Sunday 29 November 2009

Rafoo Chakkar (1975)

I have never seen Some Like it hot which apparently inspired this movie and to what extent Rafoo Chakkar (Let's Slip Away) rips it off i do not know. But its a fun film and the producers had a sense of humour about it being a copy, this film also involves the first same sex love approval of sorts

Ranjit (Anwar Hussain) and Prakash (Madan Puri) are fraudsters, when they hear of a coming police raid they burn down their warehouse with a worker locked in. Police find them and they're arrested, Ranjit's wife Shanti (Suolchana Latkar) and their son Dev go leave with her friend Salim's mother (Mumtaz Begum)

Twenty years later when Ranjit and Prakash are released from jail, Ranjit longs for his family and hopes to be reunited but his evil and bossy friend Prakash tells him to snap out of it

Also Dev (Rishi Kapoor) and Salim (Paintal) have now grown up to become best buddies, they play in a music band to support themselves and their mothers

On Prakash's wedding day to Ritu (Neetu Singh), Salim and Dev are part of the music band players and when Ritu the bride to be escapes because she's been forced into the marriage by her wicked Aunt and uncle for R50,000, they're left stranded and unpaid

They haggle for their wages from Prakash who refuses to pay them. Unknown to Dev is the fact that Ranjit his father is Prakash's best man. Following Ritu's escape her friend gets a job with an all girl band going to Kashmir

Dev and Salim on the other hand are strapped for cash and are in need of a job, they audition for a band but they're told its a girls only band. When Sudha & Sujata a friend of theirs leave their luggage behind Dev and Salim decide to take their luggage over to them, on their way they come across Ranjit and Prakash committing murder, they're seen by Ranjit and Prakash and they become wanted

They put up a disguise wearing the clothes in the luggages of their friends Sudha & Sujata and escape from Mumbai. They change their names to Devi (Dev) and Salma (Salim)

They join the train with the girl band going to Kashmir, the band manager puts them to a song and dance test after which if they pass they'll be able to join, they pass with flying colours and are allowed into the band

They make friends with all of the other band members and Dev falls for Ritu who strikes a warm friendship with Devi, she tells him how she had escaped from a forced marriage and how she hopes to marry a rich young man

When Dev finds out she would love a rich man he starts meeting her and charms his way into her heart as the wealthy Esso, its not long before Ritu falls head over heels for him

Salma on the other hand also finds an admirer in the form of Rajinder Nath and its not long before she starts fallin for him too

Which Dev is quick to remind him of

He too tells Dev to man up and tell Ritu the truth

back in Bombay when Dev writes home to his mom she stupidly/naively hands the address over to the Goons who've been chasing them

Also included in the mix is this James Bond style Villain

Will they be Dev and Salim be found by Pakash & Ranjit's men? Will Dev reveal the truth to Ritu? Will Ranjit realsie the wanted witnesses is his son Dev? Will Salma follow her heart and return Rajinder's affections? For this and a whole lot fun reasons do watch Rafoo Chakkar

I enjoyed this very much, its highly entertaing and it holds you in all the way through. Minor complaints are from a quite choppy dvd or could it have been bad editing on the part of the director?

Rishi and Paintal were fantastic in drag and they mostly do manage to pull it off mostly Rishi though

The romance between Rishi and Neetu seemed so real and adorable, is it any wonder they're still married even till today

As i've said the producers had a sense of humour about copying or being inspired by Some like it hot but then they said this (see below)

How dare they generalise!!!

Another reason i liked this film was its approach to same sex love, indicating love is all that matters irregardless of gender, a very very bold statement for its time

Great fun music from Kalyanji Anandji i liked all the songs the romantic 'Kisi pe dil agar aa jaaye' & 'tumko mere dil ne' my top favourites are 'dil dena buri bala hai'

and the highly infectious 'Chhuk chhuk chhak chhak'

Total Score: 7/10


Monday 23 November 2009

Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1974)

