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Satte Pe Satta (1982)
Seven brides for seven brothers
Satte Pe Satta (1982) is the Indian remake of Hollywood movie - Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) directed by Stanley Donen and starring Howard Keel in the lead role (of the eldest of the seven brothers). It's a romantic movie showing a family of seven brothers. When the eldest brother is able to find a bride for himself, he has to do it for his six younger brothers too. Sippy Films used this story to make Hindi movie Satte Pe Satta (playing card no. 7 thrown on the opponent player's playing card no. 7) starring Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role of the eldest brother. Besides, while writing the script of this Bollywood version of the Hollywood movie, they introduced a look-alike of the eldest brother also so that Amitabh Bachchan who was on the peak of his popularity those days could play a double role in the movie.
The title of the movie has been kept as such because of the prominence of number 7 in the movie (seven are the brothers and thereby seven brides of them also appear), else the story has nothing to do with any playing card game. It's an entertaining movie using the theme of the Hollywood movie and adding Bollywoodish formulae viz. look-alike, a conspiracy to usurp property and fight in the climax.
The seven brothers of this movie are orphans whose names have been kept after the names of the days of a week. Well, it was the easiest way to christen themselves as there are seven days in a week. When someone asks them what they would have done had they been more than seven, they reply that in that condition, they would have christened themselves after the names of the months of a calendar year viz. January, February, March etc. So these seven brothers are named as Ravi (Amitabh Bachchan), Som (Sudhir), Mangal (Shakti Kapoor), Budh (Paintal), Guru (Kanwaljeet Singh), Shukra (Vimal Saahu) and Shani (Sachin). The eldest one, i.e., is somewhat educated and sophisticated whereas the other six are completely uneducated and uncivilized. Ravi rules them and takes work from them like bonded labourers.
The straight day-to-day life of these brothers has been going on monotonously for years. They live in their house situated in a jungle without shaving or taking a bath or dressing up properly. Quarrels are frequent among them. Only Ravi maintains contact with the outside world and when he's in the house, he keeps on bossing them. The still water of their combined life is stirred by Ravi's encounter with Indu (Hema Maalini). After initial difficulty, Ravi is able to win Indu's heart and marries her. But when Indu comes to his house as his bride, she's taken aback by the look of her husband's household and his younger brothers. She decides to civilize them and become their instructor for this purpose. However the sight of Ravi's happy married life with Indu has created romance in the hearts of the other six brothers too. They find their brides among the friends of Indu. On one side, Ravi sets on the mission of bringing the marital happiness in his brothers' lives, on the other, a criminal conspiracy comes into existence.
Indu's wheel-chair bound friend Seema (Ranjeeta) is an orphan whose uncle Ranjit (Amjad Khan) is having an eye on her wealth and he wants to kill Seema to usurp that. For this purpose, he hires the services of ex-jailbird Baabu (Amitabh Bachchan in double role). When he comes to know that Baabu is the look-alike of Ravi, he kidnaps Ravi and sends Baabu to his home whereas Seema is spending time with her friend Indu and her marital family. Baabu enters the household impersonating Ravi. The conclusion of the story is anybody's guess.
While the first part of the movie is a lift from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and full of comic, romantic and emotional moments, the second part is nothing but another Bollywoodish plot of a villain's evil design to usurp a heroine's property. Quite naturally, it's the first one which is more important and serves ample entertainment to the audience. All the same, courtesy Amitabh Bachchan's comic timing and a scene specially written for this purpose, the second half has also become an entertaining one. Director Raj N. Sippy has handled the script very well and done a decent job.
The movie features a plethora of male-female actors. Actors like Saarika and Vijayendra Ghaatage are also there in guest appearances. All including Hema Maalini and Ranjeeta have done well. It's painful to see a highly talented actor like Kanwaljeet Singh doing a side role in this movie. But ultimately the movie belongs to Amitabh Bachchan. He has got maximum screen time in his double role and he has delivered admirable performances in both the roles. Especially as Ravi, his performance is terrific and despite being known as an action hero, he has generated a treasure of laughs for the audience through his performance in that role.
Satte Pe Satta carries immense repeat value and can be seen many times. It was a huge commercial hit when released and can prove its worth even today if re-released. It's a big treat for not just the fans of Amitabh Bachchan but all the movie buffs.
Pita Par Poot, Jaat Par Ghoda . . .
There is a very old Hindi saying - Pita Par Poot, Jaat Par Ghoda; Bahut Nahin Par Thoda Thoda (the son gets traits of his father and the horse gets the traits of its race, at least to some extent if not completely). The theme of the Hindi movie Aurangzeb (2013) contains the spirit of this saying.
The title has been kept after the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb because he had ascended to the throne after killing his brothers and imprisoning his father. And from that, the writer-director Atul Sabharwaal has picked up a statement - 'Kingship knows no kinship'. However this principle of life is grasped in its true spirit by only one character of the movie - Ravikaant, the Deputy Commissioner of Police of Gurgaon (Haryana) who uses his kinsmen as well as others as mere pawns on the chessboard of his sky-high ambitions but the person he brainwashes to play Aurangzeb to suit his plan, does not do so despite agreeing initially for that.
