Showing posts with label Shashi Kapoor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shashi Kapoor. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Of monsoons and things filmi…

Have you been wondering whether this blog can be listed as abandoned property? Wonder no more. OiG is still very much alive and well. I’ve just been busy trying to move clouds and have had no time for film-watching or blog visits.

 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It’s a tie

I haven’t been in much of a film-watching mood, what with all the TV series I needed to catch up on. But today, watching Maha Badmash, one thing caught my interest and made me want to watch more films, if only for academic research. No, it was NOT Vinod Khanna’s famous swimming trunks (and the figure that went with it). It was his stupendous bow tie that intrigued me. Clearly, for a Bollywood hero, a tie is not just a tie but a statement of machismo and size does seem to matter in these things! Here, take a look at it. Can you honestly say that this piece of cloth would not draw your attention?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Juari (1968): love, lies and gambles

In the late 80s, Thursday afternoons used to be red letter-days at home. Back then, DoorDarshan (Indian TV) had begun to telecast unknown old B/W films on Thursday afternoons, in addition to their regular Saturday and Sunday evening film telecasts. The Thursday ones were much better because we could always expect the unexpected – famous actors in unusually fun films with great songs. That’s when I first discovered that Ajit and Prem Nath had once been handsome leading men, that Dara Singh had played hero to Mumtaz and that even Mehmood wasn’t too jarring in his earlier lead roles! And best of all, there were a slew of Shashi Kapoor films. Back then, I remember loving this one to bits. I no longer love it so unconditionally, but I can forgive it’s flaws for the nostalgia it invokes!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Utsav (1984) – festive entertainment!

I usually shy away from writing about films that I like a LOT because I find myself gushing about everything I liked in them! This is one such film. I like everything about it - the story, the acting, the costumes, the sets, the actors, everything! But it’s Rekhatober, and I was determined to write about at least one film that was a worthy showcase of her talents. This film not only showcases her skilful performance, it’s a very satisfying film on the entertainment and aesthetic counts as well. (I warned you... I WILL gush!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Khanna-o-Rama: A crisis of romance

Khanna-o-Rama To most of my generation, The Emergency (suspension of fundamental rights and absolute power to the cabinet – 1975-77) was a dark event that happened when we were babies, and was thankfully over long before we were conscious of it. More importantly, it had NO impact on Bollywood and 70s masala. What most of us do not know is that Bollywood, and in fact Vinod Khanna, had a very important part to play in it!
When a journalist friend of Beth’s brought us the inside story of The Emergency and how it was brought to an end, the two of us had a hard time believing it. But the proof was irrefutable. Top secret government documents (they included suppressed press reports) could not lie! It HAD to be true. And some digging on our part confirmed it. Our first thought? People need to know about this! Unfortunately, none of the leading news publications would touch the report with a barge-pole. So, in the interest of informing the public, Beth and I have decided to write it up. And since the star of this week was intimately involved in the whole episode, we bring you the story during Khanna-o-Rama! Lets first go to Jan 1975, when the trouble began, and see what the reporters have to say:

Friday, April 16, 2010

A beauty pageant for OiG’s second birthday!

Cake for second birthday Yes, Old is Gold is exactly two years old, today. I’ve had so much fun in blogland that in the last two years, time just flew past! While the first year was the Year of Discovery (of all the great film-lovers and writers), the last year has been the Year of Fun! I’ve had a ball, discussing movies with all of you who stop by here, and at all my favorite blogs. The highlight of last year was getting to know all of you and meeting some of my favorite bloggers in person. Bolly-blogging zindaabad!!!

An occasion like this calls for a celebration of some sort. Cakes and champagne are so passé. No, I want a party, a BIG one, with lots of beautiful people. How about a beauty pageant? That would be fun, and there would be a parade of beautiful people. Its come to OiG’s attention that there are shocking gender inequalities in the eye-candy department. An injustice that we female bloggers have been doing our best to redress. But its not enough! For true gender equality, male beauty MUST be celebrated more openly, and men MUST be given more credit for their unsung contribution to eye-candy. A beauty pageant for beautiful actors - that is the obvious place to start. So lets have a beauty pageant that rewards beauty and brawn, instead of beauty and brains.