I'm not familiar with many of the dacoit movies produced in 60's-70's bollywood, Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (Lay down your life if needed for fulfilling your promise) is among the last few ones produced in the 70's i think, i bought it out of curiosity and i ended up loving it so much. I've watched it twice since buying ( trust me, that's a big deal as i only have time to watch most movies once due to the insane amount of movies i have to get through) So anyway we have a dashing Sunil Dutt as the daku and a young Rekha as the feisty courtesan Janiya as well as superb music by O.P. Nayyar

Raj Thakur (Sunil Dutt) is a dacoit who believes and fights for the safety of the oppressed and women in his village. When he calls the local courtesan Janiya a naachnewale she gives up her dancing and rumours spread all through the region of him being married to Janiya (Rekha)

Raj Thakur considers this a taint to his self respect and he makes plans to get Janiya married publicly to a chosen fellow so that his name can be cleared

Janiya however isn't a courtesan entirely by choice, she had been kidnapped from her father by her wicked uncle (Madan Puri) and then sold to Chanda a pimp who then raised her up as a courtesan

Janiya is arrested for being a call girl and news reaches her father Dharaj (Iftekhar) in the city that his long lost daughter daughter Sheetal now called Janiya (Rekha) is still alive

Dhanraj rushes to the town to meet his supposed daughter, but by the time he gets there she has been captured by Raj Thakur who hopes to get her married so his name can be cleared. He falls in love with her but he is unable to admit his feelings to himself. Things take a turn when police gatecrash the weddding preparations and Raja Thakur escapes with Janiya

When Sheetal's father finds out she's been captured by Raja Thakur he approaches Raja Thakur's mother for help, asking her to help persuade her son to give him back his daughter

She assures him her son Raj Thakur means no harm and that he would get his daughter back the next day

Raj Thakur obeys his mother and hands Janiya over to her, just when her father is about to meet his daughter, she's kidnapped by Mangal Singh's (Premnath) henchmen.

Mangal Singh (Premnath) threatens her father to pay 25 lakhs if he wants to see daughter again

Raj's mum is injured during the kidnap and when he finally his dying mother, she makes him promise to reunite Janiya back to her father

Raj goes into town and then makes plans of how he would rescue Janiya from Mangal Singh

What follows are a series of disguise with Raja Thakur in some seriously funky 70's fashion

i want that green jacket in my wardrobe

A villain's den that looks so much like a discotheque

And an aide who had been sent to kill him joining him in his quest to bring down Mangal Singh

Will he be able to rescue Janiya? What obstacles will he face?

Overall a fun masala-ish flick, attempting to highlight the humanity/kindness of dacoits, at the heart of the film is the somewhat atypical message which became quite popular in a number of dacoit films trying to show dacoits as humans with emotions too, much like the 1963 Sunil Dutt starrer Mujhe Jeene Do (someone please put this on dvd with subtitles)

the film makes us believe Raja is a dacoit not by chance but as result of Raja witnessing his fathers death on the hands of Loan Sharks, Raja grows up robbing and helping the oppressed as a result of the materialist greed which had casued his father's death

Enjoyable performances from all the cast, Sunil Dutt is one of my favourite actors and he delivers a highly watchcable camp act in this, and what a transformation Rekha later went through, i had to do a double take to ensure it was really her

a young dusky toned Rekha

Great music from O.P Nayyar i had long heard of the wonders or should i say magic of O.P Nayyar but this was the film that brought it home for me, Asha Bhosle sang all the songs in this, from the super hot mujra 'Ek tu na piya' the seductive 'Aapke dard jawan hai', the cabaret-esque 'dekho are dilbar' and the beautiful ballad 'chain se humko kabhie' (audio only) which wasn't picturised in the film itself for some reason, the song won Asha Bhosle her 6th Filmfare 'Best female playback award'

my favourites have to be 'Bikaner ki chunri' with a feisty Jayshree T telling us where she got all her wares from

another favourite is 'dekho raja dekho' for the stringy instruments and drum beats infused with Asha's sweet vocals

Total Score: 7/10 ( Entertaining dacoit fare)


Monday 16 November 2009

Loafer (1973)

Sweet escapist 70's bollywood fare with a super gorgeous Mumtaz, Handsome Dharmendra and perhaps the most flamboyant use of balloons ever in a bollywood movie

