Sunday, 31 October 2010

Ghungroo ki Awaaz (1981)

Here I am just right before the end of this month for what would be my last post for Rekhatober, I had prepared so much for Rekhatober but time would not allow, however the many Rekha movies I've watched are not wasted, and i shall be reviewing them randomly in the following months, also Rekha's induction into the bollywood fashion icon hall of fame shall happen at a later date next month. Seeing as today's Halloween i thought i'd round up Rekhatober with this Ramsay Brother chill fest or is it???

Its love at first sight when wealthy Ranjit (Vijay Anand) sets eyes on kajal (Rekha). Kajal however turns out to be a courtesan who's sick of her life in the Kotha (brothel), Ranjit buys her out of there and she comes to live with him

His uncle Jasbir Singh (Shreeram Lagoo) doesn't take too kindly to kajal as she's considered a taint to their family honour

She receives a letter from one of her former lovers Shakal (Dheeraj Kumar)which Ranjit's uncle reads and then alerts Ranjit about. His uncle comes up with a plan to set her up, he decides that if she does indeed meet up with her old lover, then she's a fallen woman and would be kicked out, on the other hand if she doesn't she'll be received into the family as a honourable woman

Thus Ranjit pretends to go a trip in order to catch Kajal red handed. Kajal falls for the trap as she does indeed go out to meet her lover Shakal (Dheeraj Kumar), but her intentions had been to poison him to stop him from coming back to her ever

Ranjit catches Kajal flirting with Shakal and in a state of fury he shoots them both

He and his uncle cover up the murders by setting the mansion on fire. Kajal's ghost soon starts haunting him relentlessly
if Ghosts looked like this, then i wouldn't mind being haunted by one

While on a trip to Bombay to getaway from it all, he meets a doppelgänger of Kajal called Kiran, she becomes his nurse and he falls in love with her too
So cute na, just look at him feeling very pleased with himself

But Kajal won't let him rest and keeps appearing to him and begins making threats to kill Kiran since he has stolen her happiness, in other words if she couldn't live with Ranjit neither will Kiran

Who is this doppelganger and why does she look so much like Kajal? Will Kajal succeed in her mission to kill?

Oh plus the cops are now on Ranjit's back over the murder that took place in his mansion

Ghungroo ki awaaz (The sound of the anklets) is not a great film by any means and those who are expecting the usual Ramsay brothers horror fest better look away as this film isn't their usual blood fest since Vijay Anand who starred in this was the producer himself, all that Ramsay brother gore had to be cleaned out. Indeed one might ask why he casts himself in this, i can only guess he was besotted with Rekha and wanted to share Screen space, just look at him in the pictures below

With that said I enjoyed the film despite its bad screen play, editing and so many other faults like this imdb reviewer lists here. For me Rekha and her ravishing beauty and the drama she brings to the role, gave me my money's worth. Overall Ghungroo ki awaaz (The sound of the anklets) is quite a watchable and a little enjoyable suspense melodrama ridden with plotholes, i wish it had been more chilling and a bit more daring but overall not a bad watch especially for Rekha lovers and for R.d. Burman's music. And oh, watching Vijay Anand scream like a little girl at the sight of Rekha's ghost added much to my enjoyment ;-)

For all Rekha lover's out there, feed your eyes
Ah how cute is the charlie's bag

Other Eye Candy
Padma Khanna had a small role

Tyhe other reason i'll forever remeber this film are R.D. Burman's songs on here, they're all winners from the fantastic 'ankhiyon ka kajra', the beautiful 'pagla pagla' & 'jo bhi tune dekha' i could go on and on but the two I've chosen to embed are the beautifully haunting 'rote rote naina' - i loved the lyrics to this so much and i wish i was able to upload them with english subtitles but the dvd kept playing up

and the other the wonderful Kishore Kumar number 'o mere humraaz (tere ghunghroo ki awaaz)'

Paisa Vasool rating: 5/10 (worth it especially because of R.D. Burman's music)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Agreement (1980)

The first film in line for Rekhatober is Agreement, i had high hopes for this film but it somehow left me disappointed but since its a Rekha film i don't regret watching it although it could have been a lot more better

Mala (Rekha) returns back to India after studying business management in Germany to run her father's company

Mala is a hardworking and driven woman who's determined to keep her father's empire at the top, she also has modern attitudes like her belief that women should not treat men like Gods (now if you watch your bollywood, we all know her modern attitudes came as a result of living in Germany for years)
vah!vah! I really loved her rather butch style of dressing in this

