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Showing posts from June, 2009

Dilip Kumar and Sheroo the Wonder Mongoose! Kohinoor

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When you're relatively new to Dilip Kumar, it's kind of hard to imagine that a movie with a grand, dramatic name like Kohinoor will be anything other than be trauma-drama-o-rama. Oh happy surprise that this film turned out to be a textile lover's blinged-out swashbuckling delight! It reminded me far less of Mughal-e-Azam (released the same year) and much more of Dharam Veer. Granted it's in a somewhat more specified, or at least sartorially consistent, place and time and is less full-tilt loony with a less rambling plot, but it's really funny in parts and has plenty of rollicking action, multiple bad guys, a creepy lech, an orphan, royalty, disguises, schemes, a song on a spinning platform, and lots of helpful animals. It felt proto-masala to about the same degree as Waqt - different RMA elements but similar effect of a restrained mix. If it had been made fifteen years later, I have no doubt all the right seedling elements would have been amped up sufficiently to e…

Kathaa

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[There's a spoiler in the first paragraph.]

I have one issue with Sai Paranjape's Kathaa (1983), and I'm going to get it out of the way up front. If the subtitles are to be believed, Deepti Naval's Sandhya is styled as a modern girl, yet while discussing a potential marriage with Rajaram (Naseeruddin Shah), she puts herself down, saying that it's too late, that she's slept with the first boy she was engaged to, and "I'm not fit for you anymore." He quickly says "I haven't changed my mind." She leans back against the door, whispering his name in relief. What's going on here? Do the writers want us to applaud Rajaram for taking on a partner that would generally be considered sloppy seconds? Is this just one more brick in the wall of his sterling, sacrificing, do-gooder character? (Especially in contrast with her ex, the rascally, no-good Bashu, played by Farooq Shaikh.) Is his approval supposed to change how she feels about herself?…