Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa gifts digest: the awesome videos edition

The last few days have been so fraught with activities that I havent been able to keep up with Santa’s goodies. Here are all the awesome gifts I’ve received in the last few days.
First, we joined Vinod and Neetu. The two were, unsuccessfully, trying to find some privacy for their honeymoon. The jungle just wouldnt leave them alone!
“Nothing says “happy holidays” like and oddly-attired wedding!”
Vinod and Neetu are so delighted that you can join the bunnies and tigers on their special day!
Not as delighted as I am to see them, Santa!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Secret Santa gift #4 – the collage of hotness

With every gift turning out better than the last, you must excuse me if I run out of expletives to describe the kind of goodness my Santa brings forth!
This time its a collage that embodies the kind of hotness that Old is Gold truly appreciates (in a most dryly academic way, of course!).
All Shashi and no Vinod makes Bollyviewer a dull girl...and we can't have that!
No we cant! Santa, I knew I could depend upon you to chase the willies away. And you’ve chosen the best man for the job. I wonder… will his hotness melt the Canadian snow? Let me investigate. In the meantime, go ahead and feast your eyes on the picture that is worth a million times more than a thousand words!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Secret Santa gift #3: a fan-tastic puzzle

It doesnt get any better than this! My Secret Santa sent me a Shashi puzzle:
Shashi puzzle
Though the answers were included, I had to sit down and solve the puzzle myself. And here is the answer:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Secret Santa gift #2: a truly starry gift!

EEEEEEEE Shashi with sparkles on!!!
glitterfy9231008717D36
Somebody just read my mind! :-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Secret Santa gift#1 - an Old is Gold song!

“Proof that old is indeed gold!”
Well said Secret Santa, very well said!
Waheeda Rehman in a red wig,Waheeda Rehman in Shatranj

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Anupama (1966) – romance Hrishikesh Mukherjee style!

Sharmila Tagore in Anupama (1966) Bollywooddeewana’s awesome Dharam week posts, and Daddy’s Girl’s fabulous 5 Decades of Garam Dharam post on the occasion of Dharmendra’s birthday, reminded me of my favorite lead pair – Dharam and Sharmila (or Dharmila as Daddy’s Girl calls them!). Co-incidentally, the two share the same birthday! What better excuse could I have, for re-watching some of my favorite Dharam-Sharmila films? They are both so gorgeous and have more great films together than any other favorite lead pair of mine. This one tops my list of favorite Dharmila films along with Chupke Chupke - both directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. While Chupke Chupke is classic comedy at its best, Anupama (The Incomparable One) is the coming-of-age story of a timid and shy young woman.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mr. Romeo (1974) – a trippy masala trip!

MEN, BEWARE! If you accidentally soil your new suit at a party, do NOT go into the nearest bathroom for emergency repairs. That way lies seduction, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc. - in fact all the makings of a ruined life! This can happen to the saintliest of men, as you can see in Mr. Romeo. So do take care!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saif will be Raj in my fantasy Kuch Kuch Hota Hai spinoff!

The votes are in. The awaam (public) has spoken. Raj will be played by Saif Ali Khan. YAY!!!!
No idea what I am talking about? I am talking of what happened to Anjali (Kajol) after Rahul (Shahrukh Khan) broke her heart and married Tina (Rani Mukherjee). She lived happily-ever after with Raj (Saif Ali Khan) until he died, and then Rahul’s daughter re-united the former friends.
And here’s a sneak-peek at what happens between Anjali (Kajol) and Raj (Saif Ali Khan) when they fall for each other (after Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) broke her heart) -
Anjali and Raj fall in love:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) – help me complete the story!

