Archive for the ‘The Kapoors’ Category

Rockstar (2011)

November 18, 2011

At the beginning of this year, I had made up my mind to watch at least two films in theater – Rockstar and Don 2. Not that I didnt watch any other films in theater this year, in fact ended up watching lot more than I usually do. But when this film got released last week, I had to see it somehow and that too before somebody else could tell me the story. And I had more than one reason for watching this film – it’s Shammi Kapoor’s last film, has Ranbir Kapoor(though I almost committed suicide watching Anjaana Anjaani, I still love this guy) and is directed by Imtiaz Ali. So, I went hunting for a theater playing this film and watched it.

Movie begins with Jordan’s concert, and as the song begins, we are taken to the flashback –

Janardhan Jakhar aka JJ (Ranbir Kapoor) hails from a middle class joint family and studies in The Hindu college. He’s obsessed with music and he dreams of becoming a rockstar someday.

He plays guitar and sings songs in an attempt to entertain people at the bus stop but is dragged away by police. He complains to his friends that life’s not fair – There’s Jim Morrison who gets applauded for showing his middle finger to the crowd and there’s him, who almost gets caught just for playing music in public.

Mr. Khatana (Kumud Mishra), owner of their college canteen,  one day tells him that all great people – be it singers, musicians, writers, painters, poets have one thing in common – pain and tragedy! According to him – “toote hue dil se hi sangeet nikalta hai”, one has to endure great pain and loss in life. Only tragedy has the power of igniting that kind of dedication, passion and intensity towards something which sets them  apart from the rest of the people and makes them famous and successful.

JJ has neither fallen in love, nor got his heart broken, nor been kicked out of his house, has never been to prison either. He’s the biological son of his parents and both of them are still alive. In short, he has never encountered tragedy in life till now. So, according to Mr. Khatana he doesnt stand a chance of becoming famous and successful.

He attends few musical auditions in college but never gets selected. His friends feel he doesn’t have the style and attitude to get listeners hooked to him and that’s a very important trait for any performer. He tries to learn to be little stylish on stage but fails miserably.
One day he sees Heer Kaul (Nargis Fakhri) at a dance competition in college. His friends have an entire biography of hers and surprisingly he’s still ignorant of her. Heer – from Stephen’s college, who’s been winning all dance competitions so far and is now performing for one last time. She’s basically from Kashmir, is engaged to some guy, Jai (Moufid Aziz) who’s settled abroad and is getting married to him and going away. All this information about her is passed across to JJ when she’s dancing on stage. But the only thing that draws his attention is the fact that she’s a serial heart-breaker.  She’s popularly known as “dil todne wali machine”.  Janardhan who’s desparate to get his heart broken, so that he can become famous, sees a ray of hope and decides to try his luck with her. He walks up to her and proposes to her in a very funny style – the famous scene that’s been doing rounds in trailers : “Aye, Hi, I louve you. Girlfriend ban jaa meri. Tu aur main rrrrock karenge, bata raha hoon. Soch ke dekh.”

When she insults him infront of all her friends and sends him away he acts heartbroken and goes to Khatana’s canteen and orders for samosas to drown, rather swallow his sorrow. He tries a couple of times to woo her but she just doesnt give him a damn.
And when he realizes it’s not working, he gives up the hope of getting his heart broken and starts ignoring her. And this makes her curious as to what he’s upto. One fine day, she calls him to ask him what this is all about. He tells her the truth that he’s not really interested in her. He was pursuing her only because of her reputation. He says she’s pretty and “neat and clean” but he doesnt find her all that great. And when he walks away, she calls him from behind and says she’s going to watch a porn film named “Junglee Jawani” in one of the shabby local theaters. So much for her neat and clean and elegant image! He doesnt take her seriously in the beginning, thinks she’s kidding but when he realizes that she’s really going for the movie, he’s amazed at her and he goes along with her.  In fact, he takes her for the movie.  Once the ice is broken, they bond very well.
She tells him that she’s going to get married and go away. She’ll have to behave like a sophisticated lady then, so she has lots of things to do in a very short span of time, ie, before she gets married – like trying desi daaru, going to a cheap pub and dancing etc. Seeing her zeal for life, he promises her that he’ll help her fulfill all these wild dreams of hers. She makes a list of to-do things and he takes her to all these places. In the mean while music takes a back seat in his life.

He lies at home and goes to Kashmir for her wedding. He’s everywhere – helping people put up the lights, decorate the house, take her out for shopping. Almost reminded me of SRK in DDLJ. And when her friends come for the wedding, she introduces him as Jordan to them.
In between all these wedding preparations,  she falls for JJ. However, she gets married to Jai and off she goes to Prague. But before leaving, she invites JJ saying – pehle main jaati hoon, baad mein tu aa jaana. And poor thing he cant even pronounce Prague. He says Parag.

He goes back to Delhi and his family finds out about his Kashmir trip. They create a drama about it. But life goes on. He graduates and joins his family business. But there’s a robbery and he’s accused of it and thrown out of the house. He carries his guitar and sets off. He goes to Nizamuddin and lives there singing songs at the dargah for sometime.

That’s where Ustad Zameel Khan (Shammi Kapoor) first spots him and sees a great talent in him. After two months he lands up at Khatana’s door seeking shelter. With Khatana’s help, he attends few auditions but nothing seems to be working. Finally when Ustaad Zameel Khan puts in a word to Mr. Dhingra (Piyush Mehra),  the owner of a music company saying he feels JJ is very talented and he foresees a very bright and successful future for him, that Dhingra offers JJ a singing contract.

JJ, now Jordan, clicks with Indian public and his first musical album becomes a hit. He then goes on a Europe tour, which also includes a concert in Prague. He meets Heer in Prague, who now seems to have changed completly – the wild and full of life Heer has now turned into ‘living-just-for-the-heck-of-it’ Heer. She’s pale and has lost interest in everything in life and has developed some psychiatric problem as well. But once Jordan comes back into her life, and they start going around doing silly things like before, she gets back to normal.

This time around Jordan falls in love with her and they have a brief affair. Heer is torn between her husband who she’s guilty of cheating and Jordan who she finds totally irresistible. After Jordan’s concert in Prague, they sort of break up, as she finally makes up her mind to go back to her husband against Jordan’s will and they have a very bitter farewell. But Jordan cannot bring himself to leave the city on such a bitter note, so he sneaks into Jai’s house to meet Heer in the middle of the night, triggering the alarms and waking up everybody, unaware of the security system. He’s arrested for trespassing and unable to handle the stress and emotional turbulence Heer collapses. She’s later diagonised with a form of bone marrow cancer and is sent back to her parents in Kashmir.

Jordan’s brought back to India and put in prison. Amidst all this negative publicity, which Dhingra himself encourages, he decides to release Jordan’s next album which becomes an instant hit.
He’s released from prison. Inspite of all the negative publicity and the bad-guy image, he still manages to become very famous and is highly sought after. He continues doing concerts but he’s a changed man now, not the same old JJ who used to live for music and could die for music. He has terrible mood swings, throws tantrums and gets into fights at the drop of a hat, is forever angry and frustrated. He has all that he has ever dreamt of – he’s a rockstar now and is famous and popular but he’s not happy. It’s Sheena (Aditi Rao Hydari), a reporter whose major assignment has been to cover the journey of JJ to Jordan, who finally spells it out for him that he has everything he’s ever wanted in life but he doesnt have Heer with him. And it’s her absence in his life that’s left him hurt, burning with jealousy and feeling incomplete.

During one of his concerts, he meets Mandy (Heer’s sister) who informs him that Heer is suffering from terminal disease and is dying. He leaves all his assignments and rushes to Kashmir. Her parents are furious when they see him after all that happened in Prague but when they realize that Heer’s condition has started improving after his arrival, they kind of accept him. His contracts, assignments, concerts again become secondary in his life. He is fully focussed on Heer once again. That’s when Khatana arrives and tells him there
are serious charges against him for breaking contracts. Khatana and Heer finally convince him to complete his scheduled concerts. Heer even accompanies him for one of them where journalists and reporters accuse him of breaking Heer’s marriage, for stealing away somebody else’s wife and he loses his temper again and ends up creating a scene.

