Friday, 16 September 2011

You are Entering a World of Pain*

First Sarat Chandra wrote a novel called Devdas.

Then PC Barua thought Dude that is SO my life but before I proceed to piss away my life on the grog, I will make Devdas the Movie. And KL Saigal said Dude I am so pissing away my life on the drink too and I will be Devdas. And they were like dudes this film should be totally realistic and all, we are young and awesome! And oh the lassitude, the languid poses, the sadness, it was a sight to behold! And everyone was weeping wildly in the aisles and the streets and boys sang Balam ayo baso mere man mein to local Paros and the grog was flowing freely and then they married the girl their parents chose and it was all glorious.

Then Bimal Roy thought hey I lensed for Barua and I am SO making another Devdas. And Paro was lush and Chandramukhi was lush and Devdas was a lush and Chunni was a lush but no one was like actually pissing away their life on the drink and it was all very sad and beautiful. And everyone was weeping wildly in the aisles and young men sang Mitwa Lagi Re to local Paros and the grog was flowing till real life interfered and it was all glorious.

Then they thought hey Amitabh can be Devdas and he drank a lot and spoke to mirrors and there was a massive fight scene and Paro (Hema Malini) mooned around like a vacant faced cow and Chandramukhi (Rekha) was a tantric goddess who cast an instant spell on Devdas and he got all amnesiac and utterly devoted to Chandramukhi’s sexual pleasuring. Oh that NEVER GOT MADE, PRAISE THE LORD! Though Sorceress Chandramukhi = Glorious!

Then Sanjay Leela Bhansali thought Dude I am SO making a Rajasthan-Punjab production of this. And everything was shiny and bright and dazzling and under this mountain of glitter Devdas was like I will cry beautifully and totally piss away my life on the grog and die because all this bling is giving me a headache. And Paro was like Dude good for you because I am totes getting tired of holding this lamp and Chandramukhi was must smile smile smile and prove my smile is more dazzling than all this SLB bling. And everyone was weeping in the aisles and streets and even the firangs said Pink is the new black! Retinal Assault is the new black! Bollywood is the new black!. And they all wept at Cannes and young men took to youtube to weep and it was all super shiny fucking glorious.

Then Anurag Kashyap thought Dude Bollywood is so last year and I am the king of indies and I should be SO famous. So hey I will borrow from Sarat Da and make it all contemporary because I am way too sexy and cool for my own good. And this is how Dev D went.

Dev is a Punjabi lad and Paro is his closest friend and you don’t want to know these dull children because all that happens is Dev is a brat who smokes and calls Daddy by his first name and gets sent to London to study. And Paro is a mini My Name is Lady Vengeance.

Almost Sex
Then Dev (Abhay Deol) and Paro (Mahie Gill) are all grown up and having phone sex and Paro is taking pics of her tits and Dev is that’s it I am totally returning home to fuck you and by the by also attend my brother’s wedding. So that fuck is then totally not happening. Instead there are lots of almost fucks. Including with a Rasika who is totally making the moves on Dev and having almost fucks in a chicken shed. By now Paro is like I MUST FUCK and get myself a room but the guy with the room Sunil is all stroppy because he too wants to fuck Paro and have first dibs. The Big Punjabi Wedding of Fucks and Almost Fucks so to say, oh yes I forgot the setting for all this is one of those Punjabi weddings of indescribable din which should be banned from film for the next century at least. Anyway Sunil the gossip is all like Paro is the super best fuck in the village and Dev hears this and breaks a bottle over his head. This is the Punjab, remember! Paro now plans a Sex in the Sugarcane Fields but that too is Almost Sex in the Sugarcane Fields because Dev is Super Sulky about Promiscuous Paro.

Slutty Rasika has a brother with two kids and he is totes besotted with Paro and wants to marry her. And Paro is thinking this almost fuckathon is driving me crazy and hand pumping her way to orgasmic rage. Meanwhile praise the lord Rasika and Dev have graduated to the fuck and Paro finds out. And Paro thinks enough of the hand pump and yeah Bhuvan I shall be your wife. And Dev is like yeah I am totally down with that because I am way too cool and rich for you and you are a slut. Then Dev hears that Paro may not be promiscuous and thinks uh huh that was a bit foolish so let me start drinking and pass out.

Just registering that the whole damn thing is punctuated by an irritating soundtrack that feels like being permanently stuck on an X factor audition stage because the bloody thing NEVER STOPS.

Fun with Prostitution
Meanwhile Leni (Kalki Koechlin) is a schoolgirl but she has been doing some dick sucking in her off hours that lands her in a MMS scandal. Yeah we get it, this is SO NOT the 1920s! But Director is also very keenly studying 50s melodramas and the world and its brother are BAD and WICKED and INSENSITIVE and Daddy shoots himself over khandan ki izzat and poor Leni runs away and is all alone in this cruel world and becomes a prostitute. Because that is the only fucking profession available. But hey great move on Leni’s part, the prostitution industry is full of absolutely lovely people. Leni’s pimp has a Golden Heart! Leni is a college going prostitute! Her pimp has arranged for her education! She has a nice pink boudoir! She is now called Chandramukhi but you can call her Chanda! Prostitution is a breeze! A world full of happy, shiny people doing lines of cocaine and cruising around in hot pink wheels! It’s all safe and beautiful and SO glorious!

And wow who would have thunk Karol Bagh folk are such fetishists – dear Lord, Fat Flashman would love this! - for here is Chanda dressing up as a sexy schoolgirl, Chanda is now a sexy nurse, Chanda is now wielding a whip! So much like a self consciously perverse Vogue photo shoot!

DAMN the soundtrack.

Substance Abuse
So Dev is now in Chanda’s boudoir because Chunni the pimp found him roaring drunk somewhere. Oh Chanda your boudoir is like an art exhibit. And you are SO literate; a languidly held book accessorises every cigarette.

Flashback. Post the Paro wedding, Dev leaves home and is cruising Delhi, doing drugs, drinking vodka, living in a seedy hotel. But like not even having almost fucks because the now unobtainable Paro is an anti-aphrodisiac. Before he gets into trouble, he is saved by Chunni the pimp, the first pimp with a heart of gold in the history of cinema. Chunni is slick and uber cool and is like you want to drink lets drink at the uber cool bars. And I would totally vote for Pardesi in the Dev D X Factor contest except that it goes on for as long as Dev’s drinking in the uber cool bar and more which is a VERY LONG TIME. So Dev is like fully coked and drunk and that is how Chunni gets him to the Chanda Boudoir. So that’s another night of non-fucking and Dev is crying out for Paro and Chanda is right now I can’t be fussed with anything because my hair is in a net and I can’t see through my makeup.

Non Sex
Dev gets up in the morning and decides its time to meet Paro. Dev’s way of meeting Paro is to hook up with...Rasika. In the meantime Dev is also totes spying on Paro who is playing happy families on her balcony. Consequently Dev is all tantrums and cruelty and Rasika is like Dude you are one sick puppy. So time for another Dev bender, post which he is back in Chanda Land but she is too busy having multilingual phone sex. Then Chanda is like Dude you are always here so do you want to fuck and he is like No Way. Plus all the pretty pills and liquids must make it difficult. So like Chanda is a little besotted because of the non-fuck. You want to keep a prostitute interested? Don’t Fuck. Works all the time.

Almost Sex
Despondent Dev continues on downward spiral. And his Dad is ill but he doesn’t know. At some point he decides to be a phone pest and calls Paro in the night. But gets Bhuvan who is like wow good time to discuss the Dev-Rasika rishta because that will totally solve everything.

