      • >You really don’t think that there is prejudice against dark skin in India?

        I never said that. Thegeneral Indian attitude regarding this is bad, but it doesn’t amount to racism.
        Believe me, the prejudice against cast and religion is much much stronger.

        Definition of racism (according to Oxford online dictionary);

        “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race , especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”

        So yes, I don’t think this exists in India as there’s no specific race, but yes by and large Indians consider fair skin as beautiful – by comparison.

        The North Indian South Indian quarrel is hardly racial. There are a lot of fair skinned South Indians, and not all North Indians are fair.
        Girls find it difficult to find a husband if they are dark.

        How can there be racism when you may have dark skinned members in your own family. For several generations there has been one dark brother in our family – always. My mother had one. Her mother had one. I had one. I don’t have a son, otherwise my daughters would have had a dark brother too, I’m sure.


    • I’ll look out for Main bhi ladki hoon and Meri surat teri ankhen was indeed one of the films that tried to highlight this issue, though it descended into melodramatic chaos

      Another film that dealt with the whole light dark issue was V Shantaram’s Teen Batti Char Rasta, Richard wrote it up a while ago

      • Yes, yes, Teen Batti Char Rasta was the title that I couldn’t remember. That is another on this gora-kaala list.
        Sandhya, the recipient of so many barbs for her looks. Filmi Impressions had a very nice review of this film.
        Two more songs come to mind – Koyaliya kaali hai, kaali hai, kaali hai toh kya meetha gaanewaali hai and of course, Hum Kaale hain toh kya hua dilwaale hain.

      • I remember choosing NOT to review Meri Surat…don’t remember why, although it’s usually because I don’t have anything to say about a movie that was neither here nor there :)

  14. Indeed Black shoe polish was applied in abundance on Kali by an expert she polisher !

    When one looks at India in the past decades, there was unbelievable political incorrectness at that time. Words , which are considered offensive today were used in the movies (and also in real lives). For example, calling people junglee, calling South India people Madrasi etc.

    And many activities that were practiced those days are now regarded as unhealthy/ illegal- viz smoking, felling trees, hunting tigers etc.

    This movie is indeed downright racist. Indians do not practice racism as such but fair skin is considered desirable and the kind of depiction of black people in this movie as well as in certain other movies is downright racist, no doubt about it. But then the Hindi movie makers are not known to be sensitive to such delicate matters.

    • Desi – chill – my response is that people who behave and talk like that are doing out of sheer ignorance. The same people want madrasi tenants up north coz they are honest in paying rent and good neighbours and citizens (trust me – i was born and raised in north and am a dark skinned southie but am proud of my looks and heritage. India has changed a lot now and the boot is now on the other foot. People from diff walks are flooding southern cities like Hyd and Bang in search of IT jobs and are atleast now more exposed to culture down south vis a vis earlier days. That kind of prejudice was more relevant in the 60s and 70s

    • Hollywood was a bit better by the 60s/70s, but only a BIT. And prior to that…well. I think of racism as judging others by superficial characteristics which are different from one’s own, which may be general but there is no such thing in my mind as actual “race”, particularly now but I think it’s always been true. We are all the same species and any perceived differences are man-made.

  15. Why, thank you, squarecutatul for bringing up that all South Indians are `Madrasi’ point.
    Then there are those other perceptions of oh-you-Dravidian-rice-eating (hence not strong), dark-skinned and not very sophisticated (who started it all, I wonder.) How North Indians are more cultured, eat better food and are better looking!
    I had a Sindhi neighbour who blurted out all this to me just because I was going through a bout of fatigue at that time (too much work and not enough rest). Another neighbour from childhood said without flinching, `You’ve grown so tanned since you started going to college.’
    I recently watched 3 Idiots and DID NOT appreciate how Chatur was portrayed at all.
    `Ghar-Jamai,’ a TV serial in the late ’80s or ’90s with Satish Shah as the Punjabi sasur, a South Indian damaad, Anant Mahadevan and Kamia Malhotra playing Satish Shah’s daughter also had this `gag’ about everyone below the Vindhyas being Madrasi. We did not appreciate it.
    I’m proud to be of `Dravidian’ origin, sanwali ( a friend tried to make me `feel’ better by saying I was `gehunwa’ colour), and am large-hearted enough to laugh at the foibles of my own people, as portrayed by Mehmood. Deven Varma, too, I’m informed, is not someone who `likes’ South Indians, but he is a good actor.

  16. Hmm this looks weirdly fascinating, I’ll look out for this and oh I love those screencaps with rekha, totally naughty and one of these days I’ll put up a compilation of Bollywood S&M, i’ve come across many hints like that via subs and some on film even, see Amitabh Bachchan in Mahaan where he asks to be whipped

  17. I was tempted to see this because of the lovely Rekha. But, racism trumps Rekha…so, I’ll have to pass. hanks for the review, Memsaab.

  18. I mentioned the spanking scene (oh so innocently) to my wife. She gave me a look…….:-) and recalled the scene perfectly – and in context. I must say the subtitles read more kinky than the original in Hindi :-)

  19. MemSaab . . lovely review ..

    One request .. Can you please review Agneepath (1990) ? I would like to see your take ..

  20. No comments! Why? I have never been able to sit through Rajendra Kumar’s films ( though he was a wonderful man) and sitting through a film with two Rajendra Kumar’s, no not possible. But I guess his fans enjoyed the film.

    • I’m glad to hear you say that he was/is a wonderful man, because I get that feeling from all I’ve read or observed about him. But I too do not much care for his movies. Mostly they are just so regressively conservative, and I am sorry but his acting doesn’t do much for me either. But certainly his films were super-duper hits!

