September 24, 2008

The Burning Train- the songs.

Aparna and Rum got it right! The Drumroll yesterday was for the uniquely brilliant "The Burning Train," which I am so in love with that it is going to take me more than one post to do it justice. It is perhaps the only true disaster movie to come out of Bollywood, as far as I recall, and with the sizable helping of masala, I find it to be far better than any Hollywood disaster movie from the same period.

This first post is devoted to the songs from the movie, which are all very engaging, foot-tapping numbers. Check out the LP cover- half of reigning Bollywood was cast in this one, to spectacular results. The LP cover was a breakthrough as well- my parents had it when I was a child, and the cover was multi-sided, with 6 (believe this, 6) LP-cover-sized pages of scenes from the movie printed on it- ah if only I could have it now ... [sigh]

To begin with, we have the credits in scenes from the movie, transposed in lurid red, blue and green, with a electro-funk track- giving us a inkling of the fact that this was truly a "different" movie from anything Bollywood had ever done, or would ever do.

As the movie opens, we have another song, which is very 70s-80s masala, and unusual for its co-mingling of very Indian-traditional and disco tracks. We find Dharam and Vinod blown away by breathtakingly gorgeous Hema and Pravin, in Meri Nazar Hai Tujhpe (My eye is on you).

As love blossoms (as it will), we are treated to the two couples, bicycling all over New Delhi- we catch glimpses of the Train Museum, various consulates from Chanakya Puri (my fav- the Malaysian embassy, which was supposed to be Dharam's home in the movie!) and Lodi gardens, among others. The song: Pehli Nazar Mein (The first time I saw you..)

Later, Dharam and Hema frolik to Vaada (Promise), as they are engaged to marry. I don't believe this song was shot in Delhi- I rather believe this is Bangalore.

Things turn serious soon, and there is little time to sing songs until the fateful train is well on its way. Halfway through the journey, the entire passenger body gets together for the rousing, and symbolic Pal do pal ka saath hamara (Our togetherness is fleeting, as is our friendship. We are making this journey together only to part ways when we reach our destination). This is without doubt my favorite song from the movie, and gets me sentimental, knowing what is in store for most of these characters. Goes without saying: Jeetendra and Nitu completely rock their parts. Also watch out for a uncredited cameo by Anand Balraj (the guy Madhuri is engaged to marry in Ram Lakhan).

And now to the final song of the movie, and my least favorite- or perhaps the most, because I am so very affected by it. It is a prayer, Teri hai Zameen Tera Aasman (This earth is yours, as are the skies. You are a kindly God- please give us your your grace). I get weepy-eyed every time I see/hear it, because it is SO sad!!! I can hardly bear it [sob]. And of course Simi is a doll in her trademark pink.

The review coming up next!


Banno said...

Yes, yes. Dhanno likes 'The Burning Train' too. We catch it in bits and parts again and again on TV, and it always reels you in. My favourite is 'Pal do pal'. Can never forget Asha Sachdev in it.

ajnabi said...

Why have I never heard of this gem? A Bollywood disaster movie? How many "NAAAAHIIIIIN!!!" faces will they be able to fit into the frame? (Sounds like a good drinking game, hai na?)

ajnabi said...

P.S. *Love* your new banner! Who is that?

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Banno: I do think this is the best thing Asha ever did- and definitely the one role that springs to mind when she is mentioned. yays for entrancing Burning Train love! :D

Ajnabi: yup, those are some of the many reasons this is in my top 5 of all time- I think I wll watch it again this weekend, and try the drinking game- w/ sake bombs! [heeh- i am serious too :D] Thats meena kumari- from "Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam" I think- found the pick floating on the net....

Anonymous said...

Yayy ! I got it right !

Ok..this is not one of my favourite movies, but I can still watch it again and again ! :))

And the song with Dharam and Hema (Vaada) was shot in Mysore, Brindavan Gardens. I too get teary eyed with the prayer song..I've been trying to get hold of the lyrics for sometime.

Pal do pal is my fav song from this movie, followed by Pehli Nazar (this one more for the picturisation)

veracious said...

Love the first song with Hema and Parvin - the contrast of 'traditional' dance of Hema's and Parvin more Latin-American/Western moves and both looking lovely. :D

Anonymous said...

A muti-star masala-flick that actually has its stars behaving like human beings (as opposed to super-heroes) trying to stop a disaster. Glad you brought this one up - I'd forgotten how good everybody looked here (even Jeetendra). Need to re-watch, now! :-)

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Veracious: I know! So experimentative, isnt it? Another reason to love it endlessly!

Bollyviewer: Absolutely- I first saw this when I was 2 (I remember!) and have already watched it twice this year- third watch coming up this weekend, while gearing up for my review- or let me jsut be honest and call it my love song to the movie :D