So Paro turns up at Dev’s place the next day and is all housewifely concern. Dev is thinking damn I let her get away without ever fucking her. But Dude you are still not screwing her because Paro is all I might wash your clothes but no way are you getting a piece of me. Plus Bhuvan seems to be doing a better job than the hand pump and Dev put together. Dev and Paro, never the twain shall be.

Coke n Vodka
Dev you notice is taking the drinking game rather literally. Every time I think of Paro is bound to result in a LOT of drinks. And lines of coke. Plus Chunni is proving the perfect drink buddy. And Chanda is always tucking him in for the night because she is all my little sparrow, I will adopt you and protect you.

Prostitute Shrink
Dev and Chanda are totally bonding. She is prone to wisdom of the You Are Just Not That Into Paro sort. Sure because the biatch totally wants Dev for herself! And of course she is SO brave, SO courageous! She knows pain! She faces the world with a laugh! She has no self pity! Oh Dev you must learn, observe and be a better man!

But Dev is thinking I need to obsess about Paro and abuse a few more substances.

The Dev thinks hey maybe I will go with the Chanda option. Chunni is like Dude this is not going anywhere because those Karol Bagh customers are just going to keep coming! They are good for business! You aren’t going to have first, middle or last dibs!

Oh did I mention DAMN the soundtrack! Also stop making Delhi films, there are already one too many!

Hit, Run, Find Love
Chanda's Karol Bagh sexy games are too much for Dev so time for another bender and  killing a few people with his Dad bought BMW. Oy yes we get it this is emphatically NOT the 1920s, this is the NEW INDIA! Now time for Dev to find himself because THAT is what is important when you have mowed down a few folk. Dev cries at Dad’s funeral, Dev bonds with his sardar minder, Dev takes random road trip, Dev is sick, Dev is my existence is like a Dog and I wanna be reborn, Dev is all those people I killed remind me that I must remain ALIVE.

Then Dev is all lightning bolt of clarity and I totes love Chanda but she has left town. So off he goes to find her and does and hallelujah he never loved Paro and is now all soul matey with Chanda and it's all this is so OTP (One True Pairing). Did I mention the irritating soundtrack? At this point it is all like fucking light up the torch of your heart and its THE END.  

And indeed the hearts of all hipsters were immediately set afire and they were crying in the aisles and streets and on their blogs with sheer relief that we too can make movies about sex and drugs and sluts and bad music and it was all glorious and The Twilight Players never stopped playing. And I am thinking, “Its OK my baby, forget it”.**

*Title from the Big Lebowski, Dev calls himself The Dude. **That is of course a line from the film.
Whether you love it or loathe it, Devdas is a singular novel. Which film version you like will depend on your sensibilities. Dev D unfortunately is like an adolescent film, it is stuffed to the gills with the cool and the hip (it does include a sweet nod to the past with a lawyer named Bimal Barua, posters of Shahrukh as Devdas) and marries it with the conventional sentimental tale of the redemption of a dissolute broken hearted chap by a sensitive hooker. So much so that the source novel seems audacious and subversive in having a protagonist who is not returned to life by the love of a good woman. The tacked on MMS and hit and run scandals add nothing; the latter in fact ensures that the difficult feat the novel achieves - of making Devdas a tragic hero - is entirely negated. Eventually for all its outer trappings the movie is as pedestrian and conventional as any other Hindi film.

Of the older versions, it is possible that the 1936 version is closest in spirit to the novel. It is quite relaxed in its treatment and here and there there is a glimmer of humour. Plus it is the cinematic template for the later versions. But if you have to see a Devdas, it is perhaps best to see the 1955 version for its formal beauty, its serious tone and  adherence to the novel. Though the 2002 one will do just as well if you like your film served with Bhansali Bling.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Importance of Being Rancho

So I saw 3 Idiots.

Mostly I learnt that men cry, hug and piss at the drop of a trouser. Shall we see how all this unfolded? !

A plane returns to base because Farhan (Madhavan, once so cute but now needs to go a little easy on the thair shaadam eh!), is having a fake spasm of sorts. Soon he has hijacked an airport car and is on his way to meet best bud Raju (Sharman Joshi). The reason for all this is that much hated Chatur Ramalingam (Omi Vaidya) has located the other best bud, Rancchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad aka Rancho (Aamir Khan) who disappeared after graduation. Question Time! What’s common to Tams in Bollywood Films and Brits in Hollywood Films? Answer: Both sport dodgy accents and are designated DOUCHEBAGS! Chatur it appears has been harbouring deep RESENTMENT against the best buds. And is also looking for an inventor called Phansukh Wangdu (people lol, rofl, lmao at the names!), all round genius who has 400 patents to his name (your viewer was all lolwut at patents=genius!). So they are off to Simla where Rancho now lives. Why is Chatur so bitter? FLASHBACK! Time for a Boys Own Adventure where their antics will be treated with a Boys will be Fucking Boys!!

Podgy Farhan has just joined the Imperial College of Engineering and is soon rooming with Raju, he of the 100 Gods Shrine who shall bless him with Complete Examination Success. Time for RAGGING! Lots and lots of boys! Lots and lots of dropped trousers! Arse Stamping! Chatur in a bowtie and skimpy underwear! Everyone looking like an undercover overage student like Drew in Never Been Kissed! Rancho entering, Farhan looking a little smitten - Ruined Botticelli Angel who has been a tad “refreshed” – IRRESISTIBLE! But if you think up next is strobe lights, dance music, Bad Bad Rancho and Queer as Log you are wrong for this is at best a bad advertisement for Dora Underwear. Rancho doesn’t want to drop his trousers – no Tough Male Initiation Rites for the wuss! - and locks himself into a room. Time for a Bully aka Senior to ferret him out by - umm - pissing on his door. Time for a glimpse of Rancho’s native genius for he quickly rigs – double umm - an Apparatus for a Sharp Short Shock to the Scrotum of a Pissing Person! Useful given the movie has so much serial pissing!! So massive toolery all around – except perhaps in the underwear.

ViruS (Boman Irani) - he of the charming eccentricities – Listening to opera! Being shaved while listening to the opera! Taking ambidexterity to new heights! Carrying a bird in a nest! – is giving the TOUGH TALK to the overage students. And mooning over a pen designed for space. Cue a Rancho The Great moment (Reader, you are warned, there are MANY!). It is all about a pencil for space – Rancho boy you will have to do better than lifting old cosmonaut/astronaut anecdotes to establish genius!! Now ViruS his enemy for life but hey ViruS join the queue, we can’t stand a smug smart arse either! Also joining the queue - the Prof in the next scene who is – triple umm - predictably unzipping his trousers! Another Rancho the Great moment - don’t beat us over the head with his genius, folks! And I forget - there is a parallel track of Chatur, Obnoxious Teacher's Pet for each such moment.  

Now time for obligatory creative student crushed by the forces of college bit for beware ViruS the Villain is at large, he will fuck you over, destroy all hope, crush your spirit and spit you out a ghost of a man! Oh note that the student is a Lobo so he gets to sing an English song! Also another song where the bogs are like something out a product catalogue – check out the red doors, the smooth granite! Soon Lobo is quite DEAD and hey a Rancho invention is there to record the moment! And Rancho has a most revolutionary thought – all student suicides are MURDERS! The blood of our nation’s youth is on our Professors hands! For this ViruS puts him on the spot and time for another Rancho The Great moment accompanied by a homily - though oy any dimwit can spot what Farhanitrate and Prerajulisation is! Also time for ViruS’ favourite activity – writing letters to parents! Farhan’s are the aspirational sort, Raju’s the poor wanting a better life. And both are very UNHAPPY so the 3 idiots are soon cruising the streets. So of course time for the Boys will be Fucking Boys to crash a wedding. Oh look ViruS has a daughter Pia (Kareena Kapoor). She has spectacles, she is INTELLIGENT! But has a fiancé who is very very devoted to BRANDS! Hot Chick with Douchebag or Closeted with Beard? The Jury is OUT!

