July 27, 2011


Title: Thanedaar (Inspector of Police)
Year: 1990
Cast: Kiran Kumar, Jeetendra, Sunjay Dutt, Jayaprada, Madhuri Dixit

Thanks to this film, I was able to remember how much fun 90s Bollywood was~ when it wanted to be!

The movie opens with a fantabulous Kiran Kumar, evil landlord of a village. He not only rocks a topknot, he has a pigtail trailing out of it!

Kiran has kid Madhuri's mom killed, and when her dad goes to complain to the local police (lead by Dilip Tahil), Kiran isn't too please.Dilip has his own little tragic song, remembering a dead wife with his two little kids..Dilip and Madhuri's dad are soon killed off by Kiran's henchmen, and the kids are scattered. Dilips' younger son is Sunjay, a career criminal who has a on-off flirtation thing going on with Madhuri...while Dilip's elder son, in true Bollywood tradition, is the opposite of his brother, an upstanding policeman played by Jeetendra. He is happily married to Jayaprada and they have a daughter of their own.
In true filmi fashion, the brothers meet accidentally in a train, fight, and Sunjay manages to throw Jeetendra out of the moving train off a cliff. Oops.

Sunjay makes it to the end of his journey, and hits the same village he grew up in, unbeknowest to himself. The villages mistake him to be the new chief of police- in Jitendra's place. Sunjay takes things in stride, and starts fighting Kiran's men- Star Wars style!

And Sunjay's romance with Madhuri blooms, as they look super good together here. What separates Madhuri from almost every other actor is her utter abandonment to whatever character she plays. She actually seems to enjoy what she is doing, and is in the moment every time.

Which brings us to the song that made me watch this movie- the infamous Tamma Tamma!I love this song- Madhuri's 80's Madonna look, and energetic dancing beats everything else and brings the movie to another level.
Oh just check it out yourself- note that Javed Jaffery performed parts of this song as Sunjay's body double, since Sunjay really isnt that great a dancer- which explains all the long shots.

Soon enough, Jitendra resurrects from the alleged dead, and we rush into the inevitable and obvious finale- fun times! And in conclusion- its an immensely watchable movie, and if nothing else, you are bound to enjoy Madhuri in every scene she illuminates.

July 24, 2011


Yesterday, I went shopping with my mother and sister, and bought two dresses. Nothing unusual, you'd say, but it was, for me. After almost 10 years, I wore a size 8 dress, having been wearing a size 14 just this past February.

It is so exciting, and yet, so scary to have this happen. At 5' 1" (barely), I'm still not at a ideal weight and measurements, but I am so proud to have accomplished this much. And I am terrified~ about being able to maintain this. Its bewildering to discover a part of me I had forgotten. And I am painting again, another part of me that had gotten lost in the struggle of being an immigrant, and the daily pressures of school and work.

I'm going to keep doing what I am doing. Maybe this is how phoenixs feel.

July 22, 2011


This movie had me completely befuddled. Visually, it looked a film from the 40s...no later than 1959 I'd say. And yet, my research confirmed it was indeed made in 1969!No, it didn't sit in the cans for 10 years and had a late release- the heroine, Alka's youth testifies to that- she is unchanging and comparable to her other releases during the era. It's uncanny!

Title: Wapas (Trans: Back; as in going back)
Year: 1969
Cast: Shekhar Purohit, Alka, Satyajeet, Leela Mishra

The movie open with Alka living in Bombay with her parents, Mom (someone tell me her name!) and Styajeet. Mom wants Alka to marry a rich man of her choosing, while Alka is in love with Shekhar, a poor singer.
So love triumphs, and quickly, with the young lovers marrying an posing in filmi-style montages. Mom is so pissed that she moves to Delhi with Dad, bag and baggage. They don't like the new city, but refuse to go back. Meanwhile, Shekhar becomes a popular singer, ... and they have a baby,

...and he gets a movie role! Jankidas brings him to the studios, who are happy to hire him opposite their resident heroine, daughter to the spiffily coiffed and made-up Leela Mishra. It was glorious to see her vamping it up~

And so shooting begins, and there are some real fun shots here-

The movie is a hit, and Shekhar is a star. Jankidas and Leela go into over-time spreading rumors about Shekhar and his heroine. Rumors=fame, they argue, and fame=$$$.

Alka isn't happy with the gossip, ... as are her parents, who rush back to town to inquire about her well-being.

Resident evils #1 Mom and #2 Leela quickly begin instrumental in driving apart Shekhar and Alka, and the unhappy couple are on their way to divorce court in no time at all. The heavily-Bolly judge grants the son to Shekhar and the daughter to Alka, who moves to Delhi with her parents. Shekhar is left alone with his son, his work and a very designing Leela.

Time passes, as it will, and the kids are grown up enough to take this film to the scripts of The Parent Trap (1961) and Do Kaliyan (1968). why Satyen (the director) chose to do this barely 1 year after the release of the remake, I will never understand.
Unlike the going-camping scenario of the earlier movies, which wouldn't have worked here anyways, since the kids aren't twins, Shekhar's daughter simply going to visit him. ..Which is followed by a scheming Leela & Co.,

... and counter-scheming by the kids.

And you can easily imagine how all this wraps up.

Wapas isn't a bad movie, but it definitely feels redundant with a very tired script. The highlights are Leela Mishra and the lady playing mom to Alka with all their gesticulations and scheming, while Alka is decorative in parts. What I really enjoyed are these two songs by Mohammed Rafi, that stay with you long after the movie is forgotten. Enjoy!