Posts tagged ‘Shashikala’

June 19, 2009

So much of gorgeousness

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The best thing about the Filmindia magazines are these color pages (two in each).

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June 5, 2009

Vintage photo fun

Shashikala is one of my favorite actresses. And how much do I love the verbiage on this page:

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I’m not sure I would appreciate being called an “incubator bred chicken,” gorgeous or not!

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March 20, 2009

Waqt (1965)

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Beth and I rewatched this the other night in honor of her Shashi Week 2009 (everyone should have his or her own week, I think, at least once a year). To be honest, Beth rewatched it; I thought I had seen it before, but if so all memory of it had been crowded out by something else—Dara Singh trivia┬ámaybe, who knows? I can’t see how I wouldn’t remember it though. It’s a really really good movie.

To use Beth’s turn of phrase, it is completely proto-masala in that it has a family separated by circumstance and all the attendant near-misses, filmi irony, etc. along with fabulous sixties (and occasionally fifties) style.┬áThe screenplay choreographs the events as smoothly as the film’s title would imply; and what a cast! Balraj Sahni, Achala Sachdev, Raaj Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore, Sadhana, Shashikala, Madan Puri. Wah! At least I retained memory of the songs, since they are composed by one of my favorite (underrated) music directors, Ravi, with lyrics by Sahir; they are just gorgeous.

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March 7, 2009

Jawan Mohabbat (1971)

jm_dvdWhenever a “new” old Shammi film finally appears (with subtitles) on DVD there is much joy and celebration in the Memsaab household, tail-wagging (Gemma) and jumping up and down (me) and so on. If Asha Parekh is his co-star along with Pran, the celebration is even more prolonged. Sadly, there is no Helen; and despite her looming presence on the DVD cover (and in the cast list) no Mumtaz either, but these are minor issues in the face of heretofore unseen Shammi. Shammi, Shammi, Shammi!

And happily, the first half of this film is quintessential early sixties Shammi-style frothy fun, as he bombards a reluctant and feisty Asha with his mischievous charm and romantic songs. But then everything turns suddenly dark, with death and blackmail looming large, and levels of gloom, self-pity and self-sacrifice rarely seen even by the most devoted Hindi cinema fan (me again). If you don’t mind a little movie multiple personality disorder, then you can probably tolerate it. If you prefer a logical narrative without completely over-the-top dramatics…then you probably aren’t reading this anyway.

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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 27, 2008

Junglee (1961)

This is the movie that propelled me into helpless and undying Shammi infatuation. I did go willingly! It’s a lovely romantic story set largely in the beauty of Kashmir, with songs to match by Shankar Jaikishan (including the completely fabulous Helen number “Suku Suku”). Shammi is so engaging as a stern, unhappy man who is transformed by love. He is very ably supported by Lalita Pawar, Shashikala, Anoop Kumar and others—and Saira Banu in her debut film.

Warning: this is a long post with many screen shots, because I can’t talk enough about this film (and I can’t seem to stop taking Shammi screen caps)!

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April 25, 2008

Dharmputra (1961)

Yash Chopra’s second directorial effort, this film is lauded as a classic, and deservedly so. Set in the years prior to Independence and Partition, it addresses issues like religion, nationalism, prejudice—all topics that are still relevant today, of course! It has a wonderful cast, including Shashi Kapoor in his first adult role (as an insufferable, pompous bigot). The music by N Dutta is very good too, with words (thankfully subtitled) by the great lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi.

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April 23, 2008

Phool Aur Patthar (1966)

I’m on a Dharmendra or dog co-star kick this week apparently. This movie has both!

It’s oodles of good masala fun, despite the unfortunate presence of a weepy and sanctimonious Meena Kumari. I know she and Dharmendra carried on a real-life affair for awhile, but it’s a thanda jodi onscreen for sure. She was really beautiful and fun in the 50’s; I don’t know how she became so maudlin in the 60’s. However!!! The film is saved by the presence of numerous character actors in all their glory (and occasionally in drag), beautiful songs by Ravi and the aforementioned Dharmendra and Famous Dog Bhairon. Fun for everyone!

I’ve decided that another reason I love Hindi movies is because all the people in them show up over and over for decades and become like family.

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