Soon ViruS is giving Raju and Farhan a valuable piece of advice – they are have nots while Rancho is a HAVE! So he can do ANY fuckery he wishes! The life of the genteel poor on the other hand, fucked but no fuckery allowed! Soon all pants down for a discussion and Raju in open rebellion against Rancho and rooming with Chatur. But Farhan still smitten, the man does adore a ruined Botticelli angel!

Anyway Boys will be Fucked up Boys! So a plan is hatched up to “rescue” Raju from Chatur’s clutches. This involves a tiny switch in Chatur’s speech for an Important Occasion. Sort of like putting a spider in a classmate’s desk in Std. 5 when the School Inspector comes visiting. Clever! Also Chatur not knowing Hindi – both HILARIOUS and a CRIME – we must all be proficient in the Rashtra Bhasha! The word in question in India’s Most Famous Speech after Kitne Aadmi The is balatkar. The Rape Word – guaranteed laugh riot! Naturally Chatur all stroppy and vows REVENGE! Oooh FISTFIGHT!!! But no, just drunk people promising to be successes 10 years later. An Apparatus for a Sharp Short Shock to the Plot badly needed!

But we commence a Romance Fuckery Plot in which Rancho manages to divest Pia of the Brand Whore Douchebag/Closeted Fiance and get it on with him instead. Does anyone care about this unsexy romance? NO! Can we have a Time Travelling Device back to 50s Sluttery?! NOW! But halt. We must not forget the mission of this film, to establish that Rancho aka Aamir Khan is Great and Can Do No Wrong! Weird hospital track (hey nice Fortis product placement there, brand whoredom much!) involving Raju’s father. Raju also smitten by the ruined Botticelli angel so he CRIES (Sam Taylor-Wood, you are needed!) and HUGS Rancho.

Your viewer is now suffering from infinite tedium. Also never has a movie stuffed itself with SO MANY unsexy men. That’s it! I am wandering off on my very own Sapphic fantasy track! Indulge me till I return!

Exam results out - Quelle Surprise! Raju and Farhan bottom of class, Rancho a topper! Green Monster! Class Photograph! A Bet! If Raju and Farhan get a job, ViruS will shave off his moustache. Not that we care, a moustache less ham is still a ham! Plus the only good ham is Jon Hamm!

TEDIUM REIGNS. Also the back and forth now very confusing. Sapphic fantasies aren’t helping. Neither is Mr. Hamm. Time to keep company with Tall, Dark and Handsome Mr. Pinot Noir methinks and to hell with the chronology.

Back in the present our boys are in Simla (And a man is snapping 5 burqa ladies, wtf what was that about?!) and at Rancho’s mansion. Rancho’s dad is dead, also Rancho is not Rancho. Sooper Plot Twist, machan!

Some absurd fuckery, cuntery, sluttery, drunkery (God I feel SO much better just using those words!) ends in a dare (Boys will be Fucking Boys!). Rancho is trying to get into Pia’s bedroom, also some very strange stuff with a sister and a baby and all is well! OK, PISSING alert, this time its Raju spraying ViruS’ Wall! Time for ViruS’s second favourite thing after writing letters to parents! RUSTICATION! Out sails Raju though ViruS’ window to the strains of opera. Oh Raju, you really shouldn’t have done that!!!! For now we have to sit through more weird hospital scenes and CRYING and HUGGING and Rancho The Great.

Oh good here’s Mr. Shiraz, a super smooth sort from South Australia - only a ménage a trois will get me though this!

There is some bit about Farhan becoming a wildlife photographer and talking to his dad about it and TEARS! And Raju getting a job in spite of failing so more TEARS! ViruS now without a moustache. CRY, CRY, CRY! HUG, HUG, HUG! DROP TROUSERS! Rancho Tussi Great Ho!

Some backstory fuckery in which the fake Rancho is established as a boy prodigy and genius who would put Mozart to shame. Nothing to see here, move along.

Ongoing ViruS Villainy involving an exam paper and its theft. Does anyone care! A thousand times, a resounding NO! ViruS also “murdered” his son apparently. Boo Hoo.

Oh God no, ViruS don’t let us down, we could have so got together and given Rancho the bumps and tied the fucktard up, put stones in his pockets and thrown him into a river for good! But Sad Sad Day - here he is acknowledging Rancho The Great. This involves floods, the birth of a baby and a vacuum pump. All like some ghastly chapter in a management text book with big signposts to instances of ingenuity, teamwork, blah blah blah. All topped with CRYING. Will this child who shall hear the story of Uncle Rancho's Method for Delivering a Baby every single fucking day of his life be an Anti-Rancho? One lives in hope!

Anyhow back in the present, inexplicably Pia is getting married to the Brand Whore. Who is wearing a pink robe and pink slippers. And listening to Opera. Douchebag AND Closeted! Quelle Surprise! Pia does a runner.

Then we are all in Ladakh where we get further proof of Rancho the School Teacher’s ingenuity bringing joy and progress to poor Ladakhians (what the hell is the man inventing anyway, Permanently Keeping Cheese From Yak Milk?). So everyone gets to meet up because of the reappearance of both Pissing and the Apparatus for a Sharp Short Shock to the Scrotum of a Pissing Person and it winds its way to its predictable End. When I wake up I think- If 3 Idiots was male, I would definitely be applying that Apparatus to its Scrotum. PRONTO. Though  an old fashioned short, sharp kick to its backside would do just as well.

India’s most popular movie it appears is a mash up of 101 Jokes for all occasions, self-help books and a smattering of Edward de Bono. Its like being stuck in a training course for middle management where you are allowed to fondly recall the last time you were properly alive, aka in college, and made to believe that the rainbow of alternate existence in which you are totally going to be CREATIVE and LOVE your WORK is around the corner. It will no doubt be conducted by Rancho The Great.

If you stick to the very end, it will also make you Vote for Rote.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Trouble is a Tapori's Business

A second Guru Dutt movie, this time Aar Paar.

And it’s hard to snark about an amusing and breezy Bombay trifle so shall we take an amiable PG romp through it?!

We start with a police station where it is punishment for petty crims day and all the wicked sharps and sleazes are milling around awaiting their ten lashes and gruel. Amongst them a naïf sort is worried he is in for it thanks to sneaking a few smokos. He is soon before the Man and it turns out his name is Kalu Birju (Guru Dutt). Uh huh, shall we rechristen him KB?! The Man turns out to be a soft sort who has decided to send KB back into the world on account of his good behaviour. KB pretty thrilled and soon establishing that he is the smart aleck tapori sort that you only find in Bombay movies. Before he leaves Qaidi No 114 draws him aside and asks him to go and meet the Captain and deliver the message, Kaale Badal Mein Bijli, Badi Tasveer Saaf Kar Dena. That’s totally my next password.

Out in the world he meets up with his ex taxi boss who has sent him to the slammer for nothing worse than an accident. Ex taxi boss unrepentant so KB all shaking fists and shaanya lines. And then jauntily off only to trip over someone fixing a car. KB being an abrasive sort pulls out the trousered fellow only to discover it’s a very pretty girl Nikki (Shyama). KB all taporiness and Nikki all annoyed but of course also a little smitten-I totally get her falling for that fur cap (!) and knotted kerchief. Cue random construction worker song and urchin dancing - haven’t we all been thus romanced - yay for the singing peasantry of India! Soon Nikki drives off and KB goes to meet his sister. But the B-i-L is all huffy about KB’s prison stint so KB has to leave. Then KB runs into one of the dancing urchins who rejoices in the name Elaichi Pehalwan (a young Jagdeep) –awesome we are so keeping this name! - and soon they have exchanged hardscrabble tales and are sleeping under Bombay’s smoky sky.

