October 29, 2010

Family Relationships 2. Gemini-Rekha

Just in time before Rekhtober ends this year!

Ramaswami ("Gemini") Ganesan, also known as Kadhal Manan (lit: "love king"), was a wannabe doctor, who just happened to become one of the greatest actors in Indian cinema.

Gemini first married T.R. Alamelu, with whom he had four children: Revathi (Radiation Oncologist , Illinois), Kamala (Administrator, GG Hospital, Chennai), Narayani (Journalist, Times of India, New Delhi), and Jaya (Health Advisor, Intern News Network).

Gemini next married Pushpavalli, also an actor, with whom he had two more children: Bhanurekha (or "Rekha") and Radha. He never acknowledged the wedding, and acknowledged Rekha much later, when she was an established actor herself. Radha's son, Naveed Ozman is trying to become an actor. I think Pushpavalli was so adorable looking!, plus it sounds like she was a pretty free spirit- didnt get cowed by Gemini, and instead of moping, took off to Mumbai to have Rekha join the movies. Also, Bhanurekha sounds way cuter than Rekha!

And yes, Gemini married yet again, Savitri (another gorgeous woman), also an actor, with whom he had two more children: Viajaya Chamundeswari (Fitness Advisor, GG Hospital, Chennai) and Satish Kumar.

Gemini's last wife was his secretary, Juliana.

All in all, Gemini had nine children: 8 daughters and one son. Below, left to right: Dr Revathi Swaminathan, Narayani Ganesan, Dr Kamala Selvaraj, Rekha, Vijaya Chamundeswari, Dr Jaya Shreedhar.

Meanwhile, Rekha has married a few times herself;
first to actor Vinod Mehra- the wedding an divorce were apparently both hush-hush. Even when the end came, it must have been super amicable, because she seems quite at ease with his wife Kiran and daughter Sonia after he married again.

Incidentally, Sonia grew up quite pretty, and is also trying to be an actor:

Next, we do know she married New Delhi businessman Mukesh Aggarwal, who committed suicide in a matter of days after the marriage.

Her alleged affair with Amitabh is open to speculation, but it appears pretty certain that she is in a relationship with her secretary Farzana (lucky Farzana!)

October 28, 2010

October 18, 2010

Family relationships 1- Jayant-Amjad

I've been wanting to do this for a long time. We all know that everyone in bollywood is related to each other, and therefore, someone had to write it all down! This I hope will be an ongoing thread on this blog.

1. Jayant
Jayant's (Zakria Khan, renamed Jayant by Vijay Bhatt) sons: Amjad, Inayat and Imtiaz Khan.
Here's Jayant:

Amjad married Shehla Khan, daughter of Akhtar Ul Iman (Poet and Playwright).

Amjad and Shehla's kids: Ahlaam, Seemab and Shadaab.

Imtiaz 1st married Anju Mahendru (Rajesh Khanna's Girl friend, but that's another relationships tree; thanks Memsaab!) and later married Krutika Desai (TV actor).

Ek Raat Shaitaan Ke Saath

In the spirit of the month, here we are again with another badly done horror that truly is a horror.

This one turned out to be way worse than I had expected. Sordid to the extent of being completely foul, this has no redemption. I am afraid to write about this- heck I’m worried about writing about this!

Title: Ek Raat Shaitaan Ke Saath (A Night with the Devil)

Year: 1998 (Maybe)

Cast: ???

A couple is on their way to honeymoon in the remote backwaters of somewhere. Their cab driver refuses to drive then farther out after a point, saying that the town they are going to is a dangerous place, and they too must travel there in the night. The couple laughs it off, then walks off in the general direction of the town, hoping to get there on foot. Any horror movie fan across the globe knows this is a bad, bad idea.

They come upon a horse drawn carriage (:S), and decide to sit in it (!) even though there is no driver in sight. Once they are in, the carriage races off to a deserted mansion, and as soon as they jump off, it’s gone again. The couple give us an exaggerated pantomime of shock and distress and then happily get into the mansion’s open door, followed by lovely screams. Then the opening credits roll!

