Thursday 29 July 2010

Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani (1970)

Usually films with kids can either fall into two categories, that of the super annoying kid a la 'Ginny aur Johnny' or adorable like those in social movies like Boot Polish. Ghar Ghar ki kahani is a lot more like the latter

Shankarnath (Balraj Sahni) a honest and hardworking family man is seen as a miser by his son Raju (Ramesh Kumar), when he refuses to pay for a trip to Ajanta & Elora

Its not only Raju has a problem with their dad's tight hand, his daughter Rupa (Neetu Singh credited as Baby Sonia) isn't too happy about not getting money for her dance costume, so is her little brother Ravi (Master Ripple) over not getting a new bike. Their mother Padma (Nirupa Roy) tries to appease them but these kids are having none of it
Neetu is so cute i see bits of Ranbir in her

They all go on hunger strike as a protest against their father whom they consider to be a miser. Their father eventually cuts a deal with Raju when he decides to allow him run the household on his salary for 6 months, promising they can have all their wishes if he (Raju) manages to save.A delighted Raju accepts the deal

 Ravi soon finds out that what a challenge saving is, and over time the kids soon realise the value of R600 and how hard it is to stretch. Thus they begin making cuts by sacking the maid, helping to do household chores and changing other bits of their lifestyles just to save money so they can each get what they want

But life isn't that easy and various obstacles spring up when their mother falls ill and they have to buy medicines which weren't written in their budgets. Also uninvited free loading relatives turn up for Diwali, all of which eat into their savings

While Raju and his siblings are living on a budget and doing their very best to make their father's measly income stretch, a co-worker of their father Sadhuram (Om Prakash) lives a flashy lifestyle (which is funded by the money he receives from bribes, all of which help cater to his family's rather high taste)

Also living lavishly is spoilt brat Gopi (Mehmood Jr.) who gambles away his wealthy parents money

So will Raju manage to save enough to pay for his trip to Ajanta as well as pay for his sister's dance costume and his brother's bike? Will Sadhuram ever learn to live within his means and not accept bribes?

Ghar Ghar Ki kahani ended up being a sweet film with cute performances all around. I especially appreciated the child actors in this film, usually child actors tend to be very annoying in hindi films, but here they were restrained and I enjoyed the gradual change in their behaviour and attitudes towards  the value of money. Infact the morale of the film seems centred around the whole idea of living within your means and not 'keeping up with the Joneses'.

The ending left me a bit cold though, as I just couldn't help but feel dissatisfied that despite their sacrifices and well disciplined acts to cut costs, the lovely kids all  chose to forgo their wants all out of pity for their Dad's meagre income and living within their means. Yes all that is nice and fair but the poor kids worked hard too, and made considerable changes to their lifestyle just so they could save. Still though, don't let that put you off the film, if you enjoy your 70's style family dramas then definitely give this one a go

This film also had Rakesh Roshan in his first film role , he looked so handsome and I've finally seen where Hrithik gets his good looks from
very Dapper hai na?

Kannada film legend Bharathi Vishnuvardan played his love interest, she reminded me a bit of Reena Roy/Vyjayanthimala

Lovely songs from Kalyanji Anandji, not up there with their classics but they're good and fitted the premise of the plot, there's a lovely parody song by Mehmood Jr. 'Aisa Banoonga' (Great performance from Mehmood Jr.) the beautiful 'aise na dekho' and 'suno sunata hoon' my favourite of the bunch and perhaps the best song in a mostly forgotten soundtrack is the wonderful 'Samaa hai suhana'

Paisa Vasool rating: 6/10

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Aas (1953)

