Thursday 29 April 2010

Talash (1969)

A big thank you for all your kind and encouraging responses to my previous blog post, its very much appreciated, and it means a LOT to me. Talash is my second O.P. Ralhan movie and it does have a lot of goodness going for it but like most O.P Ralhan movies I've seen so far, you need to be patient and pay attention right till the end

Raju (Rajendra Kumar) is a high achiever with huge aspirations, he leaves his little town to make it big in Mumbai , his mum (Sulochana) tells him no matter what he should stay true to his heart

He gets a job as a typist with a big company headed by a very suave Ranjit Rai (Balraj Sahni). At first Raju fumbles making errors which threaten to cost him his job, but after a dressing down from Ranjit he smartens up and works very hard, its not long till he's promoted and even when corruption comes his way he sticks to his conscience

On a break away from the city, he meets Gauri (Sharmila Tagore) who rescues him from a fall, they both fall in love (as you do) & he promises to come back & marry her under his mother's blessing

His friend Lacchu (O.P. Ralhan) falls for cabaret artist Rita (Helen), her dad however refuses their love

When Rita asks her dad (Sajjan) why he's stopping her marriage to the one she loves, he explains how he had murdered a friend Chand (Jeevan) who had tried molesting his wife Rosie, as a result of trying to conceal the murder, he had lost all his wealth due to an ongoing blackmail from Peter (Madan Puri) who was present at the scene, he's afraid that if Rosie gets married (which would mean she stops her dancing) there will be no more income to keep Peter quiet

Cut back to Raju and he's now leaving the hills, he promises to come back and marry Gauri. When he gets back to Mumbai he's promoted and given a 25% stake in Ranjit's company (why all this promotion all of a sudden?)

Well as we all know nothing is for free (there's always a catch), Ranjit wants Raju to marry his daughter Madhu who's just returned from Europe, Raju is dumbstruck when he finds out his daughter is a doppelgänger of Gauri whom he had left behind in the mountains

Should Raju refuse Ranjit's offer to marry his daughter he faces losing all he's worked hard for, as well as his stake in the company

Back at the mountain Gauri has promised to kill herself if Raju does not return. Will he return in time or will she kill herself

Back in Mumbai, watch as things are heating up between him and Madhu? Will he stray or will he stay true to his love Gauri? Are Gauri & Madhu long lost twins? If not, why do they look so much alike? Will Rita get the chance to marry Lacchu? Watch Talash to find out

O.P. Ralhan's films often have a great theme but his way of delivering them can be a bit shabby, also his insistence to cast himself in his films i find quite grating as i find him quite annoying as an actor.

I was about to write this whole film off as a disjointed melodrama of sorts, but the ending brought it all together rather nicely, it gets quite melodramatic plus there were some unnecessary paddings/filler scenes which could have been edited out, but do persevere to the ending, it was well worth it. Overall Talash is a wonderful film with its major theme being staying true to your heart.

I have nothing but Pyar for Rajendra Kumar and i totally loved him in this, sexy chemistry between him and Sharmila too, they made an awesome Jodi.
Sharmila was superbly gorgeous as usual, she undoubtedly looked her best in the 60's

Now i'm not that much of a cinophile to pick out long shots to framing aspects etc. and i don't really look out for such things in films, but Talash had sharp cinematography and uber fab interiors

From the fab office columns & murals
Lovely painting in the background

Helen's Fab cabaret sets

Sharmila's fab wardrobe, so fab i've included a video of it

A cool villain's den with a windy staircase leading to an upper floor room with see through glass panels and a mini cut out glass ceiling

as well as Some cool gadgets like Madhu's chalice firelighter

and her vintage record player

Overall great work from the Art director Shanti Dass who won the filmfare Best Art Director award for his work in Talash