Heer’s condition begins deteriorating again and she goes into coma. He’s accused of almost killing Heer and he turns even more bitter. The movie abruptly ends when he sees Heer walk up to him during one of his concerts where he’s singing Nadaan parinde.

First half was very entertaining and enjoyable but somehow I failed to fathom the complexity  of the second half. I ended up asking myself -‘was that really necessary’, in quite a lot of places. The way this movie was promoted, I guess I had too much of expectations from it. The tagline of the movie that said one person has the capability of making you and of destructing you didnt really fit in. The script didnt have that intensity to live up to the tagline, at least for me.

If you go and put your hand in the fire, knowing that you’ll get burnt, you cannot possibly blame and hate the world because you knowingly burnt yourself. I found all that anger and hatred in the second half kind of funny. The only reason JJ proposes to Heer initially is because he wants to get his heart broken so that he could become famous not because he actually was in love with her. Even later, when they subsequently becomes friends, she starts nurturing feelings for him but he’s not even sad or hurt when she gets married and goes (May be he’s in love with her but doesn’t realize it then. But she’s already married and gone, so what even if he realizes it now?).
And then after a year or more perhaps (because in the meantime, he finishes his studies, joins family business, gets thrown out of the house, spends time in dargah and finally comes back to Khatana, with whose help he becomes a singer) suddenly when he realizes that he’s not going to be the part of that Europe Tour, which includes a concert in Prague he goes hyper and becomes ready to go to any extent, to sign any contract, any bond just to be able to be a part of it. He has a desperate urge to see her, out of nowhere, just like that all of a sudden.  He falls in love and has an affair with her in Prague, both of them fully aware of the fact that she’s already married to somebody else. And then when he realizes that he cannot have her forever, he condemns the whole world, starts neglecting his career, and turns into a rebel. It’s not even the case of her betraying him. All this didnt make much sense to me. May be if you look at it from a guy’s perspective it would make more sense, might have something to do with  male ego. But for me, half of the hatred and anger in the second half looked forced.

Inspite of all this, I thought Ranbir was flawless in his performance. He was perfect as simpleton and silly Janardhan and rebellious Jordan. It was his movie all through, he was totally terrific!
Nargis was an eye candy, looked pretty and  shared a good chemistry with Ranbir but her dialogue delivery could have been better. And if she really wants to make a place in bollywood, then I think she should start working on her Hindi.
All the supporting actors were really great –
Kumud Mishra as Mr. Khatana was superb as JJ’s support system, who stood by his side till the end – during good times and bad times. Though he failed to comprehend JJ’s bheaviour half the time, he was always there when needed.
Aditi Rao Hydari makes her presence felt with her powerpacked performance as Sheena, in the small role that she has got.
Piyush Mehra was awesome in the role of an arrogant and cunning owner of a music company.
Moufid Aziz as Jai hardly had anything much to do but was pleasant to look at and portrayed his role very well. One of those few onscreen husbands who dont get hyper on learning that his wife’s been cheating on him.
Shernaz Patel and Mandy (dont know what her real name is) were great too as Heer’s mother and sister.
And coming to Shammi Kapoor…he lit up the screen with his presence. Wish he had a little longer presence. He had a very short role, though an important one. It’s because of him that the music company takes up JJ and turns him into a rockstar.  The only time my eyes turned moist while watching this movie was when he appeared on the screen for the first time, at dargah. I was filled with mixed emotions – sad that he’s no longer with us and happy at the same time that we at least get to see him on screen even now. May his soul rest in peace.

It’s a very well directed and beautifully shot film. Imtiaz Ali is a a wonderful director. Though I wouldnt call this his best film ( I still like Socha Na Tha and Jab We Met more), it’s still worth a watch. I didnt find the music very appealing though, not my interpretation of music for a movie named Rockstar. Musically speaking, it has great songs, with deep lyrics and fabulous music, but I wish there was at least one or two lively and peppy numbers. May be it’s also because I had not heard the songs before, they were not at all familar to me.  Over all, I would say it’s a well made movie and I did enjoy watching it. It’s for the first time in my life that I went to a theater all alone and watched a movie, and that too in a totally new place. So it was a different experience altogether.

(Since, I had watched the movie in theater, all the screencaps have been taken from youtube.)

Chaar Dil Chaar Raahein (1959)

April 2, 2011

The idea of seeing the Kapoor brothers share the same screen space was what first prompted me to buy this movie. But inspite of it having my Shammi darling, I somehow kept postponing watching it for a long time. The picture on the cd cover always managed to demotivate me from watching it – the trio of Meena Kumari, Raj Kapoor and Nimmi give such a depressing look, that every time I took the cd, I just ended up keeping it aside, till now.

As always, it was a song that finally made me watch the movie. I had heard Stella o stella from Return of  Mr. Superman, and I sort of liked it for the humour in it. One fine day, somebody had posted this song on facebook and one of my friends had commented on it saying that this song was first picturized on Shammi Kapoor and Kumkum in Char Dil Char Rahen in 1959 and then was used again in Return of Mr. Superman in 1960!

The movie opens very beautifully, with Raj Kapoor making quite  an entry into the village and a conversation that leaves one wondering….

Chavli (Meena Kumari) recognizes Govinda (Raj Kapoor), and though he finds her familiar he can’t exactly place her. So he heads home. Govinda is Chaudhary’s son. And he had been sent to the town to study when he was a little boy. Now he has finished his schooling and has come back home.

When he inquires about the girl he had met on his way, he finds out that she’s Chavli –  who is an achhoot and a bal-vidhwa (an untouchable and a child widow).

As soon as he finds out who she is, he goes to meet her. He finds her sitting beside a stream.

Govinda : Pehchana mujhe? (Did you recognize me?)

Chavli : Hmmm

Govinda : Pata hai kitne baras ke baad mile hai? (Do you have an idea after how long we have met today?)

Chavli : Hazaron baras (Thousands of years)

Govinda : Bas? (Just thousands of years?)

Chavli : Isse aaghe ki ginti mohe naa aave (I can’t count beyond that) – I love the way she says this…it’s just so cute!

Next, we are taken to a flashback where two little kids are playing. And the entire village gossiping about an Ahir guy playing with a Chamar girl which is not acceptable in the society.  (The Ahir are a caste of cowherds, milkers, and cattle breeders. Chamar (“tanner”; from the Sanskrit Charmakara) is a prominent occupational caste in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Chamar is a Dalit sub-caste. Traditionally, their social status was low in the Indian caste system because of the association with tanning and thus were considered as untouchables, but in modern days they are one of the progressive castes in India – Courtesy wikipedia). It happens that little Chavli (Baby Naaz) has been expelled from the local school. When Govinda comes to know of this he voluntarily drops off saying that he wont go to a school that doesn’t let his Chavli study. So they spend their day playing and running around the village together.

When Choudhary comes to know about it, he sends his son to the town to study, as a punishment. And now, he has finally returned after so many years. He tells Chavli that he will stay back now, he wont go back to the town.

Chavli : Yahan rehke kya karega? Sheher jaayega toh baabu banega,  coat patloon pehnega, bungla mein rahega, motor gaadi mein pon-pon karta phirega. (But what will you do here? If you go to the town, you’ll become a gentleman – wear coat and pant, live in a bunglow, roam around in a car)

Govinda : I will look after my father’s cattles and will teach in the school here. But I am not going back.

He goes back home and tells his father of his decision to stay back. Choudhary is very happy to hear that and says his mother will be happier than him. He reveals that his wife has gone to Choudhary Malkan Singh to ask his daughter, Lajjo’s hands for Govinda.