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Yes, you did read correctly. I’ve seen this movie thrice and realised that each time I’ve been fobbed off with an incomplete tale. The missing part has been bothering me for the last 10 years and I’ve finally decided to do something about it. If Karan Johar wont tell it to the world, I WILL! Before we go any further, though, I should warn you about spoilers. If you are the one person in the world who hasnt yet seen the film (and dont want it to be spoiled for you), now is the time to stop reading. Also:
**********Very long post Alert! Poll Ahead.**********
A quick recap of the story before I point out the missing bits: Rahul (Shahrukh Khan) and Anjali (Kajol) are best friends in college when a new girl in their class, Tina (Rani Mukherjee), upsets the cosmic balance. Tina is everything that Anjali is not – she is feminine while Anjali is tomboyish, she is cute and sexy while Anjali is “one of the guys”. Even more important for Rahul, she never even tries to beat him at basketball, something that Anjali does with ease. It doesnt take Rahul long to fall for Tina. Poor clueless Anjali - it takes Rahul’s practise proposal (yes the jerk actually practices on Anjali for his proposal to Tina!) for her to realise how much she loves Rahul. Too late! Rahul and Tina decide to get married. A heartbroken Anjali leaves college and Rahul-Tina’s lives.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Naya Andaz (1956)

A song from this has been a long time favorite (Meri neendon mein tum). That, and the pull of bubbly young Meena Kumari, finally tempted me into watching this film. Its a sweet, lighthearted film that has, for some inexplicable reason, roused fRIENDS to fury. The print is terrible, the picture rolls on the screen or gets blanked out by bright lines, and the film’s reels are not put together in the right order. There are parts that remain a mystery in the first disc and light suddenly dawns in the second disc, because 15 minutes that were mysteriously missing in disc 1 are part of disc 2! And no, its NOT an experiment in a non-linear narrative! AARGHH!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Flavors (2003) – the joys of NRI life

Flavors, as the name suggests, offers a flavor of what life is like for Indians newly come to USA – in several different flavors. Its a candid but very sweet and funny look at the trials and joys of the much coveted (in India) NRI life. We get to meet a group of loosely related characters, mostly IT professionals, living on the East coast. We see them all at a wedding and then go back in time to share moments of their life over three weeks as they all converge to meet at the wedding.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Casino Royale (1967) – Its raining Bonds, halleluja!

It is James Bond on weed – i.e., a Bond movie made entirely by a cast and crew who were high on weed! Its psychedelic, its wackadoo, AND has almost as many famous cameos/guest appearances as Deewangi deewangi! There is no coherent plot and nothing makes any sense. And yet, strangely enough, its a lot of fun while it lasts. It really must be seen to be believed, but I’ll try my hand at describing what I recall from my first viewing, yesterday.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rakhwala (1971) - eye candy plus!

Rakhwala poster I have been laid up with a nasty strep-throat the last few weeks and have been on the lookout for good masala movies to improve my outlook on life. This one would gladden the hardest of cold-infested hearts – it has beautiful people (Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Leena Chandvarkar), lovely songs and a plot that one can happily neglect to enjoy all the pretty in the film. And just so you can concentrate on the all the eye candy when you watch the film, I’ll provide the plot outline, here.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My ten favorite Kishore Kumar songs

Kishore KumarKishore Kumar, the singer, is more often identified with the 70s and 80s when he ruled supreme in Hindi film music. Most of us, myself included, tend to forget that he was singing much before that and had tons of great songs in the 50s and 60s. It was Dustedoff’s awesome post on SD Burman songs that reminded me of how many lovely songs Kishore Kumar sang under SD’s direction in the B/W era. And it wasnt just SD Burman, Kishore sang for a lot of other music directors too, and also composed some beautiful music of his own. As I mused on my favorite Kishore numbers, I couldnt resist drawing up a list of them.
Weeding out only 10 from his vast array of songs was a long and hard process. To begin with, I decided to stick to his songs from 50s and 60s B/W films - decades that tend to have more of my favorite songs and also where I like Kishore da’s voice better. That still left a few hundred songs! Enter condition number two - they couldnt be the wacky numbers full of verbal acrobatics that he was famous for. So, romantic, pensive, serious, sad and philosophical songs were called for. When even that didnt help, I had to add a further condition – they had to be the first 10 songs I could recall and which fit the limits I had set myself. Voila! I had myself a list, and here it is, in no particular order (also in a youtube playlist):

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Afsana (1951) – spiced up Vendetta!