Given the obsession of many bollywood films with Saas bahu (Mother in law daughter in law) relationships, the last big saas-bahu movie i can recall was Beta, but way before Beta there was the 1963 Mala Sinha/Guru Dutt starrer 'Bahurani', Reena Roy's 'Sau Din saas ke' (which i can't wait to watch) and Hema Malini's 'Jyoti' and more particularly mega Indian soap Opera's like kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kyun kii saas bhi kabhi bahu tii ( i just love the title of this one, how about a film version Ekta) it translates as 'Because a mother in law was once a daughter in law too'. I've aways wondered what the obsession many Indians have towards saas bahu relationships, and for how long exactly it has been going, Aas made me realise, that this mother in law/daughter in law cinderella style stories have long been prevalent in Indian entertainment

Ashok (Shekhar) a widower loses his son and offers up a reward to whoever finds him, Asha finds him and returns him to the police station where they both meet, he offers her the reward but Asha turns it down refusing to put a price on human life (very sweet of Asha ain't it)

When his son Kishore (Ramesh Kapoor) is in need of a governess, Asha applies and gets the job, Kishore takes a strong liking to her and not before long Ashok too falls for Asha's gentle nature and beauty too of course

But as we all know all can't be fair in love, trouble arises when Chacha-ji (Laxmibai) Ashok's guraidan since childhood who wants him to marry her own niece disapproves of Asha, bringing into question her class and family background

Chacha-ji pushes her agenda but Ashok stands his ground, he and Asha marry and not long Asha gives birth to Baby Munna

Chahca-ji still reeling from Ashoks refusal to marry her niece plots a revenge plan that will ger Asha out of the mansion

Plot No.1: Prior to a Pooja (prayer/ Religious ceremony) for Kishore, Asha is entrusted with a necklace to be used in the ceremony, Chachi goes on the sly and steals the said necklace, on the day of the ceremony when Asha is unable to find it, Ashok scolds her blaming her for being so irresponsible

Ashok forgives her but Chachi and her aide the housemaid Chand ( Chandabai) start conniving again, she starts messing with Ashok's head telling him all sorts of lies about Asha, still all this fails to have an effect

Chachi's Master Plan

She later comes up with a master plan to get Asha out of the mansion for good, she mixes poison into milk drink Asha intends serving to Kishore. Chacha-ji knocks it over just in time before Kishore can eat, the pet cat laps up the milk and dies
ahhh poor cat :0(

they convince Ashok that Asha is out to kill Kishore so that her child Munna would be the sole inheritor of Ashok's fortune, thus Asha is sent packing

Lost and confused, Asha's spirit are revitalised when Masterji (Om Prakash)comes to her rescue and urges her to fight for what is hers, thus Asha goes back to the mansion in disguise with the intention of getting Shekhar to realise the truth

Will she succeed or will her disguise be exposed, watch Aas to find out

Overall Aas is a sweet family melodrama, it started off a bit slow but once the story picks especially with the arrival of Chacha-ji as the evil mother in law, the film becomes gripping and though its somewhat predictable and soap opera-ish, there is a lot to enjoy.

Performance wise Laxmi bai as Chacha-ji gets my praise, you just want to knock her over, her character was so conniving, rude and scarily real

I also loved Kamini as Asha, she has a quietness in her acting style that i like, plus i find her really beautiful

As for Shekhar i remember finding him a bit stiff but i guess that must be a requirement when you're playing the timid male figure whose Chachi still makes most decisions for

Excellent songs from Shankar Jaikishen added to the viewing experience, golden melodies like'Itna pyar karega kaun', 'zulm ki nagari mein' to the playful 'main to tere sapnon ki rani' which takes place in Kishore's wonderful costume themed birthday party with Om Prakash dressed up as what i believe is Hitler

my favourite is the Talat Mehmood/Lata Mangeshkar number 'Pyar hoke rahega'

Paisa vasool rating: 6/10

Monday 26 July 2010

Pyaar ka Saagar (1961)

Sincerest apologies to everyone for just going on a hiatus without leaving a notice, i promise as from now on, whenever I'm taking a blogging hiatus, i shall do a short post to let everyone know. I've missed blogging, and it's so great to be back. Pyaar ka Saagar ( Sea of Love) is one of the movies i had planned to review for Rajendra Kumar week, but due to deadlines, workloads, opportunities etc. I just had to take a break from bloggy world

