Friday, June 07, 2002

Maine Pyar Kiya (Leg II)

Over dinner last night we watched the rest of Maine Pyar Kiya and honestly, with all its flaws, hams, corny song situations, and the generally unfinished edge, I still like the film (of course, back when it was scorching the box office, I caught it twice in the theatres: the first time, as always, as part of a walk with my father, and the second time, on my mother's insistence that she had to see this film everyone was talking about -- my folks didn't care too much about keeping up with changing film tastes). The film has it all: the characteristic S. P. Balasubramaniam vocal histrionics, appealing catchy melodies (some lifted, of course), and numerous catchlines: "kismat hai", "dosti ki hai nibhaani to padegi", "mohabbat ki hai nibhaani to padegi" -- and of course, the star of the show Handsome the pigeon (yesh!).


* Laxmikant Berde made his début in Hindi films with this film. Although he has his share of emotional lines and brings his tired grating brand of comedy from Marathi cinema to this film (it even fits in well, just like those extended schlock comic interludes in the south-studio Hindi films)

* The tagline of the film, Everybody falls in love with someone ... somehow ..., portends the taglines from the Yash Chopra camp: Come...Fall in Love (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge) and Someone, somewhere is made for you (Dil To Pagal Hai).

* The Rajshri page for the film includes links to audio clips from the English and Spanish versions of the film soundtrack. Interesting.
* Karan Johar's career mirrors Sooraj Barjatya's (débutate director of this film). Both made a splash with their first films (Mr. Johar made Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) aka K2H2). Their second films rocked box offices in the years of their release (Barjatya's Hum Aapke Hain Koun...! (1994) and Johar's Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001) aka K3G) {Incidentally, note the trailing ellipses in the titles}. Mr. Johar also lists Barjatya among his influences. Both films display a higher on-screen gloss and slickness than their predecessors, and MPK succeeds for the heart and does not suffer too much for the gloss. By progression of abbreviations, Johar's next film may well be KKKK or simply K4.
* One of the background motifs is a thinly disguised Raindrops keep falling on my head.
* Deepa just reminded me of another curio in the film: Several scene changes are marked by the same word ending one scene and beginning the next. One example (which also, IMHO, is a nice effect) is the scene which ends with Prem saying "Dosti mein no sorry no thank you" (aah, another immortal catchphrase) and the next scene starting with Ranjeet (the devil of the piece played by Ajit Vachani) saying "Thank you Kumar Sahab..." to Prem's father Kishen Kumar.
* The villain of the piece is called Ranjeet and his son (played by Mohnish Behl, credited with a special appearance) is named Jeevan. These could be allusions to the famous villains of Bollywood, Ranjeet and Jeevan. Ranjeet often appeared as the evil son of the evil dude essayed by Jeevan (for example, Sanam Teri Kasam). Nice reversal there.
* The two friends who drift apart thanks to the evil doings of Ranjeet and Co. (including Perveen Dastur's debut as Seema, the mildly evil vampish other woman) are Kishen (Rajiv Verma) and Karan (Alok Nath). This helps reading the film like the Mahabharat (with Ranjeet standing in as the evil mama and Jeevan as the bhaanjaa). Kishen (Jackie Shroff) and Karan (Anil Kapoor) were also the two characters in conflict in Parinda, which was edged out for the Filmfare award for Best Film by MPK.
* More mythological readings: Kishen's wife is Kaushalya (played by Rima Lagoo). Kishen (from the Mahabharat) and Lord Rama (from the Ramayan) are avataars of Lord Vishnu. In the Ramayan, Kaushalya is Lord Rama's mother.

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