The next day KB spots Nikki’s car and wanders in and is all lippy with Nikki’s Punju dad for KB’s coat is in Nikki’s car. Time for Nikki-KB sparring that is so going to lead to sacha pyaar! KB, smart lad, also pataoes the Dad and soon has a job and a bed at the garage. Now KB off to meet the Captain. But who cares about the Captain when you have the Moll (Shakila)! Especially when the Moll is in a dress that crosses flounces and chiffon with a tight Bavarian choli! Time for the vamp item number and time for strong, sensible men to be reduced to blithering idiots! But the Moll is looking at KB and totally thinking that is one delicious cupcake. A delicious cupcake with a mean fist and a wicked mouth i.e. After bashing up a patron putting the moves on the Moll, KB is also all No Captain, No Message and walks away from her.

The next day the Moll along with sidekick Rustam (Johnny Walker) is at the only garage in Bombay, namely Nikki’s. The Moll wants the car fixed. Uh huh sexual innuendo time! Moll all like can you thoroughly check out, rehaul and tune all my parts – way too much sex in Hindi movies! - KB the tease only checking the car plus Nikki and Moll catfight is in the air. Rustam, good man, still has his eye on the job and transfers the car contraband to a taxi but the Moll decides to leave the car in the garage for repairs.

Nikki’s Dad likes long running chess games with a Qazi. And so Nikki having a lot of time for pyaar vyaar! See Nikki teaching KB English (bizarrely the words are FAT.GIRL.LOVE)! See Nikki and KB fixing fuses! See Nikki and KB whistling! See Nikki and KB singing a song! See Nikki looking like a saucy little minx in mechanic overalls and KB looking like a sinfully delectable cupcake! Watch them as they are prettily framed by the car! And watch as KABOOM they are in love and kissing behind a column! But oh no sprung by Dad who inexplicably wandered away from the chess game. But KB lad all unrepentant and quite quite lippy with Dad. So KB back on street and out of a job. Time for a bed under the stars with Elaichi who promises to be his cleaner once KB gets a taxi to drive. Also KB's chances with Nikki further nixed as the police drop by the garage on a tip off to check the Moll’s car. And Dad and Nikki now know that KB has taken in some jail air. So that’s that no more kissing behind columns.

Finally the Captain (Bir Sakhuja) is in the Building! And looking like a suited greasy stockbroker bhav copy in hand. No wonder the Moll wants a KB tuning! Captain annoyed with his flunkeys including No. 1 and No. 2 for botching the last bank job. Also Captain is being tailed by the police thanks to the car left in Nikki’s garage by the Moll that has been traced to him. Now KB turns up yet again to deliver Qaidi No. 114’s message. Time for Rustam’s Parsi Patois comedy routine! Then a door painted with decadent Victorians (I so don’t need a Fat Flashman reminder!) and into the Captain’s lair. Lippy lippy KB uh huh Boy has Bombay Attitude in spades! But also stupid stupid KB for Captain offers him a taxi on the condition that it is available when required by the Captain and KB agrees. Also Moll can’t wait to eat the delicious cupcake that is KB but the tease is still not putting out!

Now KB has a taxi and Elaichi a cleaning job. KB goes off to give lady love Nikki a spin but she is not giving the time of her day to a crim. So KB hauls her off to the police station and the Man assures her he is a good sort and gives him an actual character certificate. Clearly the golden age of policing. Now a spin through the streets of Mumbai and car song and Nikki all remorseful and KB all petulant before being manoed. A man can get away with so much when he is a wicked sweet cupcake!

KB now consorting with the Captain and his crims – his taxi is the getaway vehicle - and in a heist dry run that is quite, quite botched up by No. 1, No. 2 and Rustam. Captain is thunderous and furious and we must do better! But inexplicably now time for Nikki to perve on a shirtless KB by arriving unannounced at his house only to find him bathing. Nikki not doing the horizontal tango with shirtless KB (where is the Moll when you need her!) but inexplicably only making plans to set up house. Also inexplicably KB confesses his desire to marry Nikki to the Moll who suggests he elope if the Dad does not agree. And indeed Dad all deeply annoyed at KB’s marriage proposal. So naturalment KB all attitude, lippy and annoying and making poor Nikki chose between him and Dad. So Nikki plans to elope with him at midnight - always a good hour for elopement! But Dad at his never ending chess game interspersed with comments to prevent daughter’s elopement like Nikki is such a dutiful daughter, discussing lafangas who left their lovers etc. So Nikki not going anywhere and KB’s plan chaupat. Time to take himself off to the Moll but Moll singing a song on The Secret Pain and Unhappiness of Molls. KB totally not taking this opportunity to be the Moll’s Comfort Pillow for the sweet cupcake is still a little in love with Nikki. Awww!

Time for another random song in which KB gets to sing love murdabad with various women. Whatever. Also time for more of the Rustam Parsi Patois comedy track where Rustam, the girlfriend, the fat mom, and siblings go to a zoo and Rustam has a very difficult time getting some nookie time before managing the Johnny Walker Item Song. Whatever. Meanwhile another heist and contraband being thrown off a suburban train, no less! And KB finds a few bullets in contraband! Man is in deep shit but oblivious, however Elaichi is doing his best to get him back on track and lands up at the Captain’s adda Nikki in tow. Where KB is lounging around with the Moll – it appears that the Moll Tuning is finally going well! So well that KB spurns Nikki for spurning him and Nikki is singing the Sad Version of Happy Song.

KB now investigating further and finds that boxes thrown from trains totally do not contain Lifebuoy even if this is indicated on the carton but may contain bullets. Tubelight KB! Now KB as usual being lippy and showing attitude to the Captain and announcing he is walking away. Captain is all my darling sweet cupcake you ain't going anywhere and has him trussed up and orders Rustam to kill KB. Rustam very unhappy because this means a lifetime in the slammer sans his sweetie with the fat mom and annoying siblings. And the Moll is all over her trussed up cupcake and suggesting they elope, she seems a bit fixated on elopments eh! But KB is all I am a wicked sweet delicious cupcake that shall be touched only by saucy Nikki’s lips. Now the Moll is totally over the fool and suggests to the Captain that kidnapping Nikki may be the way to get KB to get on with the heist as opposed to ummm killing him. Because it’s just so hard to find a driver! So Nikki and Elaichi are kidnapped! Nikki and Moll are now in a farmhouse 30 miles away while Elaichi is quite trussed up and No. 2 is left in charge.

Time for another amateur bank robbery heist with KB in the getaway car. But Rustam decides to turn straight so off he goes with KB to rescue Nikki. No. 1 and henchmen give chase but Rustam is quite the match for them. As he is for the farmhouse crims. Good Man Rustam! Nikki and KB now reunited! But the Moll escapes and now Captain is around too and time for jungle shootout that empties every bit of ammunition the Captain has ever had! Also oy here’s to a Moll gaily shooting at the object of her spurned affections as opposed to copping a few of her own saving him! Meanwhile Elaichi has given No. 2 the slip and is here with the Police who arrive just in time in the last frame of the film! So it’s off to the slammer for the Captain and the Moll though the Captain is so going to work the Kaale Badal Mein Bijli, Badi Tasveer Saaf Kar Dena messages. Now Nikki’s Dad is here too and all contrite so here we are at the end and its curtains and sexy time for our saucy minx and hot and delicious cupcake!