The story starts with aged Vijay (Anupam Kher), ex-cop who had lost his job because of a so-called encounter in which the wife and little son of a gangster Yashwardhan (Jackie Shroff) are said to have lost their lives. Vijay is an isolated person in his household because his own son Aarya (Prithviraaj Sukumaaran) does not look upon his honest father as his role model. In this family of cops with all the males including the son-in-law of the house are police officers, Aarya who himself is the Assistant Commissioner of Police, considers his corrupt uncle Ravikaant (Rishi Kapoor) as his role model. Coincidentally, the son-in-law of the family is an honest person but for all others including Ravikaant's son Dev (Sikandar Kher), their police service is nothing but the business of collection, i.e., bribes from the outlaws.
Suddenly Aarya comes to know from his father in his ending days that the wife and little son of Yashwardhan had not died in that so-called encounter. They are alive and considering his moral responsibility towards them, Vijay takes care of them. An emotional relationship had developed between Vijay and Yashwardhan's wife Veera (Tanvi Aazmi) who had become police informer against her outlaw husband and after losing his job, Vijay has taken care of Veera just like a husband only and her son Vishaal (Arjun Kapoor) just like a father. Vishal knows Vijay only as his father and does not know his biological relationship with Yashwardhan. Before his death, Vijay reveals this secret to Aarya and urges him to take care of Veera and Vishaal. After Vijay's demise, starts the main track of this movie.
Aarya breaks the news of Vijay's demise to Veera and Vishaal. However finding that Vishaal is the look-alike of his twin brother, i.e., Yashwardhan's son who is the only son of himself in the knowledge of the world, he devises a plan with his uncle Ravikaant to get better of Yashwardhan and bring him to book. He feels that thus he will also be able to wash the stain of killing two innocents from the name of his late father. Under this plan, Vishaal's twin brother Ajay (Arjun Kapoor's second role) is kidnapped and he's replaced by Vishaal in the life of Yashwardhan. Vishaal is entrusted with the responsibility of passing of significant information about the unlawful activities of Yashwardhan to Aarya and Ravikaant.
Vishaal, impersonating Ajay, enters the life and empire of Yashwardhan who is in real estate business but carries out shady deals too. Gradually Vishaal is able to understand his biological father better who no longer appears that bad to him. On the other hand, the real mission of Ravikaant dawns upon Aarya alongwith this truth that to fulfill his ambitions, Ravikaant does not care for the lives of even his nearest and dearest ones and thus he also comes to empathize with his deceased father Vijay who had always cared for the people more than his own vested interests. What happens then is a forgone conclusion.
This story is a cobweb of greed for money and power, intricate conspiracies, betrayals and of course, principles of leading a life which are bound to be different for different people. Atul Sabharwaal has penned the script on a large canvas and executed its first part, i.e., the pre-interval session very well. The trouble lies in the second half, i.e., the post-interval session in which the movie loses its naturalness and thereby its grip on the audience. The story is taken to its conclusion in a completely Bollywoodish manner which might have suited a movie made in the seventies but definitely not a modern movie.
Performances are all good. The best performer is undoubtedly veteran Rishi Kapoor followed by Prithviraaj Sukumaaran. A highly talented actress like Deepti Naval has been wasted which is definitely incorrect on the part of the filmmaker. The only mentionable scene she gets in the movie underscores the significance of power handled by top cops in India and highlights the mindset of the Indian wives regarding that power and the corrupt activities of their men associated therewith.
Before signing off, I come back to the original statement which says that a son is bound to get some traits of his father. The opening scene of the movie itself presents the quote of Horace - 'Deep in the cavern of the infant's breast; the father's nature lurks, and lives anew.' Finally, not only the biological son but also the foster son of Vijay (Anupam Kher) are able to manifest the real nature of their father in their activities which propounds it loud and clear - 'Apno Ki Keemat Sapno Se Zyaada Hoti Hai' (your near and dear ones are worthier than your dreams or ambitions). Mughal emperor Aurangzeb did not believe in it but I do. And, in my opinion, this only is the real conclusion of the movie.
The path leading to truth is bound to be thorny
This classic Hindi movie directed by the legendary filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee starts with the assertion that the most sacrosanct quest is the quest for truth. One should strive for getting the truth, reaching the truth. But pious intentions do not and cannot ease out the difficulties, hardships and pains to be faced in this regard. The hero of this movie named as Satyapriy Acharya is determined to follow his family ideals in his practical. Like Mahatma Gandhi, truth is God to him. And he sets out in pursuit of truth only after obtaining an engineering degree.
The story starts in the period when India was on the verge of getting political independence from the colonial rule and the princely states were, in all likelihood, going to lose their existence in the sovereign republic of India. The common psyche of the Indians was filled with enthusiasm, optimism and hope for a better future. Our hero whose the only relative is his grandfather Satyasharan (Ashok Kumar) living in isolation, away from the practical (and cruel) world.
The movie tells Satyapriy's journey towards truth. He speaks truth. He lives truth. However the thing that he forgets that in this practical world, truth also needs the worldly might to survive. A man like Satyapriy may be able to pursue truth through sheer inner strength but if he is not living in isolation and has to survive among those who are not like himself, day-to-day life may become hell for him. Following truth only in his is likely to find that gaining worldly comforts, peace of mind and a normal life has become a mirage for him.
And that's where the real inner strength is required. The path leading to truth can never be flowery. It's bound to be thorny and the traveller of this path should be mentally prepared to sustain all the resultant wounds and the pain emanating from them. The hero of this movie, i.e., Satyapriy is such a person only. He sustains everything and lays down his life in the end while treading the path of truth only. Does his death matter for anybody ? Yes, for his wife Ranjana (Sharmila Tagore) and her kid whose biological father is not the hero but a rapist (Manmohan). And through them only, the aged grandfather of the hero realizes what it takes to follow truth in the real sense.
