Tuesday 28 December 2010

Insaf Ka Tarazu (1980)

Writing my first review after such a long time feels weird which makes me proclaim 'away from me writer's block and be gone, be gone I say'. Insaf ka Tarazu is a movie i had planned to review on Zeenat Aman's birthday last month on November 19th, but as time did not allow, i thought it'd be the first movie i review now that I'm back in the swing of things.

Directed by the master of socially relevant bollywood films 'B.R. Chopra', Insaf ka Tarazu (The scales of Justice) is notable for being the first bollywood film that dealt head on with the subject of rape, it's also widely considered by many as one of Zeenat Aman's landmark performances. The film has been observed by many as a remake of the 1976 hollywood film 'Lipstick', which I'm yet to see, hence i shall not be able to comment on how much it rips it off, but this bollywood adaptation is a great watch, and is very much a bold film for its time

Our movie starts at a beauty competition where the audience decides who gets crowned the winner

(bollywooddeewana's note: How very forward thinking isn't it, voting for the winner is all the rage these days on Television shows)

Fashion model extraordinaire Bharti (Zeenat Aman) raises temperatures so much that a fan in the audience scores her a whopping 200 out of a possible 100. Bharti wins the competition and
the fan in question turns out to be wealthy industrialist Ramesh (Raj Babbar). As a reward for his enthusiasm he's called to crown Bharti, which he feels very honoured to do

Ramesh falls for Bharti and despite knowing she has a boyfriend of her own called Ashok (Deepak Parashar), he's hell bent on wooing her. Part of his attempts include hosting a special V.I.P birthday bash for her

Bharti goes along to the party with her boyfriend and sister, but Ramesh notices all his advances are being shunned by a rather childish Bharti in favour of her boyfriend Ashok

While Ramesh is nursing his broken heart/ego, Ashok and Bharti's relationship moves onto the next level when he takes her to his parents, Bharti's in laws approve of her and plans are made for them to get married

Ramesh still bent on wooing Bharti, calls her requesting to bring pictures from the party he threw for her, he's given the go ahead by Bharti. Ramesh goes that extra bit further and gifts her a present which Bharti in a rather childish and rude manner ignores in favour of her boyfriends call. Ramesh is furious and proceeds on raping Bharti

Bharti's sister Neeta (Padmini Kolhapure) walks in on them & thinks the sexual act between her sister and Ramesh is consensual

(bollywooddeewana's note:surely she should have seen the bruises & scars on her sister's face as well as the fact that she's tied up,or did little Neeta probably think her sister was indulging in some S&M fun, i'd fear to think so)

Violated and shattered, Bharti is determined to get justice
(bollywooddeewana's note:I must admit that i do rather like this painting revealing Bharti's inner state of mind)

despite the lawyer's (Simi Garewal) warning of the emotional turmoil and humiliation the court case will very likely bring, Bharti insists on taking the case to court
(bollywooddeewana's note: I actually find the film quite feminist in this regard as she (Bharti) stood up and made her voice heard rather that fear being ridiculed and as a result keep schtum)

True to the lawyer's word Bharti is subjected to all sorts of humiliating questions from her attire she was wearing before the rape to providing proof she was raped and many other mundane questions, she's eventually accused of luring Ramesh to bed & attempting to cover up the whole incident with the intention of remaining angelic in the eyes of her younger sister

Bharti loses the case mostly in part to the dubious lawyer Mr Chandra (Sreeram lagoo) whom Ramesh had bought out plus various pictures which showed them enjoying each other's company was enough to convince the judge Bharti was lying

Devastated and humiliated at losing the case Bharti's world comes crumbling down, What will happen to Bharti, will she ever be able to get justice? What will society make of her now? What will happen to her career as well as her relationship with Ashok? Watch Insaf Ka Tarazu (scales of justice) to find out

On the whole Insaf ka tarazu is a taut and gripping drama/thriller, it had me engrossed right from the get go and the film only begins to falter in my opinion in the quite tedious court scenes, and as usual my complaint with many a bollywood film that includes a court scene rears its ugly head here once more (see previous complaints here and here). Why is it that the court is always a place of jesting and other hijinks, for example raucous laughter is allowed to go on numerous times in the court without the judge shouting 'order'

But my complaints are far and in between as this film is a major winner for me, mostly in terms of its feminist stance in the form of Bharti not being afraid to seek justice at the cost of what might become of her reputation in society , that along side the injustices in the judicial system regarding rape which was echoed in the much later and rather over the top Zakhmi Aurat, makes this film a must watch, i definitely recommend it and i recommend reading the magazine scans at the end of this post too.

