Posts tagged ‘Madhubala’

February 13, 2012

From the archives: more filmindia

The beauty bounty continues with color plates of Madhubala:

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September 25, 2010

Amar (1954)

This is my least favorite of the Mehboob Khan films I’ve seen, and it is such a pity. It boasts a fine cast with excellent acting, absolutely gorgeous music, stunning cinematography, detailed sets and costumes. The visuals, the ambiance and the characterizations all convey a wild Romanticism, but the plot collapses into an unholy mess halfway through. The pivotal event around which it revolves is completely incongruous with the characters we have come to know (not to mention that I have a serious quarrel with some of the resulting fallout). It feels like Mehboob didn’t show up at all to work on the second half; it’s as if he realized that he was confused about what he was trying to say, knew he had screwed it up, didn’t have the energy to care, and finally just gave up.

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January 6, 2010

Fun with stats

One of the many joys of blogging is the stats. I love to see what search terms have brought people to my blog (although occasionally I shudder too).

This one caused my coffee to come out through my nose:

WHY MADHU BALA CHOOSE TO MARRY KISHORE KUMAR AN ORDINARY LOOKING MAN

I don’t have any idea which post came up in that search, but it doesn’t really matter.

December 18, 2009

Ah, plagiarism!

I acquired this little gem some time back, and have been meaning to share. The very best thing about Filmcritic magazine is its editor VN Nayyar’s virulent hatred of Baburao Patel, the man whose magazine he has completely—and apparently shamelessly—plagiarized (but without the wit).

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June 11, 2009

Dil Ki Rani (1947)

dilkirani2

This story would not even take up one handwritten purse-sized address book page, it is so lacking in substance. How then does it drag on for two hours! It was interesting for about the first half hour only because it stars a very young Raj Kapoor (he’s 23) and an even younger Madhubala (she’s 14!). Seeing these two legends so early in their careers (plus the fact that Raj sings┬áhis songs himself, and looks a lot like the very young Shammi) made the time pass. After that, I kind of wanted to shoot myself. It’s essentially about two young and naive lovers who are surrounded by people who want to break them up, but aren’t clever enough to do so. Luckily for them, the lovers aren’t very bright either; there is a lot of ludicrously silly plotting which results in even sillier lover’s spats, leaving me at least with the wish that they would all just shut up and end the film, already.

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February 1, 2009

Tarana (1951)

tarana

Gut-wrenching, heart-searing passion, romance and tragedy = Dilip Kumar and Madhubala. I am not talking about Mughal-e-Azam, but about 1951’s Tarana. I was in tears by the end, and it was not pretty. Their much-vaunted real life romance was clearly visible in every scene between them; I think it’s safe to say that I have rarely witnessed such intensely palpable intimacy between two people, onscreen or off. They really let it all hang out! Madhubala looked as beautiful as I’ve ever seen her; she literally lit up the screen. And in their scenes together, Dilip actually looks happy: he smiles, teases gently—I don’t think I’ve seen the Tragedy King in that light before either!

The story itself had its ups and downs, although there was some interesting social commentary mixed in with the romantic drama. Still, what made it special was the incredible chemistry between the two leads.

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January 15, 2009

Boy Friend (1961)

boyfriend

Although filmed in black and white, this film has a lot of sparkle: the songs by Shankar Jaikishan, the effervescent Madhubala, shiny-scrubbed baby-faced young Dharmendra, and of course my very own favorite sparkly person Shammi Kapoor. It also has astonishing coincidences and large plot holes, and despite a strong beginning the plot becomes incoherent at times by the end; but with long-lost children, a stolen necklace and sweet, sweet romance it’s heartwarming *and sparkly* enough to watch anyway, especially if you are a Shammi fan.

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January 6, 2009

Dulari (1949)

dulari_mirror

Most Hindi films from the 1940s are pretty melodramatic. Not only is the acting theatrical and stagey, but the dialogues are overwrought and repetitive (so that you don’t miss the point, I guess) and there are 10-15 songs sprinkled throughout at the rate of one every ten minutes (or so it seems). Characters are self-sacrificing and martyred, or unreasonably demanding; and there’s often some sort of love triangle ending with at least one person’s death (usually Dilip Kumar’s character). All this┬ácan make the movie heavy going, but at least the plots tend to be fairly straightforward and easy to follow. And if you know what to expect they always have something fun to offer (like Hindi films in every decade!).

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December 3, 2008

Badal (1951)

badal_premnath_madhubala

badal_robinhood2

Robin Hood meets Hindi cinema! How can that possibly be a bad thing? I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It stars a young and handsome Premnath and the beautiful Madhubala (in fact they began a real-life romance during the filming of this, according to her biographer), and are very nicely supported by Purnima (in my opinion just as lovely as Madhubala) and Agha (so young! and cute! and funny too).

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September 24, 2008

Filmi haiku

Madhubala: the
filmi Marilyn Monroe,
beautiful, tragic…

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