Thursday 13 January 2011

Majhli Didi (1967)

Day Two in my Dharmendra countdown amrking his return to his silver screen with Yamla Pagla Deewana leads me to this rather obscure Hrishikesh Mukherjee film

Life is a struggle for little Kishen (Sachin) and his mother (Leela Chitnis) after years of ill health and struggles, she succumbs to death

Kishen is sent to live with his mother's sister Kadambini (Lalita Pawar) who wastes no time in making him feel like an outsider

Kishen finds solace and love in the arms of Heman Didi (Meena Kumari), his aunt's sister in law.
Heman didi is a warm figure who has happens to have more backbone than her spineless husband Bipinchandra (Dharmendra)

When his brother Mr Navin who is married to Kishen's aunt tries to swindle the poor out of their land, Hemdidi stands up and testifies in court against her in laws

When Kadambini who's so over the top annoying and just that little bit extra notices Kishen's growing bond to Hem Didi, she starts giving Hem Didi and Kishen a hard time (but in a rather Meena Kumari paisa Vasool way) Hem Didi takes none of her stinking attitude and puts her in her place
Yes you tell her Hem Didi!!!

With no support from anyone over her affection and kindness towards Kishen plus constant bickering from Kadambini as well as her spineless husband refusal to stick up for her. Hem Didi out of frustration ends up acting cold towards Kishen and drives him away from her

Will Kishen and Hem Didi's relationship ever be rekindled?

Overall a quiet and quite watchable drama, the film's supposedly based on a Sharat Chandra Chatterji novel 'Mejho Didi', it also seems to be one of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's lesser known films and no surprise why, as story wise there's nothing special here and there are way too much familiar tropes e.g. Wicked aunty, maltreated poor boy, In law rivalry etc.

What makes this film worth the price in my opinion is Meena Kumari as Hem Didi who wasn't afraid to assert herself just when she needs to, her character here won't be coerced into doing what she doesn't feel like even if that means overruling her husband, but of course she's made all weepy towards a melodramatic ending or perhaps because the makers thought the USP if you have Meena in your movie is crying. Still though i'd recommend this mostly for Mena kumari lovers like myself and perhaps for the songs or maybe if you read the novel

This screen cap pretty much sums up Dharmendra in this movie

I watched this for my Dharmendra special but seems this movie was a Meena Kuamri show all the way as he rarely had much to do and had very little screen time
I had no idea Sachin was a child actor until i saw this and he was good, not as annoying as your typical filmi kid

Adorable kiddie Sarika
Little Sarika makes an appearance too

Lovely songs from Hemant Kumar on here, most of the tracks had a sombre feel to them umariya bin khevat in particular and Nadiyon ki (woh mera gaon) my favourite of the whole bunch is a lovely riddle type song 'main lal lal' with Meena Kumari and very young Sarika, i tried uploading it with subs but the dvd kept acting up so i guess only hindi speakers would enjoy the fun riddles in the song

Paisa Vasool Rating: 5/10

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Wednesday 12 January 2011

Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke (1969)

With the forthcoming release of Yamla Pagla Deewana this friday which stars Dharmendra and his two sons, i thought i'd delve back into Papa Deol's film archives for the next few days. Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke (Monsoon comes A-waltzing) is one of his famous hits from the 60's and one of my favourite Dharmendra films, he stars in this alongside Asha Parekh and i have to say both of them make an awesome jodi (couple)

Our story starts in uber melodramatic fashion, and right from the get go i knew i'd love this film

Maya's boss gets all drunk and sexual thoughts creep into his mind upon seeing this rather randy painting

He decides on taking out his randiness on Maya but she isn't so forthcoming, frustrated and eager to get rid of his randy mood he tries raping her , at which point Maya shoots him dead

In fact watch this hilariously dramatic scene all for yourself in the video below

Scared of ruining her son's future, or for him to be labelled as a murderer's son, Maya leaves him in a temple and then hands herself over to the cops (What a good citizen, na?)