Looking back and judging by the rape and Judicial system in modern day India in the magazine scans at the end of this post, it seems a lot of the things i was angry about while watching this film happens in real life like Bharti's sister being asked to come and stand trial and then being shouted at by the lawyer. All these points and arguments which the article at the end of this post raised made me like this film all the more and made it even more relevant to our present times. As for the flat/rushed ending many imdb commenters seem to be unhappy with, alas the director had to bridge the gap between making a socially relevant film and making money at the same time, not a bad thing in my opinion.

I'd recommend this film as a must watch for all Zeenat Aman fans, i found her portrayal of Bharti passionate albeit a bit uber melodramatic and without sounding shallow she looked utterly gorgeous

Raj Babbar whatever you think of him doesn't really matter, as i think this is one if not the best role he ever played, he brought a certain creepiness to his Ramesh character so much so that you can't help but hate him, infact I've come across numerous people who hate him because of his role in this, but i say well done Raj for a great performance

Deepak Parashar another actor who gets schtick for being wooden , i actually found quite cute in this and he and Zeenat made a lovely pair

And lest i forget Padmini Kolhapure, she was nothing but great as Bharti's chirpy little sister this young actress who i believe was only a wee teenager at the time showed she was capable of handling melodrama whilst showing some restraint while doing so

Honourable mentions to Simi Garewal, Ifthekar and Sreeram Lagoo as well

Garam Dharam makes a special guest appearance

Lovely music from Ravindra Jain on this, i simply love this soundtrack and i've included links to all the videos with English subtitles, from the restrained title track 'insaf ka tarazu' to the playful 'yeh ho gayi' , my two favourites though are 'Hazaar khwaab haqeeqat' a wonderful love song by Mahendra Kapoor and Asha Bhosle

and 'log aurat ko' is definitely amongst my top three Asha Bhosle songs of all time

Paisa Vasool rating: 7/10

Magazine scans on rape the state of Rape and Justice in India

Click on image to enlage

Click to enlarge

Article courtesy Femina Magazine

Friday 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas dear readers and followers and Happy Birthday to Anil Kapoor

Apologies about my long abscene from the blogosphere, i can only think the makers of Tees Maar Khan jinxed me so that this blog could be a little promo for their film for one whole month, i'm back with a movie review on Monday but till then Merry Christmas to all my lovely readers and followers and a very happy birthday to Mr Anil Kapoor, who is one of my favourite actors, he celebrates his 51st birthday today, here's wishing you many more happy years ahead Mr Kapoor
Anil Kapoor in Mashaal (1984)

below is one of my favourite Anil Kapoor songs
Pyar Kiya nahin Jaata from Woh Saat Din (1983)

Below are links of some of his movies that I've reviewed on here in Chronological order

Saturday 13 November 2010

Tees Maar Khan Promo

Ahh!!! what is a Farah Khan film without some retro goodness added in, looking at one of the Tees maar Khan posters reminded me of Jeetendra and Sridevi Kamasutra style dance poses in Tohfa so i guess we should be expecting one in Tees Maar khan
very Similar Poses na!!
Asides from the aforementioned, one could easily term the Akshay/Katrina pairing as the Jeetendra/Sridevi style Jodi of our times, not only was Sridevi considered a mascot to Jeetendra in his 8o's career, Katrina is considered one to Akshay's career as well, a look at all the previous films they've both starred in have been hits, and without doubt this looks set to be one as well. Now even though we could liken these two couples i doubt they'ell ever be able to match Jeetendra/Sridevi when it comes to perfectly synchronised dance steps a lot of which you can see here

Enough of my babbling Tees Maar Khan hits cinemas on december 22 and i really can't wait

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Jane Anjane (1971)

