Sunday, May 31, 2009

Johny Mera Naam

In one of my earlier posts titled 'Jhonny Gaddar', I have reflected my lack of knowledge about Vijay Anand (as a thriller maestro) to whom the film was dedicated. Now, after watching Jhony Mera Naam and reading a few articles on him from different sources and knowing about his other films, I have understood why he is called thriller maestro.
Anyways, Johny Mera Naam is a suspense thriller released in 1970, a time when such movies were losing their postition in bollywood to the romantic Rajesh Khanna films. The late half of 60s saw many thriller dramas that are always remembered for their art. Johny Mera Naam is one amongst them, the other notables include Waqt, Gumnaam, Teesri Manzil, Mera Saaya, Humraaz, An Evening in Paris, Jewel Thief, Ittefaq and others. This film could also be kept under the other hit genre of hindi movies, the 'lost and found' ones which became a regular feature in indian cinemas in the mid and late 70s with the upsurge of Amitabh Bachchan.
Johny Mera Naam is a crime movie with revenge, romance, comedy, suspense every single thing that a movie needs to be a hit. I think it must be one of the very first occasions where a femme fatale gets a place in hindi cinema. The song 'Husn ke Lakhon rang' has a charecteristic essence of Vijay Anand's style with a most possible seductive voice of Asha Bhonsle.
Talking about the songs, Kalyanji-Anandji's music is good, the singing better and the picturisation special. Nothing about the film is complete without mentioning the extremely interesting type of picturisation of the song 'Pal Bhar ke liye'. Dev Anand running from one window to the other and Hema Malini closing each one of that and while all this camera rolling without cuts is beautiful, you really got to expect such unique song picturisation while watching Vijay Anand's movie. I can't resist myself from mentioning about 'Dil ka bhanwar kare pukar' being picturised wholly inside the Qutub Minar.
I.S. Johar also needs a mention here for his award winning triple role as comedian in this film. He comes in the film with packages and never fails to bring smile to the audience. For Hema Malini, being her 2nd film, it was very important and with her strong show here she deservedly made her place in bollywood and also in everyone's heart. Pran is as usual great and Prem Nath has looked as ferocious as he could rightly for his character.
All in all, a great movie to enjoy.............a must watch.......

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I got to watch the movie a few months ago and again re-watched it some days later. It was not because I liked the movie rather it was to search for somethimg that made this so 'GREAT' movie (of course, not for me!!!!). With such a statement, I think its clear about my opinion of the film. Too many criticism and too many blogs have already been written on this 2008 megahit at oscars and I don't want to reiterate all that once again. Only a few words about the film some positive and some negative:

The Positive:

After searching much for what I liked in the film I came out with only few points. One was the exciting musical score that everybody liked. The other one was the excellent use of the flashbacks of Jamaal's life in answering the question at the game show. Technically it was not that great but yes, the concept was appreciable.

The Negative:

For me the biggest setback about the film was the hype about the film. I didn't see anything in the film that deserved such hype. In India, the song "Jai Ho..." was hailed as a song of praise for the Indians but I couldn't see one single thing in the film that could arouse the patriotic feeling amongst us still it did for many amongst us. The image of India is itself not that great in the western world and with this film its not gonna get better anyhow.
A.R. Rahman got an oscar for this film. This is really a matter of pride for us Indians but hasn't he created much better soundtracks for other hindi and tamil films? One of the songs (Ringa Ringa...) is a copy (although tributory) of Laxmikant-Pyarelal's 'Choli ke peechhe kya hai' from Khalnayak. Could he get the award and acclaim that he got for this film had the film was a bollywood production. I don't think so.
I even didn't like the acting of the lead actors. All the children were good at acting but when it came to the older ones it was horrible.
And above all the dance sequence in the end at the railway station was pathetic.

All in all, a much hyped film that could easily be skipped.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Best Scene Ever In A Bollywood Film.........

Although I don't like Shahrukh much but Swades is one of his few films that I admire. A great movie about an N.R.I. (the so called Non Returning Indians) who comes to India in search of his childhood caretaker and sees the pity and the "Becharapan" of Indians here and realises what at all, despite being an Indian, he is doing for his nation.
The first 2.5 to 3 minutes of this scene are sufficient to tell the whole story and for me this is the best possible scene in a bollywood movie...................................
Thanks Ashutosh Gowarikar! And Thanks Shahrukh!