Radha (Meena Kumari) & Kishan (Rajendra Kumar) meet after a stormy weather disrupts their journey, Kishan being such a gentleman let's Radha have his coat to keep warm, over time they form a friendship and fall in love (ahhhh)

After months of Romance Kishan has to leave for his exams in Hyderabad, upon returning to college kishen he finds it hard to study and then Returns to meet Radha in Mahabaleshwar
Radha forces him to consider his brother's sacrifice to educate him, she sets up a rule that they shouldn't see each other until he finishes his exams

Meanwhile Kishen's brother Bishen (their names rhyme, how cool) raises the company's profits thereby impressing his boss, his boss who just so happens to be Radha's father asks for his hand in marriage for Radha, Bishen suggests his brother Kishen but her father insists on him

Radha hears them by accident and thinks Kishen has been mentioned, when her father goes to ask for her approval (how nice of him right, most filmi father's word is the final) she approves thinking it is Kishen

On the day of the ceremony she's surprised when the groom turns out to be different from Kishen, Radha faints (for the first time, there's way more to follow)

she recovers and makes up her mind not to marry him (very strongminded for a filmi heroine na?) but upon her father's pleas not lose his honour and (to be specific his buisness/wealth) she agrees. On their Suhaag raat (wedding night) when Bishen shows her pictures of his family, Radha realises that none other than Kishen is his brother (she faints once more)

I love this shot of Rajendra Kumar

Kishen on the other hand finishes his exams, he had been unable to attend his brother's wedding fully due to his exams, when he goes to inquire about Radha he finds out she's now married, a heartbroken Kishen is so distraught that he tumbles down from the stairs thereby losing his eyesight

Bishen brings Kishen home for nursing, when Radha realises he's gone blind she faints once more again

Radha becomes his caretaker, but is racked by a heavy conscience

How will Radha cope? Will kishen ever regain his sight? Will Radha ever muster up the courage to tell Bishen the truth about her past with Kishen? Are there any hopes for our two lovers (Radha & Kishen) to be reunited? Will Kishen ever regain his sight? Watch Pyaar ka saagar for all these answers

A highly enjoyable melodrama (if melodrama is your appetite, it's mine indeed) i enjoyed each and every bit of it, but again the ending left me cold, considering we all know what usually happens in bollywood love triangles, one person is always bumped off to make room for the lovers to live happily ever after, I was expecting to see how Pyaar ka saagar would deal with this trope, and it was much worse than i expected, and perhaps the reason why Pyaar ka saagar won't make it to my favourite melodramas list, but still if you are in the mood for a gripping and well mounted melodrama with great albeit melodramatic perfomances, as well as fabulous songs, you could do no wrong than Pyaar ka saagar

I've collected all the delicious melodramatic moments in this clip for you to enjoy, notice the zooms and the swirly shots when something traumatic happens, i've also included some of Meena's fainting moments

Watching this film made me realise what a wonderful Jodi Rajendra Kumar and Meena Kumari, they're now one of my all time favourites Jodi's, they have chemistry and they seemed really besotted with one another

O.P Ralhan also appears in a comic side plot he even gets to drag up (Not a very convincing woman now is he)

The lovely Malika (I found her cute) was his love interest

Fab songs from Ravi, like B.R chopra, Devendra Goel seemed to have a fondness for Ravi, infact of all his films i've seen so far Ravi has been his music director of choice. the soundtack is a mixture of love ballads and heartbreaking melodies like 'Sadaa khushi rahe tu' , 'wafa jinse ki' and the beautiful 'haal dil ka' where we see Radha battling with her conscience (excellently picturised on Meena Kuamri)there's the hilarious 'Chahe koi' with a dragged up O.P Ralhan my favourites are 'Mujhe pyar ki zindagi' (just check out the chemistry between Rajendra and Meena in this)

and 'Tana dir nata' i just love how upbeat and lively Meena looks in the picturisation