According to a Hindu mythological tale, Lord Vishnu had taught a similar lesson to Sage Naarad who was proud of his devotion to Vishnu but could not utter his name even once during the execution of an assignment of carrying a brimful container of oil on his head in which he was not allowed to spill even a single drop of oil out. Similar is the test for the follower of truth. Following truth while living in isolation or in your comfort zone is no achievement. You are a proved a genuine truth lover only when you are able to follow it amidst the worldly life in which this love of yours is tested on almost every step. Once realizing it like Sage Naarad, the hero's aged grandfather adopts his daughter-in-law and her kid and takes them to his place while earlier he had not allowed the kid to ignite the pyre of Satyapriy (the Hindu custom of Mukhaagni) owing to the kid's not being the biological son of Satyapriy.
It's a pain-soaked movie rendering a message to the residents of politically independent India that their real test lies in maintaining their inner strength to follow the ideals of the freedom struggle in free India which was (and is) a much more difficult task than to gain political freedom from the foreign rulers. When this movie was made, the Indian masses had started feeling disenchantment from the words of the leaders and the ideals propagated for decades with the promise of a better future, better life to the commoners.
Satyakaam is based on a novel of eminent Bangla author Naarayan Saanyal telling a heart-piercing story. How a person who is determined to follow the path of truth only, suffers in the hands of the greedy, biased and cruel world; is shown realistically in this story. As said earlier, truth also needs tangible might to take on its worldly adversaries and survive their onslaught. However, asserting quite pessimistically, the genuinely truth loving, non-compromising people seldom gain such a might. Ruination only is their destiny. Hrishi Da, one of the greatest film directors of India, has done complete justice to the spirit embedded in the novel.
The writer and after him, the director has presented the truth-loving hero as a normal human-being only with the human weaknesses of hesitation and momentary cowardice in him. Besides, it's also underscored that maintaining a normal conjugal relationship with a raped woman is even more difficult than to marry her as the hero is never able to be normal with his wife in their intimate moments and the wife deeply feels the pinch of it.
Performance wise talking, all including the child artiste Saarika who used to play the roles of a boy child those days (credited as Master Suraj), have done pretty well. Sanjeev Kumar who plays the role of Dharmendra's close friend Narendra who only is the narrator of this story, is also perfect.
However the movie belongs to Dharmendra and Dharmendra only. He did not get any award for his role in this movie but it seems that he has not acted but lived Satyapriy on celluloid. This is perhaps the best performance of his career.
Late Hrishi Da himself had termed Satyakaam as the best movie ever made by him. This masterpiece is not meant for the regular entertainment seekers. It's for the audience of profound, well-meant cinema only.
The Real Don - Smart ! Cunning ! Dangerous !
Seventies were the decade of crime-thrillers in Bollywood when a plethora of such movies were presented to the audience. Among them Don (1978) is a milestone movie which demonstrated what a quality crime-thriller is all about. It enhanced the popularity of already very popular Angry Young Man of India - Amitabh Bachchan.
The word Don (perhaps) traces its origin to Don Vito Corleone of the classic work of Mario Puzo - The Godfather. However it's the Hindi movie Don which coined this term in the world of Indian fiction (both movies and books), rendering its meaning as a gangster.
The hero of this movie is an international criminal Don (Amitabh Bachchan) who leads a smugglers' gang but himself works for another gangster Vardhaan. It's Don who remains in limelight and being chased by the police whereas very little is known about Vardhaan. Don is a very smart, cunning, dangerous and ruthless criminal who is very difficult to be got better of.
However one day, this high profile and domineering gangster gets killed in a police encounter. However except the encountering police officer Mr. D' Silva (Iftekhaar), nobody knows that Don has died. Mr. D' Silva decides to take advantage of this situation as he knows a look-alike of Don whose name is Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan in another role). He ensures Vijay's entry to the gang of smugglers as their boss, i.e., Don so that the complete network of the smuggling activity can be caught by the law. In the gang, Vijay presents himself as Don to the members of the gang and stealthily keeps on searching significant information about the activities and links of the gang.
Vijay has to remain wary of a girl Roma (Zeenat Aman) who is an expert in judo and karate and Jasjeet (Pran) who is a handicapped person because both of them are hell-bent upon settling their respective scores with Don. He comes to know of the existence of some Vardhaan whom Don and his gang works for but nothing is known about him. He wants to provide all the relevant information to Mr. D' Silva so that a huge police action could be carried out against the gang. However the sudden demise of Mr. D' Silva puts Vijay in deep trouble as now he is not able to prove before the law and the society that he's not Don because Mr. D' Silva was the only person knowing his real identity. The action-packed climax paves the way for Vijay's redemption once Vardhaan is unmasked.
This highly entertaining and very well made movie inspired many movies to be made later viz. Daav-Pech (1989) starring Jeetendra in lead role and Madam X (1994) starring Rekha in lead role. Farhaan Akhtar straightaway made its remake in 2006 starring Shah Rukh Khan in lead role. Many other movies which did not lift the whole story of Don, also used certain ingredients of it. Meri Aawaaz Suno (1981) is also one such movie in which Jeetendra has played the lead role. But very few people know that the writers of Don - Salim-Jaaved themselves had written it by seeking inspiration from Shakti Saamanta's China Town (1962) in which Shammi Kapoor has played the lead role.
