Tuesday, February 19, 2008

nice cape



(Toofan, 1989, by Ketan "son of Manmohan" Desai )

It's raining wacky Amitabh clips! Keep 'em comin'! This one came my way from the evil genius of Teleport City, who has no doubt already purchased a copy of it, which means we can all look forward to it getting the royal treatment. Right?!?

If you go by the comments on the youtube - which can be a dangerous strategy, as many of them tend to be racist, sexist, ignorant, and/or very badly spelled - this is a beloved childhood movie of many. I believe I've been told that Shashi got all sorts of flack for doing any ol' project that came his way (despite the admirable purpose of putting his paycheck towards the family theater), and I wonder if Amitabh faced similar criticism for some of these kinds of things? (Or maybe Toofan isn't nearly as bad as it looks based on this clip?) Did Amitabh get to do "Disco Bhangra" scot-free because of who he was (or had been, at that point)? Or did a significant portion of viewers snigger at the time?

So please, write in and discuss Amitabh's artistic slump - and tell me all about Toofan, too. The fact that I've never heard of it just shows how much I have to learn.

10 comments:

Aspi said...

This is the problem with gang help in the 70s and 80s. You'd think all of them would be shooting with the barrels pointing down given that Amitabh is rolling around. But noo!

Beth said...

Good help is devil to find.

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Toofan was truly horrible- and the title song was achingly achhhhingly horrible, yet stuck to your head- I still remmeber it today, despite having first heard i when I was 11!

That said, I think Amitabh's late 80s-90s slump had several reasons:
1- Late 80s- Romance was back in Bollywood w/ Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak- everyone wanted Aamir and Sallu- Amit's 70s machismo was out.
2- He had done a small poitical stint that left him broke.
3- He floated ABCL in the early 90s- which went bankrupt and relly left him open to doing whatever came his way.
4- Honestly, I personally think he was struggling to remain looking youthful and doing youthful roles- when he clealry should have moved on. Unfortunately Bollywood didnt offer very many "mature" lead roles at the time.

Sanket Vyas said...

Shweta is dead on with her observations about Amitabh during that time period. No one is a bigger Amitabh fan than me - films from the 70's & 80's - and no one is more embarrassed than me about these movies. They are not even 'good' bad, just 'bad' bad.

Kind of reminds of me when another favorite actor of mine (Harrison Ford) could do no wrong in Hollywood but then came a stretch of not-so-smart-nor-age-appropriate roles that just killed me. Thankfully Indy IV is coming out this summer so he can redeem himself ;)

indiequill said...

I was going to snark on those folks whose favorite movie growing up was Toofan but then I remembered Shaktiman and realized that it's not that strange.

I'd like to add to what people have said up above by providing two more samples of The bachchan's stellar late 80s work: Ajooba (arabian fantasy! available on youtube! watch him fight puppet sea godzilla!) and Jadugar (incompetent magician meets evil swami! on Youtube!).

here's the tiger scene from Ajooba: http://youtube.com/watch?v=quRO4jDoK4o

a ppcc representative said...

Whyyyy, Amit ji, whyyyyy?

Actually, the "la la la!"s buy and sell me. So maybe it's not so bad, really. There's a certain childlike earnestness to this clip.

Sanket Vyas said...

P.S. The only reason I can think of that this may be a favorite childhood movie of many is that they are children born in the 80's. Meaning that this movie may have been the first Amitabh movie they were exposed to and that his charisma transcended even the awfulness of this dreck :)

I would like to think that they went back and checked out his earlier films and that their 'favorite' movie eventually changed. Case in point, Sir Alec Guiness. 'Star Wars' is my favorite movie that he is in - a fact that he just absolutely abhorred. He did the film for a quick paycheck and never imagined it would be the one he was remembered for as opposed to 'The Bridge over River Kwai' and other classics.

Beth said...

Shweta - That many Hs must be bad! Thanks for your list of reasons. I have read about all of those in one place or other but it's striking to see them all together. It's funny in this clip to see him clearly older but not with his dark hair/white beard combo.

Sanket - The Harrison Ford comparison is making this sink home for me in a whole new way. Gah. I am so excited about Indi IV!

indiequill - Heehee! We all have our guilty childhood pleasures. I am desperate to see Ajooba and am pretty sure my life will not be complete until I get my hands on it. Can't wait!

PPCC - There's a lot to enjoy, is there not?

Anne O'Nymous said...

I'm loving the bad sound effects and the now-cliche "Now You've Really Pissed Me Off!" section in this scene. He gets to his feet and gives the bad guys dirty looks AND _acres_ of unguarded ribs to shoot holes through.

But they can't stop him. (Read this last sentence in US monster trucks announcer voice.)

Beth said...

anne - campy Bollywood action movies definitely need more monster truck announcers!