Showing posts from March, 2011


A huge and well-balanced cast, allusions to past dishonors and future troubles, inter-familial conflict, divided loyalties, star-crossed lovers, and plenty of horses and guns make this film a proud citizen of the Independent and Hot-Blooded Kingdom of Epics, a seldom-visited territory adjacent to, and with important historical and cultural ties to, Masala Pradesh , its much larger and louder neighbor. This DVD very frustratingly does not include any credits, so I don't know whom to applaud for the solid and careful writing that built this pretty and interesting film. Vijay Anand directed, and, as would be expected, his colors of filmified rural Rajasthan make the story's loss and fear go down more easily. Rajput opens with a very un-Rajput-looking palace belonging to the local royal family, The eagle-eyed among you may recognize this palace as the British HQ in Mard a nd is in fact a hotel I stayed in in Mysore. embodied for most of the story by Ranjeet. (Because everyone


With Dharmendra in a fleet of bad wigs - at one point even wearing one on top of another (a disguise wig on top of his regular characters wig) - and occasionally painted green, this movie ought to have been better . The silver is the disguise wig; the black Chia Pet look is the "regular" one for his character in bad-guy mode. To its credit, it has a weird bad guy (Dharmendra as Vicky/Acharya) with henchmen and a hide-out full of long hallways with blinking lights, offices, and even a department devoted to sketching hand-drawn images of his foes. There doesn't seem to be a bar or dance floor; that Subhash Ghai did not give us a spectacular musical number just underscores my disappointment with this 1981 film. At least Vicky's inner sanctum has a large light-up command center and various pieces of art, including this one. That's right: this man decorates with a tiger skin rug, statues of Shiva, and a large painted portrait of Hitler. Based on the childhood fla

mini-reviews for Deol Dhamaka: Imtihaan and The Burning Train

(To jump to The Burning Train , click here .) My relative quiet on blogs hither and yon can be blamed on it taking longer than I'd like to recover from my huge project at work. But it's Deol Dhamaka , people! If that can't speed up the healing process, what hope is there? In the spirit of the experimentation that is such a fun and interesting part of these blog theme weeks, I decided to try a mid-90s Sunny Deol movie. My only previous foray into Sunny Valley is Jeet , which I didn't particularly care for and remember fondly only because of his enthusiastic stomp-dancing. And in the spirit of honesty, I will admit that I chose this particular film because it was free and easy to get (thanks Hulu!) and also featured Saif Ali Khan as a rock star, which is my kind of awful. Imtihaan falls smack into my personal Avoid-Yaar Era of ca. 1985–1997 and does indeed include the feature that most makes me cautious of that approximate decade of films: rape. In this parti