Don is a fast-paced thriller with ample doses of comedy through the character of Vijay who impersonates Don. Right from the opening scene which establishes the title character as a bold, cunning, sharp-minded and authoritarian individual before the audience to the climax, the whole movie proves to be completely engrossing for any viewer. There is no moment of boredom in the movie and both the script and the direction (by Chandra Barot) have done complete justice to the original story idea. Salim-Jaaved used to write dialogs also and they have written impressive dialogs in sync with their script.
Kalyanji Anandji have composed very good music for this movie containing the chartbuster as well as still very popular songs like Khai Ke Paan Banaraswaala, Arre Deewano Mujhe Pehchaano, Jiska Mujhe Tha Intezaar, Ye Mera Dil Pyar Ka Deewaana and Ee Hai Bambai Nagariya Tu Dekh Babua. These songs are counted among the all time popular songs of Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar.
Technically, this movie is up to the mark with all the action and thrills being very good according to the norms of that period, good cinematography and art direction, effective background score and razor-sharp editing.
All the principal characters have done justice to their roles and left their mark may it be very smart Zeenat Aman or the seasoned actor Pran or the villains or the actors like Iftekhaar and Helen whose roles have their own significance in the story. Who can forget Helen's performance on Ye Mera Dil Pyar Ka Deewaana ? And finally, Don is a memorable movie mainly because of Amitabh Bachchan. Nobody could do this role better than AB. His tall personality with the God-given extra-ordinary voice make him the ideal choice for the domineering role of Don. He looks like a real don who is chased by the police of many countries. The remakes of Don could not be as impressive as the original version because no other actor doing this role possessed such an extra-ordinary personality. Big B has delivered an unforgettable performance in the roles of sturdy Don and jolly Vijay.
This movie is so impressive and carries such a high entertainment value that its being a blockbuster is not at all surprising. It has been re-released many times and it is capable of rocking the box office if released in theatres once more.
I love my India ? Childish !
Pardes (foreign land) is the story of Kishorilaal (Amrish Puri) who is an NRI settled in US but has been nurturing the love for his motherland, i.e., India in his heart despite living away for it. Arjun (Shah Rukh Khan) is his foster son who has grown up with his real son Rajeev (Apoorva Agnihotri). Sorry to find most of his family members including his son as completely coloured in Western culture, Kishorilaal decides to arrange such a bride for his son who is soaked in Indian culture and values that those Samsakaaras and life values reach his son and the generation next as well.
Kishorilaal's quest for such a bride finds a perfect choice in Ganga (Mahima Chaudhary), the daughter of his childhood buddy Suraj (Alok Nath) who is living in India. He sends both Rajeev and Arjun to the house of Suraj to see Ganga and confirm that matrimonial alliance. However after the engagement of Rajeev and Ganga in India, Kishorilaal insists that prior to the wedding Ganga visits US and spends some time with his family in order to familiarize with her in-laws as well as the environment there. And there starts the trouble. Several undesirable things come to Ganga's notice and she has to flee from US with the help of Arjun. Shortly, she is able to find out that Arjun, not Rajeev, deserves to be her life partner. Kishorilaal also realizes that it's incorrect to cut the Indian girl from her roots and compel her to take root in a foreign soil.
The idea behind the movie is definitely good and the conclusion rendered is agreeable. It's a lesson for those parents of Indian girls who feel that by sending their girl abroad through her marriage with an NRI, they will be arranging a happy and prosperous life for her. Even when the boy's family is wealthy and the boy earns well, it may not always be advisable because if the boy has grown up abroad, his personality and psyche must have been groomed according to the environment prevailing there and the girl brought up in India may not be able to adjust with him as well as in the family of the in-laws. Finally, mental adjustment matters the most in the marriage of a girl and not the wealth and the luxuries of her husband or her in-laws. But !
But Subhash Ghai who was considered an expert in making formulaic movies during that period, has not done proper justice to the story idea. To justify his theme and the conclusion of the story, he has taken different points and facets of that to the extremes and reduced many characters (in both the Indian and the foreign milieu) to mere caricatures. Love for India cannot be proved by shouting I Love My India loud (as done through a song of the movie). This love should reflect through understanding the Indian values and way of life. And it's here where the movie falls flat on its face.
There are several ridiculous things in the first half of the movie in which the story moves at a snail's pace. The most ridiculous of them (at which I was beating my head in the cinema hall) is the Kabaddi match played between the two teams who are staking their claims on Ganga in order to take away as the daughter-in-law of the respective families. The bet is that whosoever wins the match will take away Ganga through her marriage with a boy of the team. Such a laughable stock has been presented in a movie made on such a brilliant theme !
The second half of the movie is fast-paced with many twists and turns but they appear to be imposed to justify the case of the filmmaker and not evolving with naturalness. Personally I don't feel that smoking and drinking make a bad boy. All the same, a good wife is able to make her husband (if otherwise he's nice) get rid of such bad things after marriage also. As far as his promiscuity is concerned, this fact also appears to be suddenly thrown at the face of the audience (as well as the heroine). The boy's father's ignorance of this kind of nature of his son is a serious issue (especially when he's bringing a girl from India to US and allowing her to spend time with his son prior to wedding) which the filmmaker has neglected.
The climax has also been dealt with in the typical Subhash Ghai style which entertains but doesn't impress. The heroine elopes with the hero without any love in her heart for him which doesn't make much sense. In the end, the whole stuff of the movie appears to be something having pious intentions behind but not executed properly and honestly.
