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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pathey Holo Deri (1957) – now thats what I call ROMANCE!

Pothey Holo Deri If you are looking for a well done romance Bollywood-style but sans the theatrics associated with the genre, you need to pick up an old Bengali flick starring Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen. They are Bengali Cinema’s legendary romantic duo (according to imdb they did a whopping 25 movies together over 20 years!) and were (arguably) an even bigger phenomenon in Bengali Cinema than Satyajit Ray! For sheer charisma and chemistry, these two beat any other on-screen couple hollow. Their movies together are a delight to watch and Pothey Holo Deri (got late on the way) is no exception.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Big B wins hands down!

The votes are in and democracy has once again thrown up a surprise!Amitabh Bachchan may be Bollywood’s most beloved icon and the biggest B on the B(ollywood) circuit, but he seems to have hung on to his youth far too long!
Sorry Dev Saab, the public has spoken and they think that you need to put in a lot more effort into hanging on to your youth. Perhaps in your next film you can play the role of a twenty year old and follow it up with even more youthful characters? You have won so many accolades. Surely the crown of the Evergreen Baadshah wont elude you. In the meantime check out your rival’s unrivalled youth:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Poll: Abhi to main jawaan hoon – choose Bollywood’s “Evergreen” Actor #1

With most of North America embroiled in election fever (Canada had a general election last week and the US presidential poll isnt far off), its time for democracy to make its appearance on Old is Gold. Today readers, we are going to select the “Evergreen” Baadshah of Bollywood!
We’re all familiar with the phenomenon of popular stars who continue to act “boyish” inspite of expanding midriffs, receding hairlines and increasing age. Mallika Pukhraj’s famous ghazal Abhi to main jawaan hoon (I am still young) is their motto and they’re sticking with it! Strangely, this phenomenon is confined to male stars and in over 100 years of Indian Cinema, its never spread to the feminine half of the industry! Actors from every decade of Indian cinema have been guilty of refusing to grow old (in their cinematic age) but the late 80s and early 90s are special in that they are overflowing with examples of stubbornly “youthful” superstars!
To help you decide who you’d like to crown the Peter Pan of Bollywood, I’ve made a list of the contenders:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Love (1970) - romance + trauma-fest

my_love_title my_loveLike all movies that are cursed by a bad second half*, this one begins very promisingly. There are snapshots of exotic Kenya including African wildlife and the “wild” tribals (much as I resent the exoticisation of India I can bear it tolerably well when its done to any other part of the world!) – all of which should convince you that you are in exotic Africa!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Do Ustad (1959) – was Manmohan Desai making films in 50s?

do_ustaad Hindi movie enthusiasts will be overjoyed to know of the discovery of a previously unknown masala multi-starrer gem by the 70s spice-king Manmohan Desai. Advanced scientific dating techniques tell us that the movie was made in 1959 - proof positive that the maestro was active long before previously supposed.
OK all that isnt true. This is NOT a Desai film though he was making films in the late 50s. It has all the required masala ingredients (check out Beth's and Memsaab’s lists to find out what those are) and then some. All the hallmarks of a Desai film, in fact. I was only convinced of the non-Desai-ness of the film on reading the director (Tara Harish) and producer's name (Sheikh Muktar) in the credit list!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Far Pavilions (1984) – Raj romance or Raj masala?

The Far Pavilions Based on M M Kaye’s novel of the same name, this miniseries is a lavish period piece set in 1870’s India with a galaxy of stars – Sir John Gielgud, Omar Sharif, Christopher Lee, Saeed Jaffrey, Parikshit Sahni, Jennifer Kendall, Vinod Nagpal, Art Malik, etc. There is a strong thread of lost-and-found along with forbidden love-affairs, battle scenes and of course, lavish sets and costumes – in short the recommended masala allowance and then some!
Warning: Epic-length post with many spoilers ahead!
The story begins in 1865 when 11 year old Ashok makes his way into the head quarters of the Queen’s Own Corps of Guides at Mardan (North West India). Dodging the guards, he manages to hand over a package to the commandant (Robert Hardy). The package contains proof that he is really Ashton Pelham-Martyn, son of late Hilary Pelham-Martyn, and a British subject.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The paratha conspiracy: Mujhse Dosti Karoge (2002)

A movie about email-pals? A story of true-love being above beauty? A love triangle? WRONG. In case none of you have caught on to it, the movie reveals a chilling international conspiracy to steal the process and exploitation rights of gobhi-ka-paratha (a cauliflower-stuffed Indian bread, hereafter referred to as g-k-p).
Gobhi ke parathe (image taken from this blog which also has the recipe for the parathe!)