The Satan of unemployment

If I weren’t so lazy I would start another blog made up of nothing but the muddled synopses with which foreign cinema dvds are littered.

Sometimes they make me wonder why I even bother when my own prose will so obviously never reach such fevered heights.

And also, it looks like I may need to fast-forward through the first half of this one in order to get to the poisonous tentacles of the drug peddlers as fast as possible. Many thanks to Todd for bringing it so vividly to my attention.

56 Comments to “The Satan of unemployment”

  1. I can’t even remember what was on Dil Se, but it in no way related in any way to the plot. However, I’m pretty sure it didn’t include any “burning symbol[s] of last.”

    • Yeah, I don’t even pay attention to plot details in these because half the time they apparently are in reference to another film altogether :) But they are works of translation art in themselves.

  2. I own this!!! I’ve reviewed it AGES ago and will re-post my review ASAP so can preview the film… ;)

  3. Awesome…Makes me salivate. If I am not mistaken, memory misted and all that, it has some good songs as well.

  4. Sounds good, even if reading that flowery description gave me a headache.

  5. I remember reading about ‘Jalte Badan’ at Todd’s blog, and ordering it from my library. I’ve yet to get it. It sounds wonderful. The synopsis of course, is a masterpiece. :)

    • Yes, Todd is the one who steered me to it too. His review is what made me order it pronto, although it’s taken forever to get here (not because it came from India, but because my post office is manned by morons).

  6. The only thing I know of Jalte Badan is that it has some good songs. I usually skip the synopsis on DVDs coz 1) i don;’t want to know anything about the movie before hand and prefer to experience surprise or pain first hand and 2) i have been sceptical of the synopsis on Indian film DVDs ie whether it relfects the right thing

    • Yes, I usually wait to read them until after I’ve watched the film but this one was so dense and obviously garbled I couldn’t resist. They are either filled with spoilers or appear to be talking about some other film altogether :)

  7. Ha ha…lovely! How can it not be when “the outside powers kept their hawk eyes open”, “Ragini was burning charcoal, a symbol of last”, “Malti sold her golden body for a few coins but her soul was pure as the water of the Ganges” (literal translation of “Ganga ki paani ki tarah pavitra hai”. Btw, not sure many who’ve actually seen the water of the Ganges downstream will be too convinced about its purity).

    As for a “touching story about a sister’s nobility, a brother’s sacrifice and a mother’s helplessness”, wow, that’s really rare in old Hindi movies. Makes you want to rush to see this movie for these aspects alone.

  8. Really very very funny (in Ajith’s language). I had seen glimpses of this movie. In one scene where KIran Kumar is so addicted to drugs…Kumkum is watching it helplessly. The heroine of this movie married the proprietor of Filmistan Studios despite the fact that he was much older than her. Today she has successfully turned around the fortunes of Filmistan.

  9. Tolaram Jalan , whom Neena married, was a well known producer

    • Tolaram Jalan was the guy who deliberately sabotaged the release of Vijay Anand’s movie, “Kahin Aur Chal” in 1968.

      I quote below:
      After three hit films in a row (Guide, Teesri Manzil, Jewel Thief), Vijay Anand experienced his first flop. Initially, “Kahin Aur Chal” (1968) had the makings of a hit, as it starred Dev Anand and ‘Asha Parekh’, who were both top box office draws in 1968, along with music composers Shanker-Jaikishen. But the film’s financier Tolaram Jalan wanted a flop film to adjust his income taxes, and so he took the film from Vijay Anand and released it in a single matinée show and then pulled it. This experience pained the filmmaker, especially since the film never resurfaced again.

  10. The synopsis must have been written by a Bolly blogger with a broken spell check. Hard to imagine DVD companies being so creative in their description :)

    ROFLing at “symbol of innocense”, “burning charcoal, a symbol of last”…the best was “golden body for silver coins” EPIC!!!

    • I don’t know…it does seem a literal translation, but the vocabulary used is pretty sophisticated in places. That’s part of what makes it so funny to me. So wrong and yet so right, all at the same time.

      Lord, I love Hindi cinema.

  11. Now I can’t decide between ………subtitles or synopses *tapping forefinger on right jawline, eyeballs turned skywards*

  12. One is justified in going ROFL at the writeup. When I went through the writeup and tried to imagine what it would be like in Hindi, then it all became clear. The person has originally thought the matter in Hindi and then made a literal translation of the Hindi sentences. In Hindi, it would sound natural and impressive, but its literal translation in English makes for hilarious reading.

  13. Maybe it’s because I’m a “strayed intellectual,” but the line that cracked me up the most was “causal experiment.” What caused this? I don’t know! Let’s do an experiment!

    • Yes, such a thoughtful and scientific analysis of the plot. I will never again have a depressed kind of day without being cheered up at the thought of the abysmal pit of life either.

  14. I bought this ages ago on the basis of that synopsis and the fabbo cover pic. I really should watch it one day! Temple

  15. Filmi Girl is right. That long winded summary really doesn’t do the first half of the movie justice. Nothing boring here! Can’t wait for your review.

