Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) tackles lots of evils floating over from Montreal to Kathmandu: drugs, short skirts, hippies, smoking, drinking and the effects of divorce. I prefer the Hindi word for divorce: talak! Sounds so much more harsh and final than the word divorce. Say it: Talak! Doesn’t that sound more like divorce than divorce? Zeenat Aman‘s little Jasbir is told by her maid that her mom and brother are really dead, in order for her to better understand their disappearance from her life after the talak. How thoughtful of her. But I’m getting ahead of myself! What caused the divorce, I mean the talak? The philandering father (Kishore Sahu) is the cause and he flips the whole script on his wife (Achala Sachdev), blaming her. He asks for the divorce after downing some Johnnie Walker, then slaps his wife. In the first few minutes I had a scene combining a tight slap to the face AND drinking Johnnie Walker! Observe these serious parenting errors:
So back to what I was saying about the maid. I loved how the maid broke the news to Jasbir that her mom and brother were dead, except for they weren’t really dead. I guess the maid thought it would be easier on the kid to explain their absence by telling her they were dead. See those ugly glasses on the nightstand?
And if those images don’t show just how harsh things were for little Jasbir, take a look at what she has to tolerate from her new step mom in a pink negligee:
Isn’t if easy for to understand why Jasbir wants to change her name to Janice and become a hippie after all the trouble she faced in Montreal?
When I watched Hare Rama Hare Krishna I just couldn’t stop focusing on Zeenat Aman‘s character’s glasses. Jasbir/Janice was such a mess as a kid. I know she needed those glasses to see, but did they have to be so ugly? I don’t blame her for not wanting to wear them both literally and metaphorically. The glasses were obviously used to symbolize her not wanting to have to “see” her disruptive home life, right?
Skip ahead to her time in India and she sports groovy glasses, rose colored glasses. With that turbulent past Janice needs to see her world through rose colored glasses or not at all. It made me wondered if the saying rose colored glasses exists in Hindi. Zeenat Aman wearing those big round rose colored specs reminded me of my Malibu Barbie. Both the movie and the Malibu Barbie came out in 1971. Janice wore those pink glasses on top of her head a lot, just like Malibu Barbie did.
Hare Rama Hare Krishna is a 1971 Indian film directed by Dev Anand starring himself and Zeenat Aman. The film was a hit and a star-making vehicle for Zeenat Aman, who played a westernized hippie, and won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award, as well as the BFJA Award for Best Actress. The movie dealt with the decadence of the Hippie culture. It aimed to have an anti-drug message and also depicts some problems associated with Westernization such as divorce. The film is about a Montréal-based Indian family, the Jaiswals. The brother Prashant (Dev Anand) and sister Jasbir (Zeenat) have a good relationship as children. However, the parents quarrel and separate leaving Prashant with the mother and Jasbir with the father. Jasbir is repeatedly told that her mother and brother are dead and she eventually believes that she will never see Prashant again. She is ill-treated by her step mother and she runs away from home. Prashant grows up to be a pilot and he learns that Jasbir is in Kathmandu, Nepalwith a group of hippies. To reunite with his sister, Prashant travels to Kathmandu and meets Shanti (Mumtaz) who was to later marry him, and also Janice who in reality is his sister Jasbir with a new name and identity. She has forgotten her childhood and Prashant too. Prashant has to get his sister back amongst other events which include his being suspected as a thief in Kathmandu and fearing for his life. (wikipedia)
Philips Filum’s has an excellent synopsis of the movie, and Nandini already posted the most excellent song from the movie, Ho Re Ghungroo Ka Bole, featuring Mumtaz, who like Aman sported those fat yarn ribbons in her hair.
Janice’s western ways and messed up childhood results in her drinking beer from a can:
So finally, here’s the video of the day, “Asha Bhonsle won Filmfare Best Female Playback Award for the song Dum Maro Dum, which was a huge hit. The music of the film was composed by Rahul Dev Burman and the lyrics were written by Anand Bakshi.” (wikipedia)
Thanks to organicjerk for the video.
Since I love the talent shows, watch Shreya Ghoshal on Amul Star Voice of India’s Chhote Ustaad introduce Anwesha Dutta Gupta who covers the movie’s title track “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”
Video by dJabhik