Like chocolate and peanut butter, 70s Bollywood and Some Like It Hot turn out to be two great tastes that taste great together. Rafoo Chakkar is a dead ringer for the American original, but it's so successful at being a great film that I sometimes forgot it was a copy. Nothing is lost in translation, and the changes all make sense, even the addition of long-lost family members and a pairing of evil-and-not-so-evil brotherly friends (what, you didn't expect those?)! There are even a few riffs on details I didn't think they'd bother to include - like Tony Curtis's millionaire routine claiming his family's oil business was named after their favorite seaside souvenir, here translated to Rishi Kapoor saying his company is named Esso as a shortened form of part of his name, Eknath Sada Shiv Omkar. Rafoo Chakkar also makes no bones about being a copy. After his first stage number, new band member Devi (Rishi in drag) bumps into Narendra Nath, playing himself. He hits on Devi, saying "Surely you've seen my films." When Devi says she doesn't watch Hindi films, he asks her why, and she says "Because they are a copy of English films" and looks directly into the camera.
And yes, the hotel's bathroom doors are painted like playing cards.
The only way to improve this movie would be to credit the people involved with the earlier incarnations of the story (I learned while writing this that Some Like It Hot is itself a remake of a 1951 German film called Fanfaren Der Liebe).
You know, I really don't have much to say about this other than it's freaking hilarious. Rishi and Paintal are both very good in their witness-on-the-run-and-usually-in-drag routines, especially Rishi, who bubbles over with physical antics and facial expressions.
And watching him lovey-dove with Neetu Singh just makes my heart squish and smile because they're sooooo adorable together.
Neetu's role is not as juicy as Marilyn Monroe's, but it's still fun and she nails it - and at only seventeen years old! Everyone is funny, the clothes are fab, the locations are lovely, and the songs are great. Especially "Din Dena Buri Bala Hai" (starts at about 1:10 in this link).
Do you think Ranbir Kapoor ever encountered this crazy song on late night tv and thought "Oh my god, those are my parents"?
With that hearty recommendation out of the way, how about a parade of fun details!? There's a bad guy with a cat, just like Bloefeld.
And other bad guys make a bomb to match!
See the weird cat head? Creepy!
During the staple rambling brawl at the end, this guy throws his cat on to an enemy. I couldn't get a good picture, but it is fantastic. 70s henchman staple Shetty is actually an undercover cop! (Don't worry - this information is totally inconsequential to the plot.)
What's next: Bob Christo as US embassy staff?
While in disguise, Neetu wears blue contacts and a light wig and looks startlingly like Rani Mukherjee!
Rajendra Nath is a hoot as the open-minded elderly millionaire who falls for Paintlal (as Salma).
Indie Quill, I think you'll know why I posted this picture especially for you. The tummy, it aches!
This film is early enough that it probably escapes most of the Rishi Knitwear Excesses of later years, but he does have a cheerful sweater vest with heart.
This is his millionaire outfit. Choice.
Anwar Hussain and Madan Puri are the afore-mentioned wrong-doing brotherly friends, and they were so often dressed alike that I began to have a hard time telling them apart.
Sculptural filigree hair!
Also in good masala fashion, there is a ton of villains at the end, and I don't know who they all are, nor does it matter.
Well said, Asrani!I wish this were their lair. It's a stage set for a song performed for them, though, so maybe that can count?
If I weren't already in love with this movie, it even nods towards cultural looting! Whoa!
Collage of leftover fun to end!
Memsaab has told me that this used to be hard to find with subtitles, but she tracked it down on Nehaflix and Induna, and I got it from Netflix. Obtain! Watch! Eeeeee!