Sunday, September 30, 2007

Beth kahaan hai?

Buried in work, that's where. So buried that my brain is not able to figure out what to say about two recently-watched movies, Jaan-e-Mann and Teesri Manzil.

While I work on those, help me figure out what to watch next. When my Hindi tutor returned from her summer in Rajasthan, she brought me, among many other delights, a handful of Mysterious Movies from Yore, and neither of us knows anything about any of them. Whichever of these gets the most positive and/or intriguing comments from you readers will be the next movie added to the queue. Here they are in chronological order.
Chitralekha (1964)
Dulha Dulhan (1964)
Sawan Bhadon (1970)
Jeet (1972)

My tutor also brought me Jewel Thief, Sharmeelee, and Guddi. Yes indeed, I am the luckiest girl in the world! Jewel Thief is obviously superwow and what I wrote about it when I first saw it earlier this year doesn't at all do it justice, and at some point I might write about it again. As for Sharmeelee, well, I could go on it forever (especially given the regime change) - and in fact have already done so - so while I'll watch it again and again, decorum prevents much more public disclosure unless I have some blazing new important insight. MemsaabStory wrote about Guddi recently and I thought to myself "Damn I have got to watch that, but where am I going to find a copy?" - and then realized that the universe, in all its wisdom, had already provided me all I needed. So Guddi was already in line to be watched, but after that, it's one of the four above.

I also had two interesting Bolly-related experiences this week. First, I went to a lecture on twentieth-century Indian art and the speaker made a side reference to Satyam Shivam Sundaram when discussing Ravi Varma's depictions of women. Second, I watched old and new Don back to back (aren't we lucky to have two Dons to watch!), the old one with Abby, who hadn't seen it, and the new one with a group of friends who are new to Bollywood for whom Abby had chosen new Don as an introductory film. One of the viewers guessed DeSilva's actual identity very early on, and I was surprised, as I'd gasped out loud in the theater when he said who he was and the interval lights came up. Then again, I had assumed the plot would be the same, and she didn't have any such expectations. The host's ten-year-old, a gadget-y little fellow, also liked it a lot, except for the singing and dancing, which he summed up as "enh."

6 comments:

Aspi said...

Well, but what did the ten year old think of that graveyard romp in the original? Its irresistible!

Gemma said...

Well, Guddi for sure should be at the top. It is really really superwow (is that even possible?)...If I were you, I'd go with Chitralekha next, just because of the cast and year made, and the fact that the music by Roshan is gorgeous (v.v. classical in feel as all his soundtracks were). I haven't seen it but it's in my stack of to-be-watched soon!

(BTW, if you click on the name link please be aware that Gemma lets me post under her blog account and that the above opinion was not written by a spaniel but by Greta.)

Keith said...

http://dangermuff.com/bollybob/rsawan.html

akshayefan said...

I love love Chitralekha. The costumes and makeup are a bit ghastly but the music and story are sublime and Meena Kumari is beyond this world. ( I used to hate her before and it was this movie that made me realise how great a tragedienne she is and made me her fan.)

BTW, check out Sansar se bhaage phirtey ho (probably the best lyrics written for any Hindi song) and Pradeep Kumar's Man ri tu Kaahe na Dheer dhare ( which is a great melody).

The movie will give you a taste of the classical side of India explored in cinema.

Indyana said...

Hindi tutorials? whatever for?I was under the impression that you were a native? Aren't you?

Beth said...

Hmmm...well, so far Chitralekha looks to be the winner so far.

Inyana - no, not remotely :)