Afsana (1951) Year: 1951, Place: Bombay, India.
Writer I. S. Johar (and I thought he was just a comedian!) decides that its time Marie Corelli’s Vendetta leaves Italy to find a new home. Also, he decides that there isnt enough melodrama in the Victorian revenge potboiler! So, he does what any masala writer worth his salt (or garam masala) would do – he adds twin brothers separated at a young age, and also mixes in childhood sweethearts for good measure. The result is a highly entertaining and engrossing afsana (story).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Parvarish (1958) – upliftment of fallen MEN!

Anyone who’s seen enough old Bollywood films knows about fallen women – the nightclub dancer, the tawaif, the gangster’s moll, etc. The deserving among these debased women usually get a leg up into higher strata of society where they get the privilege of wearing vermilion in their hair partings and no longer have to wear the dreaded ghungroo. There seem to be several of these fallen and subsequently uplifted women in Bollywood. But seldom does one come across a similar upliftment of fallen men. Thats what makes this movie so unique – it takes two men out of the kotha (filmi brothel) and makes them respectable!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Double-trouble or twice as nice? My favorite Bollywood-double roles

Writers elsewhere have noted that the double role not only allows the audience to have twice as much of their favorite star in one film, it also saves the producer money by getting one actor to play two characters for the price of one! As far as I am concerned though, double roles usually mean double the fun and/or double the style. Since double roles come in all flavors and shapes, I have arranged my favorite double roles according to the specific genres they fall into. And here they are for your reading pleasure.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Man Without A Past (2002) - amnesia in Finland!

Fellow film-addict Virginia suggested this film, to go with Jahan Pyar Miley as a double feature. And she was sooooo right. This one is freakily similar to JPM, right down to this:
Who is this man?
Unlike JPM, this one doesnt try to tackle weighty issues (amnesia to solve India’s communal tensions!). Instead, it sticks to examining an amnesiac’s trials and tribulations with deadpan humor – an approach that JPM would have done well to emulate!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Scariest subtitle ever?

Geez. How did the cops find out? Somebody’s been ratting on me! Wonder who that is… not that its going to stop me from watching more films (and posting about them)!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jahan Pyar Miley (1969) – amnesia for religious amity!

Shashi Kapoor in Jahan Pyar MileyWhen you forget your own religion, you also forget hatred against other religions. If only everybody in this country had amnesia – it would solve all our communal conflicts.” Thus spoke our amnesiac hero, whilst I valiantly tried to imagine a gigantic operation mounted by the army to bop every one of India's 1.2 billion people over their individual heads to solve India’s caste/religious problems! Though my imagination isnt built on the scale required to accommodate such ideas, I do recognise good intentions when I see them, and this film is chockful of them. More importantly (for me at least), it is also brimming over with some of my favorite beautiful people (Shashi Kapoor, Hema Malini, Naaz, Helen) and some nice songs. Here’s one that I’ve been humming ever since I saw it!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baharon Ki Manzil (1966) – amnesia thriller

Sometimes the simplest of plots, with minimal twists, can make for very effective thrillers. Thats the case with this film, which I received from fellow oldies fan Shalini. With Shalini’s cautionary words ringing in my ears and my own misgivings born of previous experience with Meena Kumari-Dharmendra pairings, I approached the film with great trepidation. To my delight, it turned out to be a gripping thriller that had me glued to the TV screen well into the wee hours of morning!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Movieland’s medical miracles

The marvels of modern medicine need to be seen to be believed. But to a seasoned Bollyviewer (as yours truly is) these miracles hold no surprises. Hasnt Bollywood already shown that to cure any affliction be it mental or physical, or a terminal disease, we need only modern medicine? In movieland we need no gods, no saints and certainly no magic powers to make us healthy and wise. As Oscar Wilde says, Science is always making wonderful improvements in things and one never knows what may happen next. Bollywood film-makers have always known this, and exploited the full potential of science in ways that we mere muggles can never quite equal.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The A-Z of Mohammed Rafi