The costume and style of the movie were awesome from Helen's showgirl outfit (Never has she looked so Hot)

to Sharmila's embellished Sari's

Overall there's much eye candy to be had from this movie as well as excellent songs by the legendary S.D. Burman including 'Meri Duniya teri maa' sang by the man himself, a wonderful Rafi/Lata number 'Palkon ke peeche', a wonderful cabaret number with Helen 'Mera kya sanam' a lovely tribal song 'Aaj ko junili raat ma', a Manna Dey gazal 'Teri Talash mein' my two favourites are the sensuous ballad 'Kitni akeli hai'

and the gorgeous 'Karle pyar karle' with a very Sexy Helen, check out the pep talk at the begininng, what a tease she is

Paisa Vasool Rating: 7/10

Saturday 24 April 2010

Happy Belated Blogthday & How i fell in love with Bollywood

my first blog header

Oh! how times go by, this blog was 1 year old at the end of February but due to laziness and procrastination, I never really got round to writing this out plus i knew writing a post on how far this blog has come would make me a bit emotional, so i decided to give it a bit more time and alas just when this blog has just over a 100 posts plus i guess I'm a bit more open to let it all out, also a question i never really answered or bothered writing up was how i fell for bollywood/how i discovered bollywood, and what better time to do this than on this blogs first anniversary

I was born in 80's Nigeria, and for as long as i can remember, we always had bollywood movies in my household. Bollywood movies were the craze in 70's/80's Nigeria, according to what I've garnered from friends and family, Bollywood was at one point more popular than Hollywood movies in Nigeria. There was a sense of shared identity amongst Nigerians towards India, i guess the shared history of being a British colony, struggle for independence etc. made India very relate-able to Nigerians plus a lot of themes in bollywood movies at the time such as corrupt leaders, family values etc. was something a lot of Nigerians could relate to. Asides from the aforementioned bollywood films were very entertaining and the songs were usually hummed by many Nigerians, some Nigerian artists even sampled bollywood songs. Nigerians are masala lovers, and movies like Mard, Yeh Vaada Raha, The Burning Train, Seeta aur Geeta, Ghazab, Nagin, Dharam Veer, Dus Numbri, Disco Dancer, Mother India & Jugnu were really popular

The first bollywood movie i remember seeing was Suraag (1982) a Jagmohan Mundra film, which starred Sanjeev Kumar & Shabana Azmi, I remember it being shot in America, i remember spotting the Golden Gate bridge and parts of Las Vegas and indeed according to research i have done on the film, it seems it was the first bollywood film to be shot in America, i remember it was very entertaining and i would watch it over and over (gosh! i must have worn out that Vhs tape)
My first bollywood film, i hope it gets a full Dvd release

I had very young parents who had me when they were just about 20 and i guess that made my Mum somewhat very protective, i was never really allowed to go outside to play with other kids after school. I kept myself busy with my dad's disco records, Michael Jackson, reading Ladybird books & bollywood movies.
Showing my undying love for Michael Jackson aged 5

Bollywood became a favourite past time of mine, i would watch the movies over and over and mimic the language, the first word i learnt was Nahinnnnn (how typical), i loved the songs as well and i have to thank or i should say bollywood helped develop my sense of rhythm as i would watch and dance sync to all the dance moves till i could do it in perfection, had there been youtube back then, i'm sure i'd have asked to be uploaded doing my dance moves

Not only would i dance, but when my friends come over, we would re-enact scenes from our favourite bollywood films. Seeta aur Geeta was a favourite, one person would be the wicked aunty, another the slow Seeta and another the feisty Geeta (ahh the memories)

Overall i must have watched about 15-20 hindi films as a kid, watching over 5 of these films repeatedly overtime. As i grew into my teen years, the same old films seemed to have been in circulation, plus i guess with Nigeria's booming film industry, bollywood took a back seat for many, plus a lot of people felt bollywood was losing its originality as such my affection for bollywood sank, it didn't disappear totally but my interest waned.

Spice Girls 1997

At this time i discovered the Spice Girls who had a huge influence on me (don't laugh) and i guess they were my proper introduction to Pop Culture, i bought magazines with them on it and through them i became heavily interested in the world of film, music and fashion.

When i was 17 and after completing my secondary education i left Nigeria for England, where i reside even till now. I saw a few bollywood movies every now and then, mostly once or twice a year on Tv, but this time it felt a bit strange as i knew nothing of the new stars.

