Posts tagged ‘Shubha Khote’

November 23, 2009

Khoon Bhari Maang (1988)

And of tortuous eye-searing aesthetics! It also defies convention in its lack of a “hero”: all this film needs is Rekha. What a presence she has indeed!

By any standards (even mine) it cannot be called a good film. But I was never tempted to stop watching. I only ever even paused, in fact, long enough to refill my wine glass. How Bollywood manages to consistently churn out things which are dreadful but riveting is a mystery to me. Gemma liked this one too, because the cast included two highly intelligent animals: Raja the horse, and Jumbo the dog. She barked at both of them gleefully, no doubt in encouragement for their perspicacity and valiant attempts to combat evil.

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September 9, 2009

Ziddi (1964)

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In the wake of my post espousing the awesomeness that is Asha P, several people recommended that I watch this. And indeed, I’m glad they did: Asha is at her feisty, gun-totin’ best. And the songs—my God, the songs! They are made of beautiful, all of them, and the film is worth watching just for them alone.

My quibble with the movie is that things slow to a crawl in the middle as the combative courtship between Asha and Joy Mukherjee drags on—and it turns them into cruel and thoughtless people, too. The last half hour picks up again, luckily, but the middle hour or so really could have used some editing (and an animal activist or two). The Comic Side Plot is also far too intrusive: Mehmood again, given lots of screen time to compensate for his hefty compensation, I guess. A little of him goes a long way (and a lot of him can bring the main plot to a halt) especially when it’s the same exact CSP every time.

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July 18, 2009

More made of awesome…

I’m slowly working my way through these magazines. This is the April 1958 issue.

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July 12, 2009

Tumse Achha Kaun Hai (1969)

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At a run time of almost three hours, this film is about two hours too long. This can be blamed on two things: Mehmood, and the fact that it’s crammed with every melodramatic cliche in Hindi film history. In point of fact, Mehmood should be credited as the main star of the film, with Shammi as his co-star and sidekick. Not only is entirely too much time spent on the irritating—and predictable—CSP (Shubha Khote as Mehmood’s love interest, with of course Dhumal as her father and the rather startling spectacle of Leela Mishra in a brown wig as her mother), but he figures in the main plot far more than Shammi does too. His character reminds me of the animals in Manmohan Desai films; he is smarter than all the humans combined, and loyal and true to a fault—and he is everywhere.¬†Additionally, we are treated to all these various plot points: communal harmony, the bhai-bahen rishtaa, the rape-suicide trope, blindness, bad¬†western-influenced girls turned into good sari-clad ones, bromantic pyare-dost, the saving of an atheist’s soul, and much, much more!

Why would anyone sit through this even once, you ask—let alone several times? Shammi, my friends, Shammi. Plus the initial sparkle of a rifle-wielding and stylish Babita, the joy of Lalita Pawar as identical twins, and Shankar-Jaikishan’s songs, which are lots of fun.

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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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December 31, 2007

Sanjh Aur Savera (1964)

A weepy melodrama starring Meena Kumari at her sacrificial-lamb finest, somehow made bearable by the presence of Guru Dutt and director Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s light touch with what could be (okay, IS) very heavy going.

Here’s our first look at Gauri (Meena Kumari), accompanied by the plaintive wailing of violins:

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I steel myself for a soap opera where duty, honor and tradition mean that everybody suffers, especially Gauri.

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October 6, 2007

Dil Tera Deewana (1962)

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I had three “new” Shammi Kapoor movies to watch this week.

Happy happy joy joy!

This film was made as he was reaching the height of his fame, and it is a delicious Shammi-fest indeed. Beyond his numerous charms, the movie is also blessed with a good story (although there is an inexplicable plot development involving a second Mehmood towards the end which I mostly fast-forwarded through), wonderful songs by Shankar-Jaikishan, fantastic(al) sets and solid performances from all involved.

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