Posts Tagged ‘Madhumati’

Spy in Rome (1968)

January 21, 2010

I had never heard of this movie. I saw it in the DVD store and found the name quite fascinating. So I picked it up. The guy at DVD store was very excitedly introducing Dev Kumar to me, but then some other customers came and he had to go to attend them.
I don’t remember watching any Dev Kumar movies before. I really wanted to ask him more about this guy, but couldn’t. Perharps, next time I go I will.   

I had no clue as to what this movie was about. The only people I could recognize on the CD cover were K.N. Singh, Rajendranath, Madhumati and Brahm Bhardwaj. And I didnt even bother to check out the review before watching it. I simply sat down to watch it with no expectations at all.   

Movie begins with Dr. Sharma (Brahm Bhardwaj) inventing a formula that transforms an old couple from their eighties to twenties.    

Mere paas formula hai


 With the success of this experiment, he becomes an international super-doctor (star becomes superstar….doctor becomes super-doctor?) overnight. And no wonder he does…   


And then we have Dr. Chang (K.N. Singh), the evil and ambitious genius, based in Rome. He lives in grand den and is assisted by scientists(?)referred to by numbers and clad in funny suits. He wants to rule the world by creating a race of superhumans. And now he feels Dr. Sharma’s formula would help him in achieving this dream of his. But our goody good Dr. Sharma refuses to co-operate.


Number 65, one of Dr. Chang’s aides in India is assigned the task of abducting Dr. Sharma. He’s thus kidnapped and shipped to Rome. Dr. Sharma’s disappearance causes a big sensation. 


Here enters our hero, super agent XX7, Rajesh (Dev Kumar). A girl (Lata Sinha?) comes looking for him at the beach and says : “I had heard it right, if you can’t find Rajesh anywhere else, look for him in a group of girls and you’ll definitely find him!” He gets a call and leaves right away, leaving the girls behind 😉 

He is summoned by the Indian Secret Service, his employer and is assigned with Dr. Sharma’s case. He is breifed about Dr. Sharma’s disappearance and is provided with lots of gadgets that would help him defend himself and also in finding the missing doctor. 


And the Gadget Hamper goes to....

....goes to...Roam 😉

Our super agent tracks down Number 65 and discovers that Dr. Sharma is in Rome and that their next target is Dr. Sharma’s beautiful daughter, Kamini (Jaimala). But she’s also kidnapped and taken to Rome before he can do anything. So off he goes to Rome.   

First, he finds Kamini and rescues her from Dr. Chang’s claws. What follows next is more like watching a spoof of Tom and Jerry!   

Not to forget the romance brewing up between Rajesh and Kamini. They go sight-seeing singing Rome Rome Rome roaming in Rome   

Kamini feels an attracted towards Rajesh, but with his casanova image, she’s scared…so much so that at one point she tells him – “it’s not that I don’t trust you. I don’t trust myself when I am with you!” But little bit of cajoling from Rajesh’s side convinces her that the feeling is mutual.And they go happily singing Chalo chaman mein jaye.   


Coming back to the main plot…Dr. Chang sends an army of men to eliminate Rajesh. But all his attempts prove futile. Unlike the usual trend in Hindi movies, where it’s always the bad guys who win the battle throughout except at the end, where the hero walks away with victory, our hero here anticipates attacks and strikes back.   

There are lots of interesting fancy gadgets that come handy during these “catch me if you can” attempts – a floral gun (can’t think of a better word to describe it), bombs disguised and stitched as Coat Buttons, a Magnetic rod that pulls away enemies guns when they fire at him, a tiny blade conveniently stuck in his shoe-sole that cuts vehicles apart, a torchlight that emits scorching heat, a spray that makes one lose his/her voice, an amphibious car, huge rings with transmitters fitted in them, cigar which when turned around becomes a binocular and many more including a magical hat that goes flying from one’s head to the other!!!   

That's the gun!

Bombs in disguise

Subject : Physics, Chapter : Magnetism

Depth of Magnetism??






In between, Agent 005 Bulbul (Rajendranath) is sent to assist Rajesh. This movie didn’t actually need a CSP, it’s already so hilarious. But Bulbul’s presence adds more charm to it. Half the time he is busy trying to impress girls. With the help of few gadgets he even manages to win a car race and woo a boxer’s girlfriend!   


