Posts tagged ‘Kamini Kaushal’

July 7, 2012

Shaheed (1948)

Most of you know by now that I am not terribly enamored of “earnest” movies that bludgeon the audience (i.e. me) repeatedly with trite patriotic messages. I feared this film would be like that but happily I was wrong. It is very enjoyable: part history lesson, part celebration of newly independent India, part debate whether violence is ever justified or not—still a relevant topic. Mostly, though, it’s a film about relationships, the most powerful one at hand being that between a young freedom fighter (Dilip Kumar) and his father (Chandramohan) with British loyalties. The title Shaheed (Martyr) can be applied to just about every character in the film, but the performances are, if sometimes a bit melodramatic, always heartfelt. I did get an excellent Chandramohan Nahiiin! Face but that can only be called a bonus. With eyes like that, how can he help it? The characters are well-drawn and complex, and there are touches of humor throughout to lighten what could otherwise be (okay, IS) a pretty depressing plot. And the chemistry between Dilip Kumar and Kamini Kaushal is very sweet, too.

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January 30, 2011

Yakeen (1969)

Why yes, Dharamji, I will. I don’t even care what you want me to do.

I don’t know what it is about him, but for me watching a Dharmendra starrer is like getting a big warm hug. He is just so…comforting and solid, somehow (it’s no wonder he’s my fake-pretend bodyguard). So on a recent snowy night, missing my Dad and needing a sustaining presence, I rewatched Yakeen, one of my early favorite forays into 1960s Hindi cinema. It must be universally acknowledged that two Dharmendras are always better than one, even if one of them has blue eyes and orange hair.

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September 12, 2010

Aahutee (1978)

Manmohan Desai has been often imitated but rarely matched in his ability to pull heartstrings while conveying indelible (if occasionally incoherent) messages. What a lovely surprise to find a hitherto unknown (to me anyway) film that at least engages the heart in much the same way, if not the soul. There are plot holes and loose threads and I cannot in all conscience call it a good film; but I was quickly engaged by a story whose loony details and characters are easy to grow fond of. Laxmikant Pyarelal provided some nice tunes for it too, and if the message is simplistic—“Love your mother, do an honest day’s work, and don’t sell out your country”—at least it makes good sense!

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January 23, 2010

Jailor (1958)

This is one of the most bizarre films I’ve ever seen. Some parts of it left me with rounded eyes and a “WTF” bubble over my head, and some of it just made me angry; all of it left me feeling like I had just sat through ten years’ worth of Ekta Mata serial plotting in just two hours. My impression is that Sohrab Modi had some serious personal problems at the time he made this, and brought them all on set with him. His Jailor is a deranged man in need of medication and a padded cell, for his own sake and that of those around him. It’s dark, bewildering, and messy, and made me want to run screaming.

Madan Mohan’s music is beautiful, in particular the haunting “Life is Like a Punishment” (as “Bas Ek Saza Hi To Hai Zindagi” is subtitled). And Geeta Bali eventually enters like a breath of fresh air (as she is meant to). Plus, a court ruling that is actually rational, and the Indian Stevie Wonder!

But still: bas ek saza hi to hai yeh fillum.

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August 4, 2008

Do Raaste (1969)

I love films that give insight into the issues and concerns of the time during which it was made. This is one of them, where a family is ripped apart when its members are caught between old traditions and burgeoning foreign influences.

Although Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz are nominally the hero and heroine, the film really belongs to the whole ensemble cast. Above all, Balraj Sahni shows why he is considered one of the great actors in Hindi cinema and Veena shines as the family matriarch.

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June 8, 2008

Ek Shriman Ek Shrimati (1969)

This one is a little late for Bhappi Sonie Month, but better late than never is my middle name. It’s a very silly film, which is then cobbled together with a very melodramatic film, giving us total paisa vasool. If it lacks a certain continuity and flow, and there are gaping plot holes, who cares? Not me!

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October 17, 2007

Chori Chori (2003)

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I have been meaning to write about this—my very most favorite film ever, of any kind—since I started this blog. Alas, procrastination is my middle name!

But finally, here goes. This film was actually made in 2001 or so, but its release was delayed because the producer died or something. It is a remake of the Hollywood film “Housesitter” but it isn’t a scene by scene ripoff. Rather, it has taken the storyline and retold it in an Indian setting with an Indian sensibility, and it’s just perfect. The script and direction (and editing) are tight and the pace perfect; there is nothing extraneous, and every scene adds dimension to the film. The songs by Sajid Wajid are wonderful and fit perfectly into the movie, and all the characters—even the most minor—are portrayed vividly by an exceptional cast which includes the legendary Kamini Kaushal.

It is the star pair, though, whose chemistry sizzles and sparks, and who are so true to life that you can immediately identify with them. Khushi (Rani Mukherjee) is alone in the world, an orphan bluffing her way through life with a lively curiosity and an open heart. Ranvir (Ajay Devgan) is a dreamer and a bit of a loner, whose large, boisterous family doesn’t really understand him, and who has learned to keep his emotions shut up inside.

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