Monday, December 08, 2008

It Happened Chori Chori One Suhana Safar

Suhana Safar is another Hindi version of It Happened One Night. The more, the merrier, say I. Screwball comedies are soooo satisfying when they're done well, and if you want to swap out Clark Gable and give me Shashi Kapoor and add in Sharmila Tagore in some fab 60s fashions, then I will not complain, not one little bit. The opening scene is Om Prakash orchestrating a marching band at an airport where daughter Sapna (Sharmila)'s flight arrives in flames as she clutches her favorite book of poetry,


and then the titles are set to flamenco.

Off to a good start, no?

Oh yeah, and this guy is in it too.


Would it kill you to keep your eyes on the road for once, Shashi? Geeze. In our numerous Shashi watch-alongs, Antarra's Ramblings has pointed out to me that the man is an accident waiting to happen. This movie's title song is a pariticularly good example.*
After her dad tries to commit her to a hospital because she's in love with a poet she's never met,

Sapna takes to the road, where she meets crabby/cute with Sunil,


and the two are thrown together on a road trip for the rest of the film. There are a few bad guys tossed in, I think just so the film can claim to have a few action sequences,


Speaking of: who wins your vote for dishoomiest Kapoor?
but most of the time it's cutey-patootey squabble-love. My T Series DVD doesn't have subtitles, so I can't tell you how witty the dialogue is, but there are few people I'd rather watch deliver screwball romance than Sharmila and Shashi, and I'm just going to assume it was sharp and charming.



As just over two hours long, the movie squeezes in five Lakmikant-Pyarelal songs that mostly stay on point.

Except for "Tim Tim Chamke Re Tara," which consists of "locals" celebrating a wedding and inspires love-sick Sunil to look on wisfully. Shashi does a lot of looking wistful in this movie.
Sunil wanders lonely as a cloud in his unrequited love in "Saari Khushiyaan Hain" while Sapna sleeps blissfully.

Hey Sunil, when a girl has this expression on her face while she's looking at people dancing, you are supposed to ask her to dance. Stop being such a mopey wall-wallah!

But instead of the characters actually giving in to their unbeknownst-to-each-other affections, in "Chudiyaan Bazar Se" Sapna and Sunil imagine themselves with a different set of villagers celebrating Holi.


I'm still working on my explanation of the sublime, but this last picture might do it.
And we viewers know we're invited too because some guy comes up and sprays us with purple paint!

Shashi actually has two solo songs (and Sharmila none!), and in "Hai Re Paisa Paisa" he again exhibits Shammi-ish style, wildly flinging his arms around, running, and leaping. He was moving around so fast I couldn't even get any good screen captures! I'd tell you you had to see it to believe it, but I can't find the video anywhere. Anyway, I'm adding it to my list of evidence that Shashi can, in fact, dance and move in organized, expressive, effective ways. (The list is called "Dekho, Dance Doubters!" And yes, there should be a post on this point someday.)

Even with this short run time, there is plenty of time for comedy, love, fisticuffs, drama, and resolution - and style to die for.

Please note how his hair moves in the wind as they drive but hers is totally inert. I don't know how Sapna found time do to these 'dos while on the run, but thank heavens she did.




The performances were adorable, full of smiles and flirting and I-don't-actually-hate-you spats. Sharmila makes a great dreamer, so lost in her vision of her beloved poet that she is oblivious to what else is going on. Shashi is cute as her co-conspirator and silence-suffering torch-carrier. He also hams it up as protector (see dishooms above) and fake-pretend villain.


Also:
Young Mac Mohan!

Observing the country folk in their quaint rituals and daily tasks from a safe, lofty distance!

A house that looks like an inside-out wedding cake!

Lots of fun extras!


Adorable Shashiliciousness and lots of it!


All in all, a lively, fun little film. Highly recommended.**

* Did any of the other North Americans have to watch "The Smith System of Driving" movies in driver's ed in high school? I want to film "The Kapoor System of Driving," which is far simpler and just involves gesturing with one hand, sometimes two, wheel be damned, and singing while looking at scenery and not at the road. And when Shammi substitute-teaches, you also get to do gymnastics in the car while it's moving.

** It should be noted that the other person I know who has seen this and speaks Hindi didn't seem to like it as much as I did. Though I totally agree with her that Sharmila and Shashi have excellent sparkle.

15 comments:

bollyviewer said...

Wow! You are on a roll!!! Cant wait for what comes up next. :-D

I liked this one well enough (all that pretty to go round - how can one not like it!), but it felt like it had all the fun bits of It Happened One Night (or its carbon copy - Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahin) and its screwball humor edited out. So, the result is pretty and cute but rather bland. It could have been so much better... sigh! But, thats the story of my favorite filmi jodi!! :-(

a ppcc representative said...

I had to zoom into every single screencap you posted. Which makes me think I need to see this movie.

