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'Mem-Didi' is among Hrishikesh Mukherjee's lesser known films. It has a similar feel to his other works that tell the story of the common man or woman set in a small town. The only difference is that 'Mem-Didi' is slightly more melodramatic in tone. There are some sequences that are a tad too dramatic and the script is inconsistent at times but the characters are very likable and their relationships are endearing, especially the interactions between Sher and Bahadur and Rosy. The Tanuja track was initially funny as the focus was more on the comedy but the romance felt underdeveloped. Some of the songs were pleasant to the ears and a few were unintentionally funny (especially the 'Ooh-lala' song visualized on Tanuja and her on-screen friends), Speaking of funny, the comedy works very well. All the actors, especially Lalita Pawar, Tanuja and David Abraham, have excellent comic timing. Pawar also handles the serious sequences with gusto. She owns her scene and her Rosy is far from the grumpy old women she was typecast in. Jayant is loud and theatrical but then again, his character's supposed to be over the top. Mukherjee has made another splendid little film. Even though it's flawed (and definitely not his best work), 'Mem-Didi' is endearing.
The movie is simply great. Lalita Pawar plays an old poor lady who moves in to a ghetto. She gets in a fight with local goons Jayant and David. After some comical happenings the lady becomes the apple of their eye. Jayant and David play the best roles of their lives. Jayant is fantastic in the scene where he goes to "Kalu Dada" to extract Mem Didi's purse and threatens him saying "Khuda Kasam hum Tumharee Badmasheeyon Se Bot Pareshan Aa Gaya Hai". That's probably one of the best action scenes I have seen. Lalita Pawar gives an Oscar performance like Anari. Tanuja plays her real life character a total brat. Hrishida is a genius and this movie is speaks volumes of it. My favorite scene is the one where David and Jayant plan to beat up Lalita Pawar and Jayant says "Tum Use Seat Pe Baithne Ko Kahna or hum use Seat Samet Bahar Phenk Dega". Jayant was as great an actor as his son was. My other favorite scene is where Kalu Dada snatches Lalita Pawars purse and she screams in the street and the scene rolls into a dance sequence. That's 70 MM cinema for me. Great performance great music great message.
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