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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Peetering out (Shaadi ke Baad)

Generally I'm quite predisposed towards any film from the L V Prasad stable, but something about Shaadi ke Baad kept nibbling at me after a point of time. The cast was good, the story was fun, the performances were just and the songs were in place. But something, which I'm yet to pin-point correctly, left me quite dissatisfied. Was it the rambling turn of events after intermission, the lack of concretised drama or simply the lack-lustre script? Also, what left me pondering was why the director would waste a fine artist like Shatrughan Sinha by casting him as an aging landlord who's lost all his fortunes but is too proud to give up his royal behaviour? This actor, who's capable of turning a drab script into a enticing one, is given just about a few scenes which does him no justice.

Similarly, the mad cap events played out by Jeetendra and Rakhee to fool Shekhar Purohit are stretched too far. They start out funnily but become too tedious to handle. Gufi Paintal is too meek and is robbed of his funny bone. The side-plot of Tabassum and her wrestler lover is so not entertaining. Also, CS Dubey should have done more wicked things to spice up the narrative. You think I'm nit-picking, right? But then, what can I do I  really expected some fireworks from Prasad. He's delivered before... what on earth went wrong here? Was it Jeetendra? Was it Rakhee? Bewildering...
Shaadi Ke Baad starts off with a thump. Raju (Paintal) and Chabiley (Master Satyajeet) are cornered in the house of Choudhary Bishan Swaroop Singh (Sinha) to such an extent that Raju has to marry the zamindar's daughter. But he swears never to consummate his marriage unless his elder sister Shobha (Rakhee) is married. As promised, Bhishan Swaroop fixes an alliance between Shobha and Shyam (Jeetendra), a talented lawyer and son of widower Bhagat Ram (Purohit), agreeing to cough up a dowry of Rs 50,000 as demanded by the groom's father. But on the day of the marriage, when the holy chants are being read by the priest Bhagat Ram is needled by Govind (CS Dubey) on the real state of Bhishan Swaroop. As it appears Bhishan cannot afford to pay the entire Rs 50,000 immediately but promises to do the needful in ten days. But Bhagat Ram is vexed and readies to walk off with his son without taking with him the new bride, Shobha. This is the time I feel like slapping Shyam. How can he be so spineless? He knows full well that his father is not behaving rationally, yet not heeding the pleadings of his newly-married wife, he walks off in a huff leaving all hopes shattered.
But as it appears, Shyam is not willing to be so bad either. He partners with Raju and agrees to take in Shobha as his wife, but without informing his tempestuous father. Silly fool! He takes Shobha with him to the city and they both are happy. But soon news arrives that Bhagat Ram will be visiting his son in the city. This provokes Shyam to put up another silly act so that he can fool his father. He decides to play the part of a mad man, affected by the news of his wife having run away with another man. Shobha is forced to be a nurse and Raju the doctor. Mayhem, I tell you...
Bhagat Ram decides to take his ill son with him to his ancestral house in the village and requests the nurse to accompany them. Shobha is jittery but she plays along. In the village house, more crazy drama happens where the father refuses to see through the ploy and continues to feel that the nurse is just a good woman taking care of his mad son. The chases between Shyam and Shobha leaves me unnerved. There are times when I feel like whacking some sense into Shyam and telling him, "If you so want to sleep with your wife, get some guts and tell your father that she is your wife and then live happily ever after like a man and wife!!!" But alas, who would have heard my cries?!?!?
Even Rakhee, who is otherwise such a spunky actress, fails to deliver here. She is like a puppet, nodding to whatever she is being told. Jeetendra is plain bad. Bhagat Ram is idiotic. Asrani is funny in parts, though. Paintal is mousy and Leela Mishra is wasted. The music of this 1972 film, by Laxmikant Pyarelal, isn't noteworthy. Except maybe for the song, Arey dekh rey dekh, a wonderful and animated commentary on the pettiness of townsfolk. It's well written and entertainingly sung. Apart from that, I'm yet to figure out the positives in the film...


  1. There are times when I feel like whacking some sense into Shyam
    And if Shyam had listened to your pleas, how would we have stretched the movie to two-and-a-half hours?? :)

    Pleasant enough film; the sort you can watch while you fold the laundry, or cut vegetables or something. (You don't have to pay too much attention to what is going on, on screen.)

    The film was (supposed to be) a social commentary on the evils of dowry. The original was a Telugu film called Pelli Chesi Choodu, and was remade in Tamil before LV Prasad made it in Hindi.

  2. The film did become tedious, and did not seem to move at all. The scenes became repetitive. I could not understand Shotgun's casting either.

  3. @Anu: Yeah I guess I shouldn't have thought so much. Just watched it just like that!!!

  4. @Banno: Exactly, some serious miscasts! And the same thing just went on and on :(

  5. Whew. I've heard of this one, but have never seen it - and don't think I will either. Sounds utterly pointless. :-(

  6. @Dustedoff: YOu can give this a miss. Not if you are completely bored and just need something to keep yourself from dozing off!! It's actually not very exciting. Just timepass!!

  7. Never watched this movie , But really pointed correctly that after intermission ..things in old .. Hindi movies ..takes a complete 180 turn ..and sometime they don't even fit..just adding climax to the movie is not enough ..but there are some great movies but then can't have Gabbar singh in all movies ;)

    Nice Observations..

    Happy Holi :)

  8. @Vivek: Hey you got me wrong. I never said anything generically about old Hindi movies. I think most of them do quite well. My problem was with this particular film. Hope you understood that! Thanks for the comment anyways and keep reading.

  9. You seem to be on a mission of unearthing films showcasing the evils of system/society. First Nikaah and now this. :-D

    I watched Nikaah after reading your review (haven't completed it yet) and thought they were lamenting the whole situation abut women in general - you know 'aurat ne janam diya mardon ko' type of sentiments, and picked on the muslim 'talaq' angle.
    Here they have picked on the dowry angle. I haven't seen it. Will have to wait for a really boring day to watch it :-)


  10. @Pacifist: Hahaha, not really. I think I'm just on a not-so-good-film watching patch. Looking forward to the good patch to return. :)