Tuesday 30 March 2010

Long Da Lishkara (1986)

Yes this blog is called bollywood deewana but today i shall be taking a quick peek at the Cinema of Punjab which is also known as 'Punjwood' for those of you who know your bollywood really well there are two recognisable faces in the form of Om Puri and Raj Babbar, this is my first Punjabi film and i have to say that i enjoyed it very much, a number of remixes of the Title track prompted me to check out the film

Raja (Raj Babbar) the son of wealthy royals returns to his mum (Nina Tiwana) in the Punjab after a period of 15 years spent in Canada
Check out his silver parka and Knee high boots

He meets Preeto (Harpreet Deol), the family maid and falls in love with her, also vying for Preeto's affections is local villager Maya (Om Puri), when he (Maya) finds out about Raja's affection for Preeto, he's furious and swears to split them

Meanwhile Raja goes in search of his old friend Channa (Gurdass Mann) only to find out he has become a Sage. Channa had become a Sage after the death of his lover who had died due to their different class backgrounds, Raja is shocked such attitudes still take place

Unknown to Raja is the fact that he's about to face the same heartbreak when his mother disapproves of his relationship with the family maid Preeto as she's from a lower class background

He tries standing up to her but he's emotionally blackmailed by his mum who asks him to choose between her and Preeto and then goes on to narrate how a lower class maid whom his dad had been involved with had led to his death

As a result Raja & Preeto stop dating much to the excitement of Maya who's also in love with her

Unknown to Raja's mum is the fact that Preeto is the daughter of the raped maid which had led to her husband's death

A depressed Preeto is told by her Aunt Gulabo (Nirmal Rishi) that Raja's father was the main reason behind her mother's death, before her death she had promised her mother that Preeto would avenge her death by becoming the Mistress of the mansion

She urges Preeto not to be depressed and avenge her mother's death by becoming the Mistress of the Mansion

Will Preeto manage to become the Mistress of the Mansion? Will she & Raja be reunited or will she be married to Maya? Watch Long da Lishkara to find out

Overall a sweet romantic melodrama with a dash of 80's revenge style saga thrown in, i was a bit unsure of what to expect, but i really enjoyed this, its very much like the the atypical bollywood romances of the 80's trying to overthrow old customs & traditions for the sake of true love

and of course since it was shot in the Punjab we're treated to lovely green fields and colourful outfits and dancing in these green fields

Performance wise i loved all the characters and even though they were quite one dimensional and their acting felt a bit like theatre acting, they were very likable. I especially liked Preeto (Harpreet Deol) and her aunt Gulabo (Nirmal Rishi)

and of course the dear Raj Babbbar, i know I'm probably one of a handful people who love Raj Babbar on the blogosphere, and I'm fine with that, i love him and his wooden style acting he seems to get criticised for
I can actually see bits of Prateik in him

Fab music from Jagjit & Chitra Singh, there's the lively upbeat 'Sare Pind Vich' beautiful love song 'Ishq hai Logoo' a punjabi classic song 'Challa' a lovely 'Giddha medley' and then my favourite of the whole lot and the very reason i checked out the movie is the wonderful 'Long da Lishkara' picturised on Lovely Punjabi Ladies in colourful outfits in picturesque Punjabi fields

Paisa Vasool Rating: 6/10

Friday 26 March 2010

Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996)

Rekha! Rekha! Rekha how i love thee, as those who read this blog regularly know, i've nothing but love for Rekha and would gladly watch any film of hers no matter how rubbish or atrocious it might be. This film with its nonsensical storyline reminds me why i simply love Rekha, she's one bollywood heroine who fought hard against playing motherly roles when she was deemed to be past it by many, even if it meant she played ridiculous characters, Rekha fought hard gainst playing motherly roles and in Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi ( The Player of Players) Rekha plays a Villain and might i add she pulls it off mighty darn well, and of course this film also features Akshay in his 90's hairy chest action hero days

Madam Maya (Rekha) & King Don (Gulshan Grover) are underworld players who gamble with the lives of wrestlers

following the defeat of Crush (played by real life WWF wrestler Brian James) by Maya's The Undertaker (played by WWF wrestler Brian Lee). Ajay (Inder Kumar) one of Madam Maya's boys is ordered to dispose the body, He's caught by the police while trying to bury the body & is given the option of execution or outing Madam Maya if he wants to save his life

Maya comes to know to know through one of the corrupt police officers about Ajay's plan to out her, as a result she becomes eager to kill Ajay. Ajay is kidnapped

Akshay (Akshay Kumar) his brother in India hears of the news & travels to America in a bid to rescue his brother, on his way he meets and falls for Priya (Raveena Tandon) who happens to be Madam Maya's younger sister

When he arrives in America he finds out from Ajay's friends that Madam Maya may be responsible for Ajay's kidnap, as result he gets into her gang, with the intention that she might lead him to Ajay. Madam Maya is taken by Ajay's bravado when he rescues her from getting killed, she falls in love with him at which point she puts all feminists to shame by declaring 'his love has completed her'

Thus Akshay is now caught in between the love of two sisters

Will Akshay find Ajay his brother? What will be Madam Maya's reaction when she realises Akshay had merely been using her as a pawn that'll lead him to his brother?