Mohammed Rafi Think old Hindi songs and you think of Rafi’s voice! For over three decades, he was the singing voice of generations of heroes. His melodious voice could soar into high notes for a passionate song or dip down into the low notes for a ghazal, adapt itself equally well to a qawwali, a classical song, a Rock-n-Roll number, or a bhajan. It wasnt just his vocal range and melodious voice that made him such a popular singer. There was also that elusive quality – Charisma with a capital C - in his voice (a quality that onscreen stars had cause to be grateful for!). And then of course, as Filmi Girl points in her awesome podcast, he was also a consummate actor. He could make you laugh and cry, tug on your heartstrings, make you feel blue, or ready to dance. 29 years after his death, his voice is still fresh and charismatic as ever!

So, here’s a post dedicated to my favorite singer on his 29th Death Anniversary. Since its impossible to do a list of my favorite Rafi songs or even favorite Rafi solos/duets, (those lists would run into the hundreds), I’ve decided to do a Rafi song for each letter of the alphabet.* Just to make things more interesting, I decided to restrict myself to his duets or group performances from B/W films. So here goes…(The songs are all in a youtube playlist at the end of the post.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Amar Deep (1958) – of anti-smoking campaigns and tangled love affairs

Long before cancer studies woke up governments to the harmful effects of tobacco, there was one person who, singlehandedly and tirelessly, crusaded against smoking. This wise person is none other than my favorite comedian, Johnny Walker. What? You dont believe me?!! All ye doubters, check out Amar Deep for proof of this great man’s war against smoking.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kinare Kinare (1963)

Dev Anand and Meena Kumari? Really?!! Even after seeing this video on youtube, I couldnt really believe those two were in a film together. A quick search on imdb, however, revealed not one but FOUR movies where they are credited together! Clearly, they werent a hit pair as I hadnt heard of any of their films (this one included) before. Well, I was determined to hunt this one down and happily, I did! As it turns out, its worth watching more for historical reasons (Chetan Anand, Dev Anand and Meena Kumari in the same film!) than any real entertainment value.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Other End of the Line (2008) – A call centre romance!

The Other End Of The Line poster Granger Woodruff (Jesse Metcalfe) is in trouble, deep trouble. Not only is he about to lose a crucial advertising contract, but his latest credit card bills are going to cost him a lot more than several grand in money – he will lose his heart to his credit card company! Strange as this may sound, it is TRUE. All you cute singletons with credit-card problems, read the following and be aware of the evils of your situation.
Granger is at the end of a really bad day. He almost lost a prestigious ad contract for the Hawksin Hotel because hotel supremo Kit Hawksin (Larry Miller) didnt like to see passion onscreen (is he the chairman of the Indian censor board?). And then his credit card company called to let him know that his card was suspended because of suspicious activity in his account!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Anari (1975)

Last week I saw Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and came away with the firm conviction that when it comes to being whacked over the head with a moral, I prefer my moral to come wrapped up in Hindi, with songs-n-dance, and 60s/70s fashion. Clearly, I needed to go back in time. While in the 70s, I happened to come across this Anari which is NOT the Raj Kapoor one, nor is it the more recent Karishma Kapoor one. Its a little known romantic thriller directed by Asit Sen and stars some of the most beautiful people of the 70s – Shashi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore, Kabir Bedi and Moushumi Chatterji! Aside: There seem to be too many Anaris in the Kapoor clan! (Anari = inexperienced/silly)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Raaj Mahal (1982) – swashbuckling masala fun!

Raaj Mahal I chose this one with my usual meticulous care and eye for a good movie. In other words, I took one look at Vinod Khanna+Neetu Singh on the DVD cover, gave a fan-girl squee and rushed to buy it, not bothering about the synopsis or other cast members. In the event, my hope that Vinod+Neetu would make up for every deficiency in the film wasnt quite fulfilled. There werent that many deficiencies to overcome! Its a fast paced swashbuckler, full of beautiful people, lovely songs, thrilling twists, and of course, tons of swordfights.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I am still around!