Govind :  Baat meri karne gaye hai aur mujhse poocha tak nahih. (She’s gone with a proposal and she didn’t even ask me about it?)

Choudhary : Arey bhala..Ladka-ladki se poochkar koi unka biha kare hai?  Aur phir ladki ka baap koi mamooli aadmi nahin…60-70 bhains hai unke paas. (Does anybody ask the guy and the girl and get them married? And Choudhary Malkan Singh is not an ordinary man…he has 60-70 buffaloes.)

Govind : Uski beti bhi toh koi bhains se kum nahin hai baba! (His daughter is not less than a buffalo herself!)

Chodhary : Beta, shareef ladke aisi baat nahin karte (That’s not how a gentleman talks, son)

Govinda tells his father that he won’t marry Lajjo but will marry Chavli instead. He doesn’t believe in caste and religion. And he cares a damn about what the others would think of his decision.

He takes Chavli and goes to the temple and asks the Pujari (Nana Plasikar) to get them married.

But the Pujari suggests that if he’s rebelling against everybody and getting married to an achhoot, then why do it quietly in the temple without any witness. He should go to Chavli’s house dressed as a proper groom with proper band and baaja, marry her and bring her home. Govinda sees sense in this and goes to all his friends in the village inviting them for his wedding. But all of them refuse to be a part of such a disgraceful alliance except for one. So the two of them set out for Chavli’s place.

This causes agitation among the Ahirs and Chamars in the village. But as both groups are against the marriage, they unite and decide to stop the wedding. Choudhary goes to meet Chavli and offers everything he has to her –

Choudhary : Mere paas 14 bigha zameen, 14-15 bhains, 100-200 nagad hai…maang, kya chahye? (I have land, buffaloes, cash…what do you want. You name it and you’ll have it)

Chavli : Aapka aashirwaad (I only need your blessings)

When Govinda arrives, he sees that Chavli’s hut is on fire. He runs to save her, but all he can find there is an anklet of hers. He sees all the Ahirs and Chamars there and reaches a conclusion that they have burned his Chavli to death.

He announces – Aaj se mera koi baap nahin, ghar nahin, gaon nahin, jaat-biradari nahin, koi dharam nahin…yeh sab is aag mein jal gayi. Aaj se main akela hoon.  And he sets off. He walks for days together mourning and finally reaches a crossroad. He finds an anklet there, which is exactly the same as the one he had found at Chavli’s house. The thought that Chavli might be alive brightens him up but he doesn’t know which way to go from there. He sees a car coming and he asks the driver, Dilawar Khan (Ajit) if he has seen a girl passing by. When Dilawar says no, he decides to sit right there and wait for Chavli.

Dilawar is Nawaab Saab’s (Anwar Hussain) driver. His Munshi (Rashid Khan) tells Nawaab about Pyaari (Nimmi), a new tawaif in town who sings very well. Nawaab sends for Pyaari and she sings for him. He’s very pleased with her and is ready to bestow her with all his wealth but she refuses.

Dilawar hates her because he thinks she’s of the kind who would rob his master of all his wealth. But when he learns that she refused to take any of it, he develops a soft corner for her. And before long Pyari and Dilawar are in love. One fine day Nawaab loses all his power and riches and decides to go to Bombay to start a new life. He offers to take Pyari and her mother with him and promises to look after them lifelong. But Pyari chooses Dilawar over  Nawaab.

Dilawar and Pyari soon have a misunderstanding between them because Dilawar, though is in love with Pyari and wants to marry her, he doesn’t want the extra responsibility of looking after her mother. And Pyari refuses to leave her mother alone. She says, other women have  families, so the daughters can leave them when they get married, but a prostitute doesn’t have a family, all that she has is her daughter. And now that she has found love, she cannot be so selfish and leave her mother all alone. At the same crossroads, they part ways and go in different directions.

Johnny (Shammi Kapoor) makes an entry next (finally).  Rastogis – Mr. and Mrs. Rastogi, their little kid along with their aaya, Stella (Kumkum) are on their way to  Hotel Parbat on a vacation when their car breaks down right at the crossroads. Johnny offers to fix their car and in return they give him a lift till Hotel Parbat.

Johnny is in search of a job. So he goes to meet Mr. Ferreira (David), the Manager. He doesn’t have to work too hard to impress Mr. Ferreira and he soon gets the job of a waiter cum dishwasher at the Hotel.

Johnny being Johnny, is smitten by Stella at first sight and he doesn’t waste much time in getting his feelings across to her. And with all his cute ways of trying to impress her, Stella cant resist his charm for long either. Before long, the two are madly in love with each other.

One day Johnny asks Stella –

Johnny : Tumhara bachcha kaisa hai? (not to be confused…she’s an aaya after all)

Stella : Na toh eat-ta hai, drinkta hai saara din weepta weepta hai. Usko daant aa rahe hai.

Stella gets a letter from her mother one day saying that her father has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and will have to be sent to the sanitarium immediately, which would cost them Rs. 500. Johnny takes up the responsibility of earning that amount required for his would-be father-in-laws treatment.
There’s this sweet sequence where Johnny and Stella talk about their dreams, their future.

Johnny goes and asks Ferreira for extra work. He confides in him that Stella’s father is not well and he needs to earn extra money for his treatment.

In our films no love story can go smooth, unless it’s a Rajshri film, without a third person forming a traingle and plotting cunning ways to create misunderstandings between the two lovebirds. And this one’s no different. Ferreira, who also has an eye for Stella sees this as an opportunity and comes up with a plan to land Johnny in trouble.  He gives Johnny the charge of supplying the guests at the hotel with alcohol, which is legally prohibited in the premises of Hotel Parbat. Johnny blind in love doesn’t see the danger this task imposes, he sees it as an opportunity to make quick money and promises to himself that he’ll quit the job once he earns 500 bucks.

Stella is quite disappointed when she learns what Johnny is upto. She catches him red-handed when he goes to deliver Rastogi’s order of  Whiskey. He somehow manages to convince her that he’ll avoid trouble and he won’t do it for long. Just when he manages to manaofy her and all’s well between them, Ferreira gets Jhonny arrested!

He gets released after three months and unaware that Ferriera was behind all this, he first goes to Ferreira to collect his money. He asks him if he knows where Stella is. That’s when Ferriera introduces Stella as Mrs. Ferriera. Poor Johnny is heart broken. Angry and murderous, he tries to kill Ferriera.

He wanders around for sometime and then starts up a garage at the same crossroads to keep himself occupied. At one point of time, Johnny sings one line of the sad version of my song, Stella o stella o stella, tera johnny ab tak hai akela…

At this point, Nirmal (P Jairaj) makes an appearance. He is a well-educated man and reaches just in time to help all the protagonists of the story. He himself being a socialist, spreads awareness among people on what socialism can do. He makes speeches on exploitation of the poor by rich, lower castes by higher castes in the society etc…these are things that ordinary people can relate to. Thus, he manages to attract lots of people with his socialist theory. He comes up with a proposal of  building a proper road that would connect all the 4 destinations that the crossroads leads to.

There are lots of Contractors fighting for that contract, including Nawaab saab and Ferriera. But it’s Nirmal and his battalion of ordinary people who win it and start building the road.

Will they be successful in achieving their goal and proving the the so-called-rakhwales of the society that given a chance nothing’s impossible for them? With people like Nawwab and Ferriera in the opposition what are the challenges they will face? How is this mission connected to the earlier love stories? Will any of those 3 stories have a happy ending? Are any of these stories interconnected?

Frankly speaking, I don’t know how to rate this movie. It ended so abruptly, in fact the ending itself was missing from the cd. I could kill eagle videos for this! As though deleting the song, and lots of other parts of the movie was not enough, they had to compromise with the ending as well 😦
It was as if I was watching the movie on tv and kept having frequent power cuts. There were so many missing links that I had to use my own imagination to put all the pieces of the story together.