And with that, I have exceeded my normal quota of Hindi movies by about 4. So next review break ke baad!

A tiny dedication - this post for my grandfather, who is much missed.


I am not sure if Aar Paar is the first of the kind of movies that are familiar in Hindi cinema. It's release date of 1954 suggests that its liberal employment of Mumbai patois and its mix of big city noir, gangster culture, the shootout climax, inventive framing of shots and youthful romance must have been a fresh take for its time - and it retains this freshness. Its possibly the first of the crim-com genre and pretty much most of the cast is on good form here and the songs for the most part are pleasant, infectious interludes. This is an exuberant if slight film that is essentially a love letter to Bombay (it’s possible the streets were cleared for shooting but the city looks spacious and empty) and entirely different in tone from the films that Guru Dutt made later. It gets so much right that its faults are best ignored.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Sorrows of Young Vijay

So I saw Pyaasa.

And it’s hard to deconstruct a movie that takes itself so seriously and is relentlessly downbeat. But we will give this arduous task a spin, shall we?!

Vijay (Guru Dutt) is a poet. We know this because he is dreamily sprawled under a tree thinking delicate, beautiful thoughts about the birds and the bees (not sex, put away your dirty minds!). Then a foot and a crushed insect ooh so symbolic! Vijay all upset and walks away. That Vijay - just so SENSITIVE!

Next scene at publishers' - aka some harassed bloke who runs a rag - to whom Vijay has handed over his poems. Publisher is a bit of a piece and tells Vijay he wants poems on wine, women and the lot and Vijay’s poems not quite the thing. Fair enough, eh Vijay, the man has a paper to sell! But no, Vijay throwing a hissy fit and demanding the return of his poems. But they are in the wastepaper basket - oh cruel, cruel world! Vijay all ATTITUDE and walks off in a hissy fit. There, there Vijay, man up, we have all been there! Vijay then runs into Maa and nephew in the market and tries to avoid them as he is unemployed and down. Maa drags him home for ghar ka khana but his two nasty brothers are all up in arms about his freeloading. Now Vijay again looking for his poems. And again poems absent, sent off to the raddi! Vijay throwing another hissy fit at this CRUEL, CRUEL WORLD THAT CANNOT RECOGNISE HIS BEAUTIFUL NATURE. Now Vijay off to meet a friend for a bed for the night. And I am thinking DRINKING GAME! DRINK as Vijay is being serially fucked by the world! Friend offers him a bed but suddenly a girl turns up and its lady screwing time for him and Vijay has to leave looking like a wounded bird. DRINK! And mate, don’t grudge your friends a root!

Then Vijay sitting on a bench and contemplating a night under the stars. Girl on bench starts singing - yes that’s how street prostitutes land a Joe! Now Vijay is following her and an entire song later Gulabo (Waheeda Rehman) realises that Vijay has no money and merely wants to quiz her on her song. She chases him away -DRINK! - and then finds a piece of paper he has dropped. Oh Vijay, always leaving poems everywhere! Gulabo is sadly not a poetess prostitute but merely singing Vijay’s verses - she bought all his poems in the raddi (!) and is now all remorseful at turning him away.

Vijay sleeps rough, its morning and he is lounging around and spots Meena (Mala Sinha) getting off a swish car. Hey, Meena looking good there no, make that you are a DIVINE, RAVISHING GODDESS and you so need a tumblr shrine! Now Vijay again looking fucked. DRINK! Time for college flashback - Vijay looking so like the uncle next door but Meena, DIVINE! - general happy fuckery, lame jokes and then ROMANCE and CYCLE SONG! Stuff the serial fuckery, just DRINK because it’s all happy! But not for long and soon it’s the present and Vijay is being a coolie to earn a few paise. DRINK! And then takes himself off to a hotel to eat. But paise turn out to be khote. DRINK for the fuckery of the world is never ending! Then Gulabo spots him and pays for the meal - witness the beginnings of SUPER KINDRED SOUL fuckery. DRINK! DRINK! some more for Sattar Bhai (Johnny Walker) now singing CHAMPI SONG! Yay!! But what’s this - time for Sattar Bhai’s fucked up comedy show with hard as nails prostitute. Quick REWIND to champi song! DRINK! For no reason!

Then Vijay runs into an old friend and it’s CLASS REUNION time! So Vijay goes. Recognition at last, propelled to the stage to sing song! DRINK! But there is Meena in the audience. She’s DIVINE! Vijay sings SUPER SAD song, Meena anguished, audience unimpressed. DRINK! Outside Vijay runs into a publisher, Mr. Ghosh (Rehman) who invites him over. So off goes Vijay with his poems but Mr. Ghosh quizzing him on his college years and then offers him a job. On way out Vijay meets Meena in the lift and FLASHBACK and ROMANCE! Meena, Meena you are looking DIVINE in that Goddess Gown. Back in lift, Meena looking as if she could fuck Vijay on its floor but Vijay all bitter and moody. Enough to make a girl DRINK!

Mr. Ghosh invites Vijay to his house deliberately for there is Meena and she is Mr. Ghosh’s wife! Now looking closely at Mr. Ghosh – kind of portly in a fine suit but then the eye is drawn up and see those fine cruel lips, the cruel eyes, the cruel brows, the fleshy cheeks, the brilliantly pomaded hair…….so like a Fat Flashman……..think perversity, eroticism, sado- masochism, boudoir, corsets, knickers, white gloves, fetish, bondage….umm, er where was I?! Yes, hmmm, some rubbish poetry on, Vijay forced to serve drinks. So DRINK! Meena looking distressed, Fat Flashman thunderous on confirmation of liaison and Vijay contemptuous. Then Vijay singing and looking like the softest, sweetest, most feeling and soulful morsel of humanity so hush, suspend the snark, put down the DRINK! Audience however unimpressed so recommence DRINKING!

Meena now getting a bit stalkerish and Vijay being standoffish and all annoyed at Meena the gold-digger who thwarted his love. DRINK! Meena behaving a bit besotted here - drag him on to the couch girl and just get over him! Deliciously cruel Mr. Ghosh is however eavesdropping on Meena’s confessions and later - uh huh these were not the kind of spankings I had in mind - BAD MR. GHOSH, stick to role play! The next day, Vijay finds Fat Flashman throwing away his poems – what’s up with folk trashing poems but hey woo hoo for the fuckery of the world for we can DRINK!

Somewhere else in the city Gulabo all sad and still looking for Vijay. A trick turns sour and she is being chased by a policeman and then runs into Vijay who claims she is his wife to save her. Gulabo super happy and now her hot, hot body needs some serious cooling down – this erotically charged song will tell you all! Folks, it can be confirmed - Gulabo totally besotted with Vijay - but he disappears. Men, never there when a woman is hot and bothered. DRINK!

Some unnecessary comical fuckery from Sattar Bhai. LET’S NOT GO THERE AND JUST DRINK!

Vijay still sleeping rough in the city trying to drink water from a dry tap. But we can DRINK! Oh no Meena again stalking him. Meena, Meena surely Fat Flashman can offer you infinite more pleasures, albeit a tad sordid, than uptight Vijay! No? Pass him on to us! DRINK! Random storm and Vijay is in it. DRINK! Then Vijay finds out that the Maa is dead and the brothers don’t want him. DRINK, DRINK, DRINK! And have Vijay join you as he goes on a bender and then joins his friend for a kotha visit where a fetching lady is dancing. DRINK! But look the lady has a crying baby and Vijay is totes the only one with FEELINGS and TEARS! So much Sturm und Drang! And now he is singing a hauntingly beautiful song a Ballad of the Fallen Woman so to speak but you are also thinking hey Vijay, maybe you can remove that pretty, soulful mug that is so beautifully lit for a few minutes because it’s not always about how fucked up you feel, you know! Anyhow, DRINK!

