Saturday, May 12, 2012
It has been almost a year since I decided to discover, watch, and write about some of the lesser talked about Hindi films of the era gone by. I have always had a history of starting something new with great excitement, which generally tapers off after a few early bouts of enthusiasm. But this thing that I had started, and incidently without giving it much thought, has stayed with me. I love the entire process of unearthing, and then downloading/buying these films. Imdb has been of great help. To a film buff like me, it is the best site ever. Much more important than the usual social networking ones for sure. Some of the recommendations came from family, some very rare ones from friends, and many from filmy forums and other blogs. Initially I was in great doubt about whether to write about all the movies I see, or to make the effort only for the ones in which I see some or the other merit. I decided on the latter and have maintained that for most parts. Because I take considerable time in choosing the films to watch, I have had a very few bad experiences in that regards. Here I will list some of the films that I sat to see with great expectations, but which hardly managed to engage or entertain or enlighten me. And I never really had the heart to do a thousand worded piece on them.
1. Bemisaal: A Hrishikesh Mukherjee film starring Amitabh Bachchan in the lead. It looks like a complete winner from it's theme (I refrain from reading the user reviews if I am able to manage it, but couldn't with this one). However it was seriously a headache for me. It was easy to discern that this film was aimed at getting awards. The treatment of the film was quirky and dark for most parts, but sadly it was too incoherent to make an impact. I am sure many people can write deep and eloquent pieces on the acting performance of Mr. Bachchan here, but it is exactly that kind of a film. Pretentious. I hugely prefer a film like Juramana (from the same combo), over this.
2. Khilona: I really wanted to complete it. But couldn't. I think I couldn't go past the half and hour mark. It was too melodramatic, and the comedy track was too juvenile. Sanjeev Kumar's act in this film is considered one of his best. Hmm, easy to see why people will think that way. But I think there are numerous performances by him that are much much superior.
3. Mashaal: Man, I was super kicked about this one. A Yash Raj drama starring the veteran Dilip Kumar and a young and fiery Anil Kapoor. I had read somewhere that this is one of Yash Chopra's best. But to say that it was a letdown would be an understatement. The story had meat for sure. But the treatment was so archaic (or maybe it just hasn't aged well- but then his other movies have). As far as the performances go, Anil Kapoor was really impressive. But if there is a man who sees just one film of Dilip Kumar in his life- and if that film is this one- I bet he wouldn't even dream of considering him an acting great.
4. Mera Saaya: Considered a classic, and boasting of some great tunes, including the title song, I was very eager to see this Sunil Dutt and Sadhna starrer. However a very interesting plot became chronically repetitive beyond a point. Some of the sequences were so juvenile that I wanted to enter the film and put the case right. Seriously a huge letdown for me.
5.Rajnigandha: I absolutely love both Chitchor and Chhoti si Baat, so watched this in great anticipation. It is better than the average film for sure, but somehow it didn't impact me too much. The tone and tenor of the narrative was too uninspiring, and many of the scenes were too insipid. One of the films that inspired neither hate nor love. Indifference is I guess the right word to describe my feelings for it.
6. Shaukeen: I couldn't go beyond a few minutes of this 'cult' Basu Chatterjee classic comedy. Maybe things would have turned better later. But I was having no fun in watching the tharki buddhas ogling at young women (and not so young too). Eyesore.
7. Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda: I like the other Shyam Benegal movies that i have seen, but somehow I just couldn't appreciate this one. Too abstract, too philosophical, and too pretentious- evidently this one won many awards including the national ones. But then I saw the list of National Award winners chronologically... I think it had become a fashion by 1993 to give the award to Shyam Benegal.
8. Teesri Manzil:I haven't seen many Shammi Kapoor films from his prime. I had heard great things about this one from many people. Anirudh Guha, a critic I respect, had tweeted about this being his favorite film more than once. But I hardly enjoyed it at all. Shammi Kapoor acts the same way- be it the songs or a dramatic scene. While in the songs he exudes a joyous presence, in the rest of the film it is hard to bear him. Asha Paresh too irritates with her juvenile way of mouthing the dialogues. In my opinion she was the worst commercial actress ever.
There are many other movies which I saw and couldn't appreciate, but these are the ones I had expected to be really good.
Parting Note: I am so pissed by all these movies that I don't even feel like putting pictures/posters of them.