Saturday 31 October 2009

Guess Who?

Can anyone guess the Bollywood star hidden behind the lathered up face, the answer will be revealed in my next film review

Edited to add
Well Done everyone who said Jackie Shroff, it is indeed Jackie in a shower scene from Allah Rakha which i'll be reviewing sometime soon. Thanks for all your responses

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Arpan (1983)

This movie was like watching a train wreck, i was pretty sure how it was all going to end, but the decent performances, good songs and soap opera style storyline kept me watching

Anil (Jeetendra) and Shobha (Reena Roy) are in love, opportunities arise and he has to leave India for work abroad. He puts Shobha in charge of his family, Shobha is honoured by the amount of trust Anil has placed on her, little does she know this would also traumatise their relationship

Shobha's Boss JK (Raj Babbar) tries to take advantage of her, she insults him telling him where to get off, he promises he will get her back

Meanwhile Anil's sister Vinnie ( Priti Sapru) is impregnated by her lover Rakesh (Shashi Rani), he decides they abort it, but she tells him its too late. He decides they'll get married to prevent her being stigmatised, he however has to borrow money from his boss who surprise surprise turns out to be JK

Rakesh promises him the money but when he realises he impregnated Shobha's would be sister-in-law he arranges for Rakesh to be kidnapped on the sly

Shobha willing to save Anil's family honour goes to JK who tells her he would only help if she agrees to marry him, Shobha sadly agrees thereby putting Anil's family honour above breaking his heart

A smug JK pleased about trapping Shobha in his arms in this rather interesting symbolism

JK arranges for Rakesh's release and he and Vinnie get married, Shobha too gets married to JK and she discovers what an asshole he truly is when he starts abusing her verbally & emotionally, talking down at her amonsgt friends, he even disrespects her by bringing numerous women to their marital home

Shobha keeps on being the good wife, she's so annoyingly good that even JK is surprised and confused if his evil actions aren't driving her up the wall

Anil returns only to discover his beloved Shobha is now married to someone else

if only he had listened to Tom Alter's advice

While on a trip to drown his sorrows, Anil meets Sona (Parveen Babi) a singer, he finds solace in her music and company, the two fall in love

Meanwhile the evil deeds of JK catch up with him, he's diagnosed with Liver Cancer and given months to live

and surprise surprise he turns over a new leaf and starts being all nice to Shobha, he even takes her on a weekend trip to the same resort Anil had gone to drown his sorrows

How will things turn out, what will Anil's reaction be when he sees Shobha?, will he be able to forget her or will they come back together since she's soon to be a widow anyway, Watch Arpan if you dare to find out all the answers

As i've said this movie is a melodramatic soap opera of sorts, soap opera lovers will find this delightful with all the over the top going ons. I'm not a lover of soap opera's, but i secretly enjoyed this film, i knew it was going to be a train wreck in the end,but it kept me involved and i was curious to see how things would turn out, If you watch a lot of hindi movies you should know/be able to guess how it all ends.

If you're a red blooded feminist, who can't stand such movies about the plight of the self sacrificing woman, stay well away from this film as it would surely irritate you.

Poor Reena Roy she always suffers in all her J.Om Prakash movies, her performance was credible, entertaining but at the same time annoying due to all the unnecessary self sacrifices

It was weird seeeing Parveen Babi in traditional attire, i've seen her in so many movies in non traditional clothes that it felt different/weird seeing her clad all the way through in Sari's

Great soundtrack from Laxmikant Pyarelal the rhythms of 'tauba kaise hai nadaan' where we get to see Parveen show off some dance moves, 'tu meri shaadi', a cool mujra 'Likne wale ne likh dale' my favourite however has to be 'Pardesi jake' a sweet contemplative romantic song

Total Score: 6/10 ( A watchable & enjoyable melodrama of sorts, even if somewhat highly irritating)


Monday 26 October 2009

Jyoti (1981)

