Monday 24 October 2011

Chhote Nawab (1961)

Continuing the theme of maybe not so remarkable films but definitely a remarkable soundtrack is 1961's Chhote Nawab (Little Master) which as i understand gave Mehmood (one of my favourite comedians) his first leading role, but the great fact about Chhote Nawab is that it marked the  music directorial debut of the great Hindi film music director R.D. Burman. According to Mehmood (via wikipedia) he appointed R.D. Burman as the music director because he got tired of R.D. Burman constantly denting his car with his constant drumming.Great Choice Mehmood I say, as I'm in love with this soundtrack but first lets get into the plot

Our Story begins in Lucknow where Bade Nawab (?) is burdened by the upcoming birthday bash of his 5 going on 20 years old son (just as well, as he was born on a leap year) son Chhote Nawab (Mehmood)

He's advised by his personal Assistant Munshi-ji (S.N. Banerjee) to keep it a low key affair but Safdar (Kumar) his son in law reminds him of his reputation which results in the Nawab taking out a loan from Bhagwati Prasad (?) who's out to exploit him, Nawab places his house as a collateral (I think we know where this is going, bad mistake Nawab)

Days after Chhote Nawab's birthday celebration when he's unable to pay back his loan, Bade Nawab suffers a hear attack when Bhagwati comes to reclaim his property.It turns out the idea to get bade Nawab to place his house as a collateral was a plan between Bhagwati and Safdar to usurp Nawabs wealth. However, Bhagwati cheats Safdar out of his share and ends up usurping Bade Nawab's property leaving Safdar penniless

Angry and frustrated at being conned by Bhagwati, Safdar starts mistreating everyone around  him including his wife (Minoo Mumtaz) and her brother Chhote Nawab. Unable to take Safdar's humiliating treatments any more Chhote Nawab escapes to Mumbai.

He's found roaming the streets of Mumbai by family friend Nawab Nazir (Nasir Hussain)  who takes him home and offers his daughter Roshan (Ameeta) as his fiancee

Chhote Nawab comes across as uncouth and after a humiliating episode Chhote Nawab subjects her to, Ameeta alongside Kanchan (Johnny walker) starts educating Chhote Nawab and transforms him from a bumpkin to a city Slicker

Alas all her hard work soon starts causing jealousy when Sophie (Helen) a night club dancer starts flirting with him

Chhote Nawab starts acting erratically and turns cold towards Roshan and her family, forgetting how they  had helped him when he was down and out (see what the beauty of Helen can cause)

If all this wasn't enough he gets in with the bad crowd when he becomes friends with Bihari (Anwar Hussain) a gambler whose company causes him to start visiting Kotha's (brothels) as well as become a raging alcoholic
The lovely Sheila Vaz

Will Nawab ever come back to his senses or will it be too late to save him from his debauched lifestyle? Watch Chhote Nawab to find out

While not being up there with my favourites, I enjoyed watching Chhote Nawab, the first half moves along rather smoothly and was very enjoyable mostly due to Mehmood's child like antics plus the general drama, but then the second half which follows his journey from Lucknow to Mumbai and which sees him transformed from country bumpkin to city slicker becomes all preachy and moralistic in that cliched modern versus traditional life manner but alas Chhhote Nawab had matured and they had to pad out the story, still though this is na enjoyable film and I'd recomend it for mehmood fans and for R.D. Burmans

Performance wise Mehmood is the scene stealer in this film which I've heard he self produced, I'd describe him as delightfully loud and annoying yet oh so lovable, his childlike mannerisms and body language are simply unmatchable see the scene below for example, I love Mehmood I really do

And Ameeta is love interest was oh so beautiful though a bit too camera conscious as I noticed numerous sceens where kept glancing directly at the camera

 And Helen what a beauty, i loved her look in this film

Great Soundtrack from R.D. Burman, the songs on this blew me away and I couldn't help but appreciate R.D.'s talent ever more so, the songs on here are pretty remarkable for a debut. Favourites include the playful kiddie song 'aam chum tam chuum', the sweet and uplifting 'aaj hua dil matwala' and two super mujra's in the form of 'Ghar aaja ghir' with the lovely Sheila Vaz and 'chura ke dil' can anyone Id the lady in the clip (see her below)
can anyone id her?
two favourites I've chosen to embed are 'matwali ankhonwale' with Mehmood and Helen in full flamenco mode (I love this picturisation so much)

and the fun 'jeenewale muskura ke jee'  I love this composure so much and Mehmood's child like giggles added to the song makes it ever so delightful