  21. Interesting post and discussion, as always, Memsaab!! It’s always interesting to come across the ‘black brute’ stereotype in Hindi films. As a black person, I definitely encountered some of what I’d called racism when I visited India (thankfully only a little, though), so I definitely think it exists there, as it does pretty much everywhere else in the world (sadly).

    • If it makes you feel better I get it too, since being a white western woman means that I am “easy” and most likely stupid and gullible too. Oh and I drink. (Well that part is true.) :)

      • Interesting conversation from daddysgirlali (“black person”) and memsaab (“white western”) about us (me included) Indian people.

        You guys may know this movie MISSISSIPPI MASALA by Mira Nair. In one of her interviews she mentions that this white-affinity and black-prejudice by Indians was one of the reasons she made this movie. Indians are in general awe of white-skin due to 300+ years of British (and some Portugese) influence. This awe is deep rooted and so is our bias/ racism in our beliefs. She wanted to explore this brown skin hypocricy and in the movie Denzel Washington makes a great dialogue to the Indian-family when he says that: your (Indian) skin is not too many shades away than mine (black).”

        Memsaab: to add to your last comment about whitelwestern-woman, if you add a cigarette and mini-skirt you would just score a perfect 10, defining a white western woman!

        I hope this wrong perceptions (white, black, blue,..) changes in our global world in coming generations.

        • I did see Mississippi Masala when it came out (a way long time ago!). There must be a book somewhere about why white skin is so desirable. I don’t think that we can totally blame colonialism, because there’s evidence of it predating that…

  22. It’s unfortunate that so much emphasis is being given to the colour of the skin issue when worse issues like the cast/religion discrimination exist.
    Is it because it exists in the US so it matters more than what really is a problem in India?
    There have never been things like riots, or segregation of different communities based on colour.
    In spite of the lone voice here I will strongly still say, colour is not an issue to worry about as with the other issues.

    Mira Narain makes films to please a western audience and a topic on skin colour is just the thing to interest. She has a different sensibility in mind when making her films and choosing her topic.
    On the big screen and a story to encompass the subject, it gives the idea that we have dire issues of racism like in the US.

    The Indians’ love for a lighter skin is hardly a colonial result. This is a typical Indian attitude of blaming everything on the British or Portugese or whoever..
    Indians have to take the responsibility for their behaviour without shoving it on to other shoulders.

    As for the ‘white skin’ (not the same as light skin love) appreciation, I think it has more to do with the prosperity of the white nations which is another thing Indians admire a lot – prosperity.
    The prejudices regarding a white woman cannot be excused just as the prejudices regarding the asians etc cannot be excused either.

    • THIS FILM, whether you like it or not, is about SKIN COLOR. That is why we are discussing it. If you don’t like it then you don’t have to read the comments. We all agree that prejudice of any kind is inexcusable and wrong, but we aren’t talking about religion/the caste system because this film had nothing to do with those things. And there is plenty of skin color prejudice in India whether you like to believe it or not. It may not be starting riots but plenty of people suffer from it every day even so, just like they do here.

      • Did you see the Pond’s commercial with Priyanka Chopra playing a wife who tries to win back her husband (Aamir Khan) by applying fairness cream?

  23. I thought we were having a discussion with people expressing opinion.

    • >It may not be starting riots but plenty of people suffer from it every day even so, just like they do here.
      Hmm. I don’t agree with ‘just like’. It’s not like that in India.

      • Pacifist – I am really astonished that there is dissent on the issue of color prejudice in India. All Indians know of it, hopefully cringe about it, matrimonial columns in India are full of boys wanting ‘wheatish complexioned’ girls, color slurs are ingrained into everyday language a la ‘kali kaluti’, I mean come on! I’d love to be able to portray India as a wonderfully accepting kind of place in this regard, but as everyone else has noted above, it just isn’t. Does that mean that EVERYONE there thinks this way? No. But this movie’s premise is certainly based on ‘dark ’ and ‘fair’ and how ‘bad’ and ‘good’ equates to who is dark and who is fair from all that I’ve read above. I’m afraid that you do seem to be digging yourself into a deep hole on this one by trying to justify otherwise.

        Memsaab – This is getting so tired! A new post with screenshots of some of our handsome heroes would be most welcome as opposed to that dreadful shoe-polished mug that shows up when I eagerly refresh your home page :-) And, one handsome hero in particular, of course :-D I’d be happy to further your acquaintance with him via a watchalong whenever you have the time oh great one!

        • >But this movie’s premise is certainly based on ‘dark ’ and ‘fair’ and how ‘bad’ and ‘good’ equates to who is dark and who is fair from all that I’ve read above.

          That’s where it all started Suhan. LOL!

          No, I won’t repeat what I wrote in response to this view, but what I wrote was my opinion to which I was challenged and on it went from there.
          I don’t think I have dug myself into any hole :)
          Nor am I justifying anything. The extent and intensity was my concern.
          *I’m very clear about my view* – that colour *preference* exists and it does NOT amount to racism.
          I rest my case.

          And yes! I agree, another picture will be very welcome!! LOL!
          Not very pleasant to see RK’s face every time you click here.

        • Suhan I will try to put something up here to make you happy soon :) Since I have not had time to watch movies I have been reading my stash of vintage Stardusts and you know what treasures are in there ;-)

  24. Dear Memsahib,

    The basic plot of this film would appear to be lifted from “The Corsican Brothers”.


    Sanjay Sircar

  25. a most forgettable movie….(((…Jubilee kumar’s dark avatar seemed to have it all against him from the start!!!..except Rekha…i like that sadomasochistic streak she displayed!!1….smouldering sexuality…sorry Hema Ji, for me the scene stealer was Rekha!!!

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