But it’s not only Indian Secret Service who’s the proud owner of such “items”. The dushman party is no less – one of Dr. Chang’s men adorns an electrical collar, which makes him indestructible, another has a statue with one glowing eye that serves to hypnotize people. But they are at a disadvantage of not being as witty as the Super Agent XX7.   


No doubt Rajesh is witty and quick but he’s “brutal” and “violent” to the core. At one point he slits an enemy’s back open with his super sharp blade and rubs salt on the wound just to extract information about Dr. Chang. At another point, he holds a girl (Lata Sinha, if that’s her name) upside down and threatens to throw her off the balcony if she doesn’t reveal where Dr. Sharma is. One more, where he sets a live man on fire and another where he sprays some liquid on a girl’s neck that makes her go mute (she loses her voice), though not a very violent move, this at least works better than the other techniques of his – he gets the address of Dr. Chang’s hideout.   


 There’s one more track in between Chhalka chhalka   

Dr. Chang finally gets hold of Kamini and blackmails Dr. Sharma into giving away his formula. But with the formula in his hand, will Chang spare any of them? Rajesh gets into Dr. Chang’s adda and is trapped. Will he ever be able to come out?   

All chained to be run over by a bulldozer

Rajesh is trapped here with no way to escape


 First things first, this is in no way one of the best spy thirllers I have seen, but I have to confess that I thoroughly enjoyed watching it! May be it’s because I had sat down to watch it with no expectations at all.   

It’s not at all a well made movie and in no way falls in the league of A-grade movies.  It looks very low-budget and probably is too. There’s nothing great about this film but it’s still a fun watch.   

It’s a such pathetic attempt at making a Bond-style movie. Well, the idea wasn’t all that bad, but the execution was very very amateurish. You just can’t help laughing.   

To start with, it had a weak starcast – frankly speaking, I have no idea as to  how popular Dev or Jaimala were. I’m not criticising them, and I can’t judge them based on a single movie,  but Dev just doesn’t fit in as the Super Agent! To me he looked more like he had just jumped out of a Mills and Boons cover (not as in tall, dark and handsome ;-). though there’s something attractive about him, at least, till he talks or walks. But seeing him lurch, oh I mean walk, the attraction just faded away. I tried googling but couldn’t find anything much on him, though I did  find this lovely Rafi track  Meri Padosan from Simla Road ). Except for K.N Singh and Rajendranath, even the dialogues seemed very fake and unconvincing.   

But as the saying goes, imperfections add to humour (in this case) and curiousity as well (on how silly and haywire things can go), I kind of liked this movie and wouldn’t mind watching it again! It needs suspension of everything – belief, moral, science but yes, it’s lots of fun!   

With this I’m off to Kodaikanal for an extended weekend (will be back on Tuesday). Wish you all a very Happy Republic Day! 🙂 

Ten of my Favourite Dilip Kumar Songs

December 11, 2009

As Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan) turns 87 today, here’s wishing him a great day, lots of happiness and good health! 🙂

Dilip Kumar is considered to be one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema. Starting his career in 1944, he has starred in some of the biggest commercially successful films from the late 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1980s. His performances have been regarded as the epitome of emoting in Indian Cinema. He was the first actor to receive a  Filmfare Best Actor Award and holds the record for most number of Filmfare Awards won for that category (8 filmfare awards for Best Actor and 19 Nominations , now isnt that something???) !!!

He has done a wide vareity of roles  (be it romantic, comic, social, negative, historic) and is better known as the Tragedy King of Indian Cinema.

1. Ude jab jab zulfen teri (Naya Daur, 1957) : This was one of the biggest hits of the year and it grabbed 3 filmfare awards : Best Actor (Dilip Kumar), Best Music Director (O.P Nayyar) and Best Story (Akhtar Mirza). One of the most successful films of B.R Chopra, this movie was set in post-independence India where Industrialization is slowly creeps in and the impact it brings when the son of a rich landlord (Jeevan) begins operating a bus service in the town of Tangawallahs, who earn their livlihood transporting people from one place to another by Tangas(horse – carts). 