But having said that, I did enjoy watching this movie. To start with, it had been so long since I saw one that it was nice to see such a power packed performance. Everybody was fabulous! K Abbas has done a good job as a director. There were so many social issues addressed in the movie – caste system, religions (the 3 couples in the movie belonged to 3 different religions), power, money, corruption etc.  And the best part was, none of the stories were dragged for too long. Though there was a little bit of  rona-dhona, it was just for sometime and the story quickly moved to the next couple. Except for Nirmal’s speeches, which were a little preachy at times, must say it was quite fast-paced. I guess, I must give a little bit of credit to Eagle videos as well for wiping away so many scenes 😛

I don’t know how many songs were there originally in the movie, the only ones that I got to see were few Lata Numbers that Pyaari sings for Nawaab saab (Koi maane na maane, Intezaar aur abhi , Jab main kehti hoon), one Meena Kapoor (Anil Biswas’s wife)  song picturized on Chavli (Kachchi hai umariya) and the last song, which the entire crew sings as they build the road (Saathi re bhai re). I won’t say I loved the music of this movie, I found it pretty average. Anil Biswas was the Composer and Sahir Ludhyanvi the lyricist. Except for Saathi re bhai re, I dont even remember having heard the rest of the songs. And I was too disappointed that there were no songs picturized on Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor to be able to appreciate the rest 😦

Happy Birthday – Neetu Singh!

July 8, 2010

One of the bubliest and the most vivacious actresses till date….I so very badly wanted to review one of her movies and/or do a 10 favourite songs of hers on 8th July, her birthday, but I got late at work and came back home only an hour back. Considering that tomorrow is Friday and I have to getup early and go to work, it’s too late to post anything now.

Neetu Singh special post coming up over the weekend….for the time being enjoy this interview.

The cutest couple on and off-screen – one of my favourite jodis…totally adore them and love watching them together.

But unfortunately I don’t have many DVDs from the 70’s  – I’m not very fond of movies from 70’s  (50’s and 60’s being my favourite decades), but  my love for (and obsession with) the Kapoor family leads me into watching lots of films that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. 😉

Jaani Dushman and Do Kaliyan are the only two films in my collection that star Neetu Singh. So, it’s gonna be either of them over the weekend.

Here’s wishing this effervescent actress  a very Happy Birthday! God bless her and her entire family. 🙂

Rafi Sings for Shammi Kapoor – Part I

July 5, 2010

I’ve been toying with this idea for quite sometime now but was just too busy with lots of other things.

It was dustedoff’s post on Rafi that triggered it all followed by bollyviewer and kanan. I sat down to think but couldn’t get past the romantic numbers to think of any other moods or rasas. To be honest, I wouldn’t even be able to classify Rafi’s songs into moods and rasas correctly. So I came up with an easier option but that was a herculean task in itself again!

 Rafi + Shammi Kapoor + Romance = Hundreds of magical numbers and each one a masterpiece.

So I decided to follow bollyviewer’s trick again  – yes, alphabetical listing of Rafi’s songs picturised on Shammi Kapoor. But when I started thinking of songs that start with ‘A’, I came up with 6 songs in less than a minute…That made matters worse increasing my plight. Since there are so many songs of this duo, I’ll do this post in parts. This is the first volume of the series. And also I had to impose so many other rules so that I could at least come close to finishing this post – like listing not more than one song from a movie, all the numbers preferrably a solo (which I’m sure I’ll break half-way through), but will try to follow as much as possible (without this I’ll never be able to decide on one song,  and also this way, I’ll get to cover a wider range).

 Four most important men in my life : My Dad who introduced me to the other 2, in fact all the other three . Dad had a huge collection of retro songs (cassettes and LPs) and those was my first introduction to Rafi. We were in Bhutan initially and the advent of television had not reached there in the 80’s. It was after we came to Nepal in the early 90’s that I actually saw these songs on tv. Again, it was Dad who used to follow Rangoli and Chitrahaar regularly and that led me to Shammi Kapoor. Most of the songs were already familiar by then and seeing them on screen, most of them filmed on Shammi Kapoor simply stole my heart away – I instantly fell in love with this jodi. Then I put in an extra effort to learn Hindi so that  could understand the lyrics as well. The final man, being my brother, though he isn’t interested much in retro movies and music, I love him nevertheless. These are the most important men in my life whom I love and adore  the most. And this post is dedicated to them. Love you all!!!

This is what Shammi Kapoor himself  had to say about Rafi.

A. Apni baho se koi kaam toh lo (Budtameez, 1966) : I go weak in my knees everytime I hear this song. Had I been in Sadhna’s place, sirf thaamna nahin main toh utha hi le jaati Shammi Kapoor ko 😛
The video on youtube doesn’t have the entire song, but the audio is available. Only this Rafi-Shammi duo could have done justice to this song – Rafi’s intoxicating voice and Shammi’s inimitable style and crazy moves – it’s simply mindblowing.

B. Badan Pe Sitare (Prince, 1969) :  Romantic, naughty and peppy all at the same time. Outstanding rendition by Rafi – the way he changes the tenor of his voice when he sings Zara paas aao toh chain aa jaye, creates a shivering effect. And nobody could match Shammi Kapoor when it came to wooing a lady – he did it with style. Hai banne sawarne ka jabhi mazaa, koi dekhne wala aashiq toh ho….(very occasionally I use make-up but when I do and look at the mirror, this line automatically pops up into my head ;-))Mohabbat ki ye inteha ho gayi, ke masti mein tumko khuda keh gaya…….what beautiful lyrics! And the way Shammi and Rafi carry themselves throughout the song, their energy level is truly remarkable.

C. Chakke pe chakka (Bramhachari, 1968) : This song doesn’t spell romance like how majority of Shammi Kapoor’s songs do. This is more of a fun and lively song that he sings with a bunch of kids. Picturization apart, we can feel the fun and masti in Rafi’s voice. All their songs give us that feeling that Rafi actually enjoyed singing them and Shammi Kapoor enjoyed portraying them equally.

D.  Deewane ka naam toh poocho (An Evening in Paris, 1967) : Lively and romantic! How his leading ladies managed to ignore and resist him is beyond my comprehension. Shammi Kapoor has this interesting style of expressing emotions through his body language – his head, neck, body movements were and still are very unique. Great lyrics, refreshing music, amazing starcast, beautiful city and Rafi and Shammi in total synch with each other – a deadly combo.

E.  Ehsaan tera hoga mujh par (Junglee, 1961) : Shammi Kapoor’s first film in color. This song is soft, romantic, sensous and intense all at the same time.  He emotes so well, especially with his eyes, they are so intense that everytime I see this song,I get carried into a different world all together. And it’s not just Shammi doing that, we can hear the emotion in Rafi’s voice. I love the variations in the word Mohabbat…it’s rendered differently every time.  Shammi Kapoor looks terrific in this and Saira is lovely. Fabulous composition, sweet and romantic lyrics, magical voice and heavenly Shammi Kapoor!

F. Yahoo!!! Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe (Junglee, 1961) : Can’t think of any song that starts with ‘F’ or “Ph”…So, here I go with the most popular song of this jodi. I know I’m breaking the rule and making it all the more obvious by listing two songs back-to-back from the same movie. But how can I not include this song in a Shammi Kapoor special post – it would be a sin! This song has more or less become his pehchaan over the years. Shammi Kapoor looks so attractive esp when he sings mere seene mein bhi dil hai…and ek muddat se yeh toofan…adore him inspite of the lipstick. And god, his eyes, I get drowned in them (Sharbati teri aankhon ki jheel si gehrai mein, main doooooooob jaati hoon…btw, what’s the masculine version of Sharbati?) and so is Rafi’s voice, it’s magnetic!

G. Govinda aala re (Bluffmaster, 1963) : This festive and lively number is one of the best things about this movie. And here I go breaking my own self-imposed rule of including only solo rendition! Shammi Kapoor dances with frenzy in his typical signature style making this song highly entertaining. And Rafi’s energy is amazing!