Years later in university, chats with Indian friends as well as a few films from my University library inspired me to start watching again, my first bollywood film after a long while was 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', i remember not being able to watch it all in one go (i had forgotten the process), and watching it over the space of 2/3 days, i don't even remember what i felt after seeing it, i think i just thought it was cute. Following this, the arrival of youtube was what really brought bollywood back to me as i would youtube old favourites and reminisce on the good old days.

Upon graduating from University which just so happened to be when the world economy came tumbling down, i was unemployed for months on end, during which time i signed on to a dvd rental service and my bollyviewing ways began, i started by watching old favourites of mine, though a huge amount of them didn't seem to be available, then i started looking up recent blockbusters in India to gain an idea of what Indians were watching, i loved some of the films, and I hated some, but the oldies still left the biggest impression on me.

During a night time research of films one night, i landed on filmigeek's blog via wikipedia and my love for bollywood grew even more, she wrote passionately about some golden oldies i had seen, she also had links to other blogs, all of which i loved and would follow religiously. After months of reading many blogs i decided to start mine up, then came the trouble of deciding what to call my own blog. After weeks of frustration i chose bollywooddeewana as it reflected the bollywood craze I was going through at the time (still going through it i must say).

I didn't know how it was going to go but i knew i wanted to share my views as well, i had a hard time discovering the format i would use before deciding i would talk about the plot synposis alongside screencaps as you truly get a feel of the move through that, i also knew i would be talking about the songs as i watch a great deal of movies based on songs alone, i also knew i was going to give an honest review based on My experiences of the film, if i liked it/was entertainned by it, what impressed me or what was going through my head at the time of viewing, and the rest as they say is history

Since then i've blogged about over 80 movies and done some fan & fun posts in between, i've also had many wonderful bollywood experiences such as reviewing numerous films with Raj & Pablo of the Love Bollywood programme on the BBC Asian Network, found a fabulous bolly loving friend i go bollywood clubbing and to the movies with, i also made an appearance in a bollywood film as an extra for Veer (lol). I'll screencap the scenes i appeared in when i finally get the dvd, but below are the shots of the man himself on the sets, i didn't get to meet him personally though
Salman Khan on the sets of Veer at Greenwich, London (March 2009)
Here's the costume i was given as an extra

Having this blog has been wonderful, I've not only learnt an awful lot about bollywood but its also shaped my viewing experiences, i never thought i'd watch black and white movies or experiment with movies that didn't star my favourite stars or ones i knew well, but my viewing experience has been stretched and i have discovered & i'm still learning about new stars, music directors and a whole lot of songs through all you enthusiastic bloggers

I'd like to thank all the wonderful people i've come across through blogging and has helped make this blog what it is from the wonderful dustedoff, bollyviewer, Hmong chick, Avdi, Rum, daddy's girl, Nasir,Bhargav, Sunehri Yaadein, Shell, Sita-ji, Darshit, Richard S., thebollywood fan, Tiff, Cindy, Nida, Mister Naidu, Beth, Sujoy, Ajnabi, & Grand Masala as well as everyone else who follows this blog & links this blog to their blog roll or posts, a BIG
THANK YOU for all your contributions and love, it means a lot and its very much appreciated, here's to many more blogging years to come.

For more on bollywood's influence in Nigeria (Northern Nigeria in particular) read Anthropologist Brian Larkin's great article

Friday 16 April 2010

Mera Pati Sirf Mera Hai (1990)

When the title of a film translates into 'My Husband is mine only' you know you're in for some ridiculous campy melodramatic moments and that's just what this film provided me with. And as for the newspapaer journalist who according to dustedoff made these comments

“Both women, no matter how hard to believe this may be, fall in love with Jeetendra…”

better start eating his words because in Mera Pati Sirf Mera Hai not only do two women fall in love with Jeetendra, they're also fighting over him
Prakash (Jeetendra) a struggling road side tailor impresses Sharda (Rekha) a wealthy bank employee with his talent, who in turn invests heavily in his business as a result its not long before he hits the big time even owning his own department store

Sharda falls for Prakash's charm and his work ethic, and proposes marriage to him, her proposal is refused by Prakash saying he "esteems her too highly to be married to her" (huge suspension of disbelief!)