The High class, beautifully spelled credits give us a clear indication of the movie to follow, if we haven't understood what we are in for already. Foolhardy that I am, I sat through. End of credits, and we are in Mumbai, where we meet our obviously lead couple (the guy is ugly but taller, and the girl is skanky but prettier), and their 2 friends who are obviously also going out with each other. Both couples paw at each other a fair bit, to convince us they are in love and all of that, and then announce that they must go off on a trip somewhere unusual- because they feel like it :S

The hero runs home and convinces his sister in law and brother (with whom he lives!) that they must sponsor him and his friends to this trip, and accompany them as well. This is really strange.

After about 10 minutes of flat-lining jokes and attempts at familial love, everybody is set to go. Oh and in a different house somewhere in the city, the heroine’s mom isn’t too happy to see her go. Turns out this unusual trip is being made to the backwaters town, and the mom was the town’s local Thakur/don/ruler’s wife and the heroine is his kid. The guy’s dead, but was terrible to everybody, and mom tells the story is flashback. The Thakur loved dancing with ugly hos (I’m sorry, that’s what they are supposed to be), and brings them home. Weirdness- looks like his daughter was a 10 year old alien then- how come she doesn’t remember him as an adult? Whatevs). Despite his wife’s protests, he rapes, plunders, and beats the townspeople, with the help of his trusty servant- Mac o! I know Mac had done terrible movies, but this is a new low even for him. Note that Mac has ONE outfit throughout the film, which he appears to wear for the 20-odd-year span the movie covers :D
Eventually the wife and kid take off to the city to get away from him.
The heroine gets all of this, but decides to go check out the town anyway. As the gang packs up their car, she affects a lot of “wistful thinking” and “staring into the distance” and brooding, so of course everyone is concerned.

This is followed by showing us what is really going on; people come to the mansion, only to be killed by the Thakur, who has turned into a slipshod Dracula!
Apparently that latest murder media buzzing- our random comic relief (!) group from somewhere else also decides to go investigate.

Everybody arrives in the town and jams into ONE room at the local hotel. This is super weird. They are visited by a random guy in a raincoat, who drops dark hints and warns them to leave town “before it’s too late.” That night, the hero’s group and the comic relief folks leave for the mansion in separate groups, and go through the horse-drawn carriage schtick- HOW the poor horses carried all those many people I don't know- someone call PETA.
Mac invites everyone in, and informs them that they are welcome to stay as long as they like, assigning them all bedrooms and such. He cooks and serves dinner.

At midnight, we creep into the basement with the camera guy- in a bath of lurid red lighting and atmospheric lightning bolts lies a coffin, that open to show us- the Thakur/Vampire has woken again! He is looking forward to killing the men and converting the women to be his vampire-girlfriends before the night is through!

Mac lures down the guests one after the other, until only the lead and the comic relief couple are left. They basely drop everything and run off to the nearest temple (rofl) where they meet the mystery man again. The heroine confesses she is the Thakur’s daughter and the mystery man confesses he is the Thakur’s friend, who had been looking after the property for her to take back. He was the one who had killed the Thakur way back when, after being unjustly accused of seeing the Thurkur's wife (!).
They get through to a local sorcerer (who I’ve seen in minor roles in 80s/90s cinema). The sorcerer wears a black fat-lady nighty, a red scarf and a VERY fake skeleton skull necklace. Love his blooming pink face too. Adorable.

The heroes zero on to Mac, who is ingloriously beaten black and blue (by the girls even!). This is a really long beating, and goes on forever- at one point it looks like Mac is being tortured by having the heroine's finger up his nose (eugh but true).
So Mac ‘fesses up, going into flashback mode. When the Thakur died, he had willed for Mac to have his body placed in a coffin in the mansion’s basement, and requested certain rituals be performed. Mac did all that, and the Thakur came back as a vampire. To fulfill his salacious desires, Mac has gotten into the bad little habit of trapping young ladies and luring them to the mansion towards their unholy conversion to vampirism.

The gang of heroes (!) rushes to the basement, and amidst chanting of mantras by the chubby sorcerer, the Thakur is subdued and killed again. Our heroes leave happily. However the voiceover helpfully tells us that they ignored the sorcerer’s instructions of burning the Thakur’s body, and therefore the Thakur came back again. I guess this was to open a door to further sequels. Good lord. I was horrified by the luridness of this film- all such movies are cheaply shot, but the dialogue and actor’s gestures were so despicable that even jaded me was revolted. I cannot imagine how this passed with an “A” certificate. The nudity and violence were marginal, but the gesticulations were puekworthy.