Friday, September 20, 2013

A dictionary you don't wanna miss.

Guys ! Guys!

I stumbled upon this pdf and I loved it. Its a dictionary for Bollywood and about Bollywood.And the genius thing about it is that its not by an Indian,not even an Asian. A german Volker Schuermann.

Enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Nargis was one of those actresses to me who resembled my strict aunt Sally. Always decently dressed unlike the other actresses. Did roles which showed her as an upright women preaching and advising. And since I am still a woman-child I usually go for chilled out movies like Golmaal and Choti si baat where no one preaches but everyone just do mad stuff and laugh let others laugh. Ok...before I go on saying why I love more of Basu Chatterjee's movies so much let me just speak about Lajwanti.

I was reading about Leela Mishra's interview which was decades old. One fiery yet funny woman of her times.

 I was reading on when I discovered that Lajwanti ,one of her movies, was entered for 1959 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for Palme d'Or best film. That piqued my interest and as trivia gets me , I had to see the film.

I did and thus starts my awe for Nargis. and for actors like Balraj Sahni. I mean, now I'm thinking ,so many movies,so many brilliant movies and will I be able to see all before I die? well....

Lajwanti is a story about a happy family which comes under a dark cloud of doubt and misunderstanding and results in temporary separation for a couple of years. Nargis' character is shown ,as expected, a pious , husband oriented wife with a baby girl. Sahni's role is the good husband but a busy lawyer who has no time for family. This results is mild complaints and later results in the wife wanting for some company to just talk and spent time with. Which happens to be with their common friend ,a guy. Taboo in those days ( sometimes even now) and which results in the afore mentioned misunderstanding. Separation happens and the baby girl grows up to a teenager and they rediscover her mother. But all is not well because the story is not just about husband and wife relation but also about mother and child relationship,how a child perceives the world through her eyes and how it is very important to say the right thing to children.

The movie would have been very predictable if not for the child - mother angle. I shall rather say the child
(Kumari Naaz,if this info is right) has given a performance worth pondering on. She actually steals the movie with her innocence and yet occasional glimpses of maturity.

Pics courtesy - bollywood mantra

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Saudagar 1973 - Also learn to make gur

A rare Amitabh Bachhan movie in which he does not wear his angry young man robe. Now that should be able to draw you in right?

Saudagar brings out a lot of village charm because the story is woven around village mentalities and a plot which looks simple love triangle but is more than that. I haven't watched many movies of Nootan to be able to comment on her but I felt she gave a very apt performance to her character. The movie also brings out the human vices of greed,betrayal and celebrates virtues of forgiveness. All this,without the usual pomp of Bollywood. Probably why it was entered for best Foreign language film in 46th Academy Awards. Also has a lovely hummable song 'Sajna hai mijhe,sajna ke liye'.

By the way I also learnt how to make gur,the way you enjoy nature and not sweat over it over a gas stove and keep coming to stir by taking a break from the not-so-charming movie on TV.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Hip Hip Hurray 1984

Hip Hip Hurray is another one of those movies which did not knock on the door of marketing. Rather,it passed by ho-humming and we missed it. Yes. I'm yet again happy to have discovered it and also to see Raj Kiran again after some saas bahu movies in which he acted. This movie has been my fav of his.

Its kinda slow. Ok very slow. I had instagram on by the side and that is against my Code-of-Watching-Classics. But it is really slow. I can't believe Prakash Jha directed it. Musical effects were rarely used and songs had no dum. 

A simple movie nevertheless. Takes you back to your school and the dusty playground.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Kirayadar 1986

Kirayadar and Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam came out in 1986. The latter is a Malayalam movie on the travails of a landlord whose house is being siezed by his tenants. Kirayadar is similar but with some changes in the storyline. No, I am not here to tell you who copied from whom coz I dont care. When it comes to movies anytime before the era of Rohit Shetty,100 crore club and Sunny Leone I can bear all sequels and alarming fashions. Especially the eighties.

I dig the poster and the font for movie title. Doesnt it tell you the story in one look?

Oh comeon, go watch it. It may not have your fav stars or a Kapoor or a 'Vijay' but watch it for :

Old Bombay - travel the still uncongested Bombay streets with Raj Babbar when he tries to find his workplace. 

Eighties fashion - Watch Padmini flaunt the (Garden?) saris and churidaars of that era in her perfect figure. Speaking of who,I consider this amongst her best performances. Really,who is Babbar or rather where was he?

Utpal Dutt - perfect. old world charm

Vidya sinha - breezy as ever. No wonder the breezy Hrishikesh Mukherjee and breezier Basu Chatterjee took her in most of their breeziest movies.

Ek Baar Phir 1980

Ek Baar Phir has two unique aspects. One,its one of the rare movies of 1980s which was entirely shot in an outside location. Yes,entirely. Even the credits. Second, in doing so,it didnt need a YRF banner. No Switzerland or the alps or USA. Just good old,stiff upper lip London as if London London nahi hua bagalwala gymkhana hua!

