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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Playing hard to get (Ziddi)

I used to be in two minds on whether I liked Joy Mukherjee. Well, sometimes his grin really irked me. He spoiled Mujhey dekh kar in Ek Musafir Ek Hasina with his clownish expressions. He copied Shammi Kapoor, my favourite. And, didn't do it well either! His didn't dance, he jumped! But, but, but...
Yesterday, I saw Ziddi, Pramod Chakraborty's 1964 romance. And, I liked him. For, despite his silly grin, he came about as a dashing young man who knows how to tame his obstinate lover. His baritone was smooth and his shoulders broad. He hair, swept up, looked stylish and he carried his natty clothes damn well. He cuts Asha Parekh to size and makes her relent to his overtures. That is a job that this man does well!!!

Ziddi is a tale of a rich, bratty and stubborn girl and her transformation to a conventional Indian woman who is willing to sacrifice her life for the sake of her family's honour and her sister's happiness. This family entertainer has no villains, barring dire circumstances and a skeleton in the closet that threatens to ruin the halcyon atmosphere. So, there's no need to fret. As expected, all creases are ironed when the end credits roll! So, enjoy!!
Parekh is Asha, an obdurate girl who heeds nobody. With anger and vanity mounted on her pretty nose, everyone in Ooty is wary of her short temper. Even her parents. So, when she meets her match in Ashok (Mukherjee), who is smitten by this gun-toting stunner (she sure looks great in westerns and those fur-lined red boots), she is determined to show him his place. But, Ashok, headstrong himself, embarks on a mission to win her over. Thus ensues a series of fun incidents where you see the prospective sweethearts engage in a battle of ego, getting ample support from an endearing elephant named Majnu. The bouncy track, Pyar ki manzil mast safar is a great example of that. You have to see the bond between Parekh and Majnu to believe it!! She deftly crawls up on his back and makes silly faces at Ashok!!
Soon, Ashok realises that he would require a pawn to win over Asha and zeroes in on her sister, Seema (extremely unfair!). He sings Janu kya mera dil ab kahan kho gaya during a picnic. Laden with double meaning, it almost makes Seema believe that this handsome man has fallen for her... And, as expected, Asha is stung by jealousy, forces herself into a makeover, and melts into Ashok's arms, shortly! How convenient!!! They frolic with the best song of the film, Champakali dekho jukh hi gayi re. Mohd Rafi and Asha Bhonsle simply sparkle. Ashok and Asha look lovely together. And Hasrat Jaipuri's lyrics are stupendous. Asha, in the throes of passion, goes, "Ban gaye hum yun haseen, aap ki jo inayat huin..." Simply spectacular!
While Ashok and Asha battle it out, there's a hilarious subplot surrounding Mahesh (Mehmood) and Sheela (Shobha Khote). Mahesh loves Sheela but her father opposes the match because of a ludicrous premonition by a sadhu! So, Mahesh disguises himself as a simpering widow called Roopmati, and ensnares a loose Dhumal (Sheela's father). The effects leave you in splits. Dhumal grabs Roopmati's wrist and says, "Chaudvin ka chand ho, ya aftab ho." Roopmati's quick retort is, "Aur tum haddi mein kebab ho." Too much!!!
They sing two very funny songs, Main tere pyar mein kya kya na bana dilbur and Pyar ki aag mein tan badan jal gaya. Manna Dey is so good for Mehmood. And, you get to hear Geeta Dutt again!!!
SD Burman composes great music for Ziddi. Except for the first song, Teri soorat se, (hummable, to say the least) the music is fabulous. Lata's Raat ka samaa is electrifying. Parekh's dance lights up the stage and she looks absolutely divine. Her moves are as fast as lightning and her eyes glow, igniting passion in Ashok's heart. He is stunned by this gorgeous avatar of the tomboy and his appreciative glances prove that he is all set to enter the arena of love games!! Remarkable!!
Parekh, though dreadfully lisping, has spunk. She rides elephants like a pro, fights with Ashok with a spark and is a soft sweetheart when the time comes. In fact, in the song Yeh meri zindagi, you get to see a very defiant Asha. A lovely song, this one...
Coming back to Mukherjee, he is good, I have to admit. He is suave, smart and quite good to look at. At least, pairs up pretty well with Parekh. With a flair for comedy and romance, Mukherjee made his films sufficiently enjoyable...Paisa vasool, at least...


  1. As I mentioned on sunheriyaadein's review of Ziddi, I prefer the Asha Parekh-Joy Mukherjee jodi in Love in Tokyo and Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon... but I need to see Ziddi again! That "Aur tum kabab mein haddi ho!" dialogue is hilarious. :-)

  2. @Dustedoff: Yes, you just can't sit straight when Mehmood and Dhumal share screen space!!! They are awesome...absolutely, crazily funny!! I really like Mehmood's and Shobha's love story in this film as well as in Love in Tokyo!!! And also in Bharosa!! Yes, Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon is very good, too!! Thanks for the comment!!

  3. @Sharmi: Archiving your posts would be a good idea for aspiring film-study students like me.

  4. @Dwaipayan: This will hardly be any's too tiny...ha ha :)

  5. You have a way with words...I really like the way you write. Great post!
    I like Joy Mukherjee a lot! Find him very cute and good looking. And I like the way he jumps around -Love in Tokyo, Love in Shimla, Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon...are some of my favourite JM movies.

  6. @Sunheriyaadein: Thank you so much. I just love old films and I write what I feel about them. Sometimes I feel I'm living in the wrong age. I belong to the 50s and 60s. What a lovely thing it would be to live at the time of these evergreen stars! I really like JM now too and keep watching PWDLH from time to time. But, my eternal favourite is and always will be Shammi Kapoor, the great :)