Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar (1973)

I had no idea what to expect from this movie and i was a bit skeptical as i hardly knew much of the cast but my fears were put aside when i embarked on the the fab ride that is Aaj Ki Taaza khabar (Today's headlines)

Sunil (Kiran kumar) & Geeta (Radha Saluja) are a married couple, when Sunil fails to come home early one night, Geeta becomes increasingly worried and is convinced he's having an affair

Sunil turns up in the morning, telling her he was stuck in a ferris wheel, when Geeta refuses to believe him, he cooks up a lie that he had spent the night with his friend Champak Bhumia

Geeta still not believing his word requests him to give her Champak Bhumia's address, Sunil makes up an address and Geeta sends a telegram requesting the so called Champak Bhumia to come over, she tells Sunil if Champak does indeed come over she would believe he's telling the truth

When Sunil realises Radha actually sent a telegram to a certain Champak Bhumia he becomes worried thinking there might be a probability of a Chamapak Bhumia turning up

Sunil's friend Amit (Asrani) who's just arrived from abroad notices Sunil acting all panicky, Sunil narrates the situation to him telling him how he had met a lovely lady at the fair and how things had started turning quite romantic between them till the ferris wheel got stuck leaving them up in the air over night

Sunil appears bothered wondering that his marriage to Geeta will be over if he finds she's been lying. Amit decides to take upon the role of Champak Bhumia considering Geeta has never met him, thus Amit acts as Champak Bhumia, all is well and Geeta believes Sunil's story him

On a certain day Motiyan (Padma Khanna) who claims to be Champak Bhumia's wife comes to accuse Geeta of infidelity as a result of the telegram Geeta had sent asking Champak Bhumia to come over

Is there really a Champak Bhumia out there or is Motiyan another one of Sunil's inventions to cover up his lie? Will he ever own up to his wife and tell her the truth?

Aaj ki Taaza Khabar is a smart and cleverly scripted comedy drama about the importance of trust in relationships, as seen through Sunil & Geeta's relationship, you just might be scared of lying to your partner after watching this, honesty really is the best policy.

Aaj ki taaza khabar has one of the most insane, twisted and mind bogging playfully suspense endings ever, if you've watched Johnny mera Naam (1970) you'll know what i'm driving at. The message of a Woman's suspicious nature forcing a man to lie, which the film tries to advocate didn't sit right with me as Sunil did have some suspicious behaviour, and would have probably cheated with the woman he met on the ride had it not been that the ferris wheel got stuck. All in all an enjoyable and well scripted movie even if a tad bit slow in places, watch it if you want a break from all the crazy masala films of the 70's

Of course the film owes its charm to the performances of its stars, Asrani was awarded the filmfare best comedian for his role

Kiran Kumar was fresh faced and cute, i had no idea he did meatier roles, i was used to seeing him as a villain or as a corrupt cop in most of his 80's stuff.

Radha Saluja was lovely too

so was Manju Asrani gotta love the print on her sari

Good music from Shankar Jaikishen there's the hilarious 'Muje meri biwi se bachao' and 'ye mard bade bedardi' and a rather funky item number by mehmood 'Raat hai baat hai' My favourites are 'Khilti hua shabab' with the super fab Helen in some tropical & art deco style outfits

Aaj Ki Thaza Khabar - Khilta Hua Shabab
Uploaded by kandigee. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

and the exuberant 'Happy Birthday to Pinky'

Paisa Vasool Rating: 7/10

Edited to add: The 2008 release Golmaal Returns was based on this film

Monday, 22 February 2010

Sanjog (1971)

Apologies for my sudden absence from the blogosphere, i had so much on my hands that i was feeling a bit too overwhelmed to blog, i'm skeptical about doing specials from now on as whenever i plan them, something always comes up that stops me from keeping to my said objectives. Anyway i'm on fine form now and this is the last of the films in my Mala Sinha Fan Club special, just as well its a 70's one keeping with the 70's week going on around the blogosphere

On the day of her appointment as the Chief Collector of an organisation as Asha (Mala Sinha) the new boss in charge is being introduced to her new staff she meets Mohan a man with whom she once her shared life with

In a series of flashbacks, it turns out Asha & Mohan were lovers at college, they marry without the consent of Mohan's parents who break the marriage up after sending Mohan away to study due to Asha's lower class background

Her father Madan Puri is determined to giver her a new life by getting her married again to an eligible bachelor only for him to realise she's pregnant. He promises to make his daughter highly educated and get back at Mohan's family who had looked down upon their status

Mohan tells Asha his own side of the story on how his parents had told him she's dead and upon going to her family house he found new tenants living there,his mum then fixes his marriage to another woman Seema (Aruna Irani)

Asha makes him aware of his son and their constant conversations and meeting get the busy bodies at work headed by Johnny Walker suspicious of a possible affair between the boss and Mohan

His reunion with Asha whom he had long thought dead as well as his discovery of a son he had no idea exists makes Mohan overwhelmed and its not long before he begins feeling depressed. (He thinks now that Asha is his boss that she'll be out for revenge, Asha on the other hand still loves him and is attempting to resolve her heartbreak)

Seema his wife gets suspicious of his depressed countenance daily after returning from work, she goes in to his work place and talks to Asha to lessen Mohan's workload, Seema thinks this is the problem but Mohan & Asha keep stories of their past between themselves only

The gossip mongers at work add even more fire to the situation by ringing Seema and telling her of an affair between Asha & Mohan

Thus Seema becomes insecure and distrustful of both Asha & Mohan, things also take a turn for Mohan at work when a very important file in his custody goes missing

Past tensions/hurts in their relationships resurfaces when Mohan goes to explain the case of the missing file. Asha herself seems confused, on the one hand she acts formal and professional as his boss in the company of the other workers but when they're alone she's emotional and quite subservient to him

How will the tensions in their relationship be resolved? Will Seema ever learn the real truth behind Asha & Mohan's relationship?

Overall an enyoyable and a very watchable film, the ending ruined things when it descended into chaotic melodrama mode of someone having to get the man and the other person being killed off just to make things easier, why couldn't script writers find a way to deal with a man with two lovers rather than killing one off all the time, i've come across this trope in many bollywood films

Other things that I loved about Sanjog were the performances, everyone is on fine form here but i especially loved Mala in her act as the boss, so much grace, charisma and Ohh what a presence,

it was refreshing to see a woman command male attention/respect for her brains and skills rather than for revealing skin

I don't think i would ever understand why Aruna never made it as a major heroine she could act, sing and dance and had it all but still for some reason she was always relegated to the side, here she shines and one wonders what she must have been capable of as a leading lady

Good Soundtrack from R.D. Burman, there's the cool qawalli with Johnny Walker in 'kissi kar gul ki' a romantic number 'Roop yeh tera' a confrontational song 'mann mandir mein preet' and a fun musical chairs song with Johnny walker 'Ek do teen char'

Paisa Vasool rating: 5/10