So what is about this almost unheard of movie that you should see? It is,frankly,not amongst the other better flicks Deepthi has done. But it is poignant and has a pace of its own. Simply put the story is about a wife of a superstar who is a casanova. She is lost in her marriage and finds her way straight into the arms of a guy who, obviously,is just the opposite of her husband and right for her.And yes he does feel right for her! What a brooding performance by Pradeep Verma. Pity he wasn't that popular

The movie is slow either due to some poor direction and poor performances of support actors or deliberative slow because once the infidelity starts who cares for poor performances eh? We just want to know if the Indian wife has the guts to walk out of a loveless marriage. Whether the casanova gets a slap on his dirty face or not. Whether the lover ever stops being miserable and finds his love back. Whether a non YRF film will do well without its patronage! Also we are glad to see how a movie on infidelity is made without being sleazy (read non Bhatt)

Watch it for : old London,old fashions and charming Saeed Jaffery

Kissi Se Na Kehna 1983

The title suggests a flick with chori chupe romance ,which it is. Though without much of the mindless laughing and people falling on banana skin and the guy hiding in the to - be father-in-law's bedroom aka Chupke Chupke style. The movie rather shows some unbelievable care between an Indian father-in-law and his daughter-in-law.

I like how Utpal Dutta is almost all his movies with more or less similar role. A khudgarz father,a strict employer etc almost touching the character of a middle class Indian.Kissi Se Na Kehna is no less.

Girl and boy fall in love and want to marry. Dutt unfortuantely happens to view modern girls as victims of Western culture and who feel ashamed to speak their mother tongue. Thus he doesnt want his son to marry of their ilk. And role playing starts. Deepti has to sometimes act like a village belle and one who doesnt know English,isnt educated and is not what she is; doctor.

Its an easygoing movie mildly tempered with Deepthi's and Saaed Jaffery's performances. Shiekh hovers in the background with his gharelu persona. But you can easily call Utpal Dutt the lead of the movie because he dominates it with his personality as a proud Indian  and so called bade buzurg.

Watch it for : understanding old Indian family culture,simple middle class living or for a glimpse of village life.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Saath Saath 1982

It was a pleasant surprise to discover that the mesmerising song 'Tumko dekha to yeh khayal aaya' is from Saath Saath. I thought it was from some famous Yash Chopra flick. (you know how it is...there are certain songs you would have heard a lot but just don't know where it is from)Another undiscovered and unhyped movie from the Eighties.

I have instant love with Deepti Naval. Visit her website and hop onto earlier mag articles written about her. Its true,she isn't the typical commercial Bollywood actress of then and now. You cannot typecast her. She isn't deep as Shabana Azmi nor is she grave as Smitha Patil. Somewhere in between.

And that is why I love her movies. I personally search for her Filmography and look for her movies. Thankfully some lovely people have uploaded here and there and apun ka guzaara ho jaata hai.

The movie is about a couple who are as different as chalk and cheese. Farookh Shiekh is a stubborn,self respecting college boy and Deepti is just daddy's rich girl. She falls in love with him for his ideals and principles. An arya samaj marriage and char din ke chandni ke baad... they start to live their lives. Farookh keeps getting anxious now and then if his wife will ever be tired  of the poverty and turn into a bitch but nothing of the sort happens.

Out pops a baby and things then change. Farookh does a somersault and enters the rat race with a blind motive to earn more money. Deepti starts getting surprised as are we, at his change of behaviour.

The movie is more Deepti than Farookh. With her bubbly girl in love to mature patience as a wife is a transition that is the essence of the movie. Could have named the movie 'Aurat ka dil' or 'My great wife'. Sorry! Saath Saath is just better!

To be watched when you are nostalgic,love old Bollywood,love Deepti Naval,love Farookh Shiekh,want to see old Bombay,want to see college of old times and want to see old Neena Gupta

Pic courtesy - flipkart

Abhinetri 1970

A geeky scientist (does Shashi seem like one? ) meets a dancer Hema and fall in love.
A very quick romance though  they do not run around trees much.
Shashi is a Nirupa Roy ka ladla and
a considerable amount of movie time goes in showing that.

The lovebirds get married and Hema leaves her nach gaana and I wait to see what happens that the
movie takes its name.
Still a lot of songs and ghar grahasthi happens. And I wait.

Then Hema's uncle asks her to dance one more time as he was her manager and he is running in losses.
The susheel girl agrees much to the gussa of her patidev. Gussa continues till the day Maa come
s to visit them.
Ok so Hema now becomes abhinetri.Patidev and patni act like a happy couple.I think so now movie
will run even longer.
Coz Bollywood movie names have to be significantly depicted in the fillum.
Hey but like some minutes pol khul jaata hai and Hema's saheli says that Maa sab jaanti thi,
so she is the Abhinetri!

Honestly I felt ripped!

But then I enjoy oldies and I'm partial to them. Nevertheless this is one forgettable Hema movie.
Nevertheless Shashi is as adorable as ever. And Nirupa to maa hi hoti hai.

I love the painted original poster. Glee!

Pic courtesy from the site of desitunes desibantu

Piya Ka Ghar 1972

When I went to Mumbai 2 yrs back,I visited my friend's friend. She was staying in a hostel room which was the size of an auto.No, I am not joking. Yes,it was actually that size. And she paid around Rs.6500 for that space! My cupboard is bigger than that....Well I live in Kerala.So you can imagine the space benchmark.

A comparison similar to this was said by Jaya Bachhan's uncle in Piya ka Ghar. He detests city people and thinks Bombay shehar theek nahi hai meri phool jaisi beti ke liye. But love brings her unsure,dainty-as-Jaya-is steps to the shehar anyways. Then it is Bombaiyya chawl life with a huge family,open windows and open hearts.A movie very subtly focusing on living space factor in Mumbai and how it affects the relationship of newly weds.

Anybody who smirks at Mumbai and its congestion,pollution and high rentals etc should see this movie. Not only will you fall in love with the old Bombay but it has a dialogue which will make you think twice about cribbing of living in Mumbai... ' Bambai walon ka ghar chota hota hai beti par dil bahut bada hota hai'