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Friday, 29 October 2010

Forced tragedy (Do Badan)

I have a question. Does Vikas perish beside the deathbed of Asha in the last scene of Raj Khosla's Do Badan? If so, what's the rationale behind it? For, he is suffering from no ailment as Asha is, has just got back his vision after a successful eye-operation and looks absolutely fit and fine? Given those, is the sight of seeing his ex-lover breathing her last, enough to take his life away? Ambiguous as it is, the climax of the otherwise engaging Do Badan is hurried and too sudden...

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Problem of plenty (Teen Deviyan)

I currently share the plight of Dev Anand in Amarjeet's 1965 romance Teen Deviyan. Just when one problem is dealt with, another worry is wickedly grinning from around the corner, all set to upset your peace of mind. You think that all matters of concern are laid to rest and you can at last call it a day, but then the work and worries keep piling up. The dilemmas cloud up your senses and very soon you can hardly see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Only for Amiran (Umrao Jaan)

The last time I met Meera Ali, and that would be about fours years ago, I kept singing praises about her husband's landmark film. The elegant personality that she is, Meera took my childish prattle rather sportingly and invited me to her house in Mumbai where I could meet Muzaffar Ali. Elated at the offer, I hardly gave enough attention to her new collection of weaves and clothes, which she was showcasing in Kolkata for the first time. Mind you, I was yet to see Umrao Jaan then.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Agent of change (Mahanagar)

You can simply witness 1963's Calcutta from the Mazumdars' perspective or you can regale in the transformation of Arati from the shy housewife to the confident breadwinner who shall not brook injustice. Both ways, the profit is yours. Calcutta is photographed splendidly in Mahanagar. The sights, sounds and scenes shown  in this Satyajit Ray classic will remind you of the city where every people face the daily grind with small dreams and aspirations in their hearts.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Drama galore (Zindagi)

The best thing about Ramanand Sagar's Zindagi is Vyajyanthimala. Not only is she ravishing and dances like a dream, she actually makes you sit up and take note of her histrionic skills. She is utterly believable as the sensible Beena who reasons with her mother that acting as a profession needn't be slighted at. When she is loathe to barter her love for the sake of easy money, you really feel like lauding her wholeheartedly. She is brave, honest, hardworking and extremely lovable.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Fending for answers (Gharana)

I need some questions answered. Why do all films from the Gemini stable start off with a punch and then degenerate into some regressive drama? Why are the women in their films projected as husband-worshippers? Why do they trust so easily? Why do they forgive even more easily? And yes, why does Rajendra Kumar carry a police constable's stick throughout his screen time in SS Vasan's Gharana?

Friday, 8 October 2010

Treading untried territory (Bombai ka Babu)

Come to think of it, there are quite a few films where Dev Anand has portrayed characters undergoing immense mental turmoil. There's Hum Dono, Asli Naqli, Guide and Kala Bazaar. But, in Bombai ka Babu, his character tilts towards the dangerous territory of incest. A full-bodied man, Babu has to suppress his passion for a beautiful woman only because he is duping her family pretending to be their long-lost son. And in doing so, he is supposed to be her brother. With a plot as fascinating as this, Bombai ka Babu is obviously a thrilling experience. You sympathise with this angst-ridden young man as he is forced into the crime world and stay riveted when he helplessly tries to clear his ground before the charming Maya.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Long and very drawn (Sasural)

Blame it on my overtaxed brain. I've been choosing the wrong films for a few days now. When I most need a frothy entertainer with great songs and a charming lead pair, I'm making erroneous choices of social dramas that look engaging from outside, but are tedious and hollow once unraveled. T Prakash Rao's remake of Telegu hit Illarikam is one of those blunders that I'd better stayed away from. For, Sasural is long, monotonous and lacks the winning punch.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Twisty tale (Palki)

Once you gloss over some of the ludicrous events that force the happenings in Palki, you might just like this 1967 film. At least I did. I chose to ignore the baseless decision made by the lead pair and watched on as they met their respective fates. And sometimes, the anticipation of whether Naseem and Mehrunisa would actually unite in the end was so high that I found myself fast forwarding through the melodious tracks composed by legendary Naushad...

Monday, 4 October 2010

Guard of honour (Aan)

Or should I say taming of the shrew? For, more than half of Mehboob Khan's Aan shows Jai Tilak trying to win over the admiration and love of the hugely vain Rajkumari Rajshree. But, no one's complaining here. In the thorn-filled path of Jai and Rajshree's union, there are a gamut of songs, fencing duels, daunting escapades and plenty of delightful action. Not to mention the antics of the swashbuckling hero, his easy charm and the attraction of sexy Nadira in her introducing lead role.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Warped woman (Chhoti Bahu)

Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's male characters hardly have meat. There, I've said it. And, in doing so, must have incurred the ire of faithful followers of this classic Bengali author. But, that is what I feel and that is what is never going to change.
However, this was the first time that I was troubled by the flaws in his lead female protagonist. In his story titled Bindur Chheley, he makes his Bindu too grey to be liked. Hence, KB Tilak's Radha, the main character in his Chhoti Bahu inspired from Bindur Chheley, also turned out to be extremely disrespectful in her personality.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Two tales of love (Aradhana)

The question is, which of the two love stories do I like most in Aradhana? Is it Vandana and Arun's beautiful tale truncated by a cruel stroke of fate? Or, is it Suraj and Renu's cute saga that effects only smiles?
After an umpteenth watch of this wonderful Shakti Samanta romantic drama, I have an answer ready. I love both. While Vandana and Arun's tale scores because of the very tragic yet memorable angle to it, Suraj and Renu's pairing succeeds because it is surprisingly spontaneous.
I'm not getting into the emotional and teary aspect of this famous 1969 film. For, what is to be said about Vandana's sacrifice that has not been mentioned before.