Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Khalnayak 1993 - the good Ghais,bad Ghais and mirrorwork cholis.

Khalnayak is a story of Rakhee's two sons (not), who got separated at birth at Kumbh Mela (not) and grew up to polish Pran's shoes (not) and then story moves to whether he is their real father (not). Also there is a locker full of gold biscuits in some godown somewhere (not).

Ok fine, so this is that Subhash Guy movie ,yes you read that right. And since all his movies are different (?), Khalnayak was too so this was one of the biggest blockbusters of 1993.
A good boy turned bad is wanted by the police and Madhuri takes up the sacrifice to bring him to line. Indian women always make sacrifices and one of these includes drinking with the bad guys and dancing to romantic, educational, school girl songs like 'choli ke peeche'.

We all know that  Sanjay Dutt was the villain and Shroff is the good guy and Mads' the lass and there's almost forms the triangle. But since I love classics so much, I try to bring them back to our recall list so that you can opinionate on them differently and luk,luk,luk,luk again.

Mads was known to hold her own in almost all her movies. She was the man, the  muscle and the spine of any film she took on. This was no different. I can safely say she is the real villain in this. Not in character but the chameleon speed of her roles. Sanjay melts at her thumkas and is soon discovered as an exploited youth so can hardly be called a villain. But Mads with  her tough policewoman role, her flippant attitude to dance to a rusty number, her cowboy nature with the gang and her Durga avatar as one who saves her would-be's reputation is enough to hail her as the true actor in this movie and otherwise too.

Watch it for :

Sanju baba's long hair.

Madhuri,in a ghaghra choli and enjoying happy hours with Sanjay's gang.

Rakhee as a non-mother of two separated sons. (Yes please, you should just watch if she cries any different from her usual role)

And this is for the chic girls - Mirrorwork cholis.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Aakasha Kottayile Sultan 1991

Build a house in a tea estate.
Appoint Sreenivasan as the caretaker.
Get one, no two, four families as tenants- all under one roof.
Throw Innocent and Mamukoya to mix up things.
You have chaos called Aakasha Kottayile Sultan!

A pure veg Brhamin family headed by Oduvil Unnikrishnan, a pure non veg family headed by KPS Lalitha, Pentecost devotees with the delightful Philomena and a group a bachelors headed by Innocent all come together to uproot Sreeni's life and as usual it takes a girl to upset it even further.

As with most of the movies, this too drives on Sreeni's detailed portrayal of a helpless man,nose deep in debts and as always a sister to be married off.

Some delightful scenes to watch :

Innocent and Baiju ready to jump into the swimming pool after applying ..oil on their bodies ! :D

Oduvil Unnikrishnan secretly having brandy in the toilet.

Philomena, Meena Kumari as Pentecost devotees. This Philomena is just superb everywhere. Malayalam Cinema's stalwart!

Directed by - Jayaraj

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Half Ticket 1962

'Tumhe pyaar ki acting karni hogi.

- Acting tum karo, pyaar main karoonga'

Not a Sajid Khan movie or Rohit Shetty car crashing comedy. This is a 1962 Bollywood classic comic saga.
From never having seen a Kishore Kumar movie to Half Ticket is like being struck by a cool breeze on a hot,dry summery day. Pure,unadulterated performance. Especially when it's my first Madhubala movie.

I always assumed (Gen Y problem) that he is a singer who did acting as time pass. Watch Half Ticket and KK will make you fall of your chair/bed/floor with his antics,expressions and that never-serious face throughout the movie. Inspired (oh!) by You're Never Too Young, it's a goner one,beats every formula that Bollywood has,yet not a bird brain kinda movie.

'After all I'm the mental doctor of your whole family' is just one of the lines in this classic roller-coaster which is basically a cat and mouse game where Pran is the villian but completely overshadowed by KK's part childishness-part prankster character. There are no overt emotions and behind-the-trees romance so you can safely sit back and enjoy with your post lunch dessert which you probably wont need ! :)

Takeaway  / non-formulaic scenes

 KK prevents the vamp from checking his pocket. And this happens with the music on and them dancing. You can't decide whether to dance or laugh! So much cha-cha and ja-ja! (go go) :D

Helen in a non cabaret dance.

Pran and KK singing O sawariya, O gujariya to each other.


Classics are classics because they take you to a beautiful mellow time when everything was unhurried or untainted. There are glimpses of Murphy Radio, old Coca Cola,jalopies occasionally on empty Bombay streets and ofcourse the ubiquitous Parsi uncles strutting by.

Need I mention Madhubala's bone china look and splitting performance inspite KK's brilliance? We all know her and love her,dont we?

Directed by - Kalidas

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Supporting actors make the most noise - An ode.

Iftikar,Deven Verma,Asrani (Bollywood)

Sreenivasan, Mukesh, Laalu Alex,Jagadish,Siddique, Innocent,Oduvil Unnkrishnan (Malayalam)

Some names we know but probably Sony Max may never promote a movie by saying 'watch blockbuster Don - starring Iftikar, Sunday 9pm' will they?


So do supporting actors remain supporting actors without  being supported? (ok don't support me in my puns!) Well I don't think so. Whoever coined the term did a fab job because its true. They truly do support the actor and not just that. They actually do carry the movie when the script is weakened by the over imposition of the 'superstar' and one man shows kind of movies.

Can you think of Don without Iftikar's balanced,quiet and evolved acting compared to Amitabh's aggressive AYM role? ( that's angry young man in case you didnt know...haww!! ) Iftikar has always been so and probably why he features in most of these AYM roles as the still water to the tsunami which AB's roles were meant to be. Similarily Sanjeev Kumar in Sholay and Utpal Dutt in,well,all his movies.

Utpal Dutt 

Imagine Naadodikaatu without Sreenivasan ( actually I still cannot see Lal without him) such is the affect of those golden stuff. Think how Godfather would be without Jagadish's nervous,comical antics which scaffolded Mukesh's attempts to bring Kanika down. What about Shubhayatra where Siddique is like a bookend to Jayaram?


In Harihar Nagar

Laalu Alex

Oduvil Unnikrishnan

All said and done, the brilliance of such actors is so much that I'm not comfortable calling them supporting. They have carved their identity in singular lead roles too. Vadakku Nokki Yanthram can never be better performed by anyone else other than Sreeni.( imagine Mammootty in front of the mirror applying powder). In Harihar Nagar was an ensemble cast of actors who started out with secondary roles. Saath Saath, Chashme Baddoor and Kisi Se Na Kehna were all better off without the big shots of that time and moreover, needed the calm of actors like Farooque Shiekh.


Just few examples of popular cinema but the shine of these stars are bright like Venus in the evening sky,not overwhelming but you can spot them nevertheless,