And that I'll LOVE IT.

Shasheeeee Pradesh zindabad!

gebruss said...

I liked both this one and Dil hai ki maanta nahin and have never seen It happened one night. This may be another case of me being blissfully ignorant.

One thing that seemed odd was the uneven distribution of the songs. It takes half an hour for the first one to appear, and then three are squeezed into the last forty minutes or so. Admittedly, they are rather nice (though I have issues with what Shashi wears in the Holi one), but it seems rather a lot.

Banno said...

I love her green floppy hat.

I think Shammi Kapoor does the best dishoom-dishoom. He can look really ferocious, with angry eyes.

Shashi and Rishi should never have ever had to raise their hands. They should be able to win people over with their charm.

Priyanka said...

Looks good - have seen 'Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin' in which Sharmila Tagore's beloved poet turns into Pooja Bhatt's self-confessed 'lady killer'. The poet sounds a lot more romantic! Shashi and Sharmila make such a cute jodi, will definitely have to check this out.

And I believe that you perfectly describe that particular house as an inside-out wedding cake and especially with Sharmila in that color coordinated wedding chic: long white flowing night gown! Seems like the extravagant, grand ornate Hindi film interior spaces met their demise in the mid 90s, though. RIP:)

Filmi Girl said...

I'm totally going to have to see this one, too!

I *love* Sharmila's blue velvet two-piece suit with the floppy white shirt! She looks like she could be in Paul Revere and the Raiders! LOL!

On another note, I don't know why they always tried to get Sharmila to do these 'village' dances. She's a terrible dancer! Have her "sing" and then get Laxmi Chhaya or whoever to do lead dancing.

memsaab said...

Ha ha! I of course agree with Banno on the dishoomiest Kapoor :-)

Must see this, even without subtitles (but WHY T-Series, WHY have you not subtitled it?)...

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

I've never heard about this version of "It happened 1 night"! it sounds so gr8- and they both look so cute! Who plays the poet?

Nida said...

Beth,
Your posts always make me want to see the films!:)

Great pictures of Shashi and Sharmila--I love the hair, too!

Beth said...

Bollyviewer - :) I am, it's true! Benazir might be next. Or one of the other three watched-but-not-blogged Shashi films sitting here on my coffee table.

I can't believe there's a third Hindi It Happened One Night! I think RK's would be next on my list, but still! Aamir!

Sharmila and Shashi really are a very cute pair. I'd love to see all of their stuff.

ppcc - Zindabad! I can't stop looking at them either. Shashi is toe-curlingly beautiful here. It's really quite out of control.

Banno - Yes! Her clothing is sublime. And agreed re: hand-raising! What a cruel world we live in when ones so charming and pretty are forced to fight.

Priyanka - It is! The poet only makes a very brief appearance at the end, and he is clearly too old and stodgy to have been a contender for Sharmila.

Glad you like the wedding cake :) That house is really something. I'd love to catalog more of the houses from the 50s and 60s films. The 90s homes are equally outrageous but utterly hideous most of the time. At least the older ones usually have some offbeat charm.

FG - Yeah! I have yet to meet a Sharmila film in which I would not gladly trade her wardrobes.

I didn't even notice her dancing! I might have been looking elsewhere. Ahem. But I will pay attention next time.

memsaab - You must! And good question!

Shweta - Veeeeery cute! I didn't catch the poet's name, to be honest. He's on screen for maybe 20 seconds, and only at the end when you no longer care about him. But next time I watch I'll try to get you a picture. He looked to be a handsome, distinguished older man.

Nida - :) Perfect! Ooooh, I bet you could do the makeovers to make us all look like Sharmila-clones, couldn't you???

memsaab said...

there are at least five Hindi remakes, Beth: besides Chori Chori, Suhana Safar, DHKMN there are also Basant (with Shammi, which also incorporates bits from "An Affair To Remember") and Solva Saal (Raj Khosla directed--love him! and Dev Anand)...

:-)

ajnabi said...

I had to read this entry twice because the first time I got stuck on the Shashi/Sharmila Holi pic and kept staring. Sublime indeed!

Oh, and if Nida's doing a Sharmila-clone party, can I invite myself? That eyeliner is not to be turned down under any circumstances.

Nida said...

Beth--(and Ajnabi)--yep, sure could! As a matter of fact, I get carried away with the eyeliner myself...:P
We'll have to do a Sharmila/70s Bollywood makeover party when we have our grand blogger meet! I'd love to do the makeup!Now if we can only find someone to get us that hair...

Was just watching "Deewar" last night and admiring Neetu's smoky cat eyes...

Amrita said...

Why oh why have I never seen this movie?! I don't care if it sucks, I'll watch it for the pretty! EEE @ Sharmila! Although a look at the innards of her movie house does awful things to my own innards.

Aparna said...

Really nice article, I really enjoy it