Wednesday 1 July 2009

Nagin (1976)

What do you get when you mix a star cast with fast paced thrilling action, body morphing, catfights, great songs, dodgy special effects, cool jazzy fashions and a femme fatale. The result is a superb movie and Nagin (female Snake) proves just that, this movie is total paisa vaisool (value for money)

The film is based on the myth of snakes who are able to transform into human beings and thus we meet Vijay (Sunil Dutt) who is exploring this matter in the forests when he sees and rescues Nag (Jeetendra) from a vulture about to devour him. Nag is taken by his act of kindness and when he learns Vijay is there to learn about Snakes who are able to take the human form, Nag joyfuly tells him he is one of them and reveals himself and his partner Nagin (Reena Roy) for Vijay to see

Vijay (Sunil Dutt) out of excitement takes his skeptical and unbelieving friends ( A stellar super cast of Feroz Khan, Kabir Bedi, Anil Dhawan & Vinod Mehra) to see the Nagin who just happens to be doing her lovely snake dance after a 100 year wait to mate with her lover

Clockwise from Top Left (Kabir Bedi, Sanjay Khan, Feroz khan, Vinod Mehra & Anil Dhawan)

when her lover descends upon her in snake form, one of Vijay's friends Kiran (Anil Dhawan) shoots it thinking the snake is about to harm Nagin

Vijay scolds him telling him that wasn't just any snake, but her lover, they try to look for the snake to prevent the female lover finding it, they're unsuccessful and when Nagin finds her husband Nag (Jeetendra) the killers are revealed through his photographic eyes, the Nagin then plots to avenge his death by killing them all

Man No.1 on Nagin's list is Kiran (Anil Dhawan) and she charms her way into his hands giving him a sob story, stupid Kiran is taken by her sob story and charm, he takes her home to have a one night stand with her. When they get home she turns the fierceness on and kills him

i love the way their faces go blue when she kills them

Next on her list is Man No.2 Rajesh (Vinod Mehra) she morphs into his girlfriend and then kills him

Upon Rajesh's death his friends are worried and they visit a Healer (Prem Nath) who gives them charms for their protection

Lucky charm

Next on Nagin's list is Man No.3 Uday (Kabir Bedi) This one proves tricky for Nagin as Rajesh has the protecting charm around his neck, but the fierce Nagin cuns him through Morphing into Prema Narayan. After a failed attempt to poison his alcohol she then employs Ranjeet, who grabs the chain from him during a fight, at which she launches her attack

Ranjeet the hot villain

On and on she goes and we are treated to more body morphing, a superb catfight, jazzy 70's outfits, highly venomous snakes, flying snakes and lots of thrilling moments

Snappy '70's Jumpsuit

Who knew snake venom is blue in colour

Will any of the men survive her wrath? Watch Nagin to find out

This is one of the first bollywood films i watched as a kid and the rest as they say is history, Nagin was crazily popular in lots of African countries including Nigeria. What made it popular i believe was the superb storyline, the acting and the great songs. The dodgy special effects (see below), is the only negative thing i'll say of the film, but then it was 1976 when high tech devices wasn't available to most bollywood producers, the direction is on point and there is never a dull moment in this amazing thriller

For the Human to snake transformation the images were shrunk to a very little size and then elongated to snake length

Another great thing about this film is the fierceness Reena Roy brought to the role of Nagin so much attitude, spunkiness and Fierceness in the very sense of the word no actress could have played the role better

Although she's mad with anger about her lover's death, we also see her sad, tearful side which i thought was amazing.

An excellent point the blogger Indiequill notes about this movie is that "during the whole Amitabh Bachchan Angry Young man image which was prevalent in the 1970's, slap bang in the middle comes Nagin proving female animals know better" or as it were know how to bite as well

Below is my Reena Roy picture galore, i love her so much, i couldn't stop taking screen caps

Rekha had a small role but she gives a great performance,I really enjoyed her catfight with Reena Roy(see below)

Watch it below

also having small roles were Yogeeta Bali and Mumtaz


Yogeeta Bali

The music showcases Laxmikant Pyarelal at their very best, the fun playful "Tera Mera Tera Mera" the tender love song "Tere mere yaarane", a mellow number 'tere ishq ka mujh pe' sang by Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi but my favourite has to be Tere sang pyar mein, the love song between the two snake lovers, two versions are in this movie, one a duet by Lata Mangeshkar & Mahendra Kapoor and a solo with Lata Mangeshkar which features the dancing Nagin at her curviest, fuller self, enjoying every bit of her body (see below)

Total score: 8/10 (Colourful fast paced thriller)

This is definitely one to get on dvd, its also available on youtube with English Subtitles in 16 parts

A new version of Nagin called Hisss with Mallika Sherawat as the vengeful snake has been made by Jennifer Lynch which is due out later this year (see trailer below). As its the year 2009 and with all the Cgi help available, Nagin gets creepier and scarier and its one of the fims i can't wait to watch this year


dustedoff said...

Bollywood's always been very fascinated with snakes, hasn't it? I think the earliest snake film I saw was the Vyjyantimala-Pradeep Kumar starrer Nagin... and then (was it in the 90's, or the late 80's?) a couple of Sri Devi films, I think: Nagina and Nigaahein. Somehow, I've never been impressed by stuff like this - I find it too corny! But the cast, the songs, and the wacky SFX in this are tempting enough! ;-)

BTW: How on earth was a vulture trying to kill Jeetendra? Had he originally been in his snake avatar when it attacked (which also sounds strange, since vultures are scavengers and not raptors)?

Richard S. said...

Hello, weren't we all just talking...somewhere else? :) Anyway...

I've seen the other Bollywood snake films - the Vyjayanthimala one and one or two of the Sridevi ones (it's kind of a blur to me at this point) - but I haven't seen this one yet. I suppose I should, though yes, it all gets very corny...

I've also seen clips from a couple of Pakistani films that look to be very much along the same lines. (I discovered them during one of my YouTube hunts for Noor Jehan songs.) They are amusing; maybe I'll point them out on my blog some day.

bollywooddeewana said...

@ Dusted off i'm yet to see Vyjanthimala's Nagin but yes you're right Sridevi did have twio snake movies in the 8o's which you'vve named, however, i have to say i prefered Reena's Nagin, there was too much family drama in Sridevi's one, this Nagin is a thriller all the way
Regarding the vulture, i think it sensed Jeetendra was a snake, hence why it attacked Jeetendra

@ Richard S. by all means watch this Nagin, its superbly entertaining. i've actually seen bits of the Pakistani one and looked like a rip off of nagina

Arjun said...

I've seen this movie and I loved the songs especially Tere Sang Pyar Mein....
I suppose Vyjayantimala's Nagin is quite appreciated

dustedoff said...

The Vyjyantimala Nagin, if nothing else, at least had very good music: Jaadugar saiyaan chhodo mori baiyaan, Man dole mera tan dole and Mera dil yeh pukaare aaja among them.

Shellie said...

While I can't say that I'm generally impressed by snake-inspired movies, by the end of Tere Sang Pyar Mein I actually felt sad for Nagin and the loss of her snake lover. I will not be rushing out to see Hissss though.

bollywooddeewana said...

@ Dusted off and Arjun now i really want to see Vyjayanthimala's one thanks to you two

@ Shell as creepy as Hiss looks, i really can't wait to see it

Nicki said...

OMG this looks like fun!!! Reena Roy is one of my faves back then. I've seen Nagina but not Nagin.

bollywooddeewana said...

This is way more fun tahn Nagina, nagina had way too much mother in law business, this is an out right colourful thriller