Posts tagged ‘Mukri’

June 15, 2009

Bhai Bahen (1969)

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With all due respect to the film’s title, it is the mother and father of all Hindi family melodramas. A tangled epic of misplaced loyalties and self-sacrifice, it still has something which lifts it above regulation fare, at least for me. There is a slightly more complex plot—actually there is just a lot of plot; the film goes on forever (as does my post: you’ve been warned!). Also it doesn’t descend into the truly histrionic until about an hour or so in; up until then it’s an interesting story. It’s also blessed with some very good performances—Padmini as a proud street dancer and Ashok Kumar as a wealthy patriarch torn between his conscience and his pride are the standouts. The songs by Shankar Jaikishan are nice, and a Helen dance plus Pran’s usual slimy villainy don’t hurt either.

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May 18, 2009

Bombay To Goa (1972)

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Finally (thanks to Beth!) I got around to watching this Mehmood production, and I’m so glad I did. I seem to be on a roll of “not much plot but plenty of other stuff to entertain” types of films! I am sure I missed a lot of the regional humor, although some of it was so broad I couldn’t miss it—the south Indian family, for instance. Parts of it did drag on a little too long (the whole film was one big long Comic Side Plot, after all), but it was so much fun picking out guest actors and marvelling at Amitabh’s shirts that altogether I was highly entertained. Some of the subtitles were hilarious too—sometimes even because the actual dialogue was hilarious. Although Aruna Irani and Amitabh Bachchan were nominally the hero-heroine, it was a Mehmood & Friends vehicle all the way (no pun intended)!

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March 17, 2009

Char Dervesh (1964)

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When a film’s credits list Homi Wadia as director and producer; JBH Wadia as screenplay writer; John Cawas (Nadia’s frequent co-star) as assistant director; Babubhai Mistry as art director; and a cast which includes Feroz Khan, Kumari Naaz, and Dog Romer—I am guaranteed to love it. When Todd reviewed it over at D4k I felt actual despair at not having it myself. Luckily I have since fixed that, and this weekend was able to wallow in the sumptuous, colorful, cracktastic goodness that is Char Dervesh.

Feroz looks like he is about 18 years old, and he is faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles: a two-headed monster, a lecherous sorcerer, greedy brothers and a lazy genie (with full support from the Genie’s Union), among others. He is aided by the love of two beautiful princesses, a diminutive sidekick and his clever canine in a rollicking, humorous Arabian Nights tale with really lovely songs by GS Kohli throughout.

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February 20, 2009

Shabnam (1964)

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Every other frame of this film contained some element of which I said: “I want that!” like a small spoiled child.

It’s an Arabian Nights-meets-Zorro fantasy complete with lush sets, fabulous costumes and beautiful horses, but the highlights are the fantastic songs by Usha Khanna (who also has a beautiful singing voice). The only real drawback is the leading man: Mehmood’s antics grow quickly tiresome. He is actually good as the serious Zingaro, and occasionally very amusing as Zingaro’s effeminate alter ego—I just wish he’d been allowed (or required) to tone his act down a bit. Helen has a good role as the brains behind the villain (Jeevan), and the other cast members all acquit themselves well. The story is credible and absorbing; altogether, this movie is a lot of fun.

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December 20, 2008

Apradh (1972)

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So much fun and stylish goodness packed into one movie, it is beyond belief. Mumtaz is gorgeous, Feroz very manly in his hirsute way (and their chemistry sparkles). It’s really more like two films for the price of one. The first half takes place in glamorous Europe and revolves around a jewel theft, with some pretty scary-insane bad guys and some gloriously kitschy sets and costumes.

In the second half our hero and heroine return to India where the hero’s crime-lord brother awaits. Prem Chopra has an opportunity to do more than spit out one-liners through his clenched jaw, with a more nuanced role than he usually gets; and it contains one of the best nightclubs in Hindi cinema (my screencaps are out of control) complete with one of my favorite Helen songs of all time. In fact, all of Kalyanji Anandji’s songs are great. There’s plenty in general to entertain, and it’s clear that producer-director-star Feroz Khan spared no expense or imagination! (Also see Shweta’s review for her take on it—and more screen cap delights!)

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December 15, 2008

Izzat (1968)

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I watched this film in the hopes of seeing some Dharmendra-Tanuja magic, but sadly Tanuja didn’t have much to do. However, Dharmendra had a double role, so: two of him! Never a bad thing, although it didn’t much help the movie, which was cliched and ham-fisted to begin with and descended into over-acting and melodrama by the end. The basic theme has to do with class division; Dharmendra plays both the legitimate and the illegitimate sons of a Thakur who has an extramarital affair with a tribal girl.

The only difference in appearance between the two sons is somewhat hilariously (but increasingly tiresomely) delineated by their skin color, the legitimate son naturally being fair and his lower caste half-brother dark. For some reason, Dharmendra gets darker and darker as the film goes on too, so that by the end he looks like he has been roasted on a spit.

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October 24, 2008

Pyar Ki Kahani (1971)

I really need to see more Tanuja. I like her in everything I see her in (Jewel Thief, Do Chor, Haathi Mere Saathi, for example) even if I haven’t particularly liked the movie much (Mere Jeevan Saathi, for example). It holds true for this film too: Tanuja is lovely and fun to watch. Despite a lively soundtrack from RD Burman and Amitabh’s lambi presence, the film really only lit up when she was onscreen. The story is ho-hum, and there’s all the usual overacting and melodrama, but she makes it watchable somehow.

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October 6, 2008

Coolie (1983)

Somewhere on the world wide web it says: “Coolie was the biggest grocer of 1983!” Heh heh. That is probably due to the fact that its star Amitabh Bachchan was seriously injured on the sets and almost died—everyone knows that story by now. Many people write the film off now as the same old hackneyed Manmohan Desai story with an aging Big B who was no longer hero material, but I really liked it. Sure, it has now-familiar Desai themes, and it is predictable. Predictably good!!!

Plus, this film is a little less crazed than some of his others. It sticks mostly with the main story, weaving in the side plots more neatly than usual. It’s also a bit lighter on the religious symbolism (most of the characters are Muslim, and secularism is waved at only in passing) and on the usual heavy-handed preaching and long-winded speeches.

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