Posts tagged ‘Mithun Chakraborty’

May 30, 2012

Disco Dancer (1982)

From a cinematic tradition overflowing with mama’s boys, by far the biggest to emerge is Disco Dancer‘s Jimmy. He only eats if Maa hand-feeds him, he dances like a girl, he sulks, he sucks his thumb, he lets women poke him in the belly, he is a failure at adult relationships with women (seriously, just ask Rita Oberoi, she’ll tell you), and he can’t go on when his mother dies while saving him from Death By Guitar. This film sends terrible messages to both women and men: you have no value, ladies, except as a downtrodden and self-sacrificing mother, and if you are lucky to have such a mama, men, you should never cut the apron strings. It is no coincidence that the bad people in it (the Oberois) have no mother figure in their household. Oh, and also: you should always carry a grudge. It will keep you going and help you succeed.

So why does this movie’s legend endure? Why does almost everyone who comes into contact with it come away a changed person?

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October 21, 2010

Do Anjaane (1976)

Man insists on marrying Woman, although Woman says plainly and clearly that she doesn’t want to get married, to him or anyone else: she wants to dance and see the world. Then he is shocked—shocked!—when she is unhappy and feels trapped.

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August 9, 2010

Hum Paanch (1980)

(Which shall henceforth be known to me as Hum PUNCH.)

I guess I should begin by talking about the really interesting cast of this film: Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Raj Babbar, Amrish Puri, Mithun Chakraborty, Deepti Naval, Sanjeev Kumar, AK Hangal and Kanhaiyalal. Crazy!! My eyes got wider and wider as the credits rolled by. Halfway into the film I scribbled on my notepad: I love this movie! And I did! It was thought-provoking, interesting, sensitively handled, well-acted and gorgeously photographed on location in Karnataka.

But then it went off the rails, combining revenge masala with religion-mythology in a recipe which I am certain my father would tell my mother to go ahead and throw away. Thoughtful became jingoistic, interesting turned to predictable and cliched, sensitive handling and good acting were tossed out the window in favor of bulging eyeballs and sequinned jumpsuits. What a shame!

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February 22, 2010

Surakksha (1979)

Despite my near-certainty that I should know better, I once again succumbed to the lure of the Mithun-Ravi Nagaich combo. Feeling that I needed something *fun* to do, I watched Gun Master G-9 battle the unnecessarily complicated maneuverings of Evil with equally needlessly elaborate gadgets and code names—all the while still failing to convince me that his lacklustre activities in various nightclubs could really be classified as “dancing.” Ahem.

The beauty of Surakksha lies in the triumph of imagination over economics. I pretty much have to love and respect a filmmaker who spends most of his spy-movie budget on wallpaper and furnishings. This lacks the yellow plastic locusts of its sequel Wardat, sadly, but compensates by making said locusts appear positively high-tech in comparison to what GMG-9 encounters here. And the cinematography, courtesy of director-producer Nagaich in a triple threat, is really interesting. Crazy angles, migraine-inducing lighting…it’s all there. This writeup is even more screenshot-heavy than usual, due to the spectacular visuals which have to be seen to be believed. No real attempt to link plot points together is made: the story consists mostly of random (stolen from Bond) events which serve as an excuse for plenty of action and accessories which are a cracktastic tribute to the Indian spirit of jugaad.

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September 2, 2009

Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki (1984)

kpkwk_mithun

As “THE END” faded to black onscreen, my sister pointed out that we have really been bottom-feeding for our entertainment recently. Crawling through the gutter looking for pleasure, as it were, although I would say that it hasn’t all been that pleasurable (Kambakkht Ishq, Ram Balram). This movie, though, left me with a guilty and somewhat sick sense of satisfaction—somewhat like the feeling I get after consuming an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, for example: “Ugh, why did I do that? Now I hate myself! But it tasted so good while I was eating it!”

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August 20, 2009

Wardat (1981)

wardat

Gun Master G-9! will…claw your eyes out?

Mithun has been sadly underrepresented in my Hindi film experience—I have only seen him in Disco Dancer, Ashanti (meh) and Ganga Jamuna Saraswati (argh, plus he was totally wasted in it). I don’t really “get” the Mithun appeal based on those three films—I keep hearing what a great dancer he is, for instance, but have not seen any evidence to support it. I’ve actually never seen any evidence that there was any choreography at all in Hindi films from the 80s, so perhaps it isn’t really his fault. In any case, I thought perhaps I could watch this and expand my Mithun knowledge a wee bit. I was warned against it, I admit, but I’m tired of looking for Surakksha; Gun Master G-9 is Gun Master G-9 after all, right? How bad can it be?

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May 11, 2009

Gangaa Jamuna Saraswathi (1988)

gjs_miserydriven

I sometimes think of Manmohan Desai’s films as being like a rodeo saddle bronc ride: as they erupt from the gate, the rider (i.e. director) is in control of the horse (i.e. story), and excitement builds until the rider is either tossed off or jumps off after his 8 seconds are up. Either way it ends with an out-of-control animal loose in the arena and the cowboy sprawled in the dust. In Gangaa Jamuna Saraswathi the rider is tossed off about halfway through his 8 seconds. Up to that point, the movie entertains with its twists and turns and stunning visuals; but the second half goes haywire until it tires itself out and limps to its conclusion. Too bad! because it had real potential.

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June 23, 2008

Wait, what?

Was she the mother of an orphan earlier?

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