This lavishly made movie is technically superior. The only flaw in this regard is its excessive length. The editor and the director should have curtailed its length by at least 30 minutes by removing many unnecessary sequences. The overall form of the movie renders an impression that it was made under the hangover of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (1995). However every movie cannot become DDLJ even with certain similarities in the story and the lavish style of filmmaking.
All in all, this formula-studded movie which was a box office hit also, is quite entertaining but does not do justice to its noble theme because it deals with the love for one's motherland in a childish manner. The treatment of the subject is melodramatic for a major part of the movie. Love for the motherland should reflect in one's attitude and deeds. It's not possible just by yelling I Love My India from the roof of one's house or by singing and dancing at a song containing these words.
Aashiqui 2 (2013)
Love can never be selfish Mr. Rahul !
Aashiqui 2 the love story of Rahul (Aaditya Roy Kapoor) and Aarohi (Shraddha Kapoor). Rahul is a singer whose popularity is on the decline because of his own negligent and self-destructive attitude. He has turned into an alcoholic and lost all his interest in singing as well as life. Suddenly he happens to come across Aarohi who is a talented singer and wants to make it big in life. And out of the blue, in her he gets a purpose for his life. He coaches Aarohi himself and ensures that she gets the right break in the world of music. He falls in love with her and develops one and only wish in him to see her on the top of the world.
On the other hand, Aarohi also falls in love with Rahul but gradually she feels less out of gratitude and more out of her love for him that he needs her care. With the passage of time and observance of Rahul's alcoholism and self-destructive approach towards life, she loses her interest in her singing career and becomes more and more interested in taking care of Rahul. Rahul whose career has come to an end, feels that by diverting her attention to himself, Aarohi may lag in her career. His pessimism towards his life leads him to end his life which appears meaningless to him. Now it's up to Aarohi whether she wants to leave the world of music forever and get lost into oblivion or continue with her career the way Rahul wanted her to.
Assessing the movie, let me admit that it's really a well made movie and the writer (Shagufta Rafique) and director (Mohit Suri) are able to convey what they purport to convey. The thing is whether what they think (and therefore present) is agreeable or not. All the aspects of the movie including music are good. Both Aaditya Roy Kapoor and Sharaddha Kapoor have done excellently. Shaad Randhawa as Vivek, the secretary cum friend of the singer hero, has also done admirably. The supporting cast did not have much to do in this movie.
Now I am willing to ask the filmmaker a very significant question - what's understood by love ? Generally I feel that love means to care and to share. Plus love involves sacrifice for the sweetheart wherever required. The writer and the director of Aashiqui 2 seems to have misunderstood the meaning of sacrifice. Firstly, sacrifice should be meaningful and required. Secondly, it should be made by understanding the desire of the sweetheart from his / her viewpoint. Imposing own viewpoint and thought-process on the sweetheart and ignoring what he / she wants or likes can be anything but love. And that's where this movie has faltered.
In this movie, the hero who has become a slave of his own alcoholism and is moving non-stop on the path of self-destruction, decides everything for the heroine from his side without giving even a single thought to her desires and liking. It is his desire to see the heroine on top of the world but it is by no means her desire. She finds her happiness in loving and caring for him. Once she realizes it, the progress in her singing career has lost its meaning for her. She would have got pleasure, had the hero improved himself and his approach towards life. He promises to her in the ending reels that he will join gym and lead a disciplined life and above all quit drinking. However it's his inner weakness that he finds himself as unable to fulfill that promise and runs away from life. The heroine very rightly terms him a coward in the end. But my point is - he's not just a coward but also a self-centred person who could not look at the things from the angle of his sweetheart.
The hero not only gives a lot of pain to the heroine in his lifetime but even after his death when the heroine is ready to quit singing and move to some faraway place, the hero's friend (who was earlier against his paying this much attention to the heroine's career) convinces her to continue with her career and fulfill the deceased hero's desire to see her on the top of the world. Is it not utter selfishness ? Love means to understand your sweetheart and not to impose your thoughts and desires on him / her. The hero chooses the easy path of ending his life and avoids the difficult path to mend his ways. Is it love ? No ! In fact, it's the heroine who shows her sincere love towards the hero after his death by deciding to continue with her singing career against her own will.
I underscore that seeking your own pleasure through the acts of the other one is by no means love for him / her. If you really love someone, try to understand wherein his / her pleasure lies and then act accordingly so that your sweetheart gets genuine happiness. A true lover always sees his / her happiness in the happiness of the sweetheart only. Aashiqui 2 shows just the contrary from the side of the hero. In my considered opinion, it's not at all love (or Aashiqui). It's sheer selfishness. And love can be anything but selfish.
Kismat Konnection (2008)
The connection of lady luck
Lady luck is the personification of luck in the form of a lady bringing good or bad fortune for a person (mostly a male as it's the males who thinks this way). Males look upon the females they love or like as lucky for them and it's just a wild thought that their association brings good luck to them. Well, such phenomena may not exist but several people believe in its existence. And as they say, man's thoughts only reveal themselves to him in tangible form, such things do happen also (may be out of pure coincidence or due to the famous Law of Attraction). Kismat Connection (2008) tells such a story only.
