May 6, 2008

5 Rifles

Caught this on late night Indian cable: so no screen caps!

Title: 5 Rifles
Year: 1974
Cast:Rakesh Khanna, Shahi Kapoor, Ambika Johar, DK Sapru, IS Johar, Anil Johar.

The plot itself is simple enough:

A royal family from some random Indian state wages incessant war against the British. Defeated and separated, the king (DK Sapru), queen (Veena!), and his twin daughters (Ambika Johar) and a son (Anil Johar). While everyone has been separated, and the parents do not recognize their kids, they are all freedom fighters :)

Of the 2 daughters, one is actually found by the king and appointed princess, ruling the kingdom. The other is bought up by Harfan mama (IS Johar), and turns a petty thief/revolutionist.

The princess is wooed by Rakesh Khanna (A Rajesh Khanna look-alike), while the thief is wooed by Shahi Kapoor (A Shashi look-alike- not a good one).

Does the family unite? Do they defeat the British?
What do you think? :D

1- The acting is despicable, the script bad, the movie simply insane- it is but a Bollywood-ized Monty Python, if you dig that kind of stuff- I love it!
2- I love Veena in nutty movies- and she does it again here!
3- Kudos to IS Johar for directed and producing this madness- I am sure he lost a lot of $ in it, but this is perhaps the first Bollywood spoof (take that Farah Khan) and he made it happen!
4- The Rajesh Khanna and Shashi Kapoor look-alikes were very sketchy- didn't work very well except to supplement the camp value of the movie.
5- The quwwali song "Jhoom Barabar Jhoom" became insanely popular, and is played to this day in India- so much so that it was used to title a movie that bombed last year :D

Random Trivia:
To confirm your suspicions, yes Ambika is IS Johar's daughter, who acted in 5 movies in her entire acting career, of which 3 were made by her dad. She was really rather pretty here, but not very talented. On the other hand Anil, IS's son, exhibited no talented at all :)


Anonymous said...

I can only imagine how my life outside Hindi movies (yes there is still a marginal one) would go all to hell if I had Indian cable.

This is exactly why. Bollywood Monty Python??? Look-alike actors???? I must see it!

I love Veena and IS Johar too--although the only film I've seen that he directed was Nastik, which was a pretty serious (and good) movie.

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

This isnt serious at all.
While the basic plot is what I have outlined, the whle thing is strung together with weird gags- everything from 3 monkeys on a motorbike to fake-pretend white women (a indian in a bad blond wig) whipping the good indians.
It was almost tiring in its madness- so much so that I took breaks watching "Law & Order" reruns on the side to gain some sanity.

Bollyviewer said...

Hey is that smooch in the poster for real? In 1974, too! Never knew what movie 'jhoom barabar jhoom' was from - it was pretty popular in its time, I guess. I only heard it in long-distance buses in India and developed a special dislike for qawwalis which I have only just gotten over!

IMDB has '5 Rifles' listed as a Shashi Kapoor and Rajesh Khanna movie! Was actually on the lookout for the DVD - now I neednt bother. :-)Thanks a lot for the info!

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Rofl- I know- hilarious isnt it? I like quawalis myself,since I am from UP, and u really cant escape them there, even if u tried :D

The names are funnier than the actors who play them "Shahi" Kapoor indeed :)

Beth Loves Bollywood said...

My head is spinning! I was confused enough by the posters - in the top one, it really does look like Shashi, but in the second one...oog. I too am tempted by your description of it being Monty Python-esque, something I truly love. Woweee!

I think you should bring it to the meetup.... :)

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

The 1st hour is pretty awesome- and then it begins to grate a bit. there is absolutely no sense to the movie at all :D
What I think is really important about it is that it is the oldest known spoof made in Bollywood, which was probably a huge risk taken by Johar.
I'll try to find a copy for sure :)

the PPCC is a big fat idiot said...


I am OMGing for 2 reasons:

1. They're LOOKALIKES?!! As BV noted, IMDb lists this as a genuine Shashi/Rajesh movie. OMG. Lookalikes. This I absolutely 100% MUST SEE.
2. And THIS is the movie JBJ comes from!?!

Too freaking cool. I HAVE to get my hands on this. 100%.

(And JBJ bombed? I loved it!)

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

The look alikes are fun, even though the posters make the resemble stronger than it was in the movie- they just dont get enough screen time. Dunno whats w/ IMDB on that- maybe I should post a rebuttal at their site? :)
JBJ bombed badly, yep, even though they went blue in the face denying it:)
fair warning if u do see the movie- the gags get really insane, and sometimes have no connection with the movie at all- I had to walk away several times just to clear my head! heeh

रोमेंद्र सागर said...

i heard that rakesh khanna ( the so called hero of this movie ) was a rickshaw puller in meerut ( U.P )when Johar saab saw him and picked hip up to sign for his movie....!

No news of this man after the movie, whatsoever !!

( no no...he also acted in Johar's next film "Nasbandi" alongwith ...shahi kapoor , sev anand, and amitaav vachan )