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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Edge of the seat (Gumnaam)

Eight people look like nine pins in Raja Nawathe's Gumnaam. With every murder, the plot gets tighter, with every scene the incidents more grim. But no one's complaining. This is one story that grips you from frame one. With sleek execution, a taut storyline, Gumnaam is a nailbiting murder mystery. And yes, there's Gumnaam hain koi and Hum kaaley hain to make the chills last...
Adapted from Agatha Christie's And Then There Was None, this 1965 thriller is a tingling take on murder. The director groups up eight personalities from various walks of life and starts bumping them off one after the other in situations that are scary and thrilling at the same time. So, while the foolish Dharamdas's corpse is left to be discovered amidst some old stone statues, Helen's lithe frame hangs from a tree!!!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Gauri's tale of grit and gumption (Seema)

I'm absolutely convinced. If you have Nutan on the screen, you don't need anyone else. And, if that Nutan is a 19-year-old teenager, the effect is bound to be doubly fresh and scintillating. In Seema, Amiya Chakraborty's touching tale about an honest and brave girl, Nutan shows that she can perform like it's nobody's business...
I read up a bit about Nutan after seeing Seema. Here's a piece of information: this beauty had won the Miss India crown in 1952. Hardly surprising!!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Pitter patter extravaganza (Singin' in the Rain)

Once, while trying to keep my eyes open during a drab history class in school, I heard my teacher mouthing a dialogue from Singin' in the Rain. I'm still in the dark regarding the purpose of her reference but I'm grateful to her for introducing me to the wonders of this 1952 musical comedy. She was talking about Gene Kelly and his greatness and I found myself snapped back from the land of grogginess to that of cinematic excitement. Automatically, drowsiness fled and I was all ears!!! Such is the magic of this iconic's enthralling, captivating and festive... The pleasures almost multiply every time I sit back to enjoy it...
It's not for nothing that film critics all over the planet call this Gene Kelly classic the Greatest Hollywood musical ever.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A simply good saga (Anari)

There are two things I simply love about Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anari. Mrs. D'sa's magnanimity and Arti's luminosity.
I have never witnessed Lalita Pawar playing such a caring yet stern old woman. She has a heart of gold in this 1959 classic. While she is mostly known for her plotting persona on screen, here she is a warm Christian lady who showers her love and blessings on her orphan tenant. This time when she contorts her face, it thrills you one moment and melts your heart the other. Her eyes glisten with love, not deviousness and she displays the qualities of motherhood to perfection. It's also the very talented Mukherjee's credit to zero in on Pawar to be Mrs. D'sa. You see her in a vastly different light and get smothered by her affections.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Unworthy cousin (Anita)

Anita spells the decadence of Raj Khosla's house of cinema. Gone is the splendour of Mera Saaya, the cold chills of Woh Kaun Thi, the tautness of the script, the haunting melody and above all, the superlative performances. This 1967 thriller is a sad and unconvincing sequel to its grand predecessors.
The director who gave us intriguing thrillers before, lets film lovers down in this last installment of the mystery trilogy with Sadhana. True, he tries to conjure the same suspense, drama and romance, but Anita pales in comparison to his previous ventures.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Paradise lost (Kashmir ki Kali)

Kashmir beckons! The land of undulating valleys, salubrious climes, azure canopies and multi-hued flora gets a sheer magical persona in Kashmir Ki Kali, Shakti Samanta's 1964 saga of love in earth's paradise. Whatever, happened to the place...
The landscape's beauty is heigthened by the charming lead...Pristine Sharmila Tagore makes a promising debut in this musical romance. No one bothers about her act though. Champa's (Tagore) deep dimples are enough to take your breath away. She is truely a Kashmir ki kali (a flower in Kashmir).

Monday, 5 April 2010

Love thy neighbour (Tere Ghar Ke Saamne)

Didn't know Vijay Anand had this in him!!! A breezy, fun romance that is! Without his trademark suspense, sudden twists and nailbiting action... In 1963's Tere Ghar Ke Samne, he sheds his sleuth like qualities to give film lovers a joyful musical. And, he puts in the backdrop, a baseless rivalry between two good-natured neighbours...Though the film begins on a very Romeo-Juliet note, its end is predictable, and hence, immensely satisfying...