Ranjit is a naughty school boy, when a prank goes wrong at school, Mohan is forced to out Ranjit as the culprit. After school the two boys are involved in a fight where Ranjit tosses Mohan off the building by accident thereby leading to Mohan's death

Mohan runs for his life and falls into the hands of Mr Sinha (K.N. Singh) a shady criminal, he promises to take care of him

Ranjit (Dharmendra) grows up as a thief under Mr Sinha's shadow, he steals but he also runs a nightclub called playboy

when a stealing operation goes wrong Ranjit realises one of his staff is dishonest, the dishonest staff turns out to be Rakesh (Roopesh Kumar) who had been sent to spy on Ranjit by Pratap (Premnath) a rival thief who is jealous of Ranjit's success. When Ranjit discovers this, he lets Pratap know he's aware of his deeds

An angry Pratap plots to kill Rakesh but his sister Anju (Mumtaz) pleads for his life and Pratap sees her as the perfect opportunity to spy on Ranjit he recruits her saying if she works for him her brother will be spared from dying

Ranjit also forms a close relationship with fruit seller Mr Gopinath (Om prakash) who had helped him during a police chase

Mr Gopinath also has a daughter Rupa (Farida Jalal) whom he had sent to Private school in Shimla, he keeps the fact that he's poor from his daughter as he had gone bankrupt after falling into depression when he had lost his son Mohan and wife

When he goes over to Shimla to see his daughter Rupa (Farida Jalal) he lies about his status and manages to woo Mr Rajandranath Mehra (Raj Mehra) his daughter's guardians while at boarding school

Back in bombay Anju realises ranjit is falling for her, she too starts falling in love with him but she's racked by endless guilt and as a result finds it hard to continue Pratap's spy work. As a result Pratap threatens her and she manages to set Ranjit up to be beaten by Pratap's men

Ranjit is beaten so hard that he ends up in hospital, when he gets well Anju tells him the truth andreveals she had only spied on him to save her brothers life, he's taken aback by her honesty and promises to help free her brother

When an Exhibition of rare jewels come to town Plans are made to rob it.

Ranjit despite strict security manages to clean the place out, police start chasing and he runs into Gopinath's house for safety, there he spots Mohan's picture, and then realises Mohan's father whom he had killed by accident aas a kid is indeeed Mr Gopinath, he's racked by guilt

Mr Gopinath on the other hand starts drinking heavily after Mr Rajendranath asks for his daughter's hand in marriage, he's afraid his status a s a poor fruit seller would be found out which would lead to his daughters being disgraced

How will he overcome this? Will he ever find out that his son Mohan was killed Ranjit? Will Panjit reveal the truth to him? What would be Mr Gopinath's reaction

Overall Loafer (Ruffian) is a sweet movie about guilt and forgiveness dipped in a mish mash of romance, action and goood ol' romance, its well worth watching and definitely entertaining. i really can't say a bad word about this film, okay there were some silly comic side plots but overall Loafer is a well packaged commercial drama with the right elements of just about everything

Mumtaz was cute in this, she gave me some serious funkalicious fashions

I really love Om Prakash he was or should i say is always adorable

I loved this retro flask thing, so sleek

Dharmendra was on major form as well, his pairing with Mumtaz made for a cute couple

Superb soundtrack by Laxmikant Pyarelal all the songs on here are winners which makes me think if i had to pick my all time favourite music directors Laxmikant Pyarelal will be in my top 5. There's the seductive 'Motiyon ka ladki hoon main', the melodious 'main tere ishq main' which just makes you appreciate Lata's voice enough to even drown in it, another romantic one number by Mohammed Rafi 'aaj mausam bada' and Asha sizzles on the funky 'kahan hai woh' with so many colourful ballons, something tells me the art director for this dance sequence must have had a huge balloon fetish

Padma Khanna putting many a Cheerleader to shame with her balloon pom poms

Another favorite of mine is the beaiutiful 'Koi Shahiri babu' with some Male impersonator action going on very much like that in the 'didi tera devar deewana' song in 'Hum Aapke Hain Koun'

Total Score: 7/10 ( a highly enjoyable escapist fare)

Loafer is available on Youtube with English Subtitles