Years go by and Prakash is now married to Roopa (Raadhika Sarathkumar) with a lovely kid called Pinky

His marriage to Roopa though, is anything but peaceful as all she does is create havoc and trouble for him

Prakash had been forced into marrying her after his sister Jyoti had been impregnated by her brother Deepak. Deepak had then refused to accept the pregnancy, and in a bid to save the family's honour Prakash begs him to marry Jyoti, he agrees provided Prakash hands over his whole business empire to their family, supplies numerous amounts of Sari's & Gold to his mother(Shobha Khote) as well as marry his sister Roopa, surprisingly Prakash agrees to all these conditions (suspension of disbelief)

Years later Sharda moves back to the same city as Prakash, and in a strange case of melodramatic coincidence, she moves next door to Prakash

Prakash's daughter Pinky (Baby Shweta) becomes good friends with Sharda, when Roopa sees her grandmother whom she ill treats being pampered by Sharda, she becomes suspicious and starts spreading false rumours about Sharda claiming she's having an affair with her husband

Sharda's life is turned upside down by these allegations and everyone from her neighbours to her boss at work give her a hard time for it

She decides to clear her reputation and goes about it in a rather strange melodramatic way, (as I've said before, a huge suspension of belief is required while watching this film) She moves right into Roopa's house, and makes a home for herself there

Roopa is furious as one would imagine and beckons her to leave her house, Sharda makes her understand that unless she takes back her allegations in public she's not leaving

Roopa being the strong headed woman she is refuses to take back her allegations, Sharda too is adamant about moving out until Roopa clears her reputation, adding insult to Roopa's injury is her husband Prakash who backs Sharda, claiming Roopa must apologise

So Will Roopa apologise and clear Sharda's name of the accusations? Will Sharda be able to stick out oer will she give up and move out? Would Prakash realise his affection for Sharda or will he continue looking up to her as a goddess?

Ok i don't believe i actually just typed out what must be one of the most ridiculous plots i've ever seen, but alas it had to be done, it had Jeetendra in it after all, one gets the idea that his daughter Ekta Kappor the producer of many serials based on such story lines did her homework well watching her Daddy's films from the '90's, Mera Pati Sirf mera hai (what an amazing title, na!) is watchable even with its irritating storyline for its campiness and ridiculous soap opera style execution, if you're a big fan of the numerous Ekta Kapoor style serials that are hits with millions of Indian audiences then this is a film you might want to check out

Jeetendra's career was in decline at this point, despite the whole ridiculousness of the story his performance is good albeit in a very melodramatic way

Raadhika Sarathkumar one of my favourite heroines who played the lead role in one of my favourite bollywood femme fatale revenge sagas kudrat Ka Kanoon was ohh so annoying as Roopa in this, you know an actress has done her part rather well when you want to flip your remote at her for playing an overbearing character

Rekha as usual was a joy to watch, given the ridiculousness of the story, Rekha gives quite a commendable performance

The songs by Anand Milind seemed to have been hits at the time of its release, there's the sensuous 'Thandi hawa hai' two versions of this songs occur there's a seductive one and a more upbeat one which i've embedded below, it pretty much sums up the whole movie

A daaru song 'aaj gaale ke niche utara' and the wonderful peppy number 'maine tujhe khat likha' one of the contributing factors to me watching this film

and what better way to round off Jeetendra week than ending with what must be the best tailor/salesman song ever and such a fun picturisation too 'Aaiye Farmaiye' Jeetu-ji Zindabad

Paisa Vasool Rating: 4.5/10

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to my Jeetendra week posts, i'm still discovering more of his works, do feel free to leave recommendations of films to watch out for him in, i guess Nasir sums it up perfectly when he says "there's something about him, something that just can't be ignored" while he might not have been appreciated by the critics, he had lots of charisma and taht x-factor that saw him through over 3 decades of hindi cinema, Jeetu-ji zindabad