Blogadda Who are you reading today?

Visit to discover Indian blogs

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Royal mess (Prince)

Disappointing would be an understatement. Actually, Lekh Tandon's Prince is plain bad. A rambling saga that dwells on a spoilt prince and his road to redemption, meanders to and fro through inane turns, delivering stupid results. While the makers gave us a rollicking Professor in 1962, seven years later they hardly could repeat the magic. At least, not for me!!!
Pardon me, but the only good things I've found in the film are Rafi's Badan pe sitaare (it's a sureshot dance number) and
Rafi, Asha and Lata's Muqabla hum se na karo (a sizzling jugalbandi). And of course, Shammi Kapoor, though a much watered-down version of his stylish avatars in his earlier ventures.
Shankar Jaikishan's music is lacklustre and so is the script. The film is badly edited and is clogged with redundant side characters. For instance, Rajindernath, Asit Sen and Helen (except grooving in a nice song). The story could have been tighter, the execution more slick. And the comedy...If you have seen Professor, you'd gauge what kind of rib-tickling laughter I'm hinting at.
Shammi Kapoor plays Prince Shamsher Singh, a slave to pills that induces sleep, hunger and so on!!! When he is not groggy, he is short-tempered and vain. His introductory scene is tepid (sans the customary flourish). He is shown the path to betterment by a sage and after feigning death, goes into hiding as a mamooli insaan. Madhosh hawa matwali fiza , the song signifying his freedom from royal fetters could do with a bit more bounce.
Then, his highness is captured by dacoits but escapes with the help of one such bandit, trying to abdicate vices for the sake of his mother. This man, called Sajjan Singh, is killed while on the run and the prince promises to take care of the old woman (a perenially weeping Leela Chitnis). Witnessing the plight of Chitnis, Shamsher poses as her long lost son and blends smoothly into a mediocre life, with happy results. He is at ease taking care of horses, eating bajra roti & baigan bharta and also has the gall the woo the local Princess Amrita (Vyajanthimala, a charming respite). She shuns his love initially. When she melts though, one is baffled as to whether Amrita is impressed by his duplicity (Sajjan/ Shamsher), his immense pride in being mediocre or his good heart (yes, Kapoor also rescues the damsel in distress). Amidst all this there is a stepmom, his evil brother (atrocious Ajit), two buffoons, a dacoit leader with a grotesquely deformed face (a wasted cameo by Sapru)...
Yes, the film goes on and on... Even Kapoor, who is otherwise a cracker of a performer, looks utterly disinterested throughout. His inimitable charisma is missing, (he's bloated and bulky) and he does not dance! Gone are his characteristic mannerisms, barring, of course, his arched eyebrows. Even when he woos Amrita, he lacks the killer instinct. It's not that he cannot play a prince. He did a fine job in 1964's Rajkumar. Man, what a flamboyant portrayal...
Vyajanthimala looks quite pretty (and haughty) as the princess. Her act is sufficient. However, there are times when she smiles without reason. She dances very well...But I've seen her do better...
Royal sagas, I admit, do have some strange intrigues. They aught to have incredible plots and subplots. But the trick lies in the execution. You have to render them believable, and thus fairy tale like...Try watching Kohinoor, Rajkumar and Yahudi for that effect...Perhaps then you'd see my point in rubbishing this hit!!!


  1. I haven't seen this one...and was actually looking out for it. If it's as bad as you say then I'll be content watching the songs on youtube. Thanks! :-)

  2. @Sunheriyaadein: I don't think it's worth it. But, the songs are not bad. The special one is Badan pe sitarey :)