H. Hai duniya usiki zamana usika (Kashmir Ki Kali, 1964) : Not a very lively song like the rest of them, it’s more of drowning the memories of an old love in drink, but romantic nevertheless. O.P Nayyar’s Music and Rafi’s voice on Shammi Kapoor is an unbeatable combination.  The guy on Saxophone rocks…and the entire ambience is so lovely – scene of a closing bar, one last jam and this magical song. If you just listen this song, you will feel like Rafi is acting and when you watch, you feel it’s Shammi singing the song (which is the case in most of their songs). Absolutely brilliant – voice and acting made for each other.

I. Is rang badalti duniya (Rajkumar, 1964) : This song renders me speechless! It’s an example of a composition and combination par excellence. Yeh dil hai badaa hee diwaanaa, chhedaa naa karo is paagal ko tum se naa sharaaraat kar baithhe, naadaann kee niyat thhik nahi …followed by Kashtee ko sanbhaalo maujon se, toofaan kee niyat thhik nahi and Main kaise khuda hafeez kehdoon – amazing lyrics. And the passion with which Rafi sings those lines and Shammi portrays them is mindblowing. Helplessly in love and trying his best to resist lovely and ethreal Sadhna, he warns her from provoking him and at the same time lures her into doing that very thing – truly classic!

J. Jawaniya yeh mast bin piye (Tumsa Nahin Dekha, 1957) : One of Shammi Kapoor’s earliest hits and it’s through this film that he attained the image of a light-hearted, stylish and romantic hero. This is the introduction song where he is appreciating the bevy of beauties around him, with an expectation that some day he will also find somebody and enjoy blissful love from a fair maiden. Rafi’s voice modulation is amazingly perfect and Shammi Kapoor looks soooo delicious!

K. Kiss kiss kiss kisko pyaar karoon (Tumse Achha Kaun Hai, 1969) : I am not very fond of the movie…the only reason I saw it and saw it till the end was because of Shammi Kapoor and all the lovely songs it has.  Look at his energy even at this age! Rafi  matches that onscreen energy so well. Nobody else could have performed this song the way Shammi Kapoor has. One would think it is him singing this song. And he is the only one who can dance like this without looking ridiculous.

L. Log kahe mujhe pagla kahin ka (Pagla Kahin Ka, 1970) : I adore Helen and I’m a big fan of her dancing. But I love it all the more when Shammi Kapoor is around to give her a company. I actually wanted to include Lal chhadi here but couldn’t think of any other song from M other than Meri mohabbat and Main gaun tum so jao. I already have one song above from Brahmachari and if I had to choose Lal chhadi here, I would have had to think for another song from ‘M’. I’m just making my work earier. Great song again – hyper-energetic singing from Rafi to match Shammi’s dance.

M. Meri Mohabbat Sada Rahegi (Jaanwar, 1965) : Good looks, inimitable style, velvety voice, such aashiqui – how could anyone resist! Shammi Kapoor and Rafi add to the scenic beauty and infuse romance in the air. Just listening to these songs makes one want to fall in love – Timeless Classic! Forget singing, if anybody would just dedicate one Shammi Kapoor song sung by Rafi to me, I would be on cloud nine.

N. Nazar bacha kar chale gaye ho (Dil Tera Deewana,  ) : Another movie which I am not very fond of but it has such fabulous music! I haven’t come across a Shammi Kapoor film that doesn’t have good songs. I usually like all Shammi Kapoor movies but this and Tumse Achha Kaun Hai, I felt, were dragged too long.  But again, as long as I get to see Shammi Kapoor on screen and listen to Rafi’s voice, I don’t mind watching/re-watching any movie, esp when Shammi Kapoor is looking so YUM! This song was also the background score of Shammi Kapoor’s home page.

O. O  haseena zulfon wali (Teesri Manzil, 1966) : All the songs that I can think of are duets, so I am going ahead with my all time favourite song from one of my favourite films featuring my favourite jodi.  Oh jaane wale sun zara, O jhuke jhuke naino wali, O mere sona re sona re were the others, but as long as I have an option of choosing Teesri Manzil song, the others don’t stand a chance. O mere sona re is more of an Asha song than Rafi. So here I go with this. I’ve been resisting so hard to include Teesri manzil songs from the time I started this post. I wanted to include Deewana mujhsa nahin but I sacrificed it for Tumne mujhe dekha (one song per movie restriction) but got stuck here. Let me think of some other song that begins with ‘T’ now.

 P. Pyaar ki kasam hai (Dil Deke Dekho, 1959) : Each song in this movie is a gem and I was desparately waiting to include at least one of them here. I could almost do “My ten favourite Shammi Kapoor songs” from just this one album. Be it the lyrics, music, Rafi and Asha’s rendition or the handsome pair on screen – it’s simply awesome! Dashing Shammi Kapoor, gorgeous and young Asha…There’s innocence, a chulbula-pan, playfulness and romance about it that I adore in this song.

Q. Q – Jab mohabbat jawaan hoti hai (Jawaan Mohabbat, 1971) : The closest I could come to Q was Bada quatil hai yaar mera but when I was anyways compromising, I thought I might as well do it with a song that I really like. Though I love and adore Shammi Kapoor, I prefer his films from the 50’s and 60’s more than the 70’s (in fact, this is not just for Shammi Kapoor films….50’s and 60’s are my favourite decades). But again, a Shammi Kapoor film with so many songs by Rafi is too much of a temptation to resist. I had seen this film long ago, I don’t really remember the story to comment on it, but I love the songs. I had first heard Na rootho na and that alone led me into watching the entire film. I didn’t really notice this song when I actually saw the movie 😉 But later heard this song on Vividh Bharati and fell in love with it. I’ve been trying to figure out and fit this song into the movie ever since  but with no luck so far. Guess, I’ll have to re-watch Jawaan Mohabbat.  I had almost forgotten about it until Nasir posted it on his blog one fine day and I listened to it non-stop for few hours together. I felt as though I had found some long-lost possession. 

R. Rasa sayung re (Singapore, 1960) : Awwww….I simply love this track! Initially I was thinking of Rahi mil gaye raho mein from ‘R’ but since I included a song from DDD above, I had to think of another song and though it’s not a solo (again), I simply couldn’t think beyond this number. I can’t imagine anybody else other than Shammi Kapoor in this song. Nobody else can carry himself the way he does, jump around, dance like crazy and yet look so adorable! I know it’s a Shammi Kapoor special post, But I can’t help not mentioning how lovely Helen looks – like a doll, with such graceful movements and amazing expressions. And Rafi so effortlessly matches upto the onscreen chemistry, liveliness and the folklore.

S. Salaam aapki meethi nazar ko (Boyfriend, 1961) : What a romantic song this is! There’s emoshun, magic, nasha and romance in Rafi’s voice and Shammi Kapoor portrays each of them so beautifully. It’s a treat to the ears as well as to the eyes – a delightful song with a very pleasant picturization.

T. Tum ne mujhe dekha (Teesri Manzil, 1966) : I did think of couple of other songs from ‘T’ (from other movies) but this is something I couldn’t move ahead without. And, now this is a direct cntrl+C – cntrl+v from bollyviewer‘s post ( I can’t even think of attempting to write anything as apt and beautiful as she has – am admiring beauty in every form)-

“While most if us are lost in the wonder of his voice, Rafi could be vocally lost in the wonder of discovery in other ways – as this song highlights. “Tumne mujhe dekha hokar meherbaan” (you looked kindly on me) – you can hear the joy and the wonder of a man who, contrary to his expectations, finds himself loved by his beloved. Rafi banks down his vocal energy, playing this as a sweet love-lorn man, just happy to have his love reciprocated, and you can’t but feel for Shammi’s joy. Is it any wonder that Asha Parekh is weeping into her cocktail at having to deliver a heartbreaking-punch – I wouldn’t be able to do that in the face of that golden voice!”
(In my own words – neither would I!)


