Wednesday 6 January 2010

Jadu Tona (1977)

Today is the birthday of one of my favourite bollywood divas Reena Roy (Happy Birthday Reena) so i thought i'd check out this movie which was inspired or should i say rips off The exorcist that has her in it

The movie begins with this

Aamir (Prem Chopra) along with his two daughters Varsha & Harshu go to visit his parents in the village, he comes across a local villager who tells him to salute the banyan tree, Aamir dismisses him as an illiterate and drives off

While at the village Harshu (Baby pinky) his youngest daughter is lured into an old derelict building, there she meets an old man in the corner who begs her to get him his medicine from an old cupboard (hmmm, shouldn't she have been scared and head for the nearest exit)

Harshu why why?

Upon touching the bottle an evil spirit is released and our dear Harshu becomes possessed, which is shown to us by some hilarious special effects and some 360 degree eye rolling

Notice she's been split in two for the sprit to make way into her

Harshu collapses and is found by the villagers, when the village doctor tries treating her for what they believe to be exhaustion she bites him, leaving the doctor to declare her mad

Her grandmother perceives she must be possessed and gets Saint Bajrangi (Premnath) to come over and treat her, when he makes demands about things they would need for her to get well he's interrupted by Harshu's elder sister Varsha (Reena Roy) who dismisses him as Superstitious

Bajrangi is unable to treat her but upon many pleas from their grandmother he gives her a talisman to tie around her arm to ease the fits from the evil spirit

the family go back to Bombay and Harshu is referred to a Psychiatrist Dr. Kailash who thinks she's suffering from a split personality disorder

As time goes on Kailash and harshu's sister Varsha fall in love with each other ( i kinda admire the director for including a subtle romance, he knew & was out to take care of his Indian

However the sessions with Dr Kailash give no result and Harshu keeps getting fits and talking in strange voices

When a certain Dr. Vikram is murdered Inspector Jolly Goodman (Ashok Kumar) is assigned the case and due to witness reports Harshu becomes a suspect

Inspector Jolly Goodman's suspicion of Harshu leads him to her psychiatrist Dr Kailash who tells the inspector off for being too supertitious and ridiculous.As the story unfolds it's clear Harshu is possessed by none other than Panalal who had been murdered by this friends for his wealth, he plans on getting his revenge through Harshu

Inspector Jolly however must stop her from achieving this mission

Dadaa Moni looking darn fine

Will Harshu ever be rid of her demons? Will she succeed in killing all panalal's friend who had murdered him?

Overall i found Jadu Tona just a bit interesting, perhaps the fact that i had seen the Exorcist affected my judgement, which by miles is the better film, I really didn't know what to think of this movie, sure it was inspired by the exorcist but that's where the similarities end, Jadu Tona (Black Magic) is a poor tacky version full of dodgy special effects, which i don't really mind, but it failed to scare me in whatever way or form. I had huge expectations about this movie for some reason but the movie was sloppy and had way too much silliness to be taken seriously with names like Inspector Jolly Goodman seriously?????

Another thing that ticked me off about Jadu Tona was the silly comic side plots which thankfully were kept to a minimum, and some silly plot holes like Kailash taking an unpredictable Harshu who was prone to Epileptic fits on an aeroplane ride

But still i adored the director for trying to please his core audience and adapting it to their tastes as seen through the underlying themes of romance and good ol' revenge

And of course much like the exorcist the film tries tomake a case for science not being able to comprehend or explain all the unknown mysteries yet when all the medical treatments failed, none of her family who believed it might actually be a demon posession tried to get spritual help as was with the case of getting a Priest in the exorcist, the moive ends with this disclaimer

Everyone puts in an Ok performance, but what was it with Ashok Kumar and his abbreviations, hilarious examples include I LIKE YOUR ID (id meaning Interior Decoration) or get me some VES (Ves meaning Vegetable Sandwiches)

Baby Pinky is worth mentioning,but i found her weirdness during her possession bouts very jarring to say the least

I watched this film mostly because of Reena and she barely had as much Screen time as i would have liked nor is there much for her to do than worry over her sister's mental health, she looked fierce in some of the fashions though

i can totally see Carrie Bradshaw wearing this

vah! Kya fabulous hat hai?

Good music from Hemant Bhosle the songs are well placed within the movie there's the beautiful 'aaina kucch to bata de' the sweet 'yeh gaon pyara pyara' which is what our lovely Harshu sings before she gets possessed

and a birthday celebratory song 'Sawari saloni, jauna ka jivan'

paisa Vasool Worthiness: 4.5/10


Rum said...

Lol this looks hilarious! With the absence of Max Von Syndow we get the much hotter Feroz as the helper! Baby Pinky was super scary in the posession scene for me! Much better than the little kids Bollywood usually picks to be posessed by a spirit!

Rum said...

Love how happy baby pinky is in that possession scene that she unlike linda dances on the ceiling! Ohhh Bollywood!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy not to have seen this! Jolly Goodman? And Baby Pinky rolling her eyes? No thank you.

I think one of Reena Roy's most likeable roles was in Sau Din Saas Ke, where she's this really feisty daughter-in-law who sets her tyrannical mother-in-law (Lalita Pawar) right. Pretty kickass she was in it, too! OTT, but fun.

bollywooddeewana said...

@ Rum Hilarious it was indeed but i actually wanted to be scared, Lol at the dancing on the ceiling part, you're right only in bollywood

@ dustedoff Lol and thanks for recommending that movie, it sounds right up my street immediately you recommended it i googled it and came upon this hilarious post that suggests it might have inspired Ekta Kapoor who produces many serials along similar lines to this movie. I'm buying it on my next trip to induna

Anonymous said...

Yup, I can well imagine Ms Kapoor being inspired by it - not that I've really watched any of her productions; I tried, but found I couldn't stomach them. Sau Din Saas Ke is total paisa vasool, though.

bollywooddeewana said...

Lol, I myself haven't seen any of her productions,but i think its shown on some of the Indian channels here without subtitles, which makes it impossible to watch

Daddy's Girl said...

LOL, this sounds... not very good at all, but I really enjoyed reading your review as always. LOL at 'Jolly Goodman' and 'I like your ID (ID meaning Interior Decoration) or get me some VES (VES meaning Vegetable Sandwiches)'. LOL!

bollywooddeewana said...

@ Daddy's Girl i myself was like What Id? ves? and the way he said it as well as the seriousness on his face was sooo funny. This film isn't all that but there were some trashingly entertaining scenes though

Bollyviewer said...

That disclaimer in the beginning makes it very clear that this isnt a film for me - inspite of lovely Reena and handsome Feroz. But I am glad to know about Inspector Jolly Goodman, for he sounds like a jolly good fellow, indeed! ;-)

bollyviewer said...

PS: LOVE your new profile pic! What film is it from?

bollywooddeewana said...

he was indeed jolly in this, especially hilarious were his abbreviations. Thanks, the screen cap of Vinod on my profile picture is from Aan Milo sajna

Shellie said...

Despite the fact that it sounds like it has ended up being a very corny attempt I don't think I can make myself watch anything based on a movie like the Exorcist. I am a horror movie WIMP. Even theough it's so bad, the possession clip is CREEPY! which is something I just can't do.

Love the white hat (I wish I was a hat person!). I see Carrie Fisher wearing the pink one more than Carrie Bradshaw though.