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I was pleasantly surprised and impressed to see a lead actress play
such a strong role in an action-adventure movie of the 50s. Just a
couple of weeks ago I was watching 'Kohinoor', another film of the 50s
that falls in the same genre, where the heroine had a very clichéd
damsel in distress. In 'Baaz' (falcon) where the heroine plays the
title role, she is brave, strong, sensual, a skilled fighter and a good
leader throughout the whole film. Even after she falls in love with the
prince, she isn't 'tamed'. Then again, I shouldn't be so surprised as
the female lead has always been a strong component of the one and only
Guru Dutt's films.
Speaking of the film, 'Baaz' is one of the most entertaining adventure films of the 50s. However, some may feel that it's a little too anti-Portuguese. While it moves at a very fast pace, it does not feel rushed. On the technical side it does not disappoint, especially the brilliant cinematography deserves special mention. The songs are very pleasant (but it's funny how uninvolved the extras look in the song sequences as they mouth the lyrics like zombies) and the choreography is mostly dazzling (for the fight scenes and the dances).
Geeta Bali effortlessly pulls off Baaz/Nisha. Next to her firm screen presence, she fights, dances and of course acts very well. The charismatic Guru Dutt looks and acts like a prince and has the right chemistry with his heroine. Kuldip Kaur is over the top but funny at times. K.N. Singh is the evil general. Ruby Mayer is good too.
'Baaz' is a great classic adventure film that can easily be enjoyed with the family around. This genre seems to be lost in the recent trend of Indian cinema. But hey, the classics are always there for us to revisit.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a little girl, I was a big fan of matinée movies, which my father
and I watched together on TV. Before the age of ten, I had already seen
almost all John Ford westerns and a lot of Errol Flynn sword
adventures. And of course, the pirate movies: "The Black Swan", "The
However, I was always disappointed at women's passive
role. Unless you were so lucky to have vivacious Maureen O'Hara as the
heroine, you were usually stuck with a screaming, weak, pretty idiot
that you would like to kill yourself.
I wish I had seen "Baaz" then. The gender politics in this old Hindi black and white film are still modern.
The Falcon ("baaz") of the title is a female pirate captain: brave and beautiful Nisha, played by Geeta Bali. She rebels against the Portuguese colonisers, who treat her people worse than slaves while local princes look the other way. Nisha openly confronts the Queen, accusing her of allowing commoners to suffer in order to keep her privileges. Little she suspects that the "gentleman in distress" she has rescued from a Portuguese ship is no other than the Queen's son (played by who else? charming Guru Dutt).
A love-hate relation blossoms, which is depicted in surprisingly equal terms. Their two physical fights have no clear winner and, more important, Nisha is not "domesticated" after falling in love (which was usually the case in Hollywood films). When her men reproach her that she is falling for the Prince, she defiantly sings: "Why do you think I am weak just because I am in love?" She is even willing to renounce him in order to pursue her quest. As the last scene proves, she certainly does not need to be saved.
"Baaz" was not very successful film, but the songs became very popular. Rosita's ballad is sweet and romantic, while Nisha's dance dressed in falcon costume is impressive. We can only regret that both Guru Dutt and Gita Bali died too young.
Baaz Was Directed By Guru Dutt Which Was A Adventure/ Action Movie
...The Direction Is Very Attractive Everything Looks Very Defined...The
Story & Screenplay Is Again Written By Guru Dutt....Which Is One Of The
Strong Point Of The Movie....
As Per Acting Geeta Bali Who Is The Lady Pirate & Captain Of The Ship Similar To Captain Jack Sparrow Is Actually The Baaz (Eagle) Of The Movie...She Is Superb Throughout The Movie...Guru Dutt Looks Better In Romantic Scenes ...Johny Walker With Comic Elements ...And K. N. Singh The Stylish Villain General Barbosa Don't Comapare Him To Captain Barbosa Of POTC....
Music Of The Movie Was Composed By O P Nayyar Who Was A Strong Member Of Guru Dutt Team ...Songs Are Good ...Especially Har Zubaan Ruki Ruki & Aye Watan Ke Navjawan Jaag...Inspiration Tunes..
Now The Negative Aspects of The Movie The First Half Of The Movie Is Good But The Second Half Is Quite Slow...The Ending Is Not Convincing Everything Is Done In A Bit Hurry...Songs Are Good But Would Have Been Far Better...Overall A Good Movie...Watch If You're Guru Dutt / Geeta Bali Or Pitares Of The Caribbean Fan ;)
This was a reasonable film, although a little slow in places. Geeta
Bali and Guru Dutt made a nice pairing. Guru Dutt was very dashing as
throughout the film - sad he died young in real life. Some good songs
especially "Taare chaandni afsaane" which was very melodic, as was "ae
dil ae dilwale". "Har zabaan ruki" was quite dramatic and Geet Bali
carried it well - nice, inspiring lyrics. "Mujhe dekho hasrat.." was
sung beautifully by Talat Mehmood - sad and clear.
The film didn't have enough action in the finale and the villains got killed abruptly and quickly - not enough conflict between the General and his forces and the rebels, probably because too much time taken to establish the romance between the lead pair. All in all it could have been better paced. There were also a few nice comedic touches from Johnnny Walker and the Portuguese lady. Finally verdict - catch it on TV.
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