Thursday 20 May 2010

Bollywood Fashion Icons: Vinod Khanna

This is the first in a number of upcoming posts based on stylish bollywood stars i shall be posting about from time to time on this blog. As a freelance fashion stylist i adore and love people with a sense of style that inspires me, while i might not copy them from head to toe, i like when people make me realise how colours i never thought would go together can be worn, and that's one of the major fashion tips i've learnt from Vinod Khanna

Check out that pose (it totally says 'I'm Hot and i know it') then those rolled up sleeves, neat square belt buckle and square framed glasses, i'd wear them all in a heartbeat
Vinod khanna without doubt was one of the most stylish stars in 70's bollywood both on and off screen screen as can be seen in his outfit above (a press picture i think) I would describe Vinod's style as 'Urban Hipster'

Vinod had such a lean frame and cool machismo that i can imagine him being every stylist's dream, he's what i would call a hanger, one of those people who can just about pull off anything

I love his use of colour, like this Green Jacket and yellow bow tie he wears in Aan Milo Sajna

To his Teal blazer and chocolate jumper in Anokhi Ada, those are two colours i never would have thought of mixing, but Vinod wears it so well

I loved his matching safari suits as seen in Aan Milo Sajna, it really highlights his lean frame

Vinod clearly loves his hats, my favourite Hat wearing Vinod moment is from Aan Milo Sajna where he combines it with a check shirt, neckerchief and blazer

Loving the popped up collar and Polyester or is it neoprene Mackintosh

Talking of Neck Ties no one wore them with attitude like Vinod especially in Anokhi Ada where he completed the look with a belted t shirt and purple trousers

Suitswise, Vinod was fond of three piece suits

or sometimes he wore his suits in lovely bold colours with funky ties

Or sometimes he wore them Tie-less with open spread collar shirts

I love him in this dinner suit with a shirt buttoned up all the way without a tie

Vinod loved his sunglasses too, he seemed particularly fond of aviators

Vinod also had a penchant for cool sportswear, who could forget him in that classic Fila Tracktop worn in the 'Hum tumhe hain chahte hain aise' song from Qurbani (1980)

Vinod could just as well pull off Traditional attire, check him out in this poster of Meera for example

as well as in Rajput (1982)

images via Hmong Chick

as well as his Rajasthani looks in Reshma aur Shera (1971)

Image via Beth loves Bollywood

Image via Briyanshu

or his Dacoit looks in "Mera Gaon Mera Desh"

Image courtesy Briyanshu

Vinod was also one of the few bollywood stars who could pull off wearing swim trunks as seen Maha Badmaash (1977)

Image Via Briyanshu

Image via Sharukh is love

Finally Vinod has more than earned his place in the bollywood fashion Icon hall of fame, it shall be the turn of another superstar next time

Kites (2010): What an Experience

Ok so i always thought all competitions were lies, well that's because after over 15 or so years of entering more than i can count i never win anything, all that changed on Tuesday when i received a phone call saying i was one of the lucky winners picked to attend the London Premiere of kites, i really couldn't believe it, not only did I win tickets but i got front row seats as well, although i didn't get to meet Hrithik or the stars personally, he was feets across me for some minutes and i must say he looks exactly like he does in the movies, the camera ain't lying ladies and gents

The No.1 Tickets in London on Tuesday
Rakesh Roshan addresses the audience

Hrithik was just how i imagined him to be
Bret Ratner who's edited the international version Kites: The Remix
The film's music composer Rajesh Roshan
Rajesh Roshan (The music director) jokes on how the mic is a bit too tall for him

Brief Review of Kites

Kites follows the story of Jai (Hrithik Roshan) a struggling salsa instructor based in Las Vegas who gets married to illegal immigrants for money, he thinks he's hit the big time when he pretends to be in love with wealthy Gina (Kangana Ranaut). Gina introduses him to her father Kabir bedi who lets him know that whoever makes his girl cry would be in for it. He also meets her brother Tony & his fiancee Natasha (Barbara Mori) who happens to be the last illegal immigrant he had married t0 help get a green card. He starts falling in love with her, in fact they both fall for each other but subtlety is not a word for these two, Watch as their romance blossoms and gets them in trouble with Gina's family