Paisa Vasool rating: 6/10

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Mast Kalandar (1991)

The lovely Roti kapada aur Rum came up with the idea of dedicating a whole week to trashy films, luckily for her, i have seen a good deal of trash and now seems like the perfect opportunity to let some of them loose

Raisaheb's (Shammi Kapoor) disapproval of his son's (Anil Dhawan) wife Sheetal (Nandita Thakur) leads to a breakdown in their communication

Years go by and Rai Saheb is missing his son, he also feels remorseful on how he had treated his son's wife. Too late for Rai Saheb though as his son is now dead, Sheetal his son's wife unable to raise their child Guddu on her own decides to leave him with Rai Saheb who's wealthy & thereby able to provide better

Upon hearing the news of his grandson arriving an overjoyed Rai Saheb is eager to pick them but his Personal assistant Prem (Prem Chopra)volunteers

Prem however has plans of his own, himself along with Raja Saheb (Amrish Puri) plan on inheriting Rai Saheb's property thus news of his Grandson arriving is bad news for them, they hire some Goondas (Henchmen) to bump them off, but unluckily for them Guddu escapes alive but the poor boy loses his mother thereby making him an orphan

Rai Saheb is disheartend at the thought of his lost grandson, he places adverts in the newspapapers, promising a substantial amount to whoever finds or knows of Guddu's whereabouts. Shankar (Dharmendra) an opportunist sees this as a chance to make a quick buck

Shankar dresses up and pretends to be the child (seriously???) while Preeti (Dimple Kapadia) pretends to be the mother
Shankar as the missing child
Preeti as the mother

But of course they fail at their attempt

Guddu later buddies up with Shankar who in turn becomes his guardian, Shankar realises he just might be the missing grandson of Rai Saheb. He takes him over to Rai saheb's house, unluckily Rai Saheb is not home & Guddu's locket which stands as proof gets left behind

When Rai Saheb out of frustration (Rai Saab what's the rush) decides to will all his property over to Prem his Personal assistant, the necklace magically falls down from the ceiling thereby giving Rai Saheb hope that his grandson is still alive

Prem and his aide Raja Saheb must now prevent Rai saheb from willing the entire estate to Guddu, even if it means killing him

Will they succeed in their venture? Watch Mast Kalandar if you dare to find out

Overall a major disappointment and complete trash is what this film was, I would have cried if I had spent my money on this dvd, luckily for me though, i rented it. The acting, editing, cinematography as well as dvd quality was BAD, if all that wasn't enough Eros had the guts to snip out the one juicy song making the film EXTRA trashy. Watch this only if you're a hardcore fan of any of the leads here, just so you can claim you've seen all their movies, otherwise this movie is pure unadulterated big Trash

Rum wants us to shame our favourite stars and it pains me Dharmendra had to be the one i shame in this film, he just looked tired and overworked and given his friendship with the director Rahul Rawail, I can only imagine he did this as a favour of sorts. Dimple Kapadia too was wasted and didn't even get the chance to do much

Shakti kapoor tries seducing Pinku
Pinku flirts with Dharmendra
Pinku in his carrot coloured mohawk
The only saving grace in this movie in my opinion is Anupam Kher, in fact he's the major reason i watched this, his character of Pinku is said to be Bollywood's first openly gay character, Amrish Puri plays his accepting father (well he sees his son flirt with men openly and never tells him off).
Of course he camps it up, but Anupham kher really nailed his performance as Pinku, well, not all gay men fall into this effeminate stereotype but Anupam kher makes it so real that i actually see some of my gay friends in him, anyway see him in all his awesomeness below

Very average Soundtrack from my favourite music directors Laxmikant Pyarelal in this one, there's the hilarious 'chor chor chor', the quite sweet 'jag ja ke soja' and the only one i really liked was a parody of 'ek do teen' with Anupam Kher trying to seduce Prem Chopra, it surely doesn't get trashier than this

Paisa Vasool Rating: 3.5/10