U. Ukele ukele kahan jaa rahe ho (An Evening in Paris, 1967) :  The only song I can think of is Ukad dukad bamba…if only this had been a duet 😦 Ukele and akele don’t sound very different, do they? 😉

 Another classic song….Shammi Kapoor pursuing his ladies is something that I just can’t get enough of  (I love  him, and love him lots but I don’t get jealous ;-)…hee hee)- it ensures lots of fun, masti, his antics and fabulous music which is always a pleasure to watch and listen to.

V. Voh Marne Se Nahi Darte (Shama Parwana, 1954): I had never heard this song before, thanks to Venkatadri sir. Anything in Rafi’s voice is a treat and that too when it has Shammi Kapoor in it, it’s like sone pe suhaga. Not as lively and full of energy as the other songs but mindblowing all the same.

W. Woh bijli hai hum shola (Vallah Kya Baat Hai, 1962) : I never knew that a film like this existed until I heard Ek toh surat pyaari on Vividh Bharati one morning just as I was leaving for work but I missed the name of the movie. A playful number like this had to have Shammi Kapoor and the mention of Neeli Aankhen, Rafi’s voice and O.P Nayyar-ish music just added to my suspicion. I decided to check this song on youtube, but by the time I reached office, I forgot the mukhda except for the Neeli aankhen part. Unable to recollect the song, I was so restless that I cound’t concentrate on my work. So I spent quite sometime searching for the song – googled for Shammi Kapoor’s fimlography, then searched for and listened to all the songs of the movies I didn’t know/hadn’t heard of till I finally hit the jackpot. And was quite surprised to find out that Roshan was the Music Director! One song led to another and I ended up buying the movie. It’s review has been pending for a very long time. Let’s see when it’ll find it’s place here. For the time being, this song will have to do. A song like this is Shammi Kapoor’s forte, he twists and turns  and rocks-n-rolls and sets the floor on fire. Must say Beena looks enchanting here. And Rafi and Shammi Kapoor – is jodi ki Vallah Kya baat hai!

X. X-Baar bar dekho hazaar baar dekho (China Town, 1962) : I could compile yet another list just with the songs he’s performed in the night clubs! There are so many of them and all of them are ek-se-badh-kar-ek! Not many songs that begin with X, so here I go with another favourite song of mine which I couldn’t include earlier due to my self-imposed restrictions. And it struck me only now, I could have called this jodi Shafi (or Rammi rather). This is such a catchy and peppy number and if Shammi twists to it, it’s Rafi who rocks! ( I’m not very sure what that means myself, I am just going with the flow and  typing whatever comes into my mind).

Y. Yeh chaand sa roshan chehra (Kashmir Ki Kali, 1964) : This song is so cute! Kashmir’s beauty, Sharmila’s dimples, Shammi Kapoor’s antics, Rafi’s voice, lilting music and colorful Kashmiri women – marvelous!!! A true paean…can it get any better than this? Dil ko choo lene wali aawaaz and dil ko chura le jaane wali adaayein, tareef karoon kya uski jisne aap dono ko banaya! This is yet another exception – a classic signature song of the jodi, couldn’t leave it out though I have already added a song from Kashmir Ki Kali earlier. Anyways, majority of the songs starting from Y were from the films that I have already included – Yahoo, Yun toh humne laakh haseen dekhe hai, Yaar chulbula hai etc….

Z. Zara thehro…khuli palak mein jhoota ghussa (Professor, 1961) : What a beautiful song! Shammi Kapoor’s eyes are breathtakingly intense and so is Rafi’s rendition. Our man waltzes like a dream and romances with panache. Kalpana, here is secretly relishing the attention and flattery bestowed upon her (who wouldn’t). And Mr. kapoor knew the affect he could have on women – one intense look with those neeli aankhen of his and he would have the her running into and melting in his arms. But he knew women better and went on to sing such lovely songs for them…No wonder he’s such a top favourite among all of us! Rafi always put in that X-factor into the songs, or is it the other way round? Half the time I keep forgetting who’s singing and who’s acting.

When I listen to the songs I feel it must be Rafi acting and when I see them I feel it’s Shammi Kapoor who’s singing them.

Thanks to dustedoff, memsaab and nasir…most of  the time I searched for Shammi Kapoor’s images in google, I hit your blogs! Thanks Sharmi for those little description you add about the songs in your posts…they helped me a lot. I got the time to drool over the man himself instead of sitting and thinking about what to write 😉

And thanks to bollyviewer for that amazing description to Tumne mujhe dekha!

Special thanks to Nasir and Venkatadri for helping me out with songs when I got stuck. 🙂

This is the longest I have taken to draft and compile a post…lots of other things kept me busy initially and even when I started compiling the list seriously, I spent half the time gazing at Shammi Kapoor….I would search for a song on youtube to attach the link here and I would end up watching the entire song unable to take my eyes off Shammi and ears all reserved for Rafi.

This post had been pending for such a long time. I had thought of posting it on 1st, ie Aditya Raj Kapoor’s birthday. I actually wanted to review his films but the dvd’s are not out yet. So thought the best way to wish him would be to publish this post but my badluck, I could’nt. I could finally complete it today (btw, this day marks my employment anniversary). And contradicting to my own statement at the beginning of this post, I’m not even going to attempt doing a volume 2 for this – it’s too huge a task. Going forward, I would compile one list each of the songs that start with a particular alphabet, but never A-Z in a single post again. I’m so confident that it would take me months to finish if I do.

Raajneeti (2010)

June 8, 2010

The movie begins with a lady alighting from a black Mercedes, and giving food and clothes to the under-priviledged. It’s not any festival, so when one of them asks why she’s distributing food and clothes, another guy responds saying she’s been doing it for the last 30 years.

In a series of  flashback, we get a peek into the life of Bharti Pratap, the daughter of the then CM (Darshan Jariwala). Inspired by a leftist leader, Bhaskar Sanyal (Naseeruddin Shah), she goes on to oppose her father and joins Bhaskar’s party. One day, she goes to Bhaskar’s house, it starts raining. When she goes out in the rain and starts dancing, Bhaskar is worried that she would catch cold and goes with an umbrella to bring her back inside (he’s pretty elderly and the gesture so long is kind of fatherly from Bhaskar’s end. But it’s obvious that Bharti is not just impressed with his ideologies but is also in love with him as well). Bhaskar, in that one moment of weakness gives in, and they end up sleeping together. But when later on he comes back to his senses , he takes the blame for whatever happened, which he feels is wrong. He writes a note to her and leaving everything and everyone behind, he simply disappears. As expected, Bharti is pregnant with Bhaskar’s child.

Brij Gopal (Nana Patekar), CM’s secretary and Bharti’s muh-bola bhai, takes Bharti’s child and leaves him in a boat. He then convinces her to get married to Chandra Pratap ( Chetan Pandit).  The Pratap family consists of two brothers –  Bhanu Pratap and Chandra Pratap. Bhanu Pratap, the elder one,  leads a Political party and is supported by his younger brother Chandra Pratap. Bharti’s marriage to him is also a political deal to save the party from collapsing.

Coming back to present, there’s a Kabbaddi match going on in a village named Aazaadnagar and Suraj (Ajay Devgan) emerges as the winner.

He comes back home with the trophy to find his father, Ram Charan’s ( I hope I remember the name corectly, there were so many characters, it was kind of tough to keep up with everybody’s name) Mercedes parked infront of the house. He takes the car and goes for a drive. When Ram Charan, the driver of the Pratap household, finds the car missing, he is worried thinking he’ll get late. He is supposed to go to the airport to receive, Samar,who’s coming from the US.  After touring the lanes of the village, Suraj comes back with it. And finally Ram Charan goes to the airport. Samar (Ranbir Kapoor), brings a new watch for him and he’s so delighted. On their way home, they are stopped by Indu (Katrina Kaif) who insists on driving Samar home.