Those of you wondering whether I’ve taken a trip in my favorite time-machine and gotten trapped in the past, needn't wonder any more. I did go back to  the 70s and 80s briefly, but for the most part I’ve been very much stuck in the present - working and traveling! I have managed to get some serious movie watching done in the past few weeks and will resume posting soon. In the meantime, here’s a sneak-peek at my next post:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dhund (1973) – murder in the mist

A murderous 'print? I had vague memories of watching this murder mystery years ago and enjoying it. But my memories hadnt prepared me for the dramatic fog (Dhund) of mystery that envelopes the film, or for all the stunningly beautiful people with homicidal tendencies that inhabit the fog-ridden world of this film!
Onward with the story… On a misty mountain road, a car meets with an accident and the driver, Shekhar (Navin Nischol), knocks on the door of the nearest house to get help. He finds the door unlocked and decides to walk in. Inside, he discovers the murdered master of the house - Ranjit Singh (Danny Denzongpa) - and the murderer holding the proverbial smoking gun. This is how good murder mysteries should begin. :-D When the camera moves to show the murderer, I’m not surprised that ‘he’ is a gorgeous woman – the script requires it! To make matters even more interesting, the gorgeous woman turns out to be none other than Ranjit Singh’s long-suffering wife Rani (Zeenat Aman).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bollywood, its payback time!

Work and Mr. Darcy have been keeping me busy for the past few days. Yes MR. DARCY, Elizabeth Bennet’s Mr Darcy. You wont believe the things he gets up to when he isnt silently mooning over or proposing to Elizabeth. He gets acquainted with women of dubious morals, consorts with spies, gets drunk, fences, and even boxes! You cant imagine how eventful his life is, and just how much of my time its taken to catch-up with it – not unless you’ve read Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series. I’ve just finished the last one in the series – These Three Remain – and cant wait to read the earlier two titles!
Back to filmi-fun - I have come across an interesting case of copyright violation that I’d like to share with you:
desi_hellboy_1

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A year of blogging – a journey down memory lane

Exactly one year ago, today, I published my first blog post. Yes, Old is Gold is a year old today! I think the occasion calls for a story - the story of a film-buff’s journey in the blogging world.
Once upon a time, long ago (just 18 months in calendar years but centuries in terms of experience), there lived a bollyviewer who was completely ignorant of blogs and blog-writing. Yes doston, I am talking about ME! While still in this world of ignorance, I decided to look for old movies online. My search for old Shashi Kapoor films kept turning up one blog so often that I gave in and read it. And stayed to read, and read, and read…
Yes, it was the excellent Beth Loves Bollywood, whose love of Bollywood is legendary and finds expression in very thoughtful, well-written and very, very enjoyable film critiques. I read Beth’s reviews and was hooked on reading blogs! When I wasnt cracking up at her playful musings, Beth made me think hard, with her insightful commentaries.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My favorite piano-songs

In days of yore, rich people always had large parties in huge living rooms full of glitterati, sweeping staircases, shiny chandeliers and a Baby Grand Piano. In modern times though, rich people have fallen on hard times and standards have deteriorated beyond recognition. There are NO pianos in living rooms anymore - not even in that of Karan Johar’s rich NRI protagonists’ (well they do say that people forget their sanskriti (culture) when they live abroad!). So, for my piano fix, I need to revisit oldies from the 50s and 60s that were overflowing with people from the piano-owning (and playing) classes. Here are some of my favorites that have at least one character “playing” the piano throughout the song.



Thursday, April 9, 2009

Afsana (1966) - a tale of terrible twists and turns

Afsana DVD cover I was looking for Ashok Kumar’s earlier Afsana when I came across this one and his looming presence on the DVD-cover decided me. In retrospect, it wasnt a great choice. But, its a fast paced movie with some good moments and enough Dada Mani and Helen to paper over some of the cracks!
The story begins in a prison where prisoner number 16 (Ashok Kumar) is on his way to another jail on account of his tendency to jail-break. This time however, his escape is successful and he manages to run into a deep forest. Shekhar (Pradeep Kumar) – a rich landowner – is out hunting in the same forest, and accidently shoots no.16.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Masala madness aint half as crazy as my kiddie-imagination!