There are so many bollywood actors and actresses i have major love for in a big way but for some reason i haven't written up about them on this blog yet, this is mostly because others have written extensively about them. I usually hate writing about movies others have written on, except i really have something to say but even then, i'll just make it known on the comments section of whoever wrote it up. Now as a big Shammi kapoor fan, I'm surprised as to why I'm picking this as my first Shammi Kapoor in a central role film to review on here, as it doesn't have all the charm and the appeal from the usual Shammi movies like Junglee, Teesri Manzil etc. but i was curious and as a fan i'd watch him in anything

Childless Laxmi (Lalita Pawar) while praying for a child of her own miraculously finds an abandoned baby, she picks him up to raise him as her own

the child's real birth mother Shobha (Sulochana Latkar) had given him up after the death of her husband which she had married in secret (her izzat (honour) just had to be intact) she remarries and gives birth to a son 'Hemant'

Laxmi is particular about Ramu's education but her husband Shankar (Jayant) has other plans and sets about raising Ramu as a gambler

Thus Ramu grows up with no education and ends up being a robber while his half brother from his actual birth mother Hemant (Vinod Khanna) is educated and becomes a Policeman who is hot on the tails of his notorious brother Ramu. However both brothers are unaware of their blood ties

Ramu meets and falls for Mala (Leena Chandavarkar) who urges him to go on the straight and narrow, Ramu does this but when Laxmi his adoptive mother is killed accidentally by Hemant during a gun chase, Ramu promises to exact revenge which leads him back to his previous ways

Shobha eventually realises Ramu is her long lost son and what follows, is a 'Mother India/Deewaar' style action of two brothers on opposite sides of the law with their mother trying to bring them together in peace

Jane Anjaane (Friends and Strangers) ends up being nothing much more than an average entertainer, at the heart of the film is the idea that Love (romantic or nurturing) would turn the most hardened of criminals into good citizens.

It was quite hard to watch Shammi in this, he was really sloppy and sweaty in his action scences and let's just say he was past his prime here, no surprise that this was his last leading role before he started playing father and uncle type roles, that spark that made one excited about Shammi was gone in this and needless to say a pal of mine a bollywood novice whom i was watching with quipped 'Why is that man the hero', at which i wasted no time in explaining his iconic status. All hope is not lost though, as traces of the old energetic Shammi pop up in the musical numbers

More Eyecandy
Vinod rocking the ultimate sideburns
Beautiful Leena
Suave Shammi
Vinod and Helen Sizzle up the screen

the songs by Shanjkar Jaikishen not their best are pretty decent, i love kishore's vocal on the title track 'jane anjaane log mile' other highlights are Manna Dey's lovely 'cham cham baaje', the flirty 'chahe tum pyar karo', and the sweet 'tere nilee nilee' my favourite of the whole bunch though is the fab 'jane anjaane yahaan' pictuised on Helen, i just love the way she commands attention and the way her male dancers fawn over her

Now head over to My Music Movies and Mutterings blog for additional write up of the soundtrack and to get the music for free
Paisa Vasool rating: 5/10

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Besharam Aadmi Kaun Hai?

Now a lot of my writing on this blog quite simply an expression of how i feel about films, I don't regard myself as a film buff by any means but i guess I'm becoming quite the bollywood buff. I had qualms about writing this blog at first as i was a bit insecure about my writing style but imagine my surprise when i was watching one of my favourite bollywood based magazine shows 'Brits Bollywood' on Zing (formerly Zee Music) and hearing a direct quote from one of my film reviews on here recited word for word by one of the presenters. Here is the clip below

An here is the quote in question from the review of Himmatwala here

"Following the massive flop of Deedar-E-Yaar, this film did magic for Jeetendra's career and catapulted him into the high realms of bankable stars in 80's bollywood. Directed by K.Raghavendra Rao, Himmatwala (Bravery) was a remake of the directors Tollywood film 'Ooriki Monagadu', these southern type melodramas (mostly remakes of southern films) became a winning formula in 80's bollywood with Jeetendra starring in almost every single one of them alongside Sridevi & Jaya Prada, coupled with dialogues written by Kader Khan as well as folky disco type music from Bappi Lahiri. Himmatwala is a typical example of this genre of films that became blockbusters"

Thank you Brit's Bollywood, you've massaged my ego unknowingly and i have no plans to sue (how can i after all) but I'm very open for work offers, just contact me

Lots of Pyar, Ishq and Mohabbat ;)

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)