What i liked about Kites

1. It felt like 22nd century masala with just the right mix of romance, thriller, action and comedy, it kept me engrossed and at the edge of my seat

2. The chemistry between Hrithik & Barabra was sizzling Hot, i think these two will be cast in yet another film

3. Hrithik shows what he' truly made of, its a one man show here and what a great actor he is plus there's a lot of extra skin show for all you ladies and some of you gents ;0) (If you're a fan no excuses for missing this movie). Great performance from Barbara as well, she's charming, funny and very likable as Natasha in fact everyone in this film is great

4. The songs by Rajesh Roshan, while not following the traditional lip sync accompanied by dance that i love in bollywood films were beautiful and suited the whole ambience of the movie my favourites are 'zindagi do pal ki' and 'dil kyun hai mera'

What i didn't like

Nothing too much apart from the fact that for a film that's going to introduce bollywood to the world i felt it missed the essence of what people expect from bollywood, yes i know its been tailored for an international audience but will people watch this and expect all bollywood films to follow this path, or owing to this films success if it does become a blockbuster will bollywood alter its ways?
I personally love all the things that make bollywood unwatchable for some i.e. the lip synced songs, dance sequences, melodrama etc. It remains to be seen then if this film will indeed bring in the money (internationally) as well as new fans. Anyway, go see this film, its entertaining & thrilling, had i spent £10 watching it at the movies, i wouldn't have regretted it.

Paisa Vasool Rating: 8/10

Saturday 15 May 2010

The Burning Train (1980)

I'll forever be wondering why this film flopped at the Indian box office, it has everything that makes for a top blockbuster, there's a stellar star cast, pulsating music, action, romance, thrills, you name it but still Indian audiences shunned this lovely film for half baked movies relased the same year like Dostana & Ram Balram which became huge hits. Anyway i forgive bollywood for the injustice done to this movie, if i had to pick my all time favourite films, 'The Burning Train' film will surely be on there

Vinod (Vinod Khanna) & Ashok (Dharmendra) are best buddies, Vinod is a highly ambitious engineer and Ashok a flashy playboy of sorts. They're so close that they both meet and fall in love simultaneously with best friends Seema (Hema Malini) & Sheetal (Parveen Babi)

All is well with both our couples but as we all know, life can't be Ha ha Hee Hee all the time, and drama crops up when Randhir (Danny Denzongpa) proposes marriage to Sheetal who shuts him down in favour of Vinod (In all honesty asides from Vinod being majorly hot, Randhir's chat up lines didn't help matters)
Sheetal's like "yeah whatever"

Randhir is gutted as one would imagine and if all that heartbreak wasn't enough his engineering project is snubbed in favour of Vinod's Super Express Train, Vinod as expected is delighted while Randhir is vengeful
Danny was quite scary in this

Vinod and Sheetal get married while Ashok and Seema get engaged to each other, with Seema promising to marry Ashok when she returns from her pilgrimage

In another case of cruel fate, tragedy strikes when Ashok's dad commits suicide over a debt he's unable to pay, as a result the family property is repossessed leaving Ashok penniless, if all that wasn't bad enough he receives a letter from Seema who writes him to break off their relationship
Poor Ashok, his lovely Sportscar gets repossessed (Does anyone know what car model/brand that is)

Years pass by and all our friends have drifted apart, Vinod is now a family man plus his ambitions and hardworking ways have caused a strain in his marriage to Sheetal. The super express is eventually launched as the fastest train in the world after Japan's, it would reduce Mumbai to Delhi journey time from 23 hours to a mere 14 hours

