Guest post: Makeover of the filmi doormats

June 11, 2014

Dear readers, I have been very tardy about writing new posts, lately. (It’s mostly the fault of the hot Delhi summer which makes it very uncomfortable to use my laptop.) So, when Ruchi, a regular Masala Punch reader, told me of her tragic encounter with a doormat (of the reel type), I immediately spotted a blog post in her and made every effort to encourage her writing. In the end, it turned out to be a joint effort, since neither of us had the time or the energy to do all the research on our own. Today we have for you a list of five filmi doormats and how we wish they had turned out. Over to Ruchi: 

I still remember the days when I was completely hooked on to Dhoop Kinarey, a Pakistani tele-serial that held my imagination with the brilliant romance of the impetuous Zoya with the oh so serious Ahmer Ansari. So when I recently came across a ‘new’ (new for me i.e.) Pakistani tele-serial on You Tube – Humsafar – which had apparently been a hit in Pakistan, I was immediately interested. The beautiful Khirad (Mahira Khan) and her blossoming romance with the handsome Asher (Fawaad Khan), the understated melodrama, so unlike what the likes of Ekta Kapoor are dishing out on the Indian TV screen, was seductive. So what if Khirad had a tendency to cry every episode, she was khuddar (self-respecting), we knew that from the very first episode. And anyway she did cry with such panache that you just had to admire it. And yes, Asher couldn’t stand up to his manipulative father but you can’t quibble with every tiny thing! The story had to start somewhere! 

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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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How To Steal A Million (1966) – A lesson in love and larceny*

March 21, 2014
What happens when you lend your invaluable statuette to a Paris museum and want it back in a hurry? Why, you enlist the help of a society cat-burglar and steal it from the museum! Elementary dear Watson. But which society burglar? Its 1966 and Cary Grant has retired (well, almost) and Stewart Granger is too busy making spaghetti Westerns in Germany. Fear not. In the British Isles the sun never sets on debonair thieves. Lets get Peter O’Toole. He isn’t British (he is Irish) but can disguise himself as an Arab and even has something that Grant did not – intensely blue eyes and a true-blue British accent (Grant’s accent is classified as Mid-Atlantic)!

 

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Anupama (1966) – romance Hrishikesh Mukherjee style!

March 11, 2014
anupama00180
Google moves in mysterious ways, its wonders to perform. You ask for information on a new film, and before you know it, you are knee deep in photographs of your favourite B/W onscreen couples! One such search led me to pictures of young Dharam and Sharmila – one of my favourite onscreen pairs. They are both incredibly good looking, excellent actors, and have several great films together. Anupama (The Incomparable One) has long been a favourite of mine, and tops my list of Dharam-Sharmila films. I love well-done romances and they’re seldom as well done as this gentle coming-of-age story of a timid and shy young woman. And no wonder. When Hrishikesh Mukherjee gets together with the likes of Rajinder Singh Bedi, Kaifi Azmi and Hemanta Kumar, one can really look forward to quality cinema.
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Me, myself and my movies…

March 10, 2014

I am a biophysicist by training, a book-worm and movie-addict by inclination. I love old – books, movies, fashions, buildings…. Wish I could travel back in time to see how people lived “once upon a time”. So my reading and movie-watching is pretty skewed towards oldies. I love classic English literature, classic whodunits, period stories, romances, drama – in fact anything masala-y. My tastes in movies and TV series run along similar lines too – it must be fiction, it must be masala and if it stars some good-looking people, it gets bonus points!

I grew up in India, watching Bollywood oldies on DoorDarshan, in the days when it was the only channel on TV. So I am particularly fond of 1950s-70s Hindi films. When cable brought Turner Classic Movies to India, I caught the classic Hollywood bug. Since then, I’ve also ‘discovered’ other language films in India, not to mention innumerable TV series and movies from around the world.

This blog is my place to discuss what I am watching or reading, the place where I gush over favourites and rant against the ones I dislike. Though I’ll write mostly about old films (1950s-70s Bollywood and 1930s-1950s Hollywood), I also intend to discuss any new films, TV series or books that catch my eye.