Posts tagged ‘Praveen Paul’

November 6, 2011

Naughty Boy (1962)

Kishore Kumar is one of those actors (Mehmood being another) who either makes me laugh out loud or completely irritates me. The script, direction and supporting characters make the difference usually, and I think that’s the case (and by “case” I mean problem) here too. Even though Shakti Samanta directed, after about the first hour I was fast-forwarding through more than I watched—not only is the frantic slapstick not funny, but the Curse of the Second Half derails what little entertainment there is. The story manages an interesting turn in the middle but then resolves itself in the stupidest manner possible. Plus the supporting cast are grating—even Madan Puri as a buffoonish bad guy just isn’t funny. In fact Edwina, who watched some of it with me and appears in two songs, asked me how on earth I can sit through such stuff.

She seems quite amazed at my tolerance for total crap, but I’m sure it comes as no surprise to any of you who come here regularly.

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April 2, 2011

Pagla Kahin Ka (1970)

Now available with subtitles thanks to Tom and Raja!

Sometimes (well, quite often really, due to my suspect tastes) I see a film which wasn’t a hit and I say WHY, UNIVERSE, WHY? Despite the magical combination of Shammi Kapoor in his prime with Shakti Samanta directing, backup from Helen and Asha Parekh, lovely songs (Shankar Jaikishan) and an emotionally compelling and unusual plot, this movie apparently bombed at the box office and has not—until now!—even been put on a dvd with subtitles. (If you would rather just get to the download and not have to read my drivel, scroll all the way down to the end.)

It is not perfect but I found it deeply engaging and sensitive: it is largely about loss, and I think it is one of Shammi’s best performances.

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August 14, 2010

Raja Rani (1973)

This is one of my favorite Rajesh Khanna films: his character Raja and his chemistry with Sharmila’s Rani is beyond sweet. My friend and Rajesh expert Suhan points out that it’s possibly the only film they made where they actually get to spend time together being young and in love instead of being painfully separated and only reunited in old age! RD Burman’s music is lovely, the performances are strong (with some fun guest appearances); the story is interesting and nicely paced with lots of humor, and the characters beautifully etched. If you are in the mood for some sweet romance and stylish seventies fun, this is a well-made and non-taxing movie to settle in with.

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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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June 25, 2009

Faulad (1963)

faulad_amibad

When a filmmaker has limited means and can thus only make a movie that’s

faulad_partlycolor

don’t you think he or she should choose the color portions wisely? Alas, this is never the case. In Faulad for example, most of the action takes place in fabulously ornate palaces and havelis and on a pirate ship, and it’s all black and white. At the end, when all the action is taking place in a boring, dingy dungeon—it’s in color! I don’t need to see a gray stone dungeon in color!

Nevertheless, Faulad is a lot of fun. It’s hard to go wrong when Mohammed Hussain is directing (and Dara Singh, Mumtaz and Minoo Mumtaz are starring in) a film with swashbuckling Arabian Nights championship wrestling action and gorgeous songs (by the criminally ignored GS Kohli)!

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March 4, 2009

Mere Mehboob (1963)

mere_mehboob

This is one of the most romantic films I’ve ever seen, with absolutely sublime music by Naushad. It’s a Muslim social drama set in Lucknow, with all the attendant grace and beauty you would expect. Elaborate sets and costumes are de rigueur! Love blooms for Sadhana and Rajendra Kumar, and there is also a lovely romance between the so handsome Ashok Kumar and pretty Nimmi. Obstacles and misunderstandings abound, seasoned with (mostly) funny-man Johnny Walker’s antics, and made compelling by the people and relationships you can’t help but root for—this is my favorite kind of movie. Even the fairly poor condition of the color print only adds to the old-fashioned and elegant ambiance of it all.

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January 25, 2009

Bhai Ho To Aisa (1972)

bhta

Manmohan Desai! How I adore you. And this sort-of-medieval swashbuckler with snake gods, sword-fights, dacoit Ranjeet, Bela Bose as a greedy courtesan, and Jeetendra and Shatrughan Sinha as brothers on opposite sides of that pesky line between good and evil has not changed my mind one little bit. The setting is gorgeous too, as the movie was shot on location at the spectactular Laxmi Vilas Palace belonging to the Maharajah of Baroda. It’s much less loony than the film it vaguely reminded me of (Dharam-Veer); I guess, my dear Manmohan, you hadn’t quite reached your full masala stride yet. Still, it’s an entertainer in your trademark style, with lots of action and well-drawn characters.

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November 8, 2008

Rustom-E-Hind (1965)

rustomehind

I have to admit that I didn’t expect much from this movie, although I wanted to see it for Helen, Laxmi Chhaya and Madhumati dancing, and Mumtaz as the heroine opposite Dara Singh. Also: KN Singh! and lots of men in tights (as per usual for a Dara Singh starrer). However, it turned out to be an excellent fairy tale of a film, with a coherent plot, a truly detestable villain, and even a semi-bearable comic side plot thanks to Mohan Choti and Tun Tun. The dances did not disappoint either; the music by Hansraj Behl is lovely and Laxmi Chhaya’s number in particular is now one of my all-time favorites.

Oodles of fun!

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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 7, 2008

Maha Badmaash (1977) Part 2

We catch up with our hero as he checks into the Hotel Hilton. He is shadowed by a girl in green hot pants and floral go-go boots.

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