Posts tagged ‘Madan Mohan’

September 27, 2007

Mem Sahib (1956)

memsahib.jpg

I was writing the answer to Trivia question #4, and was going on and on, when I realized that the film should just have a post unto itself. Mem Sahib is one of my favorite Shammi Kapoor movies—he gives a remarkably restrained and subtle performance in it, resisting the hamming that he often displayed at the height of his career. He is charming but not overbearing. And though it is early in his career (what he calls his “male starlet” days), he plays a negative character—long before Shah Rukh “broke tradition” by playing negative characters in Baazigar and Darr.

Meena Kumari is scintillating—a far cry from the teary, self-sacrificing woman I’m used to seeing “The Tragedy Queen” play. She is gorgeous and full of life, a real treat to watch. Kishore Kumar plays Sundar, a naive, sheltered and good-hearted man trying to figure out how to exist in a world completely at odds with what he is used to or expected; the film is peppered with the humor that he is so clever at.

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