I had seen this movie long long ago (around 12 years back) but I still remember quite a lot of it. To start with, it’s music. It has some great songs, be it Ude jab jab zulfen teri , O.P Nayyar’s signature song – Maang ke saath tumhara, Yeh desh hai veer jawaanon ka, Saathi haath badhana  or Reshmi Salwar Kurta Jali Ka.  Then the starcast – Dilip and Vaijanthi  made a great pair (though originally Madhubala was signed to do the role of Rajni), Ajit, Jeevan, Leela Chitnis all were wonderful in this film.

2.  Suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen ( Madhumati, 1958) : Directed by Bimal Roy, this movie was one of the earliest movies that dealt with the concept of reincarnation. Though Dilip sahab didnt bag an award, the movie went on to win 8 filmfare awards – Best Movie, Best Actress (Vaijanthimala), Best Director (Bimal Roy), Best Music Director ( Salil Chowdhary), Best Supporting Actor (Jhonny Walker ), Best Art Direction (Sudhendu Roy), Best Payback Singer (Lata Mangeshkar) and Best Editing (Hrishikesh Mukherjee). This movie was a musical delight.

3. Do sitaron ka zameen par hai milan (Kohinoor, 1960) :  The Tragedy King and the Tragedy Queen of Bollywood come together in this light-hearted fairy-tale movie. They both look so good in this song and it really feels great to see both of them smiling throughout. Music by Naushad is very melodious and along with this,  Madhuban mein radhika nache re   was very popular. Dilip Kumar  went on to bag a filmfare ward for Best Actor once again for his role as Rajkumar Dhivendra Pratap Bahadur Chandrabhan.

4. Tu kahe agar (Andaz, 1949) : Three reigning stars of the era in the same movie caught in a love triangle!!! I dont remember the details, but had really enjoyed watching it. Dilip Sahab in a grey shade (wont say negative) – heroes those days were expected to sacrifice their love for their beloved’s happiness. But he pursues Nargis in this movie even after he learns that she’s engaged to Raj Kapoor.

5.  Nain lad jaye hain  (Ganga Jamuna, 1961) :  Produced by Dilip Kumar himself, the film stars real life brothers Dilip Kumar and Nasir Khan as two brothers on opposing sides of the law – where Dilip Kumar plays a leader of a dreaded band of killer bandits and Nasir Khan, a Police officer (story sounds familiar???).  The music of this film is by Naushad and the lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni. It’s a beautiful composition. All the songs (Dagabaz Tori Batiyan, Dhoondho Dhoondhore Sajna, Do Hanson Ka Joda, Insaf Ki Dagar Pe, Jhanan Ghoonghar Baje) from this movie are really nice and they were big hits too.

6. Insaaf ka mandir hai ye (Amar, 1954) : I have always loved this song. Though it’s not my usual romantic, fun-filled type, it’s a great composition, beautifully rendered and brilliantly portrayed.  I just came across a comment on youtube, a fact that never struck me as such but is really amazing :

“Given the essentially Hindu ethos of the song, when you consider the fact that ALL the key people involved in the song (Writer – Shakeel Badayuni, Music Director – Naushad, and both the actors) were muslims, you have to bow your head to this demonstration of true secularism.”

7. Pyaar kiya toh darna kya (Mughal-E-Azam, 1960) : Though this movie doesnt need an  introduction, here are few facts (courtesy : wikipedia) :
It’s an Indian epic film produced and directed by K. Asif. With its lavish production, K. Asif’s magnum opus took nine years and Rs 10.5 million to finish. The film broke box office records in India when released and held the record for the highest grossing film ever until the 1975 film Sholay broke its record.

This was (counting Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas) the most expensive film ever made in Indian history. Tailors were brought from Delhi to stitch the costumes, specialists from Surat-Khambayat were employed for the embroidery, Hyderabad goldsmiths made the jewellery, Kolhapur craftsmen designed the crowns, Rajasthan ironsmiths crafted the weapons, and the elaborate footwear was ordered from Agra. For the battle sequence, 2000 camels, 4000 horses and 8000 troops were used, many of them soldiers on loan from the Indian Army. Altogether the film cost Rs. 1.5 crores (38.29 crores in present terms).

