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