Now Gulabo time. Gulabo is all fangirl – Vijay you are the Greatest Poet that ever lived! Also totes maternal and all for tucking him into bed. Vijay all no I am fucked, my poems are fucked, the world is fucked. DRINK! At this point he should take a Bex and lie down but no, leaves Gulabo and is totally cruising for more punishment and running wild over some railway lines and offering coat to shivering beggar. Then beggar dead under a train and everyone thinks its Vijay who is QUITE DEAD. DRINK! Fat Flashman gleeful but Meena and Gulabo all sad. Now Gulabo fangirl wants to get poems published (note that poem folder has a Spitfire on the cover, wtf!) but runs into Meena who doesn’t want this as the tome is dedicated to her. Meena vs Gulabo has Meena knocked out (Meena you remain DIVINE)! Then Gulabo begs Fat Flashman to publish poems and he does. Now Vijay a STAR. Crowds wanting to buy his book top Justin Bieber twitter followers! Fangirl Gulabo all happy. DRINK!

Meanwhile Vijay in hospital and bereft of speech. DRINK! Nurse now reading HIS poems to him (so touching!) and he is all those are my poems, I AM VIJAY! For that immediately carted off to pagalkhana. Meanwhile Vijay’s friend, his brothers and Fat Flashman have all cut a deal to not recognise Vijay for its well known that the only good poet is a DEAD ONE! DRINK for the glorious fuckery of the world is eternal! So Vijay quite quite stuck in pagalkhana. DRINK! Till Sattar Bhai spots him and gets him out. Another round!

Then time for a public reading of Vijay’s poems to which he turns up along with a million other fanboys of his sporting I AM VIJAY tees. Confusing! Meena on stage looking DIVINE, Fat Flashman - ummm - looking devilishly rakish and cruel and so so fetching in that Indian attire (put a brake on the fantasies girl!). Yes Vijay, you are a ROCK STAR, you are verily CHRIST Resurrected. But no need to sing about burning down the world, eh! Then a stampede as Fat Flashman goons try to hustle Vijay out, stamp out his existence and trample poor, devoted Gulabo. I don’t know about you but I need a DRINK! And now let’s all DRINK as Vijay is embraced and vindicated by the very people who spurned him - bar Fat Flashman whose rep is quite ruined for spruiking Vijay as a quite DEAD POET. DRINK to the friend! DRINK to the brothers! DRINK to the Publishers! DRINK to Meena! Another round to the ever changeable fuckery of the world!

Now time for another ROCK STAR Vijay appearance-this time as an undead poet!

But what’s this? Vijay in a MASSIVE FUCK YOU to the world. Shall we DRINK?! Vijay now claiming he is not Vijay. Much consternation. Another bloody stampede and another Sattar Bhai rescue of Vijay. Vijay who is not Vijay but is St. Vijay now saying goodbye forever to Meena and offering her his everlasting goodness and forgiveness. Its OK Meena, you are DIVINE, you have Fat Flashman and some excellent hair ornaments I am totally reproducing! Then Vijay off to Gulabo’s place and witness the consummation of their SUPER KINDRED SOUL fuckery as they walk off into the sunset! Hey Vijay not Vijay but still St. Vijay, goodbye then! Meanwhile for the rest of us depraved, unfeeling folk - its time for the FAT FLASHMAN BOUDOIR GAMES! DRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNKKKKK!

PS: Bonus DRINK for anyone who got title reference!

Ouch. I grew up on Pyaasa songs and the idea of Guru Dutt as auteur. But this movie (and incidentally also Kaagaz ke Phool) is a hot turgid mess where maudlin sentimentality meets middlebrow romanticism. It is beautifully shot, its songs are quite wonderful, it has its moments I will give it that. But the central conceit of the film - of a tortured, sensitive genius crushed by society only to spurn its final acceptance too often feels like the petulance of a ignored child. Even a song like Jinhe Naaz Hai somehow fits uneasily in the film inspite of being its central piece partly because it is as much a considered reflection of the sordidness of the world as it is of the cult of the sensitive poet.  I find myself a little surprised that this movie turns up in top 100 lists.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Thoroughly Modern Nina

So I saw Andaz.

And though sophomore efforts are difficult, this is how it goes!

19 year old heiress Nina (Nargis) is on vacation and ADORABLY CUTE – we know this because she wears fetching jodhpurs, pouts at doting daddy who wants to lie abed and playfully cracks the whip at the help on her way out. The artless airhead then mounts her horse and is soon riding over hills and vales till the horse can’t stand so much adorable cuteness and runs amok. Will our heroine die – nah! A few minutes later she is rescued by Dilip (Dilip Kumar) and then wakes in a hospital. Pretty soon she is engaging in ADORABLY CUTE banter with Dilip. Now we know that Nins is lively and friendly and Dilip is a smart arse. Then Daddy-O arrives and is unfairly annoyed at the eager arriviste who saved his daughter. Before they depart, Dilip receives an invitation from Nins to come visit her in the city for she is like totes indebted to him for saving her life. Then Nins is waking up and looking rather skittish and ADORABLY CUTE in high-waisted loose pants and soon Dilip is at her door and looking like he wants to get into those pants. But Nins is not all like !psycho stalker! but engaging in more ADORABLY CUTE banter. Oh that Dilip! The divine looks, the smart arsery, the casual racism (I am from Africa but do not look like a gorilla)! And pretty soon he has hopped onto a piano and is singing about TOTALLY LOSING HIS HEART and look Nins is all coy and has a fluffy dog and isn’t that ADORABLY CUTE! Then Dilip leaves and runs headlong into Sheila (Cuckoo). But this takkar is no meet cute though saucy Sheila loses her heart (but fails to sing about it) but Dilip (that boy, such a smart arse!) is all sparky with her. Before long all three are thick as thieves and playing badminton and Dilip is running all over the court beating off Nins and Sheila both looking ADORABLY CUTE in their playing togs. Then Nins and Sheila are all like wow this guy is a smart arse, sings, rescue damsels, plays badminton and your viewer is equally convinced and having a twitter stream in her head where everything about Dilip is #inappropriatecrushonalmostdeadactor. Then the girls are all like we want to sing too and you can play the piano and soon they are begging Dilip to fall in love with RECKLESS ABANDON, no less! And Dilip is not like can I have both you ladies, nom nom, thank you very much but totes ignoring Sheila and looking at Nins. And Nins is looking at Sheila cos she totally wants her BFFs - Dilip and Sheila - to get together. Oh Nins, don’t live up to that artless airhead moniker!

The life of the idle rich, don’t we all want it? For soon Nins is going to have a party and wants to invite Dilip but Daddy-O is all like no you can’t. And Nins is very very annoyed because she is a FREE SPIRIT. And also ADORABLY CUTE. But Daddy-O is thinking of SAMAJ and its intolerance of the free ways of Nins. But Nins of course gets her way and calls Dilip. And then Dilip has to sing for his supper and Sheila has to dance for hers and Dilip is like totes and openly besotted with Nins and declaring that he is going to sing for her perpetually (say no Nins girl, there is only so much of a foghorn voice (Mukesh) that one can endure!). Now Sheila knows too and is all like biatch, she always gets my man.  And the old folks are like nodding their head to show SEVERE DISAPPROVAL. So time for another dad-daughter talk and Daddy-O is like freedom is a bad thing for an Indian girl and Nins is like I will never do anything to hurt you or besmirch your GOOD NAME and Dad is all satisfied and it’s all very touching.