Yesterday in book-land, I met Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer trying to get rid of their warts by burying a dead cat next to a wicked soul at midnight! Kids are soooo gullible!!! It reminded me of Kanan's cute post on childhood beliefs and my own childhood misconceptions. Here are some examples of my flagrantly filmi flights of fancy:
My earliest memories of filmi songs are of those that emanated from our tiny transistor radio. I was convinced that a miniature army of singers and musicians resided inside the radio and sang all those songs on demand! Of course, once I discovered TV, I was convinced that the same army now resided in there.
Before I discovered “playback” singing, I used to think all actors and actresses sang themselves, and could also sing without moving their lips (this, when I saw a song playing in the background with no lip-sync)! I spent ages in front of the mirror trying to sing with my mouth firmly closed before finally giving up on my ventriloquistic ambitions.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Shashi Kapoor’s hairy-tale (PartII)

In Part-I you saw that Shashi decided to seek out the help of his tiger friend to escape The Eagle. Here’s what happened next:
Shashi heads for the forest

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shashi Kapoor’s hairy-tale (PartI)

Shashi-week has brought forth a fount of information on our hero #1. So far we’ve learnt all about his emotional problems, his fashion sense, his romantic entanglements, his smooth pick-up lines, his effect on women and the effect his popularity has on Big B and other men.
So, by now you know that he went from:
Shashi Kapoor in Abhinetri
to  this:
Shashi Kapoor in Aa Gale Lag Ja 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Neeyat (1980) - more Shashi-masala

Three friends who are closer than brothers and sing it out, for the world to know. All three in love with the same girl. Doesnt it ring alarm bells? You expect a lot of sacrifice and the poor girl getting the short end of the stick. Well, this is where Neeyat scores. The friends dont sacrifice for each other – at least not in a Damon-and-Pythias way – and friendship, though upheld as a most virtuous state, just barely survives various trials and tribulations. For the rest, its a fun masala-thriller with all the recommended masala ingredients: friendship/bromance, good songs, cute romance, misunderstandings, sacrifices, nasty villains and best of all, some interesting murders and a very fast paced story.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ek Aur Ekk Gyarah (1981)

Ek Aur Ek Gyarah poster What do you do when you want to bring down a helicopter? You attach a sturdy metal chain to it and then run a road-roller on the chain to progressively shorten it. This automatically brings down the chopper. See? As simple as 1+1=11 (ek aur ek gyarah)! If you are in the mood for such delights and some very, very beautiful people, drop in at Shaitan Chowki (literally “Devil Post” but actually a poor neighbourhood in masala-land).


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My 10 favorite Shashi Kapoor films

Shashi-mania is sweeping blogland. Fellow blogizens Beth, Babasko, Shweta and Cindy have caught the bug. How can Old is Gold be far behind in Shashi-pyaar? Inspired by Beth’s Shashi week, I’ve decided on a film festival of sorts featuring films of OiG’s favorite #1! And to kickstart it, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Shashi Kapoor films.





In a career spanning half a century (if we count his child-acting phase) and more than 150 films, he did everything from mainstream-masala to parallel cinema to cross-over films (yes, cross-dressing too, though, thankfully, not often!). Though I love his masala films, I must confess that I prefer his more restrained performances in parallel cinema. Anyhow, masala or parallel, any Shashi is better than no Shashi! So without much ado here are my favorite performances of his, in movies that I liked.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Last Lear (2007)

The Last Lear Poster “NOOOOO, it cant be over already!”, was my first reaction when the end credits flashed on the screen. It was such an absorbing watch and so well crafted that I was sucked into the lives onscreen and just didnt want it to end!
The sheer beauty of the film was spellbinding. But once the magic wore off, I was left wondering what exactly the film was all about! Was it about the has-been theatre actor – the titular Last Lear – and his passion for artistic perfection? Was it about the ruthless film maker who would do anything and sacrifice anybody in his quest for artistic reality? Was it the story of three troubled women from vastly different socio-economic strata who all seem to face the same problems and bond over cups of tea at the bedside of an old man? Was it about all of these and their respective places in life? Or was it about that ruthless task-mistress – ART - that leaves no life untouched and affects people who’re not even directly connected with it? I am not sure. And you know what? Frankly my dear, I dont give a damn!