On board the train are lots of colourful characters like a petty thief Ravi (Jeetendra) and a runaway bride Madhu (Neetu Singh in a similar role she played in Rafoo Chakkar)

my favourite is the gorgeous Ramkalli (Asha Sachdev) draped in a fab red sari and gold trinklets

Also aboard the train is embittered Randhir who is looking to spoil the journey for everyone, he does this by planting a bomb on board the train and blocking the trains brakes

Aboard the super express also is Ashok, who meets Seema on the train

as well as Raju (Master Bittu) who is Vinods' son
Whatever happenned to Mater Bittu, he's one of my favourite Child stars of 70's-80's bollywood
I Loved his cute transistor radio

After a battle of words with Seema, Ashok gets off at Mathura only to be joined by Randhir who reveals his evil deeds to Ashok in a drunken Stupor, Ashok gives him a good beating down before going on a chase to get to the train before the bomb explodes

Oh and someone carelessly left the gas on

Where there is Ranjeet mischief is not far behind, and Ranjit won't be threatened by a burning train

Watch as tension builds both on the part of the passengers and families? Who will make it alive and who wouldn't? The train also becomes a place to revisit and heal wounds of the past

This is one of my all time favourite films, i saw it way back when i was aged 9 and till this day it remains the first and only film i've cried to (more on that later). The burning train brings together bits of action, romance, drama and thriller in just the right amounts, why this film flopped at the Indian box offices is way beyond me, if anyone has answers please comment or email me, i really want to know. For the bollywhat forum users who thrashed this in favour of the Towering inferno, i would rather watch the burning train a million times than the towering inferno, which i found rather boring and a bit too pedicatble

Asides from mixing action, romance and drama perfectly this film also had some snide commentary on the capitalist work ethic and how it wreaks havoc on human relationships, this can be seen through Vinod's character who struggles to keep his family and work life together, he eventually recognises the importance and priority of relationships in the midst of adversity, another thing that jumped at me was how adversity brings everyone together regardless of religion, caste, as the passengers on the train soon found out.

A lot of effort went into making this film and yes i know some might jump on my throat for the toy train models in the ending scene but the credits list some Twentieth century fox expert in charge of the Special effects plus the prints were made in Hollywood, I'm thinking this must have cost BR. Chopra the producer a lot of money

Performance wise, everyone is on fine form and i have to sat that this is one of my favourite Vinod Khanna films, he's not the lead character, (no lead characters amongst the plethora of stars) but Vinod's role is very crucial in this, as not only did he come up with the idea of the Super Express, he also had a major role to play in bringing it to halt

I also loved Dharema (Dharmendra+ Hema) in this, their romance and chemistry was just so real, i'm guessing they were freshly married around the time this film was released and it shows, the romance was way too real

The Super express train had lovely interiors, i love the marble type walls and the red plush seats of the First class carriage, why can't the train i travel in everyday look like this
Economy Class no doubt
the first class seating area

Please people even if you don't like 80's bollywood, make it a point to get this one, its well worth it, a word of warning though, avoid the Yash Raj dvd release as it snips a whopping 30minutes out, buy the moserbaer or shemaroo versions instead as they both feature the complete movie.

Fabulous songs by R.D. Burman i loved them all, from the funky title music to the the fun 'Pehli nazar mein hamne' where we see our lovers cycling simultaneously, the romantic 'jab tak amber par' my favourites though are the lovely prayer song 'Teri hai zameen, tera aasman' its the scene that made me cry as a little boy, this film still holds the record for the only movie i've ever sobbed to

an awesome qawwali and one of my all time favourite filmi qawwalis 'pal do pal ka'

and the absolutely fabulous 'Meri Nazar hai tujpe' a east meets west blend of music and dance off between Hema Malini and Parveen Babi

Paisa Vasool Rating: 9/10 (One of my all time favourites)

For all you cheap skates you'll be pleased to know some kind soul has uploaded the movie unto dailymoton in 17 parts with english subtitles or better yet still, buy the dvd here