Since this is Old is Gold, we will naturally look to actors of yore. And since the 70s had the biggest compliment of hunks, thats where we'll focus our attention. The panel of judges for this competition is ALL OF YOU! I’ve listed the candidates in my order of preference, and the poll in the right sidebar allows you to pick your own Mr. Bollywood! So lets see who is walking the ramp tonight:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

BLB and OiG exclusive – Shashi's top secret speech at the Filmfares

Shammi Shashi Rekha As most readers will know, Shashi Kapoor was recently given the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. What you probably didn't know is that he made a lengthy, significant, and history-soaked acceptance speech that was never televised. You may have read that all he said is "Thank you," but that is far from the truth! How the entire film fraternity (well, with a few notable exceptions) managed to keep their mouths shut about this magnificent oration, we'll never know, but now you, dear readers, have a chance to hear his words in this exclusive report!
Thanks to a fantastic friend at Filmfare, Beth Loves Bollywood and I had a rare opportunity to be present for the awards - if you've seen them on tv or online, we're hunkered in the shadows at the far left of the stage. But our friend only had one pass to spare, so, like good long-lost, recently-reunited masala sisters, we promised to share and share alike. I drew the straw to go in second, so I have the second half of his speech here for you, transcribed word for word off the recording I sneaked with my phone.
Check out part-I at Beth Loves Bollywood. Here’s the second part:

Kaarnama (1979) Part IV – MAA and THE END

Karnaama poster Before intermission, the vilaayti twin Shyam (Shashi Kapoor) was romancing Dhanno (Tanuja) and the desi twin Gopal (also Shashi Kapoor) had just left a drunk Kamini (Sharmila Tagore), to go to Kashmir to figure out why everybody was mysteriously interested in his maternal relative. I must warn you that this is a very looong post (with spoilers), since I’ve had compress the entire second half of the film in one post. For lack of space, I’ve had to concentrate on the main plot and neglect such delights as Helen trying to seduce Mr. Mehra (Shammi Kapoor), Dwarka (Pran, now Dilawar in Pakistani Intelligence) being smuggled into India, Shalu (Bindu) and her hubby Dheeraj (Ranjeet) sharing a cute romantic interlude in the police station where they’re both police officers, etc.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Kaarnama (1979) part III – the mystery edition

Karnaama poster With the vilaayti twin on his way to his watan (country), you’d think that the found part of the lost-n-found formula is almost about to be accomplished. Well, you’d be wrong. Do not underestimate MDbhai’s genius… We leave Shyam on the plane, drinking heavily, with the mysterious lady X (Sharmila Tagore) keeping a sharp lookout a few rows behind.
We fly into India, ahead of the dimpled-duo, to meet the other twin Gopal. As I told you, MD caused him to grow up into a small-time theatre actor. Well, just as we go to find him, he’s landed his first starring role, and rehearsals are in full swing. We come upon him, in his shiny military uniform, playing Napolean Bonaparte, at Waterloo. And we realise why he isnt a big star yet, nor likely to be – he fluffs his lines something terrible.
Napolean (roaring): Wellington kameene, sherni ka doodh pasand karta hai to saamne aa (Wellington rascal, if you like tigress’s milk, come here!)
Wellington, not finding the right cue (which should have been agar maa ka doodh piya hai to… if you’ve drunk your mother’s milk), forgets his lines: Err… I prefer cow’s milk.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Kaarnama (1979) part II – SHASHI!!!

