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Geek. Dilettante. Over-analyzer of Hindi movies. World music addict & DJ. Anthropologist of enthusiasms. Other stuff.
Interests: At the moment: India and Hindi films, languages and linguistics, world music, world history, health and fitness
Recent Activity
My latest column in Outlook India recalls the day I spent on the PK set in 2013. Aamir Khan gave me my first paan, and I ate lunch cooked by Anushka Sharma's mother. A pretty awesome day. As to the... Continue reading
Posted 16 hours ago at Filmi Geek
I think I read some similar stories about Deewaar, where someone like Dev Anand was offered the role but declined because of the absence of songs. I'm with Jaya - it's hard to imagine these films today with anyone but Amitabh. Amitabh's stardom may have come with some other film even if he hadn't done Zanjeer, but I am really, really glad he did.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Zanjeer (1973) at Filmi Geek
What a fun selection! I would never have expected to see Chhoti si Baat in the same paragraph as Dirty Harry. I feel that Chhoti si Baat is one of the movies I could pick up and watch any day, even if I had just watched it the day before.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Chhoti si baat (1975) at Filmi Geek
Arvind, I wonder what Shekhar Kapur could/would have done with Dev Anand. It's hard to imagine Dev's attention-hogging, hammy style fitting in any of Shekhar Kapur's movies. What are you imagining? I'd like to watch Chhupe Rustam again sometime (along with a lot of other things). I remember it was enjoyable but I can remember nothing specific about it save what I wrote down in this review.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Chhupa Rustam (1973) at Filmi Geek
Thank you for the comment. :) I think the doctors' certification of brain fever is not so much the cause of the warden's leniency but another instance of the film's general presentation of middle-class, educated folks' eagerness to forgive Kalyani and persistent belief that she is inherently good despite her one reprehensible act. I agree with you that Devendra's love is undermotivated (and who wouldn't want to see more of Dharmendra in this movie; he looked so magnificent) but this flaw is so common in Hindi films that I am willing to overlook or at least forgive it more frequently than I should. In modern films I tend to demand something more than "love because the script says so" but it is a fixture of older films. I suppose charitably one could say that Devendra was moved by her selflessness and the solemnity with which she cared for others. Or he just saw a damsel in distress and thought he could save her. ;) Thanks also for mentioning the song. I can never write about every aspect of a movie so I tend only to mention songs that fit in with whatever else I have to say about the movie, as I did in this case. I rely upon comments to point out all the interesting things that I don't make space for (or, that I just miss!).
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on Bandini (1963) at Filmi Geek
Hello Saurabh! I pulled out my DVD just to find the answer to your question. The credits say Gaddaar was written by Ravi Kapoor.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on Gaddaar (1973) at Filmi Geek
I have a DVD. (I have a rather absurd DVD collection. A friend of mine once asked me, "Why don't you just download movies like a normal person?") Aradhana is on YouTube in full, if you don't mind watching without subtitles:
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on Aradhana (1969) at Filmi Geek
बन्दिनी Dir. Bimal Roy There is something peculiar about the orientation of the moral compass of Bandini, something in its message that I cannot quite work out. The self-sacrificing, self-effacing heroine, Kalyani (Nutan), is in prison as the film opens,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2014 at Filmi Geek
I wish I could have seen it in a cinema hall, because it is visually so interesting! I watched it in a very crappy digital transfer on YouTube. I recently bought a DVD which I hope will be slightly better quality.
Toggle Commented Dec 7, 2014 on The Train (1970) at Filmi Geek
Hello Arvind ji! Thank you very much for the comment. I think you are right, that despite the rise of the multiplex and the interesting array of films that come with it, certain stars seem only to have to show up and (usually) generate a hit out of it. Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, maybe to a certain extent Akshay Kumar. People will like what they like, and as long as producers are still willing to back projects like Queen and English Vinglish and Ankhon Dekhi that might not rake in as much money then I think there is room enough for all, and an opportunity for a more diverse taste to develop across the market. In Hollywood, income from the big blockbusters helps subsidize the more intellectual, award-oriented stuff, and I am sure to some extent the same is true in Bombay. The money has to come from somewhere. All of that said, the idea of comparing Happy New Year to Jewel Thief - huh? I wonder if the person who made that comparison has even seen Jewel Thief. ;-)
Toggle Commented Dec 7, 2014 on Happy New Year (2014) at Filmi Geek
झुमरू Dir. Shankar Mukherjee As Kishore Kumar movies go, Jhumroo follows a set of conventions that are relatively ordinary for filmi romantic comedy. The title character Jhumroo (Kumar) is a poor boy who falls in love with a rich girl,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2014 at Filmi Geek
Ha! Veena, if my theater had samosas and chai, I might have come out feeling much the same way. As all I get is pedestrian popcorn, the movie was still, in its small way, a value-add for me. ;-) I love your comments about voice training and diction. It's probably true across the board - movies outside of India too - that looks and sculpted bodies and dancing lessons have budged out some of the more theatrical skills that used to be a part of an actor's toolkit. I can only hope that it's a pendulum-swing sort of thing; maybe someone will come along with a fabulous, trained and controlled voice, and then it will start being something audiences look for again? Sounds nice but not terribly likely, I admit.
