April 4, 2008

Khwaja ki Diwani

I rather like finding obscure movies and writing about them- the act establishes some documentation of these clunkers, which would be correctly designated for the rubbish bin otherwise. Where else would you find screen caps of a balding Tariq leering at a Madhubala look-alike--- only at Apni of course, gentle reader :)


India, as we know, is a country w/ a high religious quotient. Yet it is by some strange inverse-ness that Bollywood consistently produces appalling religious cinema- regardless of the religeon itself, all such Bollywoof offerings are cartoonish and irreverent, a fact that I have failed to find an anomaly to.

Title: Khwaja Ki Diwani
Year: 1981
Cast: Tariq, Bharat Bhushan, Veena


I think the producer was in love with the fact that the female lead was the spitting image of Madhubala (truly spot-on). Aside from this single "Believe it or not" fact, there is nothing else of substance in the movie.


Bharat Bhushan and Veena bring gravitas as the old Muslim couple who are devotees of Khwaja Muin-uddin Chishti. They are true believers and therefore their one goal in life is to make it to Mecca, and they are actively working towards it. The faux-Madhubala is their daughter, who Tariq is courting. And yes, they also have an annoying little boy who later goes blind to conveniently help the plot along.


Long, everlastingly painful closeups of Ajmer Sharif and other Islamic places of worship are used as fillers and comprise about 40% of the movie.


Bharat dies while Tariq is away- of course the women and blind kid cannot fend for themselves, and are therefore semi-adopted by a Christian goon (a tried, tested and boring way of introducing secularism :S).


Raza Murad (the goon) is however is a good goon (rofl), and takes the family to Mumbai to have the mother treated for Cancer and the son treated for blindness, all while keeping intact the faux-Madhubala's honor from the local goon :S


In Mumbai, after many painful and pointless plot twists, the family finally gets back together at the Haji Ali dargah, Mumbai, where Veena and the little boy both regain their health.


It ended-thank the Lord for small mercies. May I say: Yagh. And double Yagh. Severe brain damage- but all in the name of documenting forgotten Bollywood- aagh.

Pros:
1- Veena was getting older, but full of grace; she pretty much carries the movie on her shoulders- trouble is, there was nothing much to carry.

Cons:
1- Tariq was getting older as well: losing hair and generally looking very lecherous- almost Shakti Kapooor- status. Faux-Madhubala didnt deserve that, even though she couldn't act to save her life.
2- I understand religious reverence, but that isn't translated cinematic ally by painfully long shots of places of worship.
3- The local goon who played the villain of the piece was just really annoying- instead of menacing which I guess they intended him to be.
4- While the cons are endless, the camera work (this ISN'T cinematography) is the worst I have probably ever seen. It is impossible to believe this was filmed as late as 1981.

8 comments:

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Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

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memsaab said...

Ha ha, is faux-Madhubala Arpana Choudhary? I think she was in Ajanabee with Rajesh Khanna too. She really does look like Madhubala.

This does look pretty awful. I have only seen Tariq recently in Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin. He's really goofy! It's almost like he wandered onto the film set by accident in that one.

memsaab said...

and forgot to say...I looooooove Veena! What a beauty :-)

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

It IS Arpana Choudhary- thanks- had forgotten her name myself- such awful acting!!! Veena died after making 2 more movies- bet she couldn't take this atrocity either :(

:D

Sanni said...

Wow, she really does look like Madhubala! That is peculiar.

Btw, you mentioned seeing a Tamil movie that was a remake of 50 First Dates. I searched but couldn't find the title. What film was it?

Sanket Vyas said...

Sometimes trainwreck movies can be alot of fun (if there are good stars & great tunes) or sometimes they can be well, like this one sounds. My goodness this really did look like my dear Madhubala (especially on the cover) minus that wonderful crooked smile of course ;)

On a different note we did go to Ajmer to see the Tomb of Chisti when we were in India '05 (to escape the madness of our Hurricane Katrina evacuation) and it was amazing. It was a very moving experience (and I am not even that religious) as members of all faiths were there and welcome to pay their respects. Alas, we were one day off from seeing the live Quwallis that are sung at sunset in the courtyard, maybe next time...

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Sanni: The movie is Telegu, starring Bhumika Chawla and I saw the Hindi dubbed version titled "Chandani Ki Ek Kahani"- definitely to be regarded with a big pinch of salt!

Sanket: I narrowly missed an opportunity to visit Ajmer this past December- your visit sounds delightful and makes me wish I had made it there!

I wonder whatever happened to Arpana Choudhary- she is credited with (mostly B) movies though the mid 80s at imdb, but I couldnt find any info on her online.