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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Before there was Raaz, there was Purana Mandir..., 31 August 2006

Purana Mandir is without any doubt one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Bollywood horror movie ever made. Directed by the famous Ramsay Brothers, it has a powerful story that grips your attention right from the start, and never let's go.

The story concerns a demonic curse bestowed on a royal family, which forbids its daughter (Aarti Gupta) from marrying. However, she falls for Monish Behl. Before they can marry, they visit, with two friends, the old palace and the nearby temple where, hundred of years ago, an extremely macabre event had taken place...

Much of the credit for the huge success of this masterpiece has to go to the perfect musical score provided by relatively unknown music director Ajit Singh. The music is essential in making this movie genuinely frightening at times. Monish Behl and Aarti Gupta both give very sincere performances, Ajay Agarwal has a very strong screen presence as Samri, and it is a pleasure to also see veteran actor Pradeep Kumar.

The DVD recently released by Mondo Macabro (part of a 2-disc release including also Badh Darwaza) is the best this movie has looked for years. Unfortunately, it is presented in 4:3 aspect ratio, but this is how the movie was originally made.

I would rate this movie right up there with Raaz as the best Bollywood has given its audience in terms of horror.

And, oh, did I forget to say that Purana Mandir also has the most beautiful and haunting love song ever to grace the Indian silver screen, sung by no other than...Ajit Singh himself.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A landmark movie., 29 December 2004

Jawani Diwani was a landmark comedy primarily because of RD Burman's fast, pounding and melodious score. RD Burman was such a genius; his musical legacy will live on forever. When his music combined with the voices of either Kishore or Asha (or both), the result was electrifying. A case in point is this movie.

Kishore gives the start with the energetic and beautifully sung "Samne Kaun Aya". He later also executes the title song "Yeh Jawani" in his unique comic style (Kishore was said to have the unique ability to put himself right in the shoes of the actor for whom he was doing the singing). However, it is the combination of Kishore with Asha on "Aa Jane Ja" that creates one of the most memorable songs of Indian cinema. The picturization of the song is perfect, there is a sense of mystery in both the setting, the voice and the music. This one song will keep on ringing in your ears long after hearing it and, to my knowledge, is being remixed now over and over again by so many.

In so far the plot is concerned, this is the simple story of boy (Randhir Kapoor) meets girl (Jaya Badhuri) at school, with the usual problems with parents. However, the acting is great. A special note goes to the great Satyen Kappu who gives, in my opinion, his most comical performance ever (as the DJ friend of Randhir Kapoor) in two scene-stealing pieces: first, when he impersonates Randhir Kapoor's father to meet the boy's teacher, and later when he meets Jaya's father.

In short, you have here everything that a great Indian movie is made of: a good story, very good acting and excellent music.

Samadhi (1972)
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A memorable performance by Dharmendra, 6 November 2004

That Dharmendra never got an award for his memorable performance in this great movie is nothing short of shameful in the annals of Indian Cinema. In fact, Dharmendra never got one, in spite of giving such great performances in movies like Anupama, Satyakam and Chupke Chupke, amongst others.

The movie has Dharmendra as a notorious bandit who kidnaps, then falls for and marries Asha Parekh. Dharmendra tries to turn over a new leaf but his wife falls critically ill. When he tries to borrow money to have her treated, all his efforts fail. He then kidnaps a millionaire's young son. The millionaire agrees to pay but when Dharmendra goes to deliver the boy, he kills the latter by accident. Broken-hearted, Dharmendra buries the boy. His "samadhi" (tomb) remains as indelible in the viewer's psyche as it remains in Dharmendra's destiny...

Dharmendra is just brilliant. The pathos he conveys is incredible when, in one scene, he asks God how he is going to return the dead son or, in another, he is slapped by his son (played by Dharmendra also) and curses his own destiny.

The movie is by the way directed by the great Prakash Mehra and, if you like it, check out also the older "Mujhe Jeeno Do", another superior flick with Sunil Dutt.

R D Burman's music shines as usual with a hauntingly beautiful song by Asha Bhosle (Jab Tak Rahe), an offbeat gem by Kishore (Jane Jaana) and a great solo by Manna Dey (Bhagwan Bhi), amongst others.

9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A Fantastic Film, 12 December 2003

This movie is one of my personal favorites and is, in my opinion, one of the most romantic movies of Rajesh Khanna. The story line is quite simple but the charisma of Rajesh Khanna, the songs of Kishore and the music of RD Burman are pure magic.

This movie could be watched merely for the voice of Kishore and the music of RD Burman. "Kitne Sapne Kitne Armaan" is a gem: watch out for the spectacular entry of Rajesh Khanna at the start of that song and the magic yodeling of Kishore. The other gem is "Oh Mere Dil Ke Chain". This song is just sublime and one of the greatest, if not the greatest, romantic song of Kishore. The final Kishore tour-de-force, "Deewana Leke Aya Houn", conveys tremendous pathos and is nothing short of breathtaking.

Movies like Mere Jeevan Saathi come only once in a lifetime, like several others during that era. If you can relate to that era, watching it will move you again and again, with a tinge of sadness for a bygone period not to be found again, like it has done for me...

7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A Manmohan Desai Masterpiece, 12 December 2003

Before he started making Bacchan blockbusters, Manmohan Desai had a try with many other good actors as well, namely Shammi Kapoor ("Bluffmaster") and Rajesh Khanna with this movie ("Saccha Juttha") amongst others.

There is a nice plot here and you can feel the Manmohan Desai touch throughout. Rajesh Khanna plays in a dual role, as a simple-tom who comes from a village into Bombay to make it big but instead falls upon his conniving double. A lot of intrigue and also good acting from Rajesh Khanna (who won a Best Actor for this film) and Mumtaz.

But to me, the voice of Kishore really steals the whole show, namely in the song "Meri Pyaari Behena". Kishore really transcends himself here and the end product is nothing but pure magic. Maestros Kalyandji Anandji are also to be commended for the composition, but the sincerity that Kishore brings to the song is nothing short of breathtaking. Not that Rafi and Lata did not have good songs (the duet "Yuhi Tum Mujse Baat" is spellbinding), but you have to understand that, at that time in his career, Kishore had reached almost perfection in his voice.

"Saccha Juttha" is a must for movie lovers with a keen ear for melody. It belongs to a golden period that isn't going to come back soon, unfortunately...

Do Badan (1966)
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A must-see!!!, 12 December 2003

Although Raj Khosla was known as the master of suspense in Indian Cinema (e.g. "Kala Pani","Who Kaun Thi", "Mera Saaya") he also had an occasional try in romantic movies. And when he did, the result was usually another masterpiece, as is this movie.

Briefly, the story revolves around Manoj Kumar's meeting, love, then sacrifice for the heroine played by Asha Parekh. Nothing extraordinary, you would think. But this is an extraordinary movie, indeed. Manoj Kumar, Asha Parekh and Pran's acting are superb and the compositions of music director Ravi are nothing short of breathtaking.

On the musical side, Rafi really outshines everybody here with his melodious finale song "Naseeb Mein". His first two songs in this movie, namely "Bhari Duniya" and "Raha Gardishon", are certainly gems. But there is something in "Naseeb Mein" that does it for me. This is an immortal, unparalleled and sublime love song by Rafi at his peak. Lata is also excellent in "Lo Aa Gaaee", but its Rafi's unique voice that keeps resounding in your head long after watching the movie.

In a nutshell, "Do Badan" is a real gem of the 60's. Do not miss it, especially given the fact that nowadays movies aren't made like that anymore...