Tuesday, April 05, 2005

fragments of memory: from the recent trip to India [being mostly a collection of movie memories]

* Qayamat se Qayamat Tak: So many movies of late have been quoting Sholay. Perhaps that made me sit up for a short sequence in QSQT, when Aamir Khan and Raj Zutshi riding a motorcycle approach (frame-right) a storyteller (frame-left) at the foot of a tree. Echoes of the Soorma Bhopali encounter?

* Sajan: A lesser flick starring the ever-clueless Asha Parekh and the morbidly serious Manoj Kumar. The film boasts yet another early appearance by the Shotgun himself (as Inspector Tiwari), as well as a trait in some of these oldies of casting local talent [sic] (presumably in the family friend circle) in aggravating supporting roles (the role in question is Mrs. Gidwani). Om Prakash's character spouts a lot of shuddh Hindi (see also: Chupke Chupke), and even snags a meritorious line like tum ho ##Queen## mai.n huu.N ##King## / kyaa banogii ##Darling##

* The second obscure Rani Mukherjee vehicle Mehndi deserves an honorary (without examination) induction into the JaDe project

* Tahalka: Another JaDe project nominee (including a special mention for Anil Sharma). One of the cool motifs includes the salutation bom chik bom bom / long live Dong!.

* Kya Yahi Pyar Hai: This film might be remembered solely for casting Jackie Shroff as Aftab Shivdasani's elder brother. Also featuring Ashish Vidyarthi hamming gloriously as Raj Patil Raja ("raajaa ko prajaa kabhii dhokaa nahii.n de sakatii"). Product placements include Philips and Tips. Also noted is Aftab's character's birthday (February 29).

* Mujrim: Classic, mainstream Mithun, featuring Nutan as his distraught, hard-on-luck, widowed mother who has to support her children (Mithun and his sister played by Pallavi Joshi) while sticking to the path of righteousness. Featuring Madhuri Dixit as the Bengal Tiger's co-star. Music director Annu Malik provides a score that deserves to be cultified: From composing and warbling boom boom shakalakalaka boom (and filching the riff from Stevie Wonder's Part Time Lover for the musical interludes) to raat ke baarah baje to the obligatory devotional daataa pyaar de, which filches va.nde maataram, to the plaintive title song, to the "bad lyrics" candidate kuka.Duu kuu picturised on Madhuri Dixit. Also features Tej Sapru paraphrasing Mirza Ghalib (ba.De be\-aabaruu hokar tere kuuche se ham nikale).

* Sanyasi Mera Naam: Another Mithun classic. Echoes of the Rajesh Khanna starrer Dushman [correction: thanks to Harish for pointing out that it's Roti and not Dushman] (and perhaps even the sober Kinara): Mithun's character bumps off a guy, only to later run into his parents (and find out later that the dead dude was their son and sahaaraa). He then goes through a change of heart and proceeds to wage a battle against the forces of corruption afflicting the village. This is probably the first film to inform us that Yamaraaj has a cell-phone (although the number is not revealed). Featuring Mohan Joshi as Trikaal (trikaal kaa kaal mahaakaal) and some innovative acts of humiliation effected by the Bengal tiger (including a slap-fest at a canvassing rally). Recommended.

* Diljala: Stars Jackie Shroff (doing the also-seen-in-Hero transition from clean-shaven-no-moustache to bearded-with-headband), Danny, Rajesh Patel, Annu Kapoor, Tanuja. Featuring a legendary fake phone number (4209211) [chaar sau biis nau do gyaarah] and a fake address to boot [pa.nch maar ko.Daa, badalaa nagar pulis sTeshan. The songs tuned by Bappi Lahiri include jaa.N tan se tan jaa.N se.

* Main Khiladi Tu Anari: Much has already been said about this, but repeated watching cements the memory of gems like tum ek ##inspector## nahii.n, tum ek jhuuThe ##character## ho.

* Police Officer: A trademark "produced by Salim" movie. This one's opening sequence involves Aruna Irani delivering twins in a hospital on a rainy stormy night (sure!) while her husband (Tinnu Anand in a special appearance credited only after his character has been bumped off) is viciously murdered downstairs outside. The twins grow to be Ram and Kishen, Jackie Shroff and Jackie Shroff respectively. One of them has eyes of a different colour (thus promising us scenes of confusion, obfuscation, substitution and confrontation). Ram gets bumped off by his father-in-law (Ajit) and then Kishen reappears to proxy while attempting to find out who the murderer was (and Ajit's character spends a lot of time analyzing this puzzle). Ajit's character also gets to mouth if you want to shoot, shoot, don't talk. The film also features a Hamlet-esque Mousetrap moment when a play is staged to accuse the chief guests of murder.

Elsewhere, in unrelated business, my PIFF 2005 rant finally sees the light of day ...

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