Paisa Vasool Rating: 6/10

Choti Choti Si Baat #1

Choti Choti Si Baat (Litte Little Things) is a feature I hope to update weekly (see the previous edition here, and no more promises as I'm usually unable to fulfill them) with little snippets on favourite songs, upcoming movies etc. current obsessions and other bollywood related tidbits

Song of the week: Touch my body from 'Tell Me Oh Khuda' I've long been a Esha deol fan and I have in fact reviewed a few of her films on here. 'Tell me oh Khuda' is being touted as a come back vehicle of sorts for her and I can't help but wish Esha all the best and I hope this puts some much needed spice in her career. I've been playing this lovely number from the film over and over,  the sultry Hinglish vocals over 90's European trance/house beats won me over, I love it and I've been singing it all week

Guilty Pleasure of the week: 'Shake it Saiyaan' from Rascals My first reaction when i saw this video was what the Hell? but it has grown on me and I love it so much, even though I feel i shouldn't but alas how i can resist a hindi r'n'b/hip hop song with vocals from none other than the superb Sunidhi Chauhan, plus this video is a great lesson in cultural appropriation, I love seeing the Hip Hop style video adapted to a bollywood format

Youtube Discovery of the week: I find great pleasure in discovering non Indians singing bollywood songs word for word despite not having a grasp of the hindi language, such is the case with this man right here who gives a rather great rendition of 'Goro Ki Na kalon ki' (how very appropriate hai na!) from Disco Dancer. Please A.R. Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Pritam or Vishal-Shekhar track him down and let him start singing in hindi films

Retro Clip of the Week: Koi Patthar Se from Laila Majnu I remember seeing Laila Majnu in my early days as a bollywood deewana but I really couldn't appreciate it or should I say I found it boring, anyway this beautiful song rendered by Lata is tempting me to revisit the film

Upcoming Posts: Over on this blog I hope to continue my theme of films relevant because of their soundtrack (that's not to dismiss some of the said films themselves) I also hope to pay homage to Rekha whose birthday was a few weeks ago by reviewing a movie of hers on here. And over on my other blog Bollywood Movie Fashion I shall be taking a closer look into Nanda's amazing wardrobe in Jab Jab Phool Khile
Nanda in Jab Jab Phool Khile

Movie Release of the week: R.A. One Finally its here we've seen the promos, heard the songs and despite my irritation on the rather aggressive promotions I really can't wait to see this film, even if it turns out to be a bore I reckon I'll have fun watching it as I'm going with a  dear friend who loves Shahrukh immensely

Monday 26 September 2011

Aas Paas (1981)

Continuing the Dharema theme is this rather significant movie, significant not so much because of its content but because it was the last film the great hindi film playback singer Mohammed Rafi recorded   for before his death in 1980

Thus the movie starts with this dedication

Then we're introduced to Arun (Dharmendra) who's just been released from Prison, the story goes on a flashback mode where Arun a wealthy and outgoing  young man meets and falls in love with a theatre actress Seema (Hema Malini)

 When Arun announces his plans to marry Seema, his Mother (Nirupa Roy) is none too pleased her son is getting married to a theatre dancer but Arun persists

Arun is later called to herald the family business, however Prem (Prem Chopra) his brother in law is none too pleased and sets about killing him off by planting a bomb in his plane

Distressed and shattered over Arun's death Seema finds herself unable to perform at the theatre which results in her being fired. If all this heartache wasn't enough for poor Seema, her father dies leaving Seema alone to fend for both herself and her brother
Poor Seema, I'd be traumatized as well
She becomes a big time Sharaabi (drunkard) and starts living with another washed up actress rani (Nadira) whose waning popularity had led to depression and drinking
Sita-ji!! those sharaab bottles screen caps are for you, Hema Malini sure looks like she enjoys her drink
During one of her drinking sessions, she's violated by Prem in vengeance for how she had insulted him during her time at the theatre (Poor poor Seema,  poor girl can't seem to catch a break)

After a rather long spell of horrid happenings, Seema's world comes alive once more when Arun is found alive, plans are made for their engagement

However on the date of their engagement Seema realises that none other than Prem who had  violated her is Arun's brother in law

How will Seema handle Situations, will she call off her marriage to Arun? Will She tell Arun about the heinous act his brother in law committed against her? Will Seema ever be able to catch a break?