The movie pitches you right in the midst of a story. With no preface or introduction you meet the characters and spend the rest of the movie getting to know them and piecing together their stories from the small windows into their lives that the film opens up.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Poll: So which movie should be OiG’s next post?

I have watched a ton of movies in the last few weeks and just cant make up my mind about which one to write up, next. So, how about chipping in with your views and telling me which one you’d like to see next on Old is Gold. Here are the movies:
1.Faraar (1955): The story of an extremist freedom fighter in 1940s India. Its written by the famous Hindi writer Krishan Chander and has Dev Anand and Geeta Bali in the lead.
2.Darling Lili (1970): A spy thriller set in WWI starring Rock Hudson and Julie Andrews.
3.The Last Lear (2007): A movie within a movie, the people involved in making the movie and their lives. Arjun Ramphal, Preity Zinta, Shefali Shetty and Amitabh Bachchan star in Rituparno Ghosh’s beautiful film.
4.Ekti Raat (1956): Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen’s night of confusion and mayhem.
5.Ek Aur Ekk Gyarah (1981): Shashi Kapoor+Vinod Khanna+Zarina Wahab+Neetu Singh=masala romp.
6. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998): Shahrukh Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukherjee in Karan Johar’s romantic blockbuster.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fantasy unlimited - Alibaba Aur 40 Chor (1980)

Alibaba Aur 40 Chor - posterShweta’s great write-up reminded me of this childhood favorite and when I found the DVD in my local store, I just had to buy it. And guess what, its even more fun than I remember!
One thing we need to be absolutely clear about: other than some vague similarities to the original, the movie has nothing to do with the Arabian Nights' tale. The story is crammed with characters and twists. Its going to test your extensive movie watching experience to keep up with whats happening, so come prepared. Suspend all disbelief, forget all about the original tale, and keep a pen and paper handy to keep track of all the twists and turns. Done? OK. We’re all set for a fun ride into fantasy land with Garam Dharam, Zeenie Baby, Hema, and a host of Soviet actors whom I dont recognise.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A century too late...

The National Archives of India (NIA) has suddenly woken up to the fact that prints of early Indian movies have not been preserved – a mere 96 years after the first full length film by Dadasaheb Phalke (Raja Harishchandra) was released!

Here’s what prompted them:

"No prints of Alam Ara are available with the NIA. They are lost, only some still pictures and publicity material is available with them," a senior official in the ministry of information and broadcasting said.

And the NIA is planning on preserving all current and future movies from all Hindi and other language productions:

…the ministry has requested the Indian film industry to give copies of each and every film being produced in all parts of the country and those made till date to NIA, so that they can be preserved for future generations.

O well, better late than never. At least Love 2050 and Drona will be preserved for posterity (though I think Banno has done a better job at preserving Love 2050 than NIA can hope to)!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ek Saal (1957) – the romantic year.

Ashok Kumar and Madhubala in Ek Saal The spate of Madhubala dedications* on her birthday (which falls on Valentine’s day), reminded me of my favorite Madhubala romance that I just had to re-watch This one has her paired with Ashok Kumar in my favorite kind of romance – the bad guy reformed by TRUE LOVE!!!! Now, who wouldnt be reformed by love of Madhubala? Certainly not our revered Dada Mani.

The movie opens with a grim scene - a doctor (Mahmood in an uncharacteristically serious avatar) telling a stunned father (Nazir Kashmiri?) that his daughter has only a year (ek saal) to live.