Posts tagged ‘Nazir Hussain’

February 29, 2016

Alibaba (1977)

alibaba1977Even with subtitles, I probably would have fast-forwarded through vast stretches of this film; without them I spent much of my time bewildered by the plot and bored by its meandering. I might not have bothered to write it up either except for there’s an absolute dearth of material about it out there, and it does have some very redeeming qualities. It seems to have had a decent budget: there are a lot of well-known character and comic actors; the costumes and sets are lush and colorful; Helen and Laxmi Chhaya each have dances. I suspect though I can’t confirm that none of the money lavished on it went to a script writer, however. Mohammed Hussain is a director whose name I am always happy to see in the credits, but he might have been rather worn out or bored himself by the time this was made. It lacks his trademark lunacy, and that craziness is sorely missed.

Khair. Enough quibbling, let’s talk about the good stuff. 

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July 20, 2012

Fiffty Fiffty (sic) (1981)

This is maybe not the post I should choose to write in memory of Rajesh Khanna, but it happened to already be under construction and he was so charming in the film…so why not? One shouldn’t defy kismat.

I loved this lunatic movie. It cannot by any stretch be called either well-written or even wildly original, but it is solidly entertaining if you like this sort of thing (illogical melodrama) which I do. Infants are switched at birth for nefarious purposes and spirited away for good ones; one of the villains is a bitter hunchback; we have con artists conning each other, a mute illiterate downtrodden mother trying to communicate a terrible secret (and failing) for years and years and years, divine intervention at moments of sheer despair, and the Rainbow Splendor of Disco—a mishmash that makes this one hard to forget. Laxmikant Pyarelal’s music is good fun, and I love the cast, too: even the completely age-inappropriate Rajesh Khanna-Tina Munim pairing works, maybe because Tina’s character is so worldly-wise that she doesn’t seem young. Plus Rajesh seems to be enjoying himself thoroughly, as he should, and is very handsome indeed.

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April 1, 2010

Ankhen (1968)

First, let me give you a brief history of the Memsaab’s relationship with this movie: “Ooh! Piece of candy! Ooh! Piece of candy! Ooh! Piece of candy!” I own about five copies of it—it has always struck me as a movie I really HAVE to see, but somehow I always manage to forget that I already have it, and I’ve seen it too. I start watching my new copy, and I’m all like: “Oh, this film again.” And I shelve it right next to all my other Ankhen dvds. This is my typically verbose way of saying that it is neither a cracktastically great film nor a terrible film, but one that seems like it ought to be one or the other. Instead it is a competently made spy film with fantastic songs (Ravi) and some eye-popping fashions but little else apparently for my memory cells at least to latch onto.

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October 16, 2009

Mohabbat Zindagi Hai (1966)

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Garam Dharam in shorts! Mehmood in a loin cloth (and a skimpy one at that)! A feisty heroine who doesn’t want to get married! What’s not to love? (Okay, besides for Mehmood in a skimpy loin cloth. Nobody needs to see that.)

This is “Taming of the Shrew” with retro charm, pretty people, and lovely songs by OP Nayyar. I liked it especially for the heroine who sticks up for herself, although of course societal norms win at the end: all girls really want to get married, even if they don’t know it. What else is there for them? But she puts up a good fight, and the chemistry between Rajshree and Dharmendra is sweet if not crackling. Able support from a host of reliable character actors, and a gang of college students twisting away just add to the fun.

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November 29, 2008

Jeevan Jyoti (1952)

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Shammi, Shammi, Shammi…*shaking head in dismay*…why? why? There is a genre in Hindi cinema which I have privately dubbed the Red Mist Movie, because watching one causes a red mist of fury to rise in front of my eyes (which fortunately obscures the film itself). These films are pretty much the only Hindi movies that I simply can’t sit through. Once I reach the Red Mist point, I’m done. I am sad to report—indeed, it pains me a lot to say it—Shammi has been in one such film, and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is it.

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June 6, 2008

Kati Patang (1970)

I do so love to drag out Hindi films that I watched early on in my obsession with them. Just this week over at The Post-Punk Cinema Club, I learned from Bollyviewer that:

“[Sharmilee] was actually based on a novel by Gulshan Nanda who was a sort of Hindi equivalent of Danielle Steele and Harlequin romances in 60’s and 70’s.”

When I looked up Gulshan Nanda on imdb, I discovered that he was responsible for the stories and screenplays of some of my favorite films, including Jugnu, Jheel Ke Us Paar, Ajanabee, Joshila and Kati Patang. I always was a sucker for Harlequins (how embarrassing). Anyway, it seemed like a good reason to revisit this, so here we go!

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