Hema Malini reprises some of her Seeta aur Geeta fierceness to whip some ass in this enjoyable drama in the last in series of Heroines that kick ass

Govind (Jeetendra) the son of Zamindar (Ashok Kumar) is a retard, he's fed pills that make him retarded by his stepmother Sunanda(Shashikala at her eyepopping best)

Her son Niranjan (Vijayendra Ghatge) constantly terrorises Govind whipping him , he also treats the local villagers harshly

Gauri (Hema Malini) a fierce knife wielding, whip lashing damsel stands up for the right of the poor vilagers much to the anger of Niranjan

Gauri wins the affection of Zaminder who takes a liking to her braveness and her willingness to satnd up aaginst his step son's tyranny, he proposes for her to be his daughter in law

Zamindar tells his wife Sunanda, who isn't too pleased about getting her son married to a lower class girl like Gauri, she contends that Gauri be married to Govind instead. Zaminder is hesitant at first but he goes along with the idea

On the day of the wedding when Gauri's father realises she's being married off to the retarded son, her father stops the wedding but Gauri persuades him otherwise and she and Govind marry

Meanwhile Niranjan falls for Mallika a dancer who along with Amirchand (Ajit) plan to rob him of his wealth

Following their marriage Gauri realises Niranjan and his mother run the household and maltreat Govind and they're in fact the reason for him becoming mentally retarded, she sets out to teach them a lesson

Watch as Jyoti takes matter into her hands, and goes about setting the house in order

Indeed as you might have noticed this movie is quite similar to Beta (1992) in the aspect of the daughter in law teaching her husbands relatives a lesson, here Hema Malini plays a role similar to that of Madhuri, major difference being that Hema kicked or should i say whipped some major butt.

An enjoyable film overall, I watched this film out of curiosity for the sake of one song (more on that later) and i love most of the cast too, its all in all a fun film, its slow in parts but the songs are great, overall its quite an enjoyable movie

Great soundtrack from Bappi Lahiri, this was a step away from his disco oreinted numbers, theres the fun 'Chidiya choon choon' pictuised on jeetendra where he sings 'Happy birthday to me' the quiet ballad 'sooni sej saja doon' and another sensual ballad 'angadai leke prem' but my favourite and infact the reason i watched the film is because of the 'Thoda resham lagta hai' song which gained immense popularity after it was sampled in the 2004 super smash R'n'B track 'Addictive' by Truth Hurts featuring Rakim ( see it embedded below)


Generally i don't like when classics are remixed with pop/rock beats but this was a nicely done sample

Total Score: 5.5/10 ( an enjoyable drama with great songs)

Edited to add: Truth Hurt's Addictive was also inspired by UM110'S version of 'Thoda Resham Lagta Hai' titled Kaliyon Ka Chaman. Watch it here on Youtube

Thanks to Richard S. for the Information

Saturday 24 October 2009

Zakhmi Aurat (1988)

I am back again with one of my favourite genres in 80's bollywood, that of the femme fatale who avenges the wrong done to her by evil men, Bollywood never really gave its leading actresses strong roles, hence why i find films where women have strong roles very exciting. Zakhmi Aurat (Wounded Woman) has made its way onto my favourites list, i applaud this film for its feminist message/issues. This film is also famous for its John Bobbit type events, infact i'm tempted to believe Lorena Bobbitt must have watched this film and was perhaps inspired by it

Kiran Dutt (Dimple Kapadia) is a no nonsense professional police officer, she's also deeply in love with her fiancee Suraj (Raj Babbar)

Dimple looking super smart in her Cop Uniform

while out jogging one day, she rescues Shanti a woman who's about to be raped, Kiran is keen on getting justice for Shanti and takes the case to court. In court the defense Lawyer Mahendra Nath plays devils advocate asking Shanti if she was a virgin before the rape and other stupid questions, and even when Kiran testifies saying she was a witness, the rapist was let go, Kiran is utterly disappointed

One day while Kiran is making arrangements to meet her future inlaws, her house is raided by a gang of four men who rape her