Maya's son is adopted by a wealthy childless family Lala Jugal Kishore (Nasir Hussain) and Mrs Kishore (Dulari), he's given the name Jai Shankar. Jai Shankar is showered with lots of affection, the Kishore's later have a child of their own Seeta

Jai Shankar (Dharmendra) and Seeta (Bindu) grow up in love and very much protective of oneanother. Jai meets and falls for Aarti (Asha Parekh), and after months of dating he proposes marriage

They both pick the day of her Examination results to deliver the news to Aarti's father, unfortunately for Jai he runs down his would be father in law who had been on his way back from buying presents to celebrate Aarti's exam success

Jai goes down to Aarti's house and just when he's about to confess his deed, he keeps silent due to her brother's pledge to kill whoever murdered their father as a result he hides his deed from Aarti
Will Aarti ever find out that Jai was her father's murderer? How will it affect their relationship?

drama no. 2
Drama further ensues when Maya, Jai's biological mother falls into the arms of her son Jai Shankar when he takes her home to nurse her following an accident

While recovering in Jai's mansion she notices his childhood pictures and realises he's none other than the son she had given up at the temple years ago. She approaches Jugal kishore who confirms that Jai was indeed adopted from a temple but he pleads with her not to reveal the truth as it may taint their family honour when word gets out his biological mother had done time in jail for murder, Maya agrees but how long will she be able to do this for
drama no. 3
Yet another drama ensues when Rajesh (Ravinder Kapoor) who is Jai's brother-in law is caught by Jai caressing another woman Rita (Laxmi Chhaya). Jai hears Rajesh tell Rita he's going to leave his housewife Seeta for her, thus Jai eager to ensure his Sister's happiness goes about taking matters in his hand
Will he be able to save Rajesh and Seeta's marriage

drama no. 4
If all that drama wasn't enough to digest Aarti's sister Mala (Aruna Irani) gets impregnated by a wealthy boy who turns down the pregnancy and refuses to marry her. Once more its Jai who commits to sort out this mess
Will all this dramatic questions and situations be resolved, watch Aya sawan Jhoom ke to find out

Depending on your cinematic taste buds, Aya Sawan jhoom ke (Monsoon comes A -waltzing) is totally gripping and enjoyable, what with all that mutilayered melodrama, it surely kept me engaged and yes i know a major problem a lot of people seem to have with bollywood movies is the whole story within a story or counter-plot if you like but 'Aya Sawan Jhoom ke' puts it to great melodramatic use. I couldn't help but enjoy this quite well plotted and at the same time chaotic and camp drama, but extremely impressive in my opinion is how all these multiple dramatic situations are always resolved just right before the movie ends.

Overall i'd say Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke is a beautiful melodramatic movie to indulge in especially on a rainy day, yes the acting gets a bit hammy and a bit over the top with lots of melodramatic gestures (see screen caps below)
But with loads of nice songs and beautiful people in beautiful clothes, hammy acting is a very minor complaint that i surely don't mind turning a blind eye on

I loved Dharmendra in this movie, he's at his dramatic best here with an equally impressive wardrobe
Nice Camel Suit and Skinny tie combo

Not crazy about the fit of this jacket but i love the colour

I want that shirt!!!!

Absolutely fab brocade Dinner Jacket, i want it too!!!
Asha Parekh was on top form too, she and Dharmendra are adorable together and they're one of my all time favourite screen Jodi's (screen couples) and of course she was styling in a major way

Loving the sailor style Salwar khameez

Lovely Green Kurta with a funky design

Lovely polka dot sari

This is such a Typical Asha Parekh look, she loves her sleeveless sari's and choker necklaces

In fact all the women in this film had very interesting looks, i love Bindu's south Indian style in lovely sari's and the most amazing yellow gold jewellery you'll ever see

Aruna Irani Colour blocking in a fabulous way
Going all Traditional

Ahh and i simply loved Laxmi Chhaya in this, she doesn't have as much screen time but kya energy hai!!!