A truly nonsensical action film in the very sense of the word, fans of early Akshay movies when he was going through his Jackie Chan phase will truely enjoy this film. The major highlight for me however was Rekha as the villain Madam Maya with all her fashion outfits and wig changes
I can totally see Rihanna in some of these looks

when i saw Rekha in this film i realised Lady Gaga's stylist must have watched this film to create some of her looks
Take that Gaga

Another reason this film will forever be in my mind is the Rekha and Akshay Kumar's frolicking in the song 'Dil Dhadke (In the night lose control)'

They wrestle each other in the mud

They shower together

He pretty much had her eating out of his hands

Now of course all this had tongues wagging that Rekha and Akshay were dating, some fans were worried of what had become of their favourite actress but she silenced all her critics when she was awarded the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress award and the Star Best Villain Award (Take that Haters)

Anu Malik as usual has concoted some fun catchy numbers like 'Aaj meri Zindagi' , 'itna mujhe pata hai' & 'Tu kaun hai' & my favourite number without a doubt is Dil Dhadke (In the night lose control) simply for its awesomeness as well as a brief sampling of Madonna's 'Secret', be sure to check out the video especially the beginning where Rekha says 'Even Naughty Girls Need love Hey na?' Atta Girl!

Paisa Vasool rating: 5/10 (Watch it mostly for Rekha and Akshay in his cheesy days as an Action Hero and oh for the 'Dil Dhadke' song, that alone made the movie worth watching)

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Ankahee (2006)

I have to admit, and perhaps as is obvious by now, i'm a bigger fan of the old bollywood films than the currrent ones, but now and again there comes a film from the current era that makes its way onto my favourites list, Ankahee (Untold) is one of them, perhaps not the most perfect film but i liked the story, enjoyed watching it and enjoyed the performances

When Kaavya (Esha Deol) a reigning beauty queen& starlet arrives at Dr Shekhar's (Aftab Shivdasani) hospital after attempting suicide, he takes pity on her and they start having an affair

However Dr. Shekhar is a married man with a lovely wife Nandita(Amisha Patel) and daughter Sheena, his friend Dr Kunal (Amin Hajee) warns him about Kaavya, alerting him on her Manic depressive personality and that nothing he does can ever make her happy

Dr Shekhar's affair with Kaavya soon becomes national news & Kaavya's reputation and work suffers, Shekhar's marriage too hits breaking point

Will he be able to make amends and save his marriage? Will Shekhar continue his affair with Kaavya?

I loved and thoroughly enjoyed watching this film, one little thing that bothered me though was the lack of attempt to portray two different decades, considering the film was set in two different decades, the director could have made an attempt to mark out the difference more realistically by adding fashion and cultural artefacts more typical of each, in particualr the earlier decade which was the late 70's/early 80's

A big part of the movie that stayed with me is What happens when we fail to draw up boundaries in our lives as could be seen in Dr Shekhar's affair with Kaavya, true he felt sorry for her but had he drawn a boundary, most especially over that of his marriage, his life wouldn't have been distraught

On the other hand Shekhar's straying could have been as a result of his over devoted wife who forgets her own aspirations, even when she was encouraged by her husband to focus on her own ambitions. I love this film's angle on this, yes she wants to be a good devoted wife, but over dependency or being too clingy is smothering and one does get the impression that its this clinginess that leads Shekhar on to commit adultery

I've never seen Aftab Shivdasani in a central role and he just excels as Dr. Shekhar here, he's not over the top with his acting here, and he pulls it off with just enough restraint

Amisha Patel is one of my favourite actresses of modern times, she's on fine form here, a bit melodramatic but lovely none the less

Esha Deol, where do i start, for all those allegations about star kids having it easy, Esha surely hasn't, sure it probably gave her a footing, Esha hasn't enjoyed immense success or fame. What an intense actress she was in this, she really executed her performance as a manic depressive, i believed her as the over possessive, manipulative Kaavya. Esha is a great actress and i hope she picks or is given more chances to develop her talents, this is an actress i would like to see more of
I love the gigantic picture of her face on her living room wall

Fabulous songs from Pritam none of his usual peppy numbers here, rather the music here is more sentimental and are mostly ballads, like the lovely 'Lamaa', 'aa paas aa' , 'tum se yun milenge' and my favourite which is 'Ek pal ke liye'

Paisa Vasool rating: 7/10