The news come as a shock to the Police force as Kiran is a well respected officer, plans are made to catch the gang as soon as possible

Kiran on the other hand is traumatised and Suraj stands by her as a rock of support, his mother however is none too pleased and contends he can't marry her anymore, but Suraj stands up to her and fights for the love of his life, his mother isn't too pleased

The men are found and tried to court where Kiran is accused of instigating the rape & in fact raping them, her lawyer contends this is untrue/inmpossible since she's a woman and too a woman against four men

the roguish gang looking super dapper

at which point Lawyer Mahendra Nath who had been bribed presents the judge with a newspaper proving this can actually happen, the men are released and all charges against them are dropped, Kiran as any one would be is hugely disappointed

She decides to leave the police force but Suraj urges her to stay on and fight for the sisterhood. She soon starts receiving letter of support from women & rape victims around the country and a sisterhood of women against injustice is formed

One of the C.E.O's of the sisterhood is Dr. Asha ( Rama Vij) whose child had been raped, another is Salma (Aruna Irani) whose sister had been raped, together along with various victims Dr. Asha poses the questions you can see below

They come up with the idea of castrating the rapists ( I was rolling on the floor with laughter at this point, and shouting & clapping "you go ladies")

How will they do this you ask

Kiran will go through the police files finding out the rapists, the women will then lure the men with their beauty and sexual powers along with spiked alcoholic drinks that would put them fast asleep back to Dr. Asha's surgery where they will be castrated

Watch as the women begin their castration fest and grab headlines, sending shiver down the spines of men all around India

our ladies create media sensations

Aruna luring an unuspecting victim into the den of castration

The Zakhmi Aurat team at work

Will they ever be caught, who will bear the reponsibilities, will kiran be able to exact revenge on those who raped her? For these and many more reasons watch Zakhmi Aurat

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it brought out the feminist in me, i was clapping and cheering for the sisterhood, yes it was somewhat far fetched (although not too far fetched, there are some real life cases ala John & Lorena Bobbit, Sada Abe, Lam & Tse case) but its engaging and you get emotionally involved with the characters, it retains its seriousness and isn't spoiled by any tedious comic side plots, of course some masalaic formulas are added but that i believe, was to lend the film commercial viability, and of course there are some plot holes here and there but this film is a real winner for me mostly for its feminist stance

Feminist issues the film highlights/pushes for is the respectability and purity of women, it also highlights loop holes in the law and how it mostly often favours men (calls are made for changes to be made), the politics of rape (the word of the man against that of the woman) another interesting issue the film touched on, was the report of rape cases, should families or victims report or keep quiet about rape cases, if they do/don't what effect will this have on their honour, will they be willing to save their honour rather than get justice?

Another great point we get to see his how the Penis is central to a man's sense of identity/self, once castrated the men find it hard to make sense of their masculinity and usually ended up committing suicide

Great Performance from Dimple Kapadia this was a one woman show, she was so passionate and convicting in her performance, she truely got into the skin of the character, word has it that this movie caused her embarrassment, I say there's nothing to be embarrassed about Dimple, a film that speaks and fights for the cause of women is nothing to be ashamed of. I'm a lifelong lover of Dimple Kapadia after seeing her in this, She also kicks ass in a major way, see a compilation clip of her best ass kicking moments in Zakhmi Aurat

I also loved Raj Babbar as the supporting boyfriend, his role could have easily become the atypical filmi boyfriend gone bitter not wanting to marry his girlfriend after her ordeal, but he stands by her all the way

Bappi Lahiri has provided some good concotions, i love the theme song 'Zakhmi Aurat' the seductive 'Pal pal jale' where a wife tries seducing her castrated husband, the hilariously fun 'Toba Toba Allah Toba' where we see Aruna Irani luring a man into the castration den. My favourite however has to be 'Pyar mila subkuch mila' for its pure 80's bollywood romantic sounds and mood

Total Score: 7/10 ( Feminist Masala at its best)