Karnaama poster So the twins were torn asunder in the before-the-credits part of the film. Bunty strayed into vilaayti (foreign) lands, while the twin’s father – Dwarka – strayed into Pakistan. The residual family in India – Parvati and Bittu - relocate to a new town. Parvati begins to work as a domestic help when a dizzy spell at work informs her employer of her pregnancy!
Parvati’s pleasure in the latest nishaani (momento) of her now-dead hubby is a bit mixed. She is happy but worries about making ends meet. Her kindly employers – Durga (Nadira) and Inspector Dev (Ifthekar) promise to take over the child, since they are childless, themselves. So, one fine day, Parvati and Durga go off to Kashmir, leaving Bittu behind with the other half of his to-be-sibling’s to-be-parents. Soon, Mom and Durga return with Durga’s baby daughter Shalu.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kaarnama (1979) part I - twins torn asunder

Karnaama posterNow that you’ve gotten all the preliminary chatter about Kaarnama, its time for you to “see” the movie. I’ve thought about how I am going to put Fimi-eye’s reminiscences and the plot synopsis together, and decided to go the simple way. I’ll give you a scene-by-scene account of the film, and work in the most interesting stuff that went on behind those particular scenes. That way, you can appreciate MDbhai’s masala genius and Shashi’s professionalism, all in their proper context. And since the film follows a linear narrative, flowing in a straightforward, chronological order, that’s how we will talk about the making-of incidents too, ignoring their real-life chronology.


The film opens with two young children – obviously identical twins - receiving a joint first prize at school. They are gifted a copy of the Bhagvad Geeta, which they divide into two parts, in the interests of equitable distribution. After the prize-giving ceremony, the kids happily run home to play. They play hide-n-seek in their barn which is stacked high with ominous looking crates. While Bittu (Master Tito) looks away, Bunty (also Master Tito) hides in one of the crates, and pulls the lid in after him.
 


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kaarnama (1979) – A bromantic break

I know I promised to tell you about this newly discovered masala-masterpiece, after the preliminaries were over, but the need to catch up with my forty winks has gotten to me. I got so lost in chatting with Mr. Khabarwala and getting to know every kaarnama that went on the sets, that I just didnt get time to write it all up. You WILL get the whole story, minus the scandalous gossip, before long, though. In the meantime, check out this fantabulous song from the film: Is ishq mein har aashiq ko, aag pe chalna padta hai (In love, every lover has to walk on fire).


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kaarnama (1979) – an interview with Manmohan Desai

Karnaama poster Yesterday I told you about this Shashi- treat that I stumbled across, quite recently. The film was launched in 1977, and right from the mahurat, Filmi-eye had a bird's-eye view of the proceedings. The film took a while to complete, since MDbhai's finances came in fits and starts and dictated a rather scattered shooting schedule. But Filmi-eye was tenacious, and always made a point to catch up with what was happening with the film. He was convinced that this film would be the last word in masala-movie-making and stubbornly clung to this belief, inspite of all the trouble the film attracted. I went through all his Kaarnama write-ups for the next few years to compile a story that makes sense with 20/20 hindsight. There was delicious gossip (too scandalous to be repeated here!) and lots of speculation that wasnt actually borne out by subsequent events - I've used the editor's scissors on those bits. To fit it into a week’s worth of blog posts, I’ve had to edit some of Filmi-eye’s delightful prose, too. Hopefully, the unedited story of Kaarnama will make it to print, one of these days (publishers, are you reading?). In the meantime, here is the lite version, in Filmi-eye’s own words.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kaarnama (1979): a masala feast for Shashi-week!

Shashi Kapoor Yes, its that time of the year when Beth announces a Shashi-fest and the rest of us rush to celebrate! This year, I’ve gotten my hands on something rather unusual - a newly discovered Shashi Kapoor film! Thats hardly unusual, you might say. The guy never refused a film, so one is always stumbling across "new" Shashi films, all over the place. Well, this one is a masala-swashbuckler-cum-thriller-cum-everything else – nothing less than a "new" Manmohan Desai film, in fact! Yes, I can see that you are about to bring up Aa Gale Lag Ja and Suhaag and tell me that there’s nothing new about a Shashi-Manmohan Desai collaboration.

