Posts tagged ‘Hindi reincarnation movie’

January 18, 2009

Kudrat (1981)

kudrat

After months during which this Chetan Anand film was “next” in my to-watch list, I finally got around to it. And I’m glad I did; it is compelling viewing. Having said that, I’m not sure what exactly what else to say about it. Unusual story? Check. Good cast and performances? Check. Nice music? Check. Good movie? Uhhhhhh…I think so? Maybe? In the end it felt a bit schizophrenic: it is a reincarnation story—and leads you firmly down that path—but then also drags in some token debate about reincarnation being a silly belief held by uneducated riff-raff. It also¬†wanted to be a “serious” suspense film (and succeeded to a large degree), but was very lazy about some details (medical and legal practices, for one, and some pretty stringent suspension of disbelief requirements too).

So I spent a lot of time feeling pulled in one direction, and then nudged in another, and the whole never quite came together for me. The fact that the subtitles disappeared entirely during the climactic courtroom speech didn’t help at all either (and thank you to Suhan for sending me a synopsis!).

But: I couldn’t stop watching it, as the suspense was built very nicely, and the performances were really good, especially Vinod Khanna as a doctor who loses his love to the man she loved in a past life; and Rajesh Khanna as the man who is pulled unwillingly into a story involving him but of which he has no memory. The sets and the Simla scenery were beautiful, and the cinematography stunning, and RD Burman’s music very nice too.

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August 29, 2007

Karz (1980)

Karz was a smash hit in India when it was released. It has those ever-popular elements of reincarnation, deep spiritual connection to one’s mother, revenge and bad disco music. It also has a grandiose plot very characteristic of its director, Subhash Ghai. You might think from these comments that I did not care for the film, but I found it strangely enthralling. It veers crazily from one genre to another — is it a disco movie? a romance? a murder mystery? a supernatural thriller? — the answer of course is yes, all that and more besides!

The story begins with a courtroom judgment being delivered in favor of Ravi Verma (Raj Kiran) and against a mute sinister figure (Premnath), whose name is referred to variously throughout as

surjuda.jpgkarz_sir_juda.jpgkarz_sir_tudor.jpg and karz_judah.jpg

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August 17, 2007

Madhumati (1958)

This is a perfect rainy-day movie about true love and reincarnation. Bimal Roy uses weather to great effect in this film, setting the mood and atmosphere for each plot development, and enhancing the emotional impact of the story.

It begins in the pouring rain with a car wending its way along a dark, steep, winding road. Inside the car, Devendra (Dilip Kumar) and a friend are on their way to the railway station to meet Devendra’s wife and child, who have cabled to say they are on the way. Although Devendra is clearly anxious to get there, they are forced to stop by a landslide which has blocked the road. The driver goes for help, and tells them to go to a nearby haveli for shelter.

madhumati_haveli_ruined.jpg

The haveli has been long abandoned and is full of dust and cobwebs; but Devendra feels he has been there before. As the rain continues pelting down and thunder rolls outside, he asks the old caretaker about things the house used to contain. He finds a portrait that he remembers painting himself in a former lifetime (not as crazy in the movie as it sounds here). He begins to tell the story of his former life there…

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