Friday, November 21, 2008

Just try to resist feeling weekendy after watching this!


Laxmikant Pyarelal's "Bol Baby Bol" from Meri Jung, 1985

It's hard to narrow down what I like most about this, other than that when the cars bearing giant letters spelling ROCK N ROLL drove up I yelled out "Oh my god!" and clamped my hand over my mouth in disbelief. Top contenders:

  • (and this one really does deserve first place) That's Javed Jaffrey! Look at him go! Takin' the chance to make us dance!
  • The many dance styles proposed...and did he include "tequila"?
  • It starts out in darkness. So suspenseful for those eight magical anticipatory beats!
  • The crowd is so chipper and participatory.
  • Somehow the opening segment reminds me of Happy Days - a lot of the dance moves say "sock hop" to me, and now that I think about it, please, please let there be a Bollywood sockhop picturization out there somewhere.
  • The bass line of this song just does not quit! And the brass! Zowee!
  • Slow-motion handsprings on a totally deserted Bombay street.
  • In the last segment, the costuming just goes bananas. He has a Thriller-era Michael Jackson-ish jacket and glove coupled with...I'm sorry, are those knickers? and she's wearing sparkle hoedown gear, while the band looks like they should accompany Desi Arnaz, the female backup dancers sport cowboy hats and legwarmers, and the male backup dancers look sort of like 20s gangsters with the suggestion of fedoras, tuxes, and spats - all while breakdancing, mind you. Yet somehow none of these really communicates "rock and roll," but who cares, because it's all so fantastically loony and cheerful.
Okay. Back to Suhaag now. If you need something to tide you over until I finally post my writeup, may I recommend part of the fight scene in which we (and Amitabh) first meet Shashi, leather pants, open shirt, and all?

10 comments:

bollyviewer said...

Aah Bol baby bol... the only bright spot on the filmi song horizon of that period. Thanks a ton for digging it up. I looovvve it! Javed Jaffrey is awesome. Wonder why he didnt do more dancing roles after that (at least none that I came across).

And your Suhaag snippets and screencaps are inspiring me to re-watch. Am off to dig out my copy...

houseinrlyeh said...

Now I have to try and come up with a martial arts movie name for the combined Amitabh/Rishi fighting style: The Double Open-Shirted Sleeping Leg perhaps?

Filmi Girl said...

Hooo my God! Javed Jaffrey!

You know, I've heard this song a million times but I've never seen the picturization! That Bombay street looks like one of the dire 80s sets from Doctor Who. And check out those West Side Story costumes on the ladies... super sweet!

Beth said...

Bollyviewer - I love it too! I can't believe that's Javed Jaffrey. It never occurred to me that he might have been a dance sensation back in the day. He's fabulous!

House - What are you watching with Amitabh and Rishi fighting? Ajooba again? I must admit, in my world, "double open shirted" brings to mind Vinod.

FG - It does! More fodder for our Bollywood Doctor Who Project of the Future. West Side Story is what I thought of in the street too - I almost chimed in with "I want to be in A-MER-EEEE-KA!" even though that is clearly not fake-pretend 50s New York.

Nida said...

I always wondered what 80s Bollywood was like!

I was lying in bed on my laptop, procrastinating on getting ready for work, but now I just wanna get up and dance! Wasn't Javed Jeffrey the "Aussie" guy from "Salaam Namaste"?

theBollywoodFan said...

Bol Baby Bol is one of the most memorable songs from that decade! Thanks for the reminder, Beth. That Bombay street's just a couple blocks away from where I was raised!

Jaffrey was a dance sensation for quite a while, he'd perform on nationally televised holiday/new year shows, and he was/is very well liked. Cool dude, India's answer to Michael Jackson :) Okay, I take that back, MJ is obviously in a league of his own.

Rum said...

How did you like meri jung? It was my 2nd anil film I watched as a kid, and bol baby bol was one of my favorites, especially the ridiculous dancing of Javed! My indoctrinated song is of Zindagi Har Kadam I loooove it, Anil looks so angsty when he sees his piano again!
Must tell you that my aunt cameoed in the Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi song in Suhaag, she looks great but slightly out of place, it was filmed in osterly park in london!

memsaab said...

That's Subhash Ghai playing the saxophone (at 4:10). Hilarious! He looks so young.

Fantastic song and Javed rocks!

Beth said...

Nida - Hee! My personal advice is to stay pretty far away from anything made after 1983 (and even some things before), but I have found a few must-sees, like Mr. India. And the NFDC films are gooooood.

Yes he is! Egjaktly!

theBollywoodFan - Yay!

Now that you say that, am I right that he sometimes hosts Boogie Woogie?

Rum - I didn't see the movie - just the song. The song is on a compilation CD I have and it occurred to me that surely its picturization must be a lark, and I was right :)

Where is your aunt in the song? I will totally rewatch it just to find her.

memsaab - I thought it probably was, but he looked so young! I was so confused!

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Beth: I'm not sure he still hosts Boogie Woogie, but I think he used to in the late 1990s.

It was great to see him in 'Dhamaal' last year. It's a fun comedy also starring Sanjay Dutt, although it seems parts of it are pretty obviously and sadly 'adapted' from a Hollywood counterpart.