Samar, Chandra Pratap’s younger son, is doing his Phd in US and has to submit his thesis the following week. He has come just for a few days for Bhanu Pratap’s birthday.  Brij, now lives in Banaras, and when he hears of Samar’s arrival, he comes over to meet him. During the birthday party, Bhanu Pratap suffers a stroke and he’s taken to the hospital. The stroke leaves him paralyzed, and under the circumstances he hands over all his political responsibilities to Chandra Pratap and Prithvi Pratap (Arjun Rampal), Chandra Pratap’s elder son.

This leaves Virendra Pratap (Manoj Bajpai), dejected and rebelious. Being Bhanu Pratap’s son, he feels he had the birth-right to succeed his father and rebels his father’s decision of handing over the power to Chandra Pratap. When Prithvi decides on Jeevan Kumar as the election candidate of Aazaadnagar, Suraj opposes to him saying their leader must be someone among them, a Dalit like themselves. Encouraged by his friends, he himself files a request for an election ticket, which Prithvi rejects. But Virendra, determined on opposing everything that Chandra Pratap and Prithvi do, demanding his constitutional right, declares Suraj as the election candidate from Aazaadnagar and takes him under his wing.

Inspite of being a part of such a powerful political family, Samar is not interested in politics and he opts to become a professor after completing his Phd. He’s all set to leave, he even calls his girlfriend, Sarah ( Sarah Jean Thompson) and tells her that he’s coming back. Chandra Pratap, who was busy taking care of the political responsibilities all this while, suddenly realizes that he hardly got to spend time with Samar. So he decides to drive him to the airport. Samar is kind of uncomfortable with all the fuss that his father’s security men are creating at the airport and blocking the traffic, so he tells Chandra Pratap to return and that he would go in by himself. As Chandra Pratap is returning, he gets a call and rushes off. Samar is waiting at the airport and gets up when his flight is announced. Just then he hears the news of an attack on his father on tv. He hurries to the hospital where Chandra Pratap is taken to. On reaching he witnesses, Inspector Sharma ( Kiran Karmakar) arresting Prithvi, who was a little aggressive and hyper about the attack and raised his hand on Inspector. When Samar tries to interfere, Sharma slaps him so hard that he literally falls down rolling on the ground (and my heart almost broke at this sight). Brij comes and handles the situation and asks Samar to apologize, which he obligingly does. Prithvi is arrested and is taken to jail. Samar and Brij do all they can to save Chandra Pratap, but in vain.

It happens that Virendra  and Suraj had framed the plot and got Prithvi arrested. They provide Sharma with lots of charges and evidence against Prithvi. Samar strikes a deal with Virendra and Suraj that if all the charges against his brother are taken off, he’ll leave for US for good with his whole family. But on being released, Prithvi forms his own party and contests the election with Brij as his mentor and Samar as his Assistant cum guide.

When they run short of funds to finance their campaign, Samar offers to marry Indu (who’s madly in love with him but whom he had rejected earlier), whose father is the only person they see capable of catering to their financial needs at the moment. When Bharti goes to ask for Indu’s hand for Samar, her father says he wants his daughter to get married to the future CM. If Samar has no intentions of becoming one and he’s only helping Prithvi then he might as well get her married to Prithvi. Samar is least bothered, he was never in love with her. Prithvi, is quite reluctant in the beginnning to marry Indu, knowing that she loves Samar, but Samar manages to convince him that he was never in love with her. Thus, Prithvi and Indu get married, and fueled by Suraj, media creates quite a scene about Prithvi-Indu-Samar triangle.

Meanwhile, Sarah arrives. As Samar is tied up in family matters in India and given the situation, there is no way he could go back anytime soon,  she decides to come and see him.

There are two rival parties now within a family – Virendra and Suraj on one and Prithvi (with Samar and Brij) on the other. Both the parties try every trick to ensure their victory in coming elections.

Allegations and counter-allegations are made. On an attempt to achieve their ambitions and thus the power to rule, everybody turns so manipulative that  the line between good and evil almost disappears, making it impossible to distinguish heroes from villains.

As it turns out, Suraj is Bharti’s son (remember the child whom Brij had left in a boat?) and she asks him to leave Virendra and join Samar, but he’s too loyal to Virendra to betray him. And his loyalty towards the Virendra threatens to ruin his own family.

Raajneeti, as the name depicts is politics all the way – dirty and ugly – where love, friendship and relationships just don’t count – where people’s lives are mere baits. One hardly gets time to mourn a death. Before you realize that someone has been killed, there’s another murder, scheme being plotted.  It’s all about winning. It’s a complex story of people (or rather story of complex people), with unstoppable ambitions and hunger for power, who can go to any extent to achieve them, who will stop at absolutely nothing to reach the top .

 Though it’s not my kind of a movie, it was one of the movies I had been eagerly looking forward to. Thanks to Ranbir Kapoor. I just love this guy.  I’m usually not very keen on watching these kind of movies. I know it sounds strange, but I havent seen Gangajal or Apaharan yet or even Omkara for that matter. But ever since I got to know that Ranbir was doing this movie, I knew I had to see it.

Coming back to Raajneeti, amazing star-cast, and what a power-packed performance! I didn’t find Bharti very convincing, but otherwise, I was simply amazed by the charaters – each of them fitted the bill so well. I must admit that I missed Atul Kulkarni though. Somehow, I felt he should also have been a part of this movie.

One more confession, I have never been very fond of Katrina. She’s very good looking, no doubt about that, but I find all her roles the same and so I was little apprehensive about her presence here, but I acutally liked her in this movie. I felt she looked her best here (she looked gorgeous and and very graceful in – Saree + Bindi + Sindoor) and except for the oath-taking part – even acting wise she was good.

There’s nothing about Nana Patekar and Naseeruddin Shah that I can say here, which hasn’t been already said – Naseer steals the show with less than 5 mins of his role. And Nana, though not directly a political leader himself, he is one of the most pivotal characters. He drives the movie forward – from the opening scene till the climax, it’s he who decides the happenings.

Arjun Rampal – A born leader and a good man but with very less control over himself (does that sound contradicting?). He has done a fabulous job being impatient and a man to react to things too early without thinking of the consequences.

Chetan Pandit and Darshan Zariwala make their presence felt in their own way though they dont get much time on screen.

Manoj Bajpai – Fantastic actor and extremly convincing in the role of Virendra Pratap, the rightful hier of the throne who was denied of it and who’s set on getting it back at any cost.

Ajay Devgan : Again, very convincing as the angry young man, who opposes the exploitation of the poor by rich and trapped in a dilemma of choosing between the man who made him what he is and his mother who had abandoned him at birth.

Shruti Seth – I had usually seen her in a bubbly and carefree role,  be it in tv serials or her short role in Fanaa. It’s a different role altogether here – an opportunist and she has done it pretty well.

Kiran Karmakar – The typical Bollywood police officer, who is a puppet in the hands of a politician.

Sarah – Who has witnessed terrible violence as a child, and who wants to keep people whom she loves away and safe from it. And in an attempt to protect others she herself falls a prey to it. An innocent soul who asked for nothing, but lost everything, all in the name of love.

(Apart from the man himself, I also love the watch that he’s wearing)

Ranbir Kapoor – The most manipulative and treacherous characters of all. The only character with no interest in politics initially, almost an outsider in his own (political) family, a man with simple dreams, who’s very much in love with Sarah and who Indu is madly in love with; but who reluctantly gets drawn into it and in such a manner that he ends up mastering the craft of political warfare and doing things he had never imagined himself capable of. His simple intention of protecting his family after his father’s death takes him to the extent where he fails to recognize himself. He is his usual self one moment – cute and loving, who cares for everybody and the very next moment he’s distant and alien. Fantabulous performance – mindblowing portrayal of the character!!!

The scene where Chandra Pratap dies, he doesn’t utter a word, but it’s so moving – and this one incident changes everything he had ever planned in his life. And his reaction when he discovers what happened to his father was a cold-blooded murder and not a mere accident, and the way he seeks revenge.