When her Uncle Mr Mathur (Utpal Dutt) brings up the idea of Marriage to Mala, she proposes top do it her way by marrying a man who'll do all the things a traditional Indian wife usually does, her uncle assures her she won't find such a man in India but Mala insists she will and thus places an advert in the papers about her search for a domesticated husband
you tell him Girl

Fearing a man who's out to drain Mala of her riches will be chosen, her Uncle Mr Mathur outsmarts her and chooses Shekhar (Shailendra Singh) a struggling graduate for her

Shekhar auditions like hundreds of others to become Mala's domesticated husband but Mala is taken aback by his enthusiasm to become the domesticated husband that she chooses him

He agrees to Mala's contract, which reads like these Mala draws a clause of what her marriage partner must adhere to, they're are as follows and can only be terminated after a full year has passed
i love how she even wears a trouser suit to her wedding Atta girl!!

1. the marriage between her Shekhar is a fake marriage set up merely to deceive others

2. No Intimacy

3. The man must be devoted to his wife and do everything for her

4. He must entertain her guests

5. he must gain her permission if her requires to work outside

6. He would receive an allowance of Rs1,000 and 12 hours a week off

7. If he breaks any of the above, she can send him packing without notice

Shekhar agrees to the conditions, and soon finds Mala's ways unbearable

its not long before outsiders (Bindu & Sujit Kumar) start noticing how set up their marriage appears to be

Will Shekhar hang on or will he quit? Will Mala's secret be exposed to all? Will she end up falling in love with Shekhar?

Now if you know your hindi films very well, you should very well know how all this would end, Mala ends up being the very model of womanhood she hated, at the beginning of the film and mostly through the first half Mala sports a short hairdo and wears western clothes by the end of it, she's become a Bharitya Naari (ideal Indian womanhood)
(i couldn't help but think of bollyviewer's Bharitya Naari list, it would have done her a lot of Good to read it, or wait maybe she did)

I was disappointed with this film, as it ended up being sexist, and if you're a feminist, you might want to avoid this film, as it would annoy the hell out of you. Given the premise of the story i was expecting the movie to be given a comedic touch but the whole thing just ended up being a cliche and very manipulative to make Mala realise the error of her ways and become the exact kind of Indian womanhood which she had so much being against.

Acting wise everyone is ok but i found Utpal Dutt's smug uncle act, which he played convincingly well very unbearable

Shailendra Singh was a notable playback singer at the time played the role of Shekhar, he wasn't too bad as an actor but good thing he stuck to his playback singing

Now talking of my Diva Rekha i loved her in this film especially in the first half before she caught the love bug and became a Bharitya Naari, i have to say she rocked the hell out of that wig , it suited her to a T and such a gorgeous face too

The only good thing about this film i have to say are the songs by Bappi Lahiri, highlights are 'Suno baat pateki' 'apne pyar diya' my favourites are Jeena ye koi' a male version by Shailendra Singh and 'jaane kyun mujhe' a female Lata version which i've embedded below with English subtitles

Paisa Vasool rating~: 4/10 (Extra Points for the sake of Bappi's good music)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Bollywood Divas I love: Rekha

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> HERE'S TO YOU REKHA-jI
OK so i realise I'm a bit late to the party that is Rekhatober that is going on around some blogs at the moment, but better late than never and i hope i'll pull out all the stops for one of my all time favourite bollywood diva's REKHA (RARE -CAR)

Versatilty is the first thing that comes to mind when i think of Rekha, no other Hindi film actress has reinvented themselves as much as Rekha, no other actress has played with their image and done a wide variety of roles like REKHA, from her courtesan act in Umrao Jaan to the hot Villain cougar in Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi, the decisive avenger in Khoon bhari Maang, to the rape victim in Ghar, the adulteress in Silsila. Rekha has played a wide variety of roles and one would find it hard to pigeon hole Rekha.

Rekha is also the consummate bollywood glamour queen, and diva of course, i can never have an ultimate best song or best film or best actress as i find the idea of picking one thing as your all time favourite very limiting, but if push comes to shove and i have to pick a top ten list of my favourite actresses, Rekha would be somewhere amongst the top.