It’s not just the movie that created a history, the song “Pyar Kiya To Darna Kiya” has an unusual history to it:  it was written and re-written 105 times by the lyricist, Shakeel Badayuni, before the music director, Naushad, could approve of it; it was shot in the renowned Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors); and in those days of sound recording, editing and mixing, as there was no way to provide the reverberation of sound, Naushad had Lata Mangeshkar sing the song in a studio bathroom.

8. Saala main toh saab ban gaya (Sagina, 1974) : Not one of my best songs, but this song definitely pops up in my head when I think of Dilip Kumar.

9. Tere husn ki kya tareef karun (Leader, 1964) : An award winning performance by Dilip Kumar, yet again!!! This movie has some very romantic numbers : Aajkal Shauq-E-Deedar Hai, Ek Shahenshah Ne Banvake, Hameen Se Mohabbat

I was really confused as to which song to actually put in the list because I like all the songs in this movie. But then felt, as long as I mention them, it doesnt matter 😀

10.  Imli ka boota (Saudagar, 1991) : One of his later successes, this movie brought back Dilip Kumar and Raj Kumar together after almost three decades (they last appeared together in Paigham in 1959).  It’s a very cute song and feels so good to see both of them so happy and cheerful singing “imli ka boota beri ka ped, imli khatti meethi ber” at this age. And their chemistry is rocking!!!

As a youth, Manoj Kumar admired Bollywood superstar Dilip Kumar so much that he decided to name himself Manoj Kumar after Dilip’s character in Shabnam (1949). Though it sounds little wierd (no offense meant), I wonder if anybody else has gone to the extent of changing his(her) name and making a mark in the same industry as Manoj Kumar did. If we look at it in one way, I think it’s the biggest tribute one actor could pay to another actor.

He’s definitely a great combination of good looks and great performance. An actor who everyone looks up to. Happy Birthday Dilip Sahab!!!

Pagla Kahin Ka (1970)

November 29, 2009

Movie with a title like this can have only one actor – the one and only Shammi Kapoor!!!


Jenny (Helen), the Dancer; Sujit (Shammi Kapoor), the Singer and Shyam (Prem Chopra), the Musician. They all perform in a night-club that’s owned by Max (K.N Singh)

Jenny lives with an aunty (now I am not sure if she’s really her aunty or she’s just staying as a Paying Guest with her). And somebody please help me with her name.

Aunty somehow doesnt like Sujit and she doesnt appreciate Jenny going around with him. She think’s he’s really mad because that’s what everyone thinks he is.

Sujit is madly in love with Jenny.

He feels blessed to have Jenny and Shyam in his life.  Jenny is his love and Shyam his best friend. Sujit and Shyam live together. He tells Shyam one night that his life is so beautiful now. His mother had died when he was six. His father unable to accept his mother’s death goes insane and gets admitted into a mental hospital. Soon after he dies leaving Sujit all alone in the world. He never had a reason to live until he met Shyam who brought him here and gave him this life.  And now with Jenny around, he doesnt need anything else in life, he’s the happiest person in the world.

They perform to the title track, Log Kahen Mujhe Pagla Kahin Ka, for the New Year party in the night-club. And after the performance, Shyam announces Jenny and Sujit’s engagement.

So long dance-partners are finally turning into life-partners and everybody cheers for them. But Max is not happy about this.

Max insults Jenny and Sujit gets into an argument with him. Situation gets heated up. Max draws his gun, but Shyam hits on his head with a bottle and Max dies. Sujit rescues Jenny and Shyam but gets caught himself before he can escape.

Jenny and Shyam go to meet a lawyer, Advocate S.K. Mehta (Brahma Bhardwaj). He feels that the guards saw Sujit trying to run away, so the case is strongly against him. Even if Shyam confesses that it was he who killed Max, it will look as if he’s trying to save his friend. The only way to save Sujit is to prove that he’s insane (majority of the people anyways feel that way already, so not all that tough a job).

Sujit feigns insanity, almost everyone who knows him tells a tale about Sujit’s insanity. Shyam tells the court that he found Sujit one day and heard him singing. Since he had a good voice, he brought him along and gave him the job of a singer in the band. He used to get fits at times and that’s why they lived together so that he could take care of Sujit.