The way he sits alone staring at the tv, with his cell phone in one hand and cigarrette in the other manipulating his next move – I just couldn’t help admiring him, even knowing that he’s plotting his next scheme, which could even cost somebody his life.

 In the entire movie he appears so matured as an actor, that I almost forgot it’s just his 6th movie. I’m truly fascinated and so much in love with this guy! Though story wise, it’s Nana Patekar who drives the movie (having known Nana for so many years, it’s expected of him to perform well), for me it’s Ranbir who steals the show – be it story-wise or performance wise.

The plot lends heavily from two sources – The Mahabharat and The Godfather. Bharti-Suraj part resembles a lot to Kunti-Karna story in Mahabharat and Samar’s roles and all the happenings in and around his life are heavily borrowed from the Godfather. Nana Patekar’s role in the climax again resembles Krishna’s role in the battle field of Kurukshetra.

It’s the story of a fiercely fought election campaign, where money, power, corruption, betrayal, murders, treachery and manipulation are the accepted norms and the most common weapons used. It’s politics – at its ugliest or should I say at its best, within family and beyond. A battle amongst the equals – among those who understand and aim for power, those who rule the destiny of millions of people, those who compromise and sacrifice on everything they hold precious just to win the race and to reach on top.

We have been discussing this movie for the last two days….a teammate of mine asked me how it is and before I could answer, another teammate of mine said : “Thik hi hai….nahin dekha hai toh rehne do na….kya karoge dekhkar. Har 45 mins mein (rest of us who had seen the movie expected him to say – “every few mins, somebody is killed”), koi aake kehti hai ke – ‘ I’m pregnant!’ yeh kya movie hui? ( It’s ok if you haven’t watched it yet. You are not missing anything much. Every 45 mins, some or the other girl comes and claims to be pregnant.) And we all were literally rolling down with laughter. That was all he noticed in the movie. 😉 But different people, different views.

Only few lines of Bheegi si bhaagi si  and Mora piya are played in the background. They are just promotionall songs. Even the item number by Barkha Bisht was cut short into few lines.

P.S : A friend of mine just sent me this tweet he had come across few days back that said : “the movie never fails to deliver – everyone becomes pregnant without fail, 100% success rate”

My Tribute to Raj Kapoor

June 1, 2010

Raj Kapoor, also known as the show-man of the millenium, was a legendary Indian film actor, producer and director of Hindi films. As 2nd June marks his death anniversary, this is a small tribute to this great man from my side. May his soul rest in peace!

Raj Kapoor was a canny judge of filmi music and lyrics. Many of the songs he commissioned are evergreen hits.  I had heard somewhere that Raj Kapoor still remains an Institution for Directors, an Inspiration for Music Directors and an Idol for all the actors.

I have mixed feelings about his portrayal of a tramp-like figure in many of his movies, who, despite adversity, was usually cheerful and honest (I adore his character in Anari, but then it gets on to my nerves as well at times coz it’s so out-of-this-world and I find it pretty repetitive too). I love him better in other roles like Chori Chori, Bewafa, Sharda etc.

With all due respect, and like I always keep saying, no matter how much I like and respect Raj Kapoor as an Actor and a film-maker, I avoid re-watching his movies. They hit me too hard emotionally, morally and socially.

But he really had a taste in music. All his movies had fantastic songs. And without getting into further details, let me list some of his songs that I like the most – there are many but these are the first ten that came to my mind :

1. Mera joota hai japani (Shree 420, 1955) : Raj Kapoor produced, directed and acted in this blockbuster. All the songs from this film were big hits  esp. Dil ka haal sune dilwala, Ichak dana beechak dana, Mud mud ke na dekh, Pyar hua ikraar hua, Ramaiya vastavaiya. Raj Kapoor’s display about the corruption in society with the adaptation of mannerism of Charlie Chaplin amused the viewers. And this is one of his signature songs.

2.  Aawara hoon (Awara, 1951) : This movie was based on the theme that human being is a victim of circumstances. It’s not necessary that a barriseter’s son grows up to become a barrister and a theif’s son a theif. I like the Dum bhar jo udhar as well, but this is another signature songs of his.

3. Woh chaand khila woh taare hanse (Anari, 1959) : All the songs in this movie are amazing. Kisi ki muskurahaton pe and Sab kuchh sikha humne are more of typical Raj Kapoor songs, but I somehow like this one better. The way he stands with the flower in his hand, trying to put it on Nutan’s hair, the innocence on his face and dont know what to do next expression. – simply superb!!!Only the opening verse has Raj singing just one line, the rest of the song is Nutan’s but he’s still so dominantly present throughout the song.

4. Ae sanam jisne tujhe (Diwana, 1967) : One of my favourite songs…there’s something very innocently true and cute about this song. The lyrics, music and perfect rendition  go hand in hand so well.

5. Jaane kahan gaye woh din (Mera Naam Joker, 1970) : Though Jeena yahan marna yahan and Aye bhai zara dekh ke chalo were more popular, it’s this song that gives me goose-bumps everytime I listen to it. What a great composition this was! It more or less summarizes the story of the movie. I usually end up with tears in my eyes when this song ends.

6. Aaja sanam madhur chandani mein hum (Chori Chori, 1956) : My all time favourite movie of Raj Kapoor and the only movie of his that I love watching again and again. This was another musical blockbuster – all the songs were superb.

7. Dil matwala lakh sambhala (Bewafa, 1952) : This movie is one of my recent discoveries and I have fallen in love with this love-triangle. I am usually not very fond of movies with tragic endings…I prefer light-hearted, romantic,  timepass movies, but this one’s an exception. Serious as it is, it’s a very beautifully handled story laced with pretty songs – and it feels rather good to hear somebody other than Mukesh and Manna Dey singing for Raj Kapoor. Talat Mehmood was amazing in this one.

8. Sajan re jhooth mat bolo (Teesri Kasam, 1977) : This is a gem of a song from the awesome fivesome – Raj Kapoor, Mukesh, Shailendra, Shankar and Jaikishen. These five have given us so many unforgettable numbers,  this being one of them – with a spiritual touch.

9. Jap re preet ki mala (Sharada, 1957) : This movie had a power-packed performance and I liked most of the songs – O chaand jahan woh jaye (which I had mentioned about in Meena Kumari special post), then this one where Raj Kapoor tries to woo lovely Meena Kumari and there’s one more cute song in this film – Lehraye jiya, picturised on gorgeous Shyama. But guess I’ll keep that for Shyama special post. But storywise, I actually didn’t know how to react to this movie, I have been in a state of shock ever since I have seen this film. Had wanted to do a post on it for Meena Kumari’s death anniversary but couldn’t. Let me see if I can review this film some time soon.

10. Masti bhara hai samaan (Parvarish, 1958) : This is such a care-free romantic duet. I love everything about this song – Raj Kapoor, Mala Sinha, Lata and Manna Dey’s rendition, Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics, Dattaram’s composition and it’s picturisation.

I have this thing for the Kapoor men, no matter how much I try (not that I want to) but I just can’t dislike them. I simply love all of them – right from Prithvi Raj Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor!
It happens to be Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’s death anniversary today. Thanks to Vividh Bharati and Yunus Khan  for bringing it to my notice. I was tuned into Vividh Bharathi on my way back home and when Awara hoon played on Aaj Ke Funkaar (@ 9:30), I was wondering why they were doing a Raj Kapoor special program today itself. And then Yunus said that this episode was dedicated to a writer, this made me think it was probably dedicated to  Shailendra and then he finally revealed that it was Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, who he was talking about. Though unknowingly, I had already included songs from some of his films (films that he has written) in my list – Awaara, Shri 420, Mera Naam Joker. And I am glad I had done that.
And it was Prithviraj Kapoor’s death anniversary on 29th May but I couldn’t do a post on him  😦 That’s on my to-do-list for this weekend.