Set in Toronto, the story of Kismat Connection (the connection of luck) is the story of two young architects - Raj (Shahid Kapoor) and Hiten (Vishal Malhotra). They are talented and sincere but their luck does not favour them and they are struggling hard to get work. While continuously approaching Mr. Gill (Om Puri), a director of a construction firm - Batra and Gill in their bid to get a contract, they stumble upon Priya (Vidya Baalan) who runs a community centre meant for the modestly earning people. Soon Raj starts feeling that Priya is his lucky charm. Love blossoms in his heart for Priya and he expects better days for him when two significant developments take place.
Raj comes to know that Priya is engaged to Karan Behl and they are going to tie the sacred knot soon. On the other hand, the coveted contract sought after by Raj and Hiten turns out to be the one which will result in the demolition of the community centre Priya is associated with. After a good dose of comedy in the first half and a good dose of sentiments in the second half, the movie ends in the Bollywoodish 'All's well that ends well' style.
The director of this movie is Aziz Mirza and it is the signature movie of this director who had earlier directed movies like Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992) and Yes Boss (1997) having a similar tone. The movie is entertaining, no doubt. And the theory of lucky charm may not be a scientific one but it may appeal to a sizable chunk of Indian audience (including myself). It's a weak movie all the same with the director trying to pack too many things in the climax when the hero delivers his emotional speech and gets what he wants.
The first half of the movie which focuses on comedy is more interesting and makes the viewer sit through it. However the later part follows the tried and tested formula-studded path and starts boring. Well-identified scenes appear first to bring the members of the lead pair closer, then to separate them and then to reunite them, rendering a feeling that the filmmaker has nothing new to offer. The later reels have a clear hangover of Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006) also when the issue of the dismantling of the community centre for the sake of the project of the mall creates a twist in the story. However everything remains quite predictable and the audience knows the end beforehand.
It's difficult to understand why the filmmaker has set the story in Canada whereas the same could have been narrated with an Indian backdrop in a much better way especially when all the characters of the story are Indian only. Setting the story on a foreign land has diluted its impact for the Indian audience because it becomes difficult to relate to it on account of this very reason.
Vidya Baalan has replicated her Lage Raho Munna Bhai act because she has got a similar role and similar script as well. However while she was perfect for Sanjay Dutt who's much older to her, she is quite a mismatch for Shahid who is younger to her. She appears to be her aunt from all the angles and their on screen chemistry is quite unappealing. Shahid Kapoor, Vishal Malhotra, Om Puri, Boman Irani and others including Juhi Chawla in a cameo have done their respective parts well. More than the chemistry between Shahid and Vidya, it's the chemistry between Vidya and her peculiar friend Boman which impresses the audience.
Technically this movie is good and the beautiful locations of Canada have been captured very well by the cinematographer. The movie is lengthy and should have been made crispier through proper scripting and editing. Pritam's music is good.
I recommend Kismat Connection as a decent entertaining watch to the regular movie buffs. Well, whether you consider someone special as your lucky charm or not, is up to you but you can enjoy this movie which is more or less a fun movie.
Bhoot Bungla (1965)
A haunted bungalow and a mysterious killer
Mehmood has been perhaps the most popular and high profile comedian of Bollywood movies. Starting from character roles, he became hero in certain movies and then switched to comedy roles only to become the most sought after comedian during the sixties. However to prove his versatility, he again moved to lead roles by the outset of the seventies and became a director also. His first directorial venture was Bhoot Bungla(1965) which, despite being a fun movie for a significant part of it, falls into the genre of suspense-thrillers.
Bhoot Bungla(haunted bungalow) is the story of three brothers two of whom get mysteriously killed. The eldest one(Moni Chatterjee) is the father of the heroine of this movie - Rekha(Tanuja) whereas the second one was a bit insane Raamlaal(Nana Palsikar). The third, surviving one, is Shyamlaal(Nazir Hussain). The uncle of these three brothers had been murdered some fifty years back and then their aunt disappeared from the bungalow which is the residence of this family with her son, never to appear for all these years. After the two consecutive killings, the investigating cop(Jagdish Raaj) advises Shyamlaal and Rekha to shift from this bungalow to their apartment in the city for the time-being.
Now Rekha who was earlier studying abroad and thus living away from her father and other family members starts getting life threats over phone. A singing competition brings her into contact with Mohan(Mehmood) who alongwith his companions, runs a club named as Youth Club. One day upon saving Rekha from an attack on her life, Mohan realizes that she needs help and there's someone who wants to kill her for someone unknown motive. Now Mohan starts examining the facts as they appear and the happenings as they have taken place as well as taking place. In the course of this investigation, the bungalow which is the original residence of Rekha and her family members, is found to be a haunted house.
But the reality is something else. After a lot of suspense spread in the narrative, the climax unravels not only the mystery behind the bungalow's appearing to be a haunted one but also the reason behind the killings of Rekha's father and uncle plus the threats to her own life as well as the identity of the culprit.
I watched Bhoot Bungla on internet and found it to be quite a satisfying suspense-thriller. Starting with a murder that takes place half a century prior to the period of the main story, this movie remains a fun movie for a sizable part of itwhich amuses the audience very much. From the title and the environment created for the story, it may appear to be a horror movie also. To be frank, certain scenes are really scary. However ultimately, it's suspense-thriller.
Mehmood has done his job very well as the director of this movie. Despite certain plot holes in the script as well as leaving many things as unexplained in the end, he has been able to keep the audience engrossed. He has not given any undue footage to himself and also kept the fun-quotient under check. The fun and comedy come as a relief to the audience whereas the suspense remains prime in the movie.
