Posts tagged ‘Manmohan Desai’

September 16, 2008

Sachaa Jhutha (1970)

Manmohan Desai directing, Rajesh Khanna in a double role (for which he won the Filmfare Best Actor award) with beautiful Mumtaz opposite, plus Kumari Naaz (one of my favorite actresses), a co-starring dog, and Vinod Khanna! Believe me when I say I jumped through hoops to get my hands on a working DVD of this movie. Shame on you, Shemaroo! *shakes fist in their general direction* [Begin rant: Why do they not check master DVDs before duping them a million times, why? How hard can it be? End rant.] Thank goodness for BEI.

In any case, I DID jump through hoops because…well, read the first sentence again. Was it worth it? Read on!

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July 5, 2008

Roti (1974)

Oh my. How do I begin to describe this film? It’s very definitely Manmohan Desai’s work. It has all the usual hallmarks of his stories: poverty, heavy-handed symbolism, religious motifs, good versus evil, sin and redemption. There are parts where ideas are presented so powerfully it takes your breath away. But it’s also filled with the ridiculous: mind-boggling coincidences, over-the-top drama, loony comedy and one plot twist after another.

This film felt larger in scale and ambition to me than any of his others. Fate is a hard task-master here, and Rajesh Khanna gives an excellent performance as its victim, driven by his basic needs but haunted by his wrong-doing.

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June 12, 2008

Dharam-Veer (1977)

Against all reason, against all logic, against all standards of film appreciation (not that mine are very high), I loved this movie. The story is a Manmohan Desai fairy tale, replete with separated children, near misses, and absurd coincidences. And best of all, the costumes and sets are a veritable Halloween party!

It’s a costume epic that doesn’t know what costume to wear; a period piece without a period! Dharmendra is dressed as a Roman gladiator, Jeetendra wears a matador outfit, Zeenat lounges in 50’s Hollywood lingerie…the list goes on and on (as do my screen shots). Let’s just get to it, shall we?

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