And before I forget, Nins girl I totally heart your wardrobe. Especially that robe with a big monogrammed N. Classy!

Then Sheila has a party - stupid girl you are never going to get that psycho stalker away from Nins! But Nins is all like careful with Dilip at the party and dancing with old gentlemen and STILL trying to get Dilip and Sheila together (give up will yer Nins). Meanwhile Dilip is like I WILL DECLARE MY LOVE TODAY. Then Nins has a phone call and oh no Daddy-O had a HEART ATTACK. And she goes home, Dilip in tow, and he is DEAD. Then Nins is all like shattered and silent and Dilip gets her back to normal. Oh that Dilip – yes, forcibly showing a girl her dead Dad’s photo is the best possible way to hammer into the head of Nins the Ninny that the man is irrevocably DEAD! Then Nins has a board meeting and decides to fritter – sorry use - Daddy-O’s hard earned by building hospitals and treating people for FREE! And stunningly Dilip, her saviour, her BFF, is to be in charge. And Dilip is soon giving orders and being TOTALLY noble and ensuring good works. Oh Dilip, MELT! Then Nins is like singing a song and Dilip arrives and thinks it’s about him. But alas Dilip it is not about you. For Nins is off to the airport so her BFF can meet.....her London returned fiancé! Oh no how did this happen! Poor Dilip is thunderstruck and aghast - especially when rubberface bobblehead Rajan (Raj Kapoor) utters the words he is to repeat in every single film he has ever been in (Achhaa Ji, twitter hash tag #pointlessirritatingnotcutefilmphrase). Go away Rajan, Dilip ftw! But oh no now he is meeting Mummy and then he is paying respects to dead Daddy-O and Dilip is looking like a neglected thundercloud. Then Dilip has to sing another song (aka #massivelyinappropriatehindifilmsong) and he is all like my heart is splintered, I am dying inside of love, Nins you are ABORABLY CUTE, you are doing me in, my heart is murderous, can I strangle and bury forever this bobblehead’s nascent film career? Oh Dilip, that look of pure venom at poor Rajan! MELT. Nins the artless airhead is of course still clueless. But Rajan is all like dude I know what’s going on here and see how ADORABLY CUTE I look being ADORABLY CUTE with Nins so watch me mouthing fuck off!

Then director decides it’s time for some light comedy. Bad move. Rajan has a “guardian” who turns up - Professor “desi harmonium pe vilayati raag nahin bajana” (Ha Ha good one Prof. NOT) is a buffoon speaking for tradition and boys and girls can never be BFFs. Massive own goal for Des! Then Rajan, Nins, Dilip and the Professor are off to yet another party at Sheila’s. Sheila, Sheila – that lithe body is all very well but why am I in love with your curiously flat voice? And Dilip is still looking like a neglected thundercloud while Nins and Rajan are dancing the night away. At some point Professor promises Sheila’s dad that his “son” Dilip will marry Sheila cos the old folk have to arrange stuff for the young uns. Professor – still scoring massive own goals for des! RUN, Dilip, RUN! Then Dilip, Nins and Rajan return home (ooh look Dilip has his own room here!) and Dilip is all like I am way too ill and Nins has to go and persuade him to have dinner. Then he is all hurt that Nins hadn’t told him about Rajan. And Nins is like you may be a boy but you are my BFF so I should have totally told you.  Pointless flashback with boring Rajan, meet cute, blah blah, love, blah blah, rich boy, blah blah, Daddy-O loves him, blah blah, going to London, blah blah, I will wait for my true love. Oh good, now Dilip is back. Then they all have dinner, #massiveowngoals still on. Des looking utterly bad, vilayat very good. Then Dilip smacks down the Professor - Vilayati goal! - and does RUN but only back to his room.

Soon Nins is Mrs. Rajan. You guessed it, PARTY TIME! Sheila shall dance, Dilip shall sing! But look there is no Dilip. He is packing to leave! Nins must save the day! Poor Nins then has the shock of her life when Dilip (#inappropriatemomentstodeclareyourlove) confesses to being besotted with ADORABLY CUTE Nins. AWKWARD. Then Nins is all like no no I love ADORABLY CUTE Rajan and Good God does everyone but me know this and have I encouraged this? And Dilip is like I will never stop loving you but I am leaving. MELT! SOB! Then Nins goes back in and its so not party time. Then Dilip has a change of heart and is BACK. Yay, time for another #massivelyinappropriatehindifilmsong! Oh no, Dilip is so sad and trying to smile through his pain! MELT! But Nins can’t wait for him to complete the song and runs away. And runs even further by taking off to the hills with Rajan. Now Rajan and she are being totes ADORABLE CUTENESS and bonking each other like rabbits. But Nins is also getting a little strange in the head for she is missing the BFF. Hey Dilip, you have a foot in, prise the door open! But Dilip is far away, managing Nins affairs. Instead spectral Dilip is following her around and suggesting she is in LOVE WITH HIM AND JUST DOESN’T KNOW IT. Way to mess around with a girl’s head, Dilip! Nins is now convinced she must never return to the city and so understanding Rajan stays on. Also Nins is still trying to engineer the Sheila-Dilip hook up but its TOTALLY NOT HAPPENING for he loves Nins. Nins is now bonkers by the minute though still sweet on Rajan. Then she has a baby. Time for director to raise the freedom for baby women question. Rajan is all for it, Nins is like I don’t want a mini me with a Dilip in her future. Oh Nins, you are an artless airhead!

Then baby is 1 and Rajan is we must return home and Nins has to give in. And Dilip is writing a long letter. On how he still loves Nins, how he stayed on for two years so there would be no suspicion about Nins’ reputation and how she is a devoted wife. And now its time for him to leave. Oh Dilip, how much can a woman MELT, time to take back the psycho stalker! But er he is putting this letter in Baby’s GIFT! #rubbingeyesindisbelief @ #envelopealternatives! Meanwhile PARTY TIME! Boring song for baby only enlivened by a complete cessation of sound when Nins spots Dilip. Then its LIGHTS OFF!

Then Nins spies Dilip and is all agitated, tells him she is all Rajan’s, she is desperately unhappy and he shouldn’t have confessed his love and can he please please marry Sheila (wtf Nins!) so as to not get in the way? Then LIGHTS ON!  Oh no its Rajan she's speaking to! And he is annoyed! Rajan is now being an arsehole though Nins is removing his shoes in a show of devotion and proclaiming her pure and deep love. Also Rajan more angry because even baby prefers Dilip's gift!  Then Dilip arrives. And tries to sort out matters by explaining to Rajan that his wife truly loves him. Bad move, Rajan all huffy that Dilip knows his wife better! Meanwhile Nins is singing a song about absorbing pain - BORING!  Then Rajan and Dilip get into a tussle and soon Dilip has been thwacked by a tennis racket, Rajan leaves home and Nins has to take Dilip to the hospital.

At this point there is no vilayati goal aka Nins is not like Dilip you so make my lady parts BLUSH and let's get it on but time for some directorial fuckery  i.e. another massive desi own goal sending film southwards. Plot like Nins runaway horse. Rajan is all cuntish and takes away baby and is cruel to Nins. Oh no Nins singing ANOTHER bloody song, time for a ciggie break. Dilip has a bandage and is so affected by that bashing he is now an overacting psycho stalker i.e. #absurdplottwist cos #idon'tknowhowtoendthisdamnthing.  Pretty soon Nins can't bear the lousy acting and has to shoot him dead. Pity she let Rajan scot free for the same sins. BORING! 