Hear me out – this film IS rather unusual. Its more than ordinarily unknown. The film was never released for some reason, and only one copy has survived. Luckily for me, I was able to trace the owner of the last surviving copy - Mr. F. Khabarwala. A collector of old films, (and a big fan of Shashi, of course!), Mr. Khabarwala was only too happy to share this filmi treasure. But that isnt the only thing I am excited about. He also has a treasure trove of contemporary news and behind-the-scenes incidents about the film, which he also graciously shared with me. 

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The glorious 70s: Awards night

MAA statuette Its been a week long marathon of 70s movie goodness, and a festival of fun and funkadelic delight. But whats a festival without an awards night? Considering how much hard work, time, and effort went into the making of a 70s film, it is only right that the people involved be recognised for their good work. So, we end the festival with the Masala Awesome Awards – or MAAs. The festival committee decided to call in an expert jury to judge the entries and pick the awardees. The jury consisted of a panel of distinguished film critics – Bollyviewer, Bollyviewer, Bollyviewer and Bollyviewer. With so much material to choose from, the judges had a hard time deciding between the candidates. You’ll realise just how much talent the 70s encompassed, when I tell you that the list of nominees for some awards ran into hundreds. After long deliberations, the judges finally made their choice. So lets see who gets to take a MAA home, tonight.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The glorious 70s: Shyam Benegal takes center stage

Shyam Benegal'Socially responsible film maker' seems to be his tag. People talk of his brilliant exploration of social issues, of his technical superiority, of the superb performances he extracted from his actors, etc. etc. All this gives one the impression that he was the party-pooper of the decade that was the 70s; that he made "meaningful" cinema which was too artistic to be enjoyed by any but the very intellectual classes (whoever they might be). Of course, there is no denying that his films were socially responsible, that they did have great performances, that they were artistically made. But what all these tags do not reveal is that his films were actually interesting and fun to watch, that he is a brilliant story teller, that his films have a sense of humor that helps you over the grim parts, without ever trivialising the subject.
For me, the Shyam Benegal love started in the 80s with his lovely tele serial Yatra. It was an almost-anthology of tales set within the compartments of a train, journeying from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and back. It sketched the stories of the people who boarded the train in a few beautiful strokes - through their actions and interactions within the train compartment. Yes, it was brilliant film making, but more important to my masala-fed kiddie self, it was fun and interesting. It felt like I was really meeting all these people and getting to know them.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Naach Uthe Sansaar (1976)

There are films that hook you from the first scene and draw you into make-believe land. There are films that make a deep impact and leave lasting memories. And then there are films like Naach Uthe Sansaar (the world begins dancing), that do none of the above! In keeping with its name, there is much singing and dancing in the film. The hero (Shashi Kapoor – yay!) spends a lot of time tapping a drum, shaking a leg, and lip-syncing to Rafi’s voice. The heroine (Hema Malini) isn't far behind in the dance department but comes up as an also-ran in the singing and angsting stakes. There is a lot of cute romance, too. But still, the film falls far short of being a solid entertainer.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My favorite filmi Mr. Rights!

1647St_Valentine's_Day The Valentine spirit is everywhere. From heart-shaped, diamond-studded pendants on special offer, to heart-shaped candy in heart-shaped boxes, and long-stemmed red roses - its hard to escape the “romantic” season. Naturally, that made me think of my filmi Valentine. An exhaustive search down memory lane turned up rather less material than I had hoped for! Most Bollywood heroes are too busy fighting bad guys and making up to their dost and/or Maa, to do more than sing the requisite “eve-teasing” number and romantic duet with their heroines. Any cherishing of the beloved, done in Hindi films, is usually done by the woman. Fortunately for us women, Hindi Cinema does bring us some men of substance and beauty, who take time off from saving the world (and/or bromancing their buddies) to pay attention to their lady-loves. Needless to say, thats where I looked for my filmi Mr. Right. And here they are – all top ten of them, in no particular order:

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!!!
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Somebody just read my mind! :-)