Toggle Commented Dec 3, 2014 on Happy New Year (2014) at Filmi Geek
Thanks a lot Shivinder - I really do appreciate the recommendation and I would love to watch the movie, but I cannot find it with subtitles, which means I really won't be able to review it. I can muddle my way through an unsubtitled movie, but it is a lot of work, and an extremely frustrating experience, as I spend the entire movie being pained at how bad my Hindi comprehension is despite years of effort. Especially for a Gulzar movie, it's likely that I will miss much. It will be nearly wasted on me. :(
Toggle Commented Dec 3, 2014 on Heroes and Helen at Filmi Geek
Thanks Satish, and thanks for reading. :) I saw this movie twice also!
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2014 on The Lunchbox (2013) at Filmi Geek
Thanks for this Shivinder, and thanks for reading. I'd love to watch the movie - I'd love to watch any Gulzar movie! I can't find it with subtitles, though.
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2014 on Navigating Filmi Geek at Filmi Geek
Dir. Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK Goodness knows I have little love for the man-child archetype. Hindi films of this decade are strewn with impulsive, indolent young men who won't even consider pointing themselves on a trajectory toward adulthood until some... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2014 at Filmi Geek
I've been writing a regular column for Outlook India and it's naturally slowed down the blogging a bit. And I'm in my busiest time of year at work. I'm still here, though, still watching movies and writing about them, even... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2014 at Filmi Geek
Hello Anu. Thanks, yes, I was aware Hatya is a remake. (I didn't mention it here because, as I haven't watched the original, I didn't have anything to say about it.) I have no doubt the original is quite an excellent movie. But hey, I liked the dances. ;-) I also liked the romance - especially that Sapna initiates it. Malayalam original or not, Govinda and his brother and the rest of the cast deserve credit for superb execution on the adapted source material.
Toggle Commented Nov 10, 2014 on Hatya (1988) at Filmi Geek
हत्या Dir. Kirti Kumar I am planning to give a collective report on my recent five-film Govinda marathon (I was calling it a binge, but marathon is a much more pleasant metaphor). But the last film of the five, Hatya,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2014 at Filmi Geek
Anu I am quite fond of Abhishek myself, though I think he does better in comedic-tending roles than in dramatic-tending ones. I like him a lot! You think he has trouble getting out of his father's shadow? It's an interesting idea to explore - if that's why producers are wary of casting him. He did get so, so many chances to start his career despite many flops in the early 2000s. But he seems to have been taking it relatively easy since his child was born - I have no sense of whether that is by design, or because he hasn't been offered a whole lot to do.
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2014 on Happy New Year (2014) at Filmi Geek
Yeah? I find him very appealing, especially in the right kind of role, where he can be goofy and not need to do too much dramatic acting.
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2014 on Delhi-6 (2009) at Filmi Geek
Thanks for the memory, Rano :) That's very funny. I can see where missing the middle third of a movie could be a bit confusing ...
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2014 on Brahmachari (1968) at Filmi Geek
Thank you bandarmukhi <3 I should have known you would know this, and just asked you!
Toggle Commented Oct 27, 2014 on Love in Tokyo (1966) at Filmi Geek
Dir. Farah Khan I didn't hate Happy New Year as much as I expected to. That extremely faint praise is a sign of how far the mighty can fall. Seven years ago I began my review of Om Shanti Om... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2014 at Filmi Geek
Oh, thank you! I do recall the snippet of the melody in "Paanch rupaiyya" now that you mention it - it slipped my mind when I was writing today but I had known that the melody predated Chhupa Rustam. And that Albela song is lovely!
Toggle Commented Oct 27, 2014 on Love in Tokyo (1966) at Filmi Geek