Jenny claims that Sujit is in love with her but she just acts along because he’s insane and she’s scared of him.

As he’s proved mentally unstable, he’s not punished for killing Max. The Judge orders him to be admitted into a mental asylum until he recovers.

With really insane inmates, Sujit goes crazy in the asylum and tries to run away. When the guards realize that he’s trying to escape they follow him and he ends up hiding in a girl’s wardrobe in a room in one of the houses near the asylum. As it turns out that the girl, Dr. Shalini (Asha Parekh) aka Shallu is Doctor’s neice and when he warns her about an inmate who has escaped, she locks her door from inside only to discover Sujit in her wardrobe. She  tries to catch him and call the guards but on an attempt to free himself, he pushes her, she falls and hits her head on a table. Seeing her hurt, he cant just run away and is caught and taken back to the asylum again.

One of his inmates sells another inmate (Asit Sen) role-paying a buffalo to Sujit and there’s a fun-filled track Meri bhains ko danda kyun maara when the old owner hits the buffalo. Being his usual self he is very entertaining and soon everyone in the asylum grows very fond of him. One of the nurses, Sudha (Kumud Tripathi) even goes on to tell Dr. Shallu that had he been normal she would have fallen in love with him.

The doctors in mental asylum read his file, study his case and reach a conclusion that he’s really insane except for Dr. Shallu. She takes permission from Dr. Shah (Manmohan Krishna) to study this case in depth.

She makes friends with him and when he says he doesnt like the asylum, would love to go out, she takes him out. He likes places that has hills all around, a water body with a lot of turtles in it. He seems obsessed with turtles.

She takes him for an outing to such a place, sans the turtles – to a place that has hills all around and a beautiful lake. He does complain that he cant see turtles but he’s happy to be out.

She confronts him saying she’s convinced he’s perfectly normal but has feigned insanity to so that he doesnt get punished for killing Max.

He himself admits that he’s not insane and he was just putting up an act. But he had done all this for his love. He tells her all about Shyam and Jenny.  Goes on to give a long lecture on love. She’s so impressed by how deeply he feels for Jenny. And decides to help him. In the process she herself falls in love with him (how could she not). She asks him what he’d do if Jenny’s not serious about him or has forgotten him. He says it’s impossible that Jenny forgets him and sings – Tum mujhe yun bhoola na paoge

Finally they declare his recovery at the asylum and time has come for him to leave

He goes to Shallu to take his leave. She sends him aways telling him never to come back to the asylum again . He goes back home but finds the room locked. On asking his neighbour, Mr. Pinto he learns that Shyam has gone for a reception. Curious, he asks what the occasion is and is devastated to learn that it’s Jenny and Shyam’s wedding reception.

He goes to the party confused and angered at this betrayal.  He sees Jenny and Shyam seated and Madhumati dancing to Suno Zindagi Gaati hai.

He loses his faith in love and friendship. He is totally shattered and unable to take the shock, this time he really goes insane. He ends up being re-admitted in the very same asylum. But this time his chances of recovery are very slim and he doesnt remember anything except for Jenny, who he feels muderous about.

He doesnt recognize anyone at the asylum. Shallu goes on to sing the same song Tum mujhe yun bhoola na paoge with a hope that it might remind him something, trigger something atleast,  but in vain.

The lively Sujit who everyone was almost in love with during his earlier stay has become a total stranger now. He sings a song, more to himself than to anyone else, when one of the inmates, Ramu dies – Ae mere dil yahan tu

Will Shallu be able to bring him back to normal again? What happens to Shyam and Jenny? Was Jenny ever in love with Sujit? Or was killing Max  just a trap?

I wont say this is one of the best movies of Shammi Kapoor but it’s a typical SK movie, thoroughly entertaining. And it did make my weekend.  I usually dont find faults when Shammi Kapoor is around and I have always liked Shammi-Asha chemistry. Not much of chemistry here but Shammi’s make-up in the second half when he comes back to the asylum the second time looks really wierd. He’s shown with a little stubble on his cheeks but it looks more like kajal/coal smuged on his face.

Oh, btw, Helen looks very very pretty in this movie.

And if anyone has watched this movie and knows why he’s so obsessed with turtles, please enlighten me ;-D