Now Nins is in the dock for murder. Lots of blah blah on an Indian woman in modern dress is still a chaste Indian woman. Sheila is a true BFF and testifies that Nins so loves Rajan. But Rajan is all like no way she doesn't love me, she shot Dilip to prove she is a chaste wife. Oh go away, Rajan! Then Nins is all like whatevers, perhaps the gallows are better than a lifetime of the bobblehead. Then Rajan goes home and tries to wreck the Dilip toy. And there is the letter! Now he knows all and rushes back to Nins. But Nins is to be sent off to the Andamans. So they meet, cry and decide baby will not fall into the bad ways of high society and vilayat like Nins. GAH! YAWN! ASLEEP!

Though Baby just as likely grew up to snort cocaine and bang the proverbial baker's dozen before she got married.

Suprisingly I knew nothing of this movie, I picked up Andaz because I like a few of its foghorn songs.  Bar the latter section on tradition/modernity which is unconvincing and entirely not required for the point of the film surely is not modern mores but that a man and a woman can be friends and be misunderstood by each other and the world at large, it is  a pretty good film. It is smartly made (and quite influenced by Hollywood) and suffused with the energy and youth of its main cast.  The banter and high spirits are convincing and the first half of the film is quite delightful.  The film is pretty much carried by Nargis who is pretty good (and a bit of a style icon in this film) and Dilip Kumar in whom you can see the beginnings of the great actor he was to be (sadly also the caricature he was to be!).  There are bits of Indian movie history in this film too e.g. Mukesh lending his voice to Dilip K, Rafi to Raj K. Its a movie crying out for an updated remake or at least a homage a la Douglas Sirk/Todd Haynes

Friday, 9 September 2011

Mahesh and Meena Make a Baby

Moving out the film reviews to old blog.
So I saw Dhool ka Phool.

And this is how it goes.

First Mahesh (Rajendra Kumar) and Meena (Mala Sinha) crash into each other in college – luckily they are on cycles and not motorbikes or whatever one may be on these days. Mahesh has lipstick on, this and other things make Meena furious but scene ends with her making cow eyes at all that rouge. Never underestimate the power of Revlon.

Then they have one of those sawaal-jawaab numbers that sadly exist no more. Meena’s attire looks retro, pre-partition but I am digging it. She is rather fond of the coy glance, I note. Oh and Mehmood popped by for a second.

Before one can think aww so romantic, we are told Mahesh is an irresponsible, wealthy sort. And Meena has evil guardians-we know they are evil because they have a ready arsenal of obvious taunts. But its soon time for a duet in the parks and lakes and in the rains. Rains and lonely cottages=illicit, delicious sex. Then it is morning and Mahesh and Meena are not like thank you/don't bother to call, that was amazing/bad sex but we have SINNED AND YOU IN THE AUDIENCE SHOULD NEVER DO THIS.

Soon Meena, the promising student, has passed her exams with flying colours but is also like looking at photograph of Murphy Baby and thinking Good Lord, I am preggers and soon to be a MAA. Then she runs off to Mahesh, who is running off to meet his dad, and then they are all we totes love each other and we will be in this together. But Mahesh goes home and meets Malti (Nanda) who is well connected and all and forgets that “main ek bacche ka baap banne wala hoon”. Meanwhile Meena is waiting for letters of love and when none arrive goes off to meet Mahesh. And shock horror - encounters a bloke in a sehra and on a horse who could have been any random dude but who she (rightly) identifies as Mahesh. Then she is all heartbroken and goes home and confides - loudly - to her maid and then of course evil guardians hear this and soon she is thrown out of the house and living with the maid. Meanwhile Mahesh and Malti (what’s with all the M names) are cooing and being quite sweet.

Then Meena has a baby and looks all aghast and cross and sad. And Mahesh is alluding to his past with new wife but is also totes happy because he is having another – this time legit – baby. Naturalment both babies are boys. And Meena is all what the fuck why am I raising this mewling thing on my own and rushes off to meet Mahesh and get him to like acknowledge paternity and seek visiting hours. But he is what the fuck this may not even be my baby, go away. Meena is then thinking hey fuck you Mahesh I can be cruel too and place a stone on my motherly heart and hey how about this jungle, perfect place to leave an infant. It is indeed perfect for soon a king cobra, no less, is offering protection to said infant and then a kindly Abdul Chacha (Manmohan Krishna) half-heartedly shouts a bit – koi hai sort of thing - and carts off the baby. Meena’s motherly heart meanwhile is rebooted and she goes back but alas THE BABY IS GONE.

The baby, named Roshan, is now with Abdul Chacha who is “so sweet that it will turn a person diabetic”. But fear not for the bitterness of the people who surround him is a surefire remedy. Abdul Chacha disillusioned by these mandir and masjid cruel folk, goes off elsewhere with baby and sings him an anti-religion song but inexplicably asks child to get all anarchist and slaughter the unrighteous in the end. Meena meanwhile finds work as an efficient typist for a nice man who is a lawyer (Ashok Kumar) and soon he is saying I don’t care about the past, let’s get married and then let’s fall in love and have sex for this is the CORRECT ORDER OF EVENTS AUDIENCE. So she is all happy but sad (about that baby you know) and soon ensconced in a nice bungalow. Then she is told the lawyer's swimmers aren't being put to good use as she has just ONE BABY IN HER NASEEB. Mahesh meanwhile has become a judge and has a son who looks so much like a cute girl that it is not funny (Daisy Irani) and the family is all adorable though the audience knows Mahesh must get his COMEUPPANCE. Soon the children are in a school which is a remarkably anti-classist single classroom school for the judge’s son and Abdul Chacha’s ward both get to study here and the class age is like 3-12. Naturalment, the two boys are like we super adore each other and we do not know we are half-brothers. But the rest of the boys are despicably cruel about Roshan being illegitimate and Roshan is all motherfuckers I will show you what I am made of and skips school and does some half-arsed badassery and is quite enjoying the soft crim life with a few scamps. Only the painful and moral girl like half-brother wants to keep him on the straight and narrow and is so intent on doing so that he finds himself under a car and quite dead. So that puts an end to the crim life and leaves one child to be shared by all, suddenly Roshan is totally hot property.

At some point Roshan also runs into mommy Meena, and they are totally sobbing in each other’s arms to make us the audience realise that their SOULS ALREADY KNOW EACH OTHER. And Meena twigs on to the fact that Roshan is her son.

Anyhow then there is a court scene where the judge is none other than Mahesh and Roshan is being defended by Meena’s lawyer husband. Mahesh is all like this child is sprung of bad seed and must be punished - you know apne hi pair pe kulhadi maarna type of thing. Then Meena gets up and makes a speech and Mahesh thinks fuck I am the father of this dastardly child. Then the court scene kind of collapses and everyone rushes off to Abdul Chacha’s house to decide who gets to keep Roshan. And Mahesh is all fuck fuck I don’t stand a chance here and I really can’t see too well with the thick glasses that they have given me to make me look OLD so I will pass. Meena and “true dad” lawyer husband get the spoils because you know she actually went back for the baby in the jungle. But not before Abdul Chacha looks all sad and delivers a massively guilt inducing speech (I shall die old and neglected cos mere ankhon ka roshan is being taken away from me) that makes one glad to see his back heading off to Mecca or whatevers. And then mum and son return home and its THE END and the audience departs in the certainty that PREMARITAL SEX IS WRONG but if you do indulge it helps to keep a condom handy.

I jest, Dhool Ka Phool is not a half bad movie if didactic and often given to Hindi movie cliches.  Like most movies of the time, it has some fairly nice songs. It is decidedly pro-woman in that 50s fashion and makes a few hard hitting points about religion and takes pains to make the point that illegitimacy does not mark a child, only the society which condemns it. Plus Meena is actually quite a spunky lady. And I have a serious woman crush on Mala Sinha who is really good here.