Posts tagged ‘Dev Anand’

July 6, 2009

Solva Saal (1958)

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Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night has inspired more than a few Hindi remakes, three of which I’ve seen: Raj Kapoor’s Chori Chori, Shammi’s Basant, Aamir Khan’s Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin. This one is now my favorite by far. The camera work and lighting is as lushly beautiful as Guru Dutt’s pictures always were; there’s no need for any color here! Add the sheer gorgeousness of (and chemistry between! and performances by!) Waheeda Rehman and Dev Anand, SD Burman’s sublime songs, and Raj Khosla’s brisk direction and it’s a classic (I like it even better than Capra’s original, and that is saying something).

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February 18, 2009

Milap (1955)

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Raj Khosla’s first venture into directing is a solid entertainer, although apparently it failed at the box office. The quality of the DVD was lacking, probably due to the source material—it was by turns really dark, overexposed or blurry, and there were definitely some scenes missing, but nonetheless it kept me in my seat! I love that Khosla populates his films with strong and believable female characters, and this is no exception. Lovely and talented Geeta Bali is the heart and soul of this movie, but she’s very ably supported by Dev Anand minus most of his mannerisms, and Memsaab favorite KN Singh as an unscrupulous (but suave and sophisticated, natch!) lawyer.

Khosla assisted Guru Dutt (another Memsaab favorite) and his influence is seen here too—beautifully shot songs, atmospheric use of light and dark (although hampered a bit by time’s wear and tear). And Khosla’s habit of “framing” his shots is here too, although not as sophisticated as in his later films.

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December 30, 2008

Hot onscreen couples in 1973

From my antique Stardust Annual :-)

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July 19, 2008

Munimji (1955)

A man who lives in disguise, even at home with his mother! Another man who disguises himself to rob, steal and kill! Between them: a gorgeous but haughty woman whom they both want, one for love, one for money. Lurking on the sidelines: a weepy self-absorbed mother who makes every maternal blunder modern psychiatry could possibly dream up. This, my friends, is Munimji.

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October 30, 2007

Bullet (1976)

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I got this only because Vijay Anand directed it, but I confess that I feared it would be disappointing. How could he top Teesri Manzil, Jewel Thief, Chhupa Rustom and Johny Mera Naam?

Well, he didn’t top them, but he didn’t fall short either. Bullet has all the characteristics of his finest work in this genre—suspense, thrills, plot twists, excellent costumes, strange camera angles—strongly flavored by mid-70’s kitsch. And by strongly flavored, I mean reeking of it. The sets are atmospheric and fantastical, colored with acid greens and bright reds and yellows, and lots of graffiti.

Fab!

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October 13, 2007

Trivia time #8

Name this character actor (shown here with Dev Anand), who appeared in hundreds of movies throughout three decades of cinema.

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Sreya is our winner! He is Rashid Khan, and he is ubiquitous in 1950-1960’s movies, especially those with Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor. I would love to find out more about him/his life if anyone can help.

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September 14, 2007

Tere Mere Sapne (1971)

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I will start off here by saying that I loved this film. As tired as I was last evening (red-eye flight the night before), I could not turn it off. I had to see what would happen next. Vijay Anand’s particular brand of brisk direction combined with a great plot and a myriad of wonderfully etched characters large and small is evident throughout. I have recently seen two of his gems from the same time period: Johny Mera Naam and Chhupa Rustam. This film is more serious than those two; a different genre more in keeping with Guide than with Jewel Thief. I found its messages about medicine and priorities just as relevant as it was 36 years ago. And the many songs by SD Burman are sublime.

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August 11, 2007

Chhupa Rustam (1973)

A visual feast of a movie—another Vijay Anand fun-filled frolic, with beautiful scenery, fabulous fashions and an engaging plot that moves along at a good clip. It has Hema Malini at her gorgeous best, Dev Anand as smooth as ever, and—best of all—Vijay himself in a role he clearly relished. Bad guys Ajit, Prem Chopra and Premnath are as baaaad as only they can be. It’s obvious that a good time was had by all in the making of this film.

It was filmed in Himachal Pradesh, and the landscapes are breathtaking:

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August 1, 2007

Johny Mera Naam (1970)

I finally had the requisite 3 spare hours it takes to get through a Hindi movie Monday evening, and it was time SO well spent! I love Vijay Anand’s movies, especially his captivatingly convoluted crime capers (including Teesri Manzil and Jewel Thief). And my undying devotion to Shammi notwithstanding, Dev Anand is particularly suited for the genre. This entertaining story about two brothers separated in childhood after the murder of their father features an absolutely stellar cast. One brother, Sohan (Dev Anand), grows up to become an undercover policeman, while the other, Mohan (Pran), becomes a criminal working unknowingly for the very man (Premnath) who ordered the murder of his father. As our story begins, Sohan is starting an undercover job working as a small-time thief and smuggler named Johny. He infiltrates the gang headed by Mohan (now called Moti) with the help of a beauty named Rekha (Hema Malini), who has her own motives for being part of the gang.

What follows is an engrossing tale with twists and turns, double-crosses, and multiple nefarious activities set against the breathtaking backdrop of Nepal. I can never resist Pran. He is in disguise heaven here, even for him:

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