Asides from its significance of containing the last recording of a Mohammed Rafi song 'tu kahin aas paas hai dost' (Does anyone know if Mohammed Rafi actually finished recording the song), Aas Paas is well worth paasing over. Of all the Dharema (that's Dharmendra & Hema Malini) films I've seen so far (and trust me I've seen a lot) Aas Paas is by far my least favourite, the performances from both of them was lacklustre, the chemistry and spark they both had in movies like Raja Jani, Naya Zamana etc was missing in this. Perhaps the tawdry soap opera style plot and execution plus the abysmal ending ruined things for me, but I just wasn't pleased with this movie at all and unless you're a die hard Dharema fan like me, I'd say paas on

There were a few things I liked though, I loved Nirupa Roy as Arun's wealthy mother in her stylish spectacles and lovely sari's

Nadira also brought me some  enjoyable hammy moments with her character as star whose popularity had declined , I really do wonder if her character as a forgotten legend bears some resemblance to her in the 80's when her popularity must have waned

Lovely t-shirt on Asrani, I remember seeing very similar t-shirts with that exact slogan being very popular a few years ago

And Madhu Malhotra who reminded me an awful lot of  Neetu Singh
the hair style, make up and her whole face screams Neetu!!!
 And look its mini Hrithik Roshan in one of his early filmi appearances

Ok Soundtrack from Laxmikant Pyarelal I remember loving just a coup[le of the songs,  the lovely punjabi style number 'shaher mein charcha hai'  and Hema Malini in full on daaru-tastic mode in 'hum ko bhi gham ne mara' and my utmost favourite from this film and in fact one of my favourite Dharema songs 'Tumhe dil mein bandh kar loon'

Paisa Vasool Rating: 4.5/10

For those interested in watching Aas Paas its available on youtube* with English Subtitles

*Due to copyright Issues depending on what part of the world you're in, the Video above might not play

Choti Choti Si Baat

Choti Choti Si Baat (Litte Little Things) is a new weekly feature I've decided to update on here once a week with little snippets on favourite songs, upcoming movies etc. current obsessions and other bollywood related tidbits

Song of the week: 'Malo Malli Naar Yaar De' from Mausam

I'm totally in love with this song, I love everything from Tochi Rania's vocals to Shahid's styling in that gorgeously cut 3pc suit and hot dance moves (gah!!! I can't wait to start practising them myself), the love I have for this song reminds me I should get myself down to the cinema to see this. Read Filmi Girl's lovely review on it here

Obsession of the week: main vari vari from Mangal Pandey

Mangal pandey - Main Vari Vari from Bollywood Deewana on Vimeo.

Dear lord where in the world have I been, I watched Mangal Pandey for the first time last week and i totally loved it. Amongst my favourite things in the movie was Rani Mukherjee's mujra performance of Main vari vari, how amazing does she look and she dances fantastically in it too, my favourite of all her moves is the cleavage slice followed by vigorous head shake she does at about the 3.50 mark in the video above, I've driven myself mad with massive bouts of laughter trying to recreate it

Youtube Discovery of the week: Bollyjham
One of my favourite past times is surfing youtube for bollywood related videos, this week's discovery led me to some american students going by the name bollyjham who are obsessed with bollywood. Their parody of Choli ke peeche had me crying (seriously), see it for yourself below

Movie Release of the week: Speedy Singh

The movie I can't wait to see this week is Speedy Singh, this testosterone filled Bend it like Beckham style movie (see the trailer here) starring Akshay Kumar, Rob Lowe, Vinay Virmany and Camilla Belle amonst others has been haunting me for weeks now, I hope I get to see it by the weekend. I'm loving the incredibly catchy 'Shera di Kaum' Punjabi sang by Manj from RDB featuring Ludacris (I can't help but love RDB's bollywood music contributions). This song is already a club anthem, I've watched it so much that I can't help but raise my hand in unison with them when they utter 'Shera di kaum Punjabi' and look Rob Lowe's doing it too (at about the 2.40 mark)

Friday 23 September 2011

Raja Jani (1972)