In Hindi films since women usually don't get much to do i look for my bollywood diva's to bring me these three things

1. Drama - I love an actreess who can emote, , either beautifully or over the top, just be able to deliver dramatic/melodramatic performances and Rekha as we know can handle drama really well. Watch Ghar or Umrao Jaan to see for yourself
Rekha serving some serious drama

2. Glamour - Have you seen Silsila or Khoon Bhari Maang, in fact Rekha always gives me non stop glamour in most of her films, and taking screen caps of Rekha movies is always a problem for me as i am always so enamoured by her beauty right, even from the very start of her career when she was deemed rather unattractive by some.
Rekha in the 70's

3. Dance - Watch the clip below to see Rekha pull some awesome moves

4. Personality - Now i know most people refer to Rekha as some kind of enigma or the Garbo of bollywood as she's often called, due to her very secretive nature or her unwillingness to discuss much about her private life, but from watching her films, i sense she's quite a fun person, i can only think of her Diva act (a great example of this can be seen in the video interview below) that many associate her with as an exaggeration of her personality or her alter ego at best

My contributions for Rekhatober will include movie reviews from different eras of her career and then i shall end things with a bang by inducting her into the Bollywood Fashion Icon hall of fame as i did for Vinod

So hold on to your seats folks, as i take you through the Good, bad, craptastic, and the somewhere in between Rekha films

P.s i also realise i've written more about Rekha than any other actreess on this blog, so far here are the Rekha films i've reviewed (In Chronological order)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Padosan (1968)

I had to bring my V. Shantaram week to an end as the notes i made on Geet Gaaya Pattharone (1965) made no sense, its one i feel i'll need to re-watch before i can do write up. Anyway moving on from V.Shantaram week, and just before i get my Rekhatober posts ready i thought i'd do a short post on one of my favourite movies Padosan (Neighbour) an adaptation of 'Pasher Bari' a bengali book by Arun Chowdhury, rumour has it that a remake is in the works with Sanjay Dutt and Katrina Kaif in the lead roles but in honesty i 'd prefer it if this film was left alone

Bhola (Sunil Dutt) decides he's comes of age at the ripe old age of 26, and decides his days of celibacy are over

He meets and falls for a young, energetic lass Bindu, following his decision to move of of his uncle's house into his aunt's, he finds out that none other but Bindu his newly found love is his neighbour

Bhola is eager to win Bindu's love but soon finds out he has competition in the form of Bindu's dance master Pillai (Mehmood) noticing she's in awe of her masters dance and music

Not to be left behind, Bhola enlists the help of his Guru(Kishore Kumar) and other friends to help him in wooing Bindu. In a rather clever use of the filmi idea of playback singing which involves Guru singing while Bhola mouths the words, Bindu is in awe of his talent and falls for him

Now that Bindu seems to have fallen for Bhola, things take a turn when his fake singing act is outed

Overall i enjoyed this rather silly and over the top but undeniably fun comedy (depending on your sensibilities). For me the exaggerated facial expressions and histrionics of the characters of Kishore Kumar as Guru, as well as Sunil Dutt's 'Bhola' act kept me entertained and had me in stitches.

On a deeper level (if you so wish to delve that deep), filmi philosopher 'Philip Lutgendorf' notes on his write up of the movie that Mehmood's character as Pillai the Tamil Brahmin dance instructor "invokes every politically incorrect North Indian stereotype of southerners". As interesting an observation it sounds, I really couldn't take this on board as i'm not aware of what these perceived stereotypes are in the first place

Also interesting is the way the film uses framed voyeuristic style shots from the perspective of Bhola and his friends while spying on Bindu

Performance wise everyone is on their fun, playful hammy best, i loved Sunil Dutt as always and Saira is really one of my favourite Bollywood diva's, i love how she was styled in this, in fact i always love Saira's style in all her movies

love the head scarf and cherry blouse, very Parisian chic

Leopard Print Salwar kameez with matching scarf,. she pulls it off so well

perfectly lined eyes and pouty lips, You go Saira

The songs by R.D. Burman made this film a favourite of mine and one i can watch over and over again, i can go on and on about them forver but my favourites are 'Mere samne waali khidiki' 'kehna hai', 'main chali main chali', love Manna Dey's lingering vocals on 'sanwariya sanwariya' the song i've chosen to embed is the flirty 'Bhai bathur', Lata sounds ever so lovely and i love the fun picturisation, this song pretty much sums up Saira Banu

So fab was the picturisation of 'Bhai Bathur' that The 1981 telugu adaptation of this story 'Pakkinti Ammayi' literally copies it frame by frame. Saira Banu wins hands down for me

Now head over and I can't wait to do so myself to My Movies Music and Mutterings blog for a write up of the soundtrack as well as to get the music for free, trust me this is a classic bollywood soundtrack album you don't want to miss getting your hands on

Paisa Vasool Rating: 7/10
Buy the dvd here