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where there's Pran, there's life!
This is a movie that i skipped school and saw in a matinée show. The title role of the film is played by one of the great stylized villain's of Hindi Cinema. PRAN. I guess this was the time when Pran had broken out of the 'bad guy' mould and was playing strong character roles. Zanjeer, Majboor, Victoria No 203, Jungal mein Mangal...(where he played three different lead characters) I love this movie, which is very much in the Brij, Manmohan Desai entertainers of the early 70s. It's an extremely pacey cops and robbers drama with the lead cop played by the equally superb AJIT. Navin Nischol and Rekha have adequate roles and are extremely watchable. The film has one great quawali song sequence during the pre climax. 'Raaz ki baat keh doon to jaane mehfil mein kya ho.' performed by Bindu and Pran. In short this is a guilty pleasure and hence a rave review. I remember the newspaper tag lines read: WHERE THERE'S PRAN, THERE'S LIFE. (for the non Hindi speaking readers, Pran in our language means life)
Johny Mera Naam (1970)
Far ahead of it's time. As watchable today. See it NOW!
This is a great film. Perhaps Vijay Anand's best. Of course, Guide is a terrific film too but Johny Mera Naam is something special. It's way way ahead of it's time. It's thrilling, emotional, funny, cool and action packed. And it's got great music, stupendous performances and a zing from the very first frame when the titles drip red.
Johny defies synopsis. IT's a convoluted and totally incredible story and yet it's seamless, pacy and a ton of fun.
I've seen it over a dozen times on screen. Till a few years back,in the pre multiplex, pre cable times, we used to have matinée shows of old films at reduced rates.
I wish one could see it no screen today. But it's equally enjoyable on TV too. Johny Mera Naam and Deewaar (Yash Chopra's) are two of the best screenplays of the Hindi mainstream cinema.
Deux hommes dans la ville (1973)
bleak, slow but definitely worth watching
I love Alain Delon and Jean Gabin and french cinema. So I was high on expectations when i began this film. It's good. It's a simple story, that moves organically and is well photographed and acted....it is not a typical film....and hence needs a bit of time to get into the mood of the film. But it's a stirring story and gradually you understand and get emotionally involved in the characters. And you feel Oh my God....this is dangerous, tragic. I hate comments that reveal the complete story....no...but i loved the character of the vindictive cop. A guy i hated... The end of the film reminded me of Kieslowski's A short film about killing. For those seeking entertainment, watch the Alain Delon thrillers featured in the DVD extras. This is a serious film but it's eminently watchable and has a powerful underplayed drama.
The actors are a treat to watch. I love Jean Gabin, though i must confess, i've only seen him play the old man.
He'd have been as stupendous when young. His face is a landscape of stories.
The ideal double bill would be this film, followed by Henri Vernuil's Any number can win...with the same principle cast.
Since i'm from India, I must add here that we have our own Alain Delon here....Saif Ali Khan. A handsome intense actor who is right now very happening.
Not a date movie for sure but a good film nevertheless.
Le voyou (1970)
25 years before Tarantino
i LOVE this movie. I couldn't open the comment board so wrote my raptures on the message board. Please read that because i really want people to discover this lovely film. You may read the DVD cover and get an idea of the story. It's a lovely story but like all the great filmmakers say: it's not the story but how you tell it. I saw this movie and immediately watched it again with my assistants. I told them, Hollywood makes some superb films....but they can awe and intimidate you with their sheer mastery of the medium, technique and superior budgets. French cinema on the other hand can truly liberate you. This film has such a delightful casualness and yet is strongly plotted and has superb performances and full of ideas and technique that is decades before Quentin T and co.
And anyone who can get me Claude Lelouch's email id or contact address....i'd be very grateful. Need to send a two word mail or letter. Wow and Thanks. And i recommend Happy New Year to all those who love this picture. Find it, watch it.