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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).

Wednesday, March 18, 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.

Tuesday, March 17, 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.

Thursday, March 5, 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.