You may be wondering like I am, “Sita-ji, why aren’t you in Chicago tonight enjoying Amitabh and everyone else in The Unforgettable Tour?” You see there was a time not too long ago when one could fly from Minneapolis (blog headquarters) to Chicago for $100 or $200 round trip. Now with the poor economy, the airline troubles, and many of the charters that serviced the MSP-Chicago route being shut out of service and our poor corporate citizen airline, NWA somewhat monopolizing the route, flights now routinely cost between $500-$800! I could fly to NYC for less! NWA, did you forget the state of Minnesota graciously bailed you our with millions and millions of dollars($245 to be specific), I mean lakhs and crores of rupees? You forgot to pay us back NWA! I digress, let me swallow that bitter pill and move on, teekay? But you see, we are all related and everything is connected to everything and I choose to partially blame NWA for me missing this show. :) So I had some tentative plans to make a spur of the moment driving pilgrimage to Chicago with a Bollywood buddy pending on how the vibe felt this morning. It was not vibing, so we settled in to watch the next best thing to seeing Amitabh performing on stage: we watched Abhimaan (1973) instead, where Amitabh plays a singer who performs on stage before the masses. Sort of the same thing, without having to make the 12 hour round trip drive.
Amitabh seemed to be speaking to me throughout the film, asking Sita-ji what she wanted (to see The Unforgettable Tour, duh!) and then trying to comfort me by showing he understands the disappointment:
Thanks Amitabh! Here’s the lowdown on the film:
Abhimaan(Devanagari: अभिमान, Nastaliq: ابھمان, translation: Pride) is a 1973 Bollywood film starring Amitabh Bachchan; his real-life wife, Jaya Bachchan, Asrani, and Bindu. It was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee.The film is perhaps best remembered for its songs, composed and arranged by the late S D Burman, written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, and sung by famous playback singers Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, and Mohammed Rafi. The movie takes inspiration from A Star Is Born(1954). When it was released, audiences found similarities between real-life couple Amitabh and Jaya and the couple they portrayed on-screen—as Jaya’s career was stronger than Amitabh’s at the time. She won the Filmfare Best Actress Award for Abhimaan. Subir (Amitabh Bachchan) is a professional singer whose career is soaring. He does not plan to marry—until he meets Uma (Jaya Bhaduri), a sweet village girl who also sings. Subir falls in love with Uma and marries her. He returns to Mumbai with his new bride. Subir continues as a singer and also fosters Uma’s singing career. His career falters, however, just as Uma’s singing career begins to thrive. Eventually, she becomes more famous than her husband, sparking jealousy from Subir. His pride and jealousy tear the marriage apart. The question becomes whether Subir can overcome his jealousy? (wikipedia)
For a nice blog review of the film, I direct you to The Bolly Blog. And now on to my more shallow reflections of Abhimaan! Amitabh (Subir) and Jaya (Uma) look fabulous in this film. Her saris are gorgeous! In nearly every scene she wore a new, more lovely sari! Amitabh’s shirts were just are beautiful, with a funky 70’s twist. I said to myself, “Costume designer? Kaun hai?” So let me give a shout out to whoever found the beautiful fabric and made it into those outfits and got those guys looking so great:
Shalini Shah, Ramlal, Farida and Shyam Khandekar, nice job! I like your style! I think Amitabh even looks smokin’ hot smoking and drinking:
One thing that surprised me was the sexual tension portrayed between Amitabh and Jaya. Since I am a good Hindu-Catholic-Muslim-Buddhist-Sikh-Jain and sometimes Parsi girl, I was a bit embarrassed by Amitabh tugging on Jaya’s hair and pointing to his lips for a kiss. Bachchans, keep that sexy stuff behind closed doors please! See! Bas!
The movie taught me some new things like this. Who knew men were jealous of women?
Another delightful part of the movie for me was seeing Bindu, who gave a great line said with confidence and love, that we all should consider using if ever dumped. So classy, dekho:
Bindu’s character drops some bollywood wisdom on Amitabh’s Subir. I love it!
Well he’s not ready to hear all that, nor her urging him to lighten up on the whiskey, since he’s trying to drown his sorrows vs. facing them head on. His retaliatory statement:
Snap! Oh no he didn’t! If what Subir says here makes no sense to you, go see Devdas!
For me this was a movie about they style and the music, since that’s what I enjoyed most, rather than the story itself. Not my favorite Amitabh movie, but a great one to see nonetheless, especially as a cheap subsitute to missing seeing him live in Chicago tonight. But I think the Chicago show of The Unforgettable Tour may have been a bit like this tonight; from Abhimaan, Kishor Kumar singing for Amitabh, Meet Na Mila Re Man Ka, with music by S. D. Burman, who won the filmfare award for his work here:
Here’s the remix, from Dr. K Chaudry, who is very devoted to Bollywood.
If you’d like to hear yet another marvelous tune from the film, take a detour to TheBollywoodFan’s great blog to hear Tere Mere Milan Ki.
Really how lucky we are to live in a time where we have these films at our disposal, hai na? No this isn’t a photo outside of The Unforgettable Tour, it’s from Abhimaan, showing that then and now, Big B as an actor and as himself is filling the house!
Chicago Unforgettable Tour attenders, post your review here. I’d love to hear about what I missed! Mr. Bachachan reported the following on his own blog: I have to say it. . Chicago was amazing.. Everyone was just awesome and the audience to die for. . Sold out stadium. . And India just won a gold in shooting.. Read more at his blog about this on day 109.