Who loves ya, baby?
Feroz Khan does! But only if you're wearing a neckerchief, a lace-up shirt, or both. Seriously. Look how many scarves and lace-up shirts there are in this movie! I lost track after I realized Feroz had at least four of the shirts. His 'n' hers shirt/accessory combos: lace-up shirt and big orange-y scarf.
His 'n' hers entire outfits: lace-up belted tunic-length sweater!
Or just one or the other. Even the baaaaad girl gets one!
When in doubt, pair with a fringed jacket.
Anyway. The Moserbaer/Bombino DVD from Netflix didn't have subtitles, and even with Memsaab's valiant attempts to fill me in on the dialogue, I know I missed a lot. Fortunately the movie has plenty to discuss that isn't based on words, and I'll display some samples of its fabulous look in a minute. But one thing I could tell for sure, even sans subtitles, was that Apradh has two very distinct halves that don't really interrelate, complete with two sets of occupations, villains, and villain hangouts/lairs. In fact, Feroz-the-Director tells you so, as Feroz-the-Hero and Mumtaz fly off from...I don't know where they are at this point, somewhere German-speaking, to Bombay, and the villain accomplice guy who seems them leave exits through a door marked "2." (In fact, he himself actually fits more with half 2 than 1, so he's as much the bridge as the airport.)
I loved this! It's even better than the elevator that glides past "interval" in Bluffmaster. So cool! Unfortunately, the second half also sidelines Mumtaz's Meena from the important action (a trend familiar from Qurbani). She starts out with a bang - as an international jewel thief! - but after the story shifts to India, she's more of a pawn than a player. Too bad the rollicking action couldn't include her. Feroz's Raam also loses the luster of the European setting, going from race car driver to factory worker. (Note: I am not implying any connection between a domestic context and loss of glamour - there is plenty of glamour in 1970s filmified India, but this is not one of those stories.) But don't you worry: there's still plenty of glitz, courtesy of one of the most fabulous, and probably the most exuberantly appointed, villain lairs I've had the pleasure to visit.
To be on the safe side, I won't even pretend to know if this movie had anything to say or if, as it appeared based on what I could discern with my own two eyeballs, it was simply a loose connection of instances of or excuses for dishoom, race cars, skin, and near-sleaze. Not that there's anything wrong with that! Feroz and Mumtaz were adorable together, there are oodles of fun details to look at, and even when there's yet another fight, I didn't mind, because there's something about the way Feroz puts his scenes together that kept me totally entertained in situations that I would ordinarily only half pay attention to. Like Vinod Khanna, Feroz Khan can also bust down the the doors of my dil with his slightly smarmy, swaggering, aggressive persona. In real life, I find that totally off-putting; even on screen, my usual type tends towards poncy, brainy, goofy, wordy, and nerdy. (Like this. Or this.) I'm embarrassed to admit it, but somehow he makes it work. (Until the very end, when his own dil melts upon seeing his child for the first time and the happy family reunites under the Indian flag. Blurgh.) You can read the plot at Memsaab's or Apni East India Company's posts.
Whatever its blend of style and substance, Apradh is definitely fab in its own way. For starters, the two stars look great together (in addition to interacting well). Memsaab told me they were good friends (and in-laws) in real life, and you can see it.
I don't know about you, but when I steal gems, I always wear a floor-length velvet gown slit up to my waist. And when I try to romance a jewel thief, I stand confidently on a hillside of flowers with my thumbs hooked casually over my gigantic belt buckle.
The Europe-based villains lack the blinged-out accoutrements of their Indian counterparts, but their hotel suite does the job. And based on fashion, they come out ahead - Mr. Sunglasses here sports the film-requisite belted sweater over tight pants, and in purple and gold, no less.
The hotel is clearly in a great neighborhood; buildings across the street are emblazoned with "THE HELL" (seen through the window over the sofa above) and "SEXY CRAZY" (below). That's almost as good as Parvarish's "BHAI BHAI" sign.
Indeed, that necklace is sexy crazy. Emphasis on "crazy."
Speaking of sexy crazy, it should be noted that our friends at FK International like to dally with the saucy. The tame-by-comparison pose of the stars is overshadowed by the light fixture/statue.
When the camera pans to the side, it reveals the pose to be totally innocent, sort of like ice skaters mid-lift. The European den of iniquity also has trashy art. I couldn't get a clear shot of it, but their mural has a naked couple
accompanied by...yes, a rooster sitting by the man's hip and a snake winding over the woman's thighs. Please let the set designers know if you can think of two more obvious phallic symbols.
But hey, at least FK is equal opportunity.
And now for Apadh's greatest gift: the villains' bar! Here's an overview image:
Kind of hard to take in in one glance - it has everything! - so let's take a closer look. Fountains! Covered lawn swings (at the back)! Pools full of drunk/stoned white girls gyrating in swim suits!
Shetty! A gargantuan chandelier!
A tiled bar that sits on a rotating platform, surrounded by barrel chairs!
Though somehow I think spinning your alcohol consumers is a recipe for disaster. Please also note the ballerinas in the yellow cave-like mural behind the bar. More bright colors!
Is her necklace is made of hair? Gah! Well-coordinated with the little braids in her hair, but gah all the same!
Oh poor Helen. Prem Chopra nibbles her ear. Poor, poor Helen.
Replace Prem with Vinod or Shashi, add a death trap, and install a slide, and I'd move into this place immediately. Who's with me?!? Bollywood fan meetup 2010 - 1972 Ferozishtyle!
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Who loves ya, baby?