  16. For weeks now, I’ve been hoping you would have something to say about this movie!
    After watching Ram Teri Ganga Maili last year, I went looking for `Yeh Waada Bhool na Jaana’ and found it was from this film (no luck finding the burning hot title number yet). The song strangely reminded me of the other Ganga I had just seen and when I saw Padma Khanna enter the train compartment at the end of the song, I thought I’d seen too many Hindi movies in this life. I remember ads for this film in `Screen’ and thinking who wants to watch that!
    It took me years to appreciate the bright spot that was Kumkum (in this one, she seems just a little bit on the verge of calling it quits) and Padma Khanna – much exploited. Kiran Kumar, I was happy to note, eventually went on to make his mark in Gujarati films and in various TV serials – my mother avidly watched one of his shows till they abruptly took it off air, in ’04-’05. One can see the resemblance to his father in these moocchh-munda days of his.
    Lots of Indians have decent English reading and writing skills, but I don’t see they’re being hired to subtitle films or write those back of the DVD label synopses. And no spellcheck is usually cast.
    I’m inclined to agree with Atul’s remark that this passage was thought up in good Hindi and translated into English verbatim. Many Indians, myself included, are apt to say – Don’t eat my head (Mera sar mat kha) instead of `Stop annoying/bothering me.’

  17. And Kumkum’s costume is rather SSS-ish (in the `chanchal, sheetal, nirmal, komal’ song).

    • I remember just gazing at RTGM in disbelief as poor Mandakini wandered, tortured, in her thin cotton towel.

      I think Kiran Kumar is very handsome, and yet he still DOES manage to resemble his father :D I suppose Indians with very good English skills (many Indians have better English than Americans I can tell you) have better things to do with their time (they think) than subtitle old Indian movies :(

  18. Ahem…If they paid one well, honest, I would consider subtitling our movies a labour of love and livelihood.

  19. This plot description which I assume is translated from the Hindi original, makes compelling reading :) I wouldn’t blame the person who did the translation. He tried his best!
    I remember reading an interview of a film producer where he mentioned that while everybody knew that sex, violence and drugs do sell, one could not risk making a Hindi movie that directly celebrated these aspects. It had to be wrapped around a message of morality and love so it was acceptable to the society at large and the censor board. Through the decades we have seen countless movies (both of the A-grade and B-grade variety) including this one, follow this formula.

  20. After seeing the caps on Filmi Girl’s site, I shudder at the very thought of seeing the film (sooo many symbols of last :D). I hope you don’t torture yourself with this one. The cover blurb though gives you your money’s worth :)

  21. This is a pretty decent watch. I liked some of the songs, especially the one with Padma Khana – Hum woh hain jo apke ghar ko jalakar tamasha dekhte hain. If nothing else, this is what sticks out in my memory of the film.

    Kiran Kumar was a good enough eye candy in some of his “hero” movies like this one, Jungle mein Mangal and Aaj ki tazaa khabar (these are three movies of his that I’ve watched). He made a nice transition to villain roles, most notably in Tezaab. I remember hearing from other movie fanatics that he was around 6’4” tall and hence taller than Amitabh.

  22. I request all bloggers to influence Memsab to conceptualise writing a book about those actors/ actresses – the unsung people whom she often acknowledges in this blog. I loved reading about Tarun Bose- who knows children of other character artistes may also want to share something with us.

    These character artistes – I really feel sorry for them – they were not paid much and also despite their talent, they were always sidelined.

    Can all of you recollect anyone Award function where a Mumtaz Begum or Sheikh Mukhtar or Leela Chitnis or Jeevan or Kanhaiyalal or Om prakash were ever honored in their prime – they did not classify under any of the categories – Best actor/ actress , Best supporting actor/actress.

    I am not sure if actresses like Helen, Kum Kum, Faryal, Padma Khanna, Alka, Rehana Sultan, Radha Saluja, Madhu Chanda ever got any recognition at all.

    • :) I’m thinking about it, although I have a day job that I can’t afford to quit! Helen was honored with a Filmfare Lifetime Achievement award I think…don’t know about any of the other people you mention, although certainly many of them deserved the same at least.

      • In addition to her Lifetime Achievement award, after being nominated as Best Supporting Actress for 1965’s Gumnaam, Helen finally won a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress award for 1979’s Lahu Ke Do Rang.

        Although there are Filmfare Awards for choreography (now, beginning in 1989), as far as I know there aren’t any for dancing. Had there been, some of the names mentioned by Nandakumar Kale might have been honored.

    • Indeed if ever a book was to be written on unsung artists of Hindi movies, it has to be by Memsaab. Comeon Greta jee, you can do it.

  23. Memsaab,

    I haven’t commented for a while on your blog–I came by to see your review of Gehri Chaal because I thought it was a movie you would have absolutely loved (as I did). If you haven’t seen its got all the early 70s magic–clothes, sets, and story line. The last action scene is one of the best of its kind. In fact I’m sure now I saw this movie in 1974 when I was 7–the memory of that boiling pit has haunted me all my life and now I know where it came from. Hoping you’ll review it.

  24. If you are writing a book, I am definitely buying it. What a treasure trove it will be!

    And to think of none of this pure as water of Ganga & Heart black as charcol crap. LOL.

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