I think its high time I invest in a quality laptop, the thought of coming back home and sitting for hours on end on a desktop blogging after a long hard days at work is seriously discouraging and tiring which is why I've been missing in action for a while, but I've seriously missed blogging as well as reading all my favourite blogs so much that I've designated my weekly days off preparing posts that will be automatically set to publish. My first movie review is this Dharema (thats Dharmendra & Hema Malini) romcom which i couldn't help but fall in love with

Wealthy Ranimaa (Durga Khote)  the queen of Taragarh lives in constant agony and anticipation that her long lost granddaughter Ratna who was kidnapped years ago will return to reclaim her throne

Her right hand man Diwan Gajendra Singh(Premnath) takes advantage of situations and recruits suave mobster Raja (Dharmendra) to help him find a girl who'll fake being Ranimaa's granddaughter who'll in turn hand in all the treasures to them once she's been crowned

Raja stumbles upon Shanno (Hema Malini) a street dancing village belle but Diwan thinks she's too much of a commoner to play the role of the long lost princess Ratna

Thus Raja forgoes Shanno as an option but circumstances brings them together again when Shanno escapes after murdering a leacherous man her guardians had sold her to, she finds safety in raja who takes her home  and decides upon presenting her as the lost princess Ratna

Thus begins a makeover as Raja  transfroms Shanno from Country bumpkin to city slicker, he also teaches her lovely manners

All this results in Shanno not only being fit to play a part of the lost princess but she also falls in live with  Raja (something I do not blame her for). Shanno's love for Raja turns into heartbreak when she realises all that grooming and lessons he had been giving her was all in the name of getting her to deceive Ranimaa

Shanno decides to live but is stopped by Raja's assistant Imartilal (Johnny Walker) who tells her about Raja's past scorn in the hands of an unfaithful lover (Bindu) who had cheated on him
Seriously Bindu???? cheating on Dharmendra with Manomhan

Imartilal persuades her to stay as she is the only one who can bring Raja back on the straight and narrow. Shanno listens and decides to play along as Ranimaa's long lost daughter Ratna while also harbouring plans to reform Raja and win his love

But things aren't so easy as Shanno's conscience starts getting the best of her, will she manage to deceive Ranimaa in time so that Raja and Diwan Saheb  get the treasures? Who is the real Ratnaand what will happen if she does indeed arrive? Plus will Shanno succeed in her attempts to make Raja fall in love with her? For this and many more delightful 70's bollywood retro goodness watch Raja Jani

With the exception of some minor gaping plot holes especially in the form of Shanno's murder case never been concluded, this is a cool, fun, charming and delightful retro romcom with fantastic chemistry between Hema and Dharmendra, seriously this two are at their best here, I absolutely loved them and its no surprise they went on to marry, they win my award for best filmi jodi of all time (sorry Sharukh and Kajol). Plus it was nice to see a decisive heroine even though a big part of her decision centred around gaining a man's approval to win his love but hey!! that's minor from all the goodness this film offers, there's a bit of romance, drama, thrilling moments (like the scene below) and action all packaged nicely into an endearing entertaining flick, everyone who likes their retro bollywood movies should watch this

Plus have i mentioned how fabulous the fashion in this film is, all those interested in retro bollywood fashion should see this film to learn how its done. From Hema Malini's pearly beaded top and flared trousers to her funky belted tunic with paisley headscarf she had an amazing wardrobe, head over to my other bollywood blog which I've been ghost writing for some time now to see her full looks

Dharmendra too had some lovely threads in this from his lovely bright blazers to his sharp Double breasted suits, I've never seen him look so stylish, head over to my other bollywood blog to see his other looks from the film

 And Prem Chopra was styling too, i love that blazer though i think I'd change a few things before wearing it

You also get some fab interiors  in the form of giant swiveling doors and quilt padded walls (oh how i love how you pay attention to details 70's bollywood)
Vah!!Kya Baat hai Dharam ji ladies and some of you Gents, stop drooling please

And finally the music from Laximant Pyarelal is delightful, from the amazing 'jani o jani' sung beautifully by kishore Kumar with a suave looking Dharmendra during the title credits to the infectious 'duniya ka mela' to the cheeky 'ABCD chodo' (check out the outfits in this) and then there's the lovely 'mubarak o tujhe' with an appearance from Helen simply dancing around Hema, and the flirty 'Kitna mazaa raha hai' . The song I've chosen to embed however is aaja o aaja simply because of how gorgeous Hema and Dharmendra look in the song

Paisa Vasool Rating: 7/10