Bobby Jasoos (2014)

September 13, 2016

bobby-jasoosVidya Balan, in and as the eponymous jasoos? Sounds like a film right up my street. I somehow missed catching this in the theatres and then could not get my hands on the DVD. So when it showed up on youtube’s suggested videos last weekend, I had to see it right away. Even though it was 1:00am and sleep was threatening to get in the way. And I am glad that I watched. Yes, it is fun. Yes, it gets plus points for a story that focuses on a woman building her career and not letting such trivial things as cute men get in the way of her happily-ever-after. And yes, the film had its faults. But more on that later. First the good stuff.

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Bhowani Junction (1956) – Raj romance the way it should be!

September 28, 2014
Bhowani Junction poster I’ve always been keen on watching foreign films set in India, though I’ve seldom liked them! They’re either too Orientalist or too boring – frequently both. In spite of that, it’s hard to resist the pull of seeing India through an alien lens. Bhowani Junction was one of the first set-in-India English language films that I ever saw. I’ve compared every subsequent film of this kind against it, and found it wanting! It’s not because Bhowani Junction eschews Orientalism/Colonialism altogether, but because these are kept in fairly good check, and the fast-paced and interesting narrative keeps me too occupied to brood upon the flaws.
 

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Seeta Aur Geeta (1972)

September 15, 2014

Once upon a time in masala filmland, families/siblings were routinely torn asunder (usually in Kumbh Mela, accidents or by the machinations of the evil villain) and brought together years later through inevitable coincidence. Sadly, families always seem to stay together these days. Be that as it may, as a card carrying member of Bollywood’s families-torn-apart-and-re-united party, I was, naturally, always alert to the possibility that I have missing family out in this big bad world. But it was in blogland that I finally met my long-lost masala sisters – Anu (Conversations Over Chai) and Madhu (Dustedoff). Anu and Madhu found each other years ago. My masala sibling-ness took a while to manifest itself – Anu and I both lived in Bombay, Madhu and I both live(d) in Delhi, all three of us had (mostly) the same thoughts about movies/songs/actors/books. But when Anu and I watched the same movie (five years apart) and found ourselves making the same comments on the film, it was time to face up to the truth – we were bicchdi behne indeed!

A re-union of masala sisters does not happen everyday. To celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime re-union, we decided to watch our favourite masala re-union stories. In order to spare you reading about the same movie thrice (of course, we all chose the same movie to review!) Anu decided to watch Yaadon Ki Baaraat (three brothers separated in childhood by an evil villain), Madhu went for Johnny Mera Naam (two separated brothers) and I settled for my favourite twin-sisters-separated-at-birth film.

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The Thief of Baghdad (1978)

August 24, 2014

I must admit that I have never outgrown Arabian nights tales with handsome princes and flying carpets, especially when the handsome prince happens to come in the form of young Kabir Bedi. So when I became aware of the existence of this film, I immediately turned to my trusted resource – youtube. Imagine my delight when I found the entire film on youtube, in a fairly watchable print! Naturally, I want you all to be aware of it, too! Nothing like a good old-fashioned fairy tale to while away the hours, or chase away the blues! So, here goes…

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Kabli Khan (1963) – scenery-chewing patriotism!

June 1, 2014

Masala patriotism is not my favourite genre, but where there are rules, there are exceptions to rules. And this film is firmly in the exception-to-rules category as far as my no-unsubtle-patriotic-films rule goes. I picked this up because it stars Ajit and Helen, and have no reason to regret my choice.

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Ek Saal (1957) – the romantic year

April 23, 2014
ek_saal00064I’ve been on a murder mystery watching spree of late. For a change of pace, I thought I’d watch something romantic.  But what to watch? That’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Ergo, I spent several (happy) hours on youtube, trying to decide what to watch! After much research and mental debate, I settled on watching a Madhubala film – even if the film is bad, Madhubala makes up for many filmi flaws. Once the all-important decision was made, it wasn’t hard to decide that a re-watch of Ek Saal is exactly what the doctor ordered. It’s my favourite Madhubala movie, it has her paired with another favourite – Ashok Kumar – in my favourite kind of romance – the bad guy reformed by TRUE LOVE!!!! Who wouldn’t be reformed by love of Madhubala? Certainly not our revered Dada Mani.

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Ek Baar Kaho (1980) – a tryst with romance

April 9, 2014

I am very partial to well-made romantic films, and this one ticks all the boxes on my checklist for well-made romances: Dishy hero? Check. Melt-into-a-puddle romance? Check. A mature, grown-up couple? (No, I am not referring to their ages!) Check. Romance in the hills? Check! Coherent, well-crafted story? Check. Well-written dialogues? Check. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture!

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