Wednesday, September 04, 2013

another look at Jewel Thief

The last few months have been full of friendly appearances at other sites and publications. The latest is an essay on Jewel Thief at issue 2 of The Indian Trumpet, specifically on why I think this film that has so many unknowns and so much suspense and mystery is a joy to watch long after you already know what happens. It is available in the lovely online version of the magazine here (flip to page 16) or as a pdf here
Love the art!

3 comments:

samir said...

This is an excellent article, written with a greal deal of perceptiveness.
I enjoyed reading about all the points --- the style of Jewel Thief, the analysis of Ashok Kumar, the escape to a foreign locale, the modern women characters, and the direction and intentions of Vijay Anand.
Ashok Kumar elevates this movie into an all-time classic, and just like you, I do wonder as to why the industry did not make use of him in similar roles.
One of the most delicious inside stories is Dev Anand's line to Ashok Kumar at the end ---
"After spending so much time in the company of such great actors, one does learn a bit of acting".
Dev was always considered an acting lightweight in comparison to Dilip Kumar/Raj Kapoor/Ashok Kumar; and this is his tongue-in-cheek response :). In many ways, it probably is Dev's recognition of all that Ashok Kumar had done for him; I am referring to how Ashok Kumar gave Dev his first big break in films.
Arguably, this was one of the first Indian movies to be recognized abroad for its style; most earlier ones were always about the culture/ethos/shall we the "resource challenged" nature of Indian society. I am not sure whether there is a later movie that makes a greater stylistic impact.
Again, glad to have read this piece.

Beth Watkins said...

Thanks, Samir! :) I assume pretty much no one needs to be convinced that Jewel Thief is worth a re-watch, but I aways enjoy a chance to celebrate films that hold up no matter how many times we see them.

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