Mehmood has extracted good performances from the artistes including himself. Tanuja is very pretty and she has acted well too. The complete supporting cast is also well in place. Music director R.D. Burman also has done a small role in this movie. It's really interesting to see Pancham Da on the screen. Renowned radio announcer Ameen Sayaani is also present in the scene of the singing competition.
Technically this black and white movie is okay. Its length could have been shorter, however considering the norm prevailing in Bollywood those days, it's quite appropriate and there is no dragging to bore the audience. Since the hero himself was an established comedian, quite sensibly, no separate comedy track has been kept in the movie. Dialogs are also good.
Pancham Da(R.D. Burman) has composed good music for the movie which is an evidence of the gusts of fresh air and new waves entering the field of Bollywood music through himself because it's different from the kind of music composed for Hindi movies those days. Aao Twist Karen is a foot-tapper. Other songs are also good. Background score is soaked in suspense and thrill and is perfectly in sync with the mood of the movie.
Considering the overall quality of the movie, I won't say that Bhoot Bungla is some great movie or some extra-ordinary suspense-thriller. However it is an interesting movie which is sure to be liked by both the mystery fans and the fun-loving audience.
Is Desh Ko Rakhna Mere Bachchon Sambhaal Ke . . .
A teacher's greatness is more than that of the parents in a child's life and an ideal teacher is considered even greater than God. Why ? Because an ideal teacher is able to shape the student which is like a lump of clay, in its proper form which is desirable for his own life and desirable for the society and the world as well. A ideal teacher is called GURU because he removes the darkness in the student and fills light in his heart.
Bollywood have come up with several Hindi movies portraying the stories of ideal teachers. Nartakee (1963), Boond Jo Ban Gayi Moti (1967), Imtihaan (1974), Taare Zameen Par (2007), Aarakshan (2011) etc. are certain such movies only. However perhaps the greatest of such Hindi movies is Jaagriti (1954). This black and white movie is a rare gem from the treasure of Bollywood which emphatically underscores what difference an ideal teacher can make as well as what difference an ideal friend can make in a student's life.
Jaagriti (awakening) is the story of Ajay (Rajkumar) who is a 11-12 years old boy with naughtiness reining in every particle of his personality. He is fatherless and his uncle (Bipin Gupta) is his guardian who considering his complete lack of interest in studies and his childish nuisances crossing all the limits of endurance, sends him to a boarding school. There Ajay comes into contact with Shakti (Ratan Kumar), another fatherless kid but quite contrary to Ajay in behaviour and attitude despite this fact that he is handicapped (in legs).
Ajay becomes fond of Shakti who has only his mother in the world. Shakti always instigates him to leave his nuisance-making habits and devote to the studies but Ajay pays little attention to his advices. His fondness for Shakti doesn't mitigate though. Now there comes a change in the boarding school with a new teacher being appointed as the in-charge of the boarding-house.
This new, very young, teacher is Shekhar (Abhi Bhattachaarya) is having a new vision of education and grooming of the young students for the life ahead. He does not believe in corporal punishment but believes in developing an understanding with the young ones, being friendly with them and teaching them in such a non-bookish way that they comprehend and grasp the curriculum much more as compared to the traditional way of teaching. He pays special attention to problem children and in no time, identifies Ajay as one such child. He tries his level best to transform Ajay but his efforts bear fruit only when Ajay's fast friend Shakti passes away in an accident. Now Ajay is no longer the Ajay as he used to be. Now he is a role model for the other students.
Jaagriti is a heart-conqueror right from the word 'go' to the ending scene which contains the immortal song Hum Laaye Hain Toofaan Se Kashti Nikaal Ke, Is Desh Ko Rakhna Mere Bachchon Sambhaal Ke (we have rescued the boat from the storm, take care of this nation O Kids). The whole movie is studded with touching scenes, some of them are able to bring tears to our in eyes in the most natural way. The whole milieu is realistic and the relationship between two near lonely friends as well as between an ideal teacher and his students as shown in the movie is not only desirable but also believable.
The movie underscores this eternal truth that pious things can be done provided pious intentions are there. Noble thoughts can always be turned into reality if sincerity is there in one's words and actions. An ideal teacher not just preaches, he leads by example. That's why anybody and everybody should not opt for the profession of teaching. A person with a strong moral character with sensitivity in his heart and maturity in his behaviour only should become a teacher.
A teacher carries the great responsibility of making ideal members for the society and ideal citizens for the nation. Hence first, he should follow the right path. Then only he will be able to show the right path to his students. Shekhar of Jaagriti is one such teacher only.
Jaagriti is a great movie from the viewpoint of friendship also. A sincere friend always stands by his friend but at the same time, being his true well-wisher, he shows him the right path also and cautions him against following the wrong path. Shakti of Jaagriti is one such true friend only who is able to transform his friend Ajay in the desirable manner if not in his lifetime, then after his death as after Shakti's death, Ajay takes a solemn vow to be what Shakti wanted him to be.
Jaagriti is excellent in all the aspects of filmmaking. The biggest plus point is its music. With the immortal lyrics of Kavi Pradeep, Hemant Kumar has composed unforgettable songs viz. Hum Laaye Hain Toofaan Se Kashti Nikaal Ke, Aao Bachchon Tumhen Dikhaayen Jhaanki Hindustaan Ki and De Di Hamen Aazaadi Bina Khadg Bina Dhaal. It also contains a very touching mother-kid song - Chalo Chalen Maa, Sapno Ke Gaaon Mein.