Lovely music from Laxmikant Pyareleal, its not one of my Laxmikant pyarelal favourites but the songs are definitely adorable, highlights are the lovely Mohammed Rafi number 'manjhi chal o manjhi chal' & 'burat mar suno', the lovely colourful title track 'Aya sawan jhoom ke' the beautiful Rafi & Lata duet 'Saathiya nahin jata' and my favourite on this is the nergetic main ek haseena performed to greatness by the great Laxmi Chhaya, i absolutely love her charm, her energy and her moves see for yourself below

Now head over to My Music Movies and Mutterings blog for an additional write up of the soundtrack and to get the music for free

Paisa vasool Rating: 7/10

Friday 7 January 2011

My Favourite Songs of 2010

Its that time of the year again, where i round up the top 10 songs that kept me excited, warm and had me feeling a whole lot of different emotions in 2010. I barely went to the cinema to see much last year but having bollywood music channels plus Raj & Pablo's Love Bollywood show and of course the blogosphere helped me keep in touch with all the latest tunes. Now without further ado, here are my favourite songs of 2010

10. Kajraare from Kajraare (2010) While Himmesh Reshammiya might not be the best of actors, there's no denying the fact that the man is a talented music director, his Kajraare in which he duets with one of my favourite Hindi film playback singers Sunidhi Chauhan kept doing the rounds in my head, great catchy track and great composition from Himmesh, gotta love that double bass loop at the beginning

9. Hey ya from Karthik calling Karthik The first thing that came to mind while listening to this song was Charles and Eddie 'would i lie to you', this mellow song reminds me a lot of Charles and Eddie so much so that i refer to it mentally as the bollywood Charles and Eddie song (I'm not saying they copied or anything, it just reminds me of Charles & Eddie)

8. Udi from Guzaarish As i have said numerous times and i'm saying it again, Sunidhi Chauhan is quite simply one of my all time favourite playback singers and i love her range in this song, what makes it extra special is Aishwarya's miming and flamenco or should i say spanish style dancing

7. Adhoore from Break ke Baad Vishal & Shekhar came back with a bang this year and this is one of their many tunes  i couldn't help but sing along to especially the 'Adhoore ho ho ho, adhoore tum ummmm, adhoore ho ho bin tumhare' bit

6. Ainvayi Ainvayi from Band Baaja Baarat Whenever this song came on i couldn't help but join in singing the ainvayi ainvayi part a bit too enthusiastically much to the dislike of onlookers

5. Bahara from I hate luv story's This is yet another Vishal & Shekhar song that kept doing the rounds in my head, giving me many a sleepless night, especially Shreya Goshal's reptition of 'bahara bahara bahara'

4. Behene De from Raavan I loved the sexy chilled but yet groovy vocals and composition of this tune, i haven't seen the movie but this song whatever i feel after watching the film, will be enough for me to forgive whatever flaws it might have

3. Mora Piya from Raajneeti Another sexy chilled song that i couldn't help but love especially the bit where goes bhole 'mora piya mose bolat hai' (my beloved isn't speaking to me) i absolutely love

2. Chaan Ke Mohalla from Action Replayy This year Aishwarya grew on me like no other, and Action Replayy is one of the few movies i actually paid paisa (money) to go see in the Cinema. I loved it though i can see why many people hated it but the songs, the retro stylings, and Akshwarya plus this song made it all worth it

1. Zor ka Jhatka from Action Replayy Very controversial i know right, having No. 1 and 2 from the same film but I'm a sucker for any song that has accompanying dance moves for two reasons
a. it makes for a good work out
b. it makes the song easy to sing along to (well, sort off)

So there my lovely ones, are my favourites tunes of 2010 that kept me distracted, feeling, dancing and humming through the year, other songs that almost made the list are the songs of Dabang, 'Wallah re Wallah' from Tees maar Khan, 'Surli ankhiyon re' from Veer, 'Suno Aisha' from Aisha, 'Pee lo' from Once upon a time in mumbai, 'Dil to baccha hai ji' from Ishqiya

Happy Birthday to Reena Roy

Reena Roy in Jaise ko Taisa (1973)
Happy Birthday to one of my favourite Bollywood diva's Reena Roy, i haven't given her enough love as much as i would like on this blog but i hope i'll be able to so more often this year, here's wishing Reena Roy a happy 54th birthday and in celebration here's one of my favourite Reena Roy songs 'pardesi Jaake from Arpan which i reviewed a while ago here

List of Reena Roy films on this blog
Arpan (1983)
Jadu Tona (1977)
Refugee (2000)

Read more about Reena Roy here