My earliest memory of the beautiful actress Madhubala was the song accha ji main haari with Dev Anand , which aired on Doordarshan on a balmy Sunday morning. The legendary Mughal A Azam was seen much later.
Also remember her iconic B&W poster on the walls of the computer center where I used to go for classes as a teenager. That image, for me, was always the enduring image of that ethereal beauty…
Until this ‘rare colour photo’ started doing the rounds on twitter. Beautiful!
P.S: the photo was taken by James Burke for Life Magazine, in 1951. [Source]
Contrary to popular belief (well, not really that popular considering it was only me) this is NOT the Part 2 or sequel of the Urmila Matondkar – Saif Ali Khan starrer Ek Hasina Thi!
Ek Deewana Tha is actually the Hindi remake of the Tamil film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa which had Simbu and Trisha in the lead roles. It was also simultaneously made in Telugu as Ye Maaya Chesave with Naga Chaitanya and Samantha innit. Though both movies became hits, their standout point was A.R. Rahman’s music – songs & tunes are the same in both versions. The Hindi version is directed by the same director – Gautham Menon and has Pratiek Babbar and Brit gal (A Miss Liverpool!) Amy Jackson & is said to have two completely new songs.
Though I’ve never been a fan of Telugu movies of this type, YMC registered a seismic presence around me coz of the incessant chatter about how good it was, how good the music was, how gorgeous Samantha was blah blah blah…couple of my friends were so hooked to the music, they had it as their ringtones as well as caller tunes! This post is dedicated to them…
So what if it is a ten year old book? Telling, as it does, the story behind Hindi Cinema’s biggest movie, the book in itself is a mini-classic. And there was another reason that I laid my hands on it – the book I was after, was out of stock!
With a title like Lafangey Parindey one would expect the movie to be somewhat crass, riddled with street-gangs, brawls, bloody fights, bruises, cuss-words, the works. And maybe a love-story amidst all that disorder coz let’s face it – it’s a movie. And bang! the lead actors are Neil Nitin Mukesh and Deepika Padukone – two of the classier actors around. Totally out of place!
Lafangey Parindey is set in the Tilakwadi chawl in Mumbai, where Nandan Kamtekar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is known by the name of one-shot-Nandu - a loafer by day and boxer by night, winning fights for the local goon, Usman bhai (Piyush Mishra). As with any tapori, his role-model is another bigger one – Anna (Kay Kay Menon) and in helping him out after a hit one rainy night, he causes an accident which changes everything. Anna dies but Nandu escapes further punishment after the case is suppressed.
Pinky Patkar (Deepika Padukone) is a free-spirited girl in the same chawl, who aspires to raise above the muck around her by skating/dancing her way into a reality show and win it. But as fate would have it, she’s blinded in an accident and her dreams lie shattered. But around comes Nandu and he trains her to “see” without sight and nurtures her ambitions to win the competition as her dancing partner. Before long, friendship blossoms into love but the past returns to haunt them and threatens to wreck their relationships and Pinky’s dreams. Or does it?
Having not liked Heyy Babyy one bit, I approached Housefull with skepticism and my doubts were seemingly coming true within the first hour of the movie! The goings on were so predictable and at times, so boring that I felt this was my second consecutive dud-movie-going (after Prince!). But director Sajid Khan salvages the movie majorly with the second half, as the goings on become much more hilarious and rib tickling. He blots his copybook a bit with a Priyadarsan-esque climax but overall, its a good watch.
Housefull revolves around bad-luck-struck Aarush (Akshay Kumar) who brings ill-luck upon himself and on others wherever he goes. So much so that he’s employed in a casino to repel the winning streaks of players! Fed up with the job and cast aside by his lover, he returns to London to his best friend Bob (Riteish Deshmukh) & his wife Hetal (Lara Dutta) but his bad luck follows him. In a bid to get rid of the ‘loser’ tag by finding true love, he marries Devika (Jiah Khan), gets jilted and then meets Soundarya a.k.a. Sandy (Deepika Padukone). Thrown into the mix then are Sandy’s possessive anna Major Krishna Rao (Arjun Rampal) and Hetal’s father Batuk Patel (Boman Irani) and the happenings just get crazy and crazier!
A ‘loser’ attracting more bad luck and compounding his situation further is nothing new and this stands out as a big deterrent in the first half, with some loud & awkward scenes not helping matters. Akshay’s and Jiah’s arranged marriage is without substance or background and that too stands out as a sore thumb. The movie picks up a bit with Chunkey Pandey’s irritating but comical Italian+Pathan character lending some relief. Deepika’s introduction is none too convincing either and by the time interval approaches, one wonders if its all going downhill. But the entry of Arjun Rampal and Boman Irani lend a huge boost and the ensuing mistaken identities and the confusions borne out of that are simply hilarious. An unnecessarily-included gay angle comes across as annoying but funny nonetheless. The fact that the movie All The Best had similar happenings kept on niggling at the back of my mind but I swatted it out anyway!