Child artists - Rajkumar in the role of Ajay and Ratan Kumar in the role of Shakti have marvelled in the movie. Abhi Bhattachaarya is perfect in the role of an ideal teacher. All others also fit the bill.
Writer Manoranjan Bose and director Satyen Bose have presented a immortal movie in the form of Jaagriti which is a text book written on celluloid regarding teaching as well as nurture of the young ones. A must for every teacher who considers his / her profession as a noble one and puts a premium on performing his / her duty with utmost sincerity. An ideal teacher may not get much tangible benefits but he gets abundant respect of his / her students which is something invaluable for him / her and enviable for others.
Never allow your faith in goodness to be shaken
The bitter experiences of my life have shaken my faith in ethics, goodness and the sublime values of life. However the movies like Anuraag(1973) is one such phenomena which reassures me that these noble things have not vanished altogether and one should not allow his faith in them to be evaporated.
The decade of seventies when medicine had not made much progress in our country and the persons who happened to have caught some lethal decease, were seldom able to survive; Bollywood presented many movies whose protagonist was a Zinda-Dil person with an ever-present smile on lips and possessing a jolly nature with a never-say-die spirit but suffering from a lethal decease. Such protagonist, but natural, died in the end, leaving all his loving ones as grief-stricken behind him. Anand(1970), Mili(1975) and Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se(1978) were certain movies in this genre. Anuraag(1973) also falls into that category only. The difference is that this movie presents a child suffering from cancer who donates his eyes to a blind girl so that she could see the world through his eyes after his demise.
This kind-hearted and nice child of Anuraag(love) is Chandan(Satyajeet) who is the grandson of Rai Saheb(Ashok Kumar) who has already lost his son and now invested all his love in his little grandson Chandan. He lives with his widow daughter-in-law(Nutan) and sees the shadow of his lost son in Chandan only, teaching him all the virtues and noble values of life. Chandan happens to come across a blind girl Shivaani(Moushumi Chatterjee) who lives in a charitable home meant for girls like her only. She is a good sculptor and through Chandan, she comes into contact with Chandan's mother and grandfather on one hand and a nice boy Raajesh(Vinod Mehra) on the other. Raajesh falls in love with her and decides to make her his life partner. However his father Amirchand(Madan Puri) gets ready for their marriage only when Shivaani gets her sight back. It is known after her relevant medical examination that it's possible only when some donor gives his / her eyes for transplantation in her body. Suddenly Chandan is found to be suffering from cancer which has gone beyond the stage of treatment. Coming to know this truth, Chandan decides to donate his eyes to his loving Didi, i.e., ShivaAni and finally Shivaani is able to see this world through Chandan's eyes.
The movie gets emotional and turns into a tear-jerker in its final half an hour only. Prior to that, it's mainly a feelgood movie which producer-director Shakti Saamanta has made in the style of the prestigious Rajshri Banner of Bollywood. Certain(both tragic and comic) sequences of this movie remind us Rajshri's blockbuster movie Hum Aapke Hain Kaun(1994). The story is flat and told as such only. We see good people with their good thoughts and gestures only. Except for the caricaturesque character of Raajesh's father who is a miser but ready to spend money for the sake of fame and honour, all the characters shown are completely positive and virtuous. Prior to the tragic twist in the story, the narrative consists of comic situations and dialogs which may not be able provoke laughter in the viewer but certainly brings a smile to his / her lips.
The incident of Chandan's trying to understand how it feels to be blind reminds me of a story'The School for Sympathy' read by me in my English textbook when I was in my secondaries. His deliberately not solving all the questions in the examination so that another boy who is needy of scholarship, is able to get the first rank, also reminds me of a similar story read by me in my Hindi textbook during my primaries. Through these episodes, the filmmaker has highlighted the virtues embedded in the character of this child which touches as well as inspires the audience.
Anuraag is a simple movie, not lavish. It is technically good all the same and every frame of it is beautiful. It is a compact movie which only was the right thing to do for the filmmaker considering its wafer-thin storyline.
Sachin Dev Burman has composed good music for the movie with the help of the beautiful lyrics of Anand Bakshi. Devoid of any chartbusters, this album contains ear-soothing and soul-soothing songs like Sun Ri Pawan, Woh Kya Hai, Neend Churaaye Chain Churaaye, Raam Kare Babua Hamaar Phulwa Ko and a very good lullaby - Mera Raaja Beta Boojhe Ek Paheli.
Child artist Satyajeet has performed very well in the pivotal role whereas Bengali actress Moushumi Chatterjee has also done satisfactorily in this debut Hindi movie of herself. Seasoned actors Ashok Kumar, Nutan, Madan Puri, Anita Guha, Abhi Bhattachaarya, Satyen Kappu etc. all have done their parts satisfactorily alongwith the romantic hero Vinod Mehra. Shakti Saamanta's favourite actor Rajesh Khanna has delivered a touching performance in his special appearance in the role of flower-seller Gangaraam.
Anuraag won the Filmfare Award for the best movie which is surprising as this movie is a very simple movie and was not a blockbuster as well. All the same, it's to be admitted that such movies emphatically underscore that goodness does exist even today which is to be preserved and nurtured. The good and virtuous people as shown in the movie may be difficult to find in today's selfish times but their race has not gone extinct. The dumbfound(with grief) character of Ashok Kumar rightly asserts that God forces the strictest of tests of life on such people only. And it's their greatness that even then they do not give up their goodness and noble values of life adopted by them.
I recommend this lovely and inspiring movie to one and all.hem.