Posts tagged ‘Narendranath’

November 28, 2011

My ten favorite picnic songs

When I was a kid I dreaded the words “Let’s have a picnic!”. Picnics were nothing but an ordeal to get through: weather (the Beiges never let a little cold rain stop us), poison ivy, bugs, indifferent food. My father did not know or care to know how to barbecue so it was always sandwiches, which I could have just as easily eaten indoors where ants weren’t crawling on them.

Little did I dream in those days that halfway across the world beautiful people were picnicking in STYLE—even at night!

read more »

Advertisements
December 9, 2010

Ajooba (1991)

Sometimes I just have to ask myself if I live in a cave or something. Why have I not seen this movie before?! I could have seen it ten times by now! Why am I so late to this party?

But better late than never, especially to a party like this one. Beyond the endless (and largely nonchalent) WTF-ery there is a lot going on, much of it possibly unintended but tremendously engaging nonetheless. Hacking my way through the dense plot I spot references to the legend of King Arthur, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, the Bible, Beastmaster, Alice In Wonderland, William Faulkner and so much more. I revel in Amitabh’s recyled outfit from Shahenshah and Rajasthan’s gorgeous Amber Fort. Best of all, I am led to ponder issues like “What is the lifespan of a dolphin, anyway?” and “What’s the point of having a magic talisman that turns into an elephant if you never use it?”

read more »

November 22, 2010

Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar (1973)

Can a film about a spineless man bullied by his suspicious wife be fun? I admit, I had my doubts. Men complaining about their nagging wives get on my last good nerve. Maybe she’s nagging you because you deserve it! Maybe she was always a nagger and you married her anyway! I don’t have any patience for people (male or female) who claim other people are responsible for their own bad behavior. Khair. I saw this movie long ago in the initial throes of my Helen pyaar and didn’t remember much about it outside of her spectacular song. But my developing fondness for Kiran Kumar, who hit my radar with Jangal Mein Mangal—made by the same team with many of the same actors and a movie I thoroughly enjoyed—decided me on a rewatch.

read more »

October 2, 2010

Sawan Bhadon (1970)

It’s my understanding that this film was a big hit, and responsible for bringing both Rekha and Navin Nischol to the public’s attention. I am not really sure why, since it is fairly run-of-the-mill stuff; but Sonik-Omi’s songs are lots of fun and the second half did take an unexpected twist just as I was about to nod off. What got me through it were the large assortment of wigs (almost everyone wore them—including the hero—although Shyama’s were particularly fascinating), Jayshree T’s mad dancing skills, a lot of Woman Power, and young whippersnapper Ranjeet as Rekha’s slimy brother (Ranjeeeeeeeet!).

read more »

February 10, 2010

Khel Khilari Ka (1977)

Sometimes a film’s music is so fabulous that you don’t even care if the film itself is bad. But when you get a soundtrack like that and a film that is highly entertaining if a *teeny bit* flawed, then life is good! So it is with this one. Kalyanji Anandji have delivered what may be my favorite of all their many awesome soundtracks—every single song, and the background music, is sublime. Toss in Dharmendra, the Indian Luke Perry, a young Shabana Azmi and a very fine Masala Death Trap indeed (operated in part by Helen), and let the fun begin! Just listen to this:

Yeah baby!

read more »

January 21, 2010

Jangal Mein Mangal (1972)

What’s not to love about a film which opens with animated credits like these? Very little! Especially when the credits probably cost more to produce than the entire rest of the film. This is a full-on Mod Seventies Cheesefest. I love cheese, and I love this film. It is loony entertainment at its best: a comedy-horror-mystery-romance dressed up in bellbottoms and vivid polyester, set to lively pop music by Shankar Jaikishan, and populated by a large cast of character actors, comedians and dancers.

Pran has a double role as a misogynistic ex-Army Colonel and as one of the Colonel’s charges Raghu, a campy effeminate type who nonetheless finds romance with one of the girls (when he isn’t busy combing his long hair). The girls are students of botany professor Laxmi (Sonia Sahni), a man-hating martinet, and her assistant Sister Sophia (Meena Roy). As with most Hindi horror genre films, there is a decidedly Christian bent (handy for grave-robbing situations). It was also filmed on location in a place I have visited, the Periyar Reserve in Thekkady, Kerala—very pretty and fun for me to see again.

read more »

December 16, 2009

Professor Pyarelal (1981)

Image and song courtesy of Third Floor Music.

So. For days now I’ve been prancing around singing “Prooooooo-feeeeeeeee-ssor PYARE-lal!” I can’t stop, and it’s seriously beginning to make me want to kill myself. Perhaps I can purge myself of it if I write the film up and share a shortened version of the title song here to move the voodoo along. Sorry—but it’s a last-ditch effort for some peace! Hoo Haa!

On this film’s plus side are that it is an homage to (some might say stolen from) Masalameister Manmohan Desai, and it contains my Beloved Shammi with the Always Utterly Fabulous Nadira by his side, villains Amjad Khan and Jeevan, flanked by an assortment of sideys like Sudhir, Yusuf Khan and Narendranath, Dharmendra (he may be older, but he is in FINE shape), Simi, whom I inexplicably love, and the catchy (sometimes too catchy, see above) tunes by Kalyanji Anandji.

read more »

June 3, 2009

Hira Aur Patthar (1977)

hiraaurpatthar

I struggle a bit with Hindi films that are a commentary on religion and atheism since of course by Hindi Film Law the protagonists all have to end up squarely on the side of religion. I grew up on a mission station, attended church every Sunday for the first 17 years of my life, sang in the church choir, belonged to the youth group, etc., until I left home and could finally choose what to do on Sunday mornings for myself (generally I chose to sleep in). So turning my back on organized religion and embracing atheism was an “informed” choice for me and I doubt that I will ever change my mind. Having said that, one of the things I appreciated about this movie was its open discussion of atheism and morality and how they are not necessarily in conflict. Plus: Shabana Azmi, Shashi Kapoor, Ashok Kumar and Bindu!

read more »

September 2, 2008

Chor Sipahee (1977)

Ahhhh masala. The very very best filmi masala has at the very very least most of these twenty-one ingredients:

  1. Scenery-chewing
  2. Prodigious use of religious symbolism, preferably encompassing at least The Big Three: Hindu/Muslim/Judeo-Christian
  3. Squishy dil™ (ppcc) (aka “Oh! the humanity!”)
  4. Fabulously mod fashions
  5. Outlandish nonsensically fun plots
  6. At least one weeping mother
  7. Brothers/friends on opposite sides of the law
  8. Incredibly pretty hero(es) and heroine(s)
  9. Disguises, preferably which mock some ethnic or cultural group
  10. At least one child lost at a fair, preferably two who are childhood sweethearts
  11. read more »

December 17, 2007

Trivia time #11

It’s been too long since once of these! Can anyone tell me what these three actors have in common (and who they are)?

trivia_11rn.jpg

trivia_11nn.jpg

trivia_11pn.jpg

Okay, I’m giving up on all of you! :-) I thought at least someone would know who the actors at the very top and bottom are…

In order from the top down, they are Rajendranath, Narendranath, and Premnath; and what they have in common is their gene pool. They are brothers, and all three acted in Hindi movies for decades. Premnath began working in the 1940’s as a hero (and even for a while had a relationship with the gorgeous Madhubala); he went on to become a very busy villain, acting into the early 1980’s. Rajendranath was a very popular comedian/sidekick especially in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and continued working into the 1990’s. Narendranath was not as prolific as his older brothers, but found fairly steady work through the 1970’s to the 1990’s.

website statistics