I needed a reboot myself after returning from the screening of Prince, where the hero faces from acute bouts of nausea and passes out coz his “brain crashes every time he reboots i.e. sleeps”! And no, I’m not making this up here…its actually the whole bedrock principle of the movie *facepalm*
The hero, is called only Prince for no apparent reason (its *not* his nickname…they actually show an ID Card with the name as Prince Verma!) and is said to be a master thief – though he only vacuums up some diamonds at the start of the movie and ransacks a telephone booth at the fag end & steals nothing in between! Something lame happens to his memory and he recalls only the past day or so.
Therein starts a whole rigmarole where the hapless audience is subjected to not one, not two but three bimbos calling themselves Maya, an idiotic servant who keeps repeating “woh” every time he opens his mouth, some wierdly named organizations – there’s DCOI & IGRIP, for starters, a ‘look-ma-I’ve-a-Terminator-esque-hand’ villain, umpteen gun-toting phoren extras, some unfathomable computer gadgetry and a whole lot of bunkum. And yeah, there’re several quite daring but nonsensical stunts – most of them involving jumping off rooftops on bikes!
Amidst all this hoopla, there’s nothing resembling a storyline or a screenplay. Yeah, there’s a flashback story that is a load of tripe, some mumbo-jumbo about national security, the usual hundreds of millions of dollars at stake and also the backstabbery but all of them are as predictable as tomorrow’s sunrise! Logic, rationale, flow and meaning disappear as the horns did off a donkey’s head!
Atithi Devo Bhava. Guest is akin to God. Us Indians have been brought up on this adage…respect a guest and treat him nice. Easier said than done, isn’t it? There have been many an instances of an unwanted guest overstaying their welcome and becoming and unbearable PITA. And before long, we try to conjure up inane ways to get rid of them, as politely as we can and without appearing to really detest their presence!
Around such a mundane situation does revolve the latest movie to hit the marquee – Atithi…Tum Kab Jaoge? Into the lives of Puneet (Ajay Devgn), a script writer and Munmun (Konkana Sen Sharma), an architect, breezes in one Lambodhar Chacha (Paresh Rawal), ostensibly as a far off relative of Puneet. He is welcome initially but his rustic mannerisms, eye for detail and voracious appetite – among others – start irking the family slowly. Though he endears himself to the other inhabitants of the society and their son, Puneet and Mumnun are clearly fed up of this guest’s overstay. Out come inanely conjured plans and desperate manoeuvres to oust this “pest” but to no avail. I won’t spoil the fun by revealing whether they actually manage to get rid of him or not!
Even with a pretty thin premise and a none-too-unexpected outcome, ATKJ manages to hold your attention and probably does strike a familiar chord with the urban audience, who maybe have faced such a situation before. Most of the humour is situational and well woven into the storyline. One gets to see a multitude of characters as in Priyadarsan movies and they’re well etched at the outset before they make an eventual contribution at crucial junctures in the story. In fact, I half-expected to see something like Bawarchi where a complete stranger becomes such an influence that he becomes indispensable. But this one’s nothing like that!
Its not often that I watch two new releases back-to-back. I usually pick one, and ignore the other till it either receives an obscene amount of recommendations or it comes on cable. But with Rann yesterday and Ishqiya today, I had to break that habit…coz both looked extremely promising and paisa-vasool. And let me say it: Ishqiya more so.
A shishya’s work may not better the guru’s but this effort from debutante director Abhishek Chaubey can be a potent example that it can come pretty close. Vishal Bharadwaj being the guru here and his Omkara, the comparative benchmark. But in all fairness, whilst Omkara was a re-telling of a Shakespearean saga, Ishqiya is penned by Vishal Bharadwaj, Sabrina Dhawan and Abhishek Chaubey and the latter in the role of the director, brings it on-screen in a delectable manner.
Set in the bhayya belt of Uttar Pradesh, Ishqiya is the tale of two petty thieves – Khaalujaan (Naseeruddin Shah) and Babban (Arshad Warsi) who’re on the run from a goon who’ve they robbed and end up in sleepy Gorakhpur, taking refuge in the house of their old friend. The friend is dead now but his widow Krishna (Vidya Balan) gives them shelter nevertheless and decides to help them out when the goons threaten them with a pay-up-or-perish deadline. The three put their heads together and plan a sinister coup & as the plot unfolds layer-by-layer, several hidden truths and stealth motives come to light.
The seemingly odd love triangle between Khalujaan – Krishna – Babban is the highpoint of the movie and is quite well handled. Khalujaan’s romance is old-school, clean, pure, delicately developed around tender talks, mundane kitchen-tasks and nuanced by some old hindi film music from S D Burman and Hemant Kumar. Babban’s is raw, bashful, physical and lustful in nature. And fitted to the latest & raunchiest filmy tunes – something that highlights the generational gap between the protagonists. Krishna plays up to both advances with aplomb and suavely manages to manipulate both to her advantage.