“Zindagi Ek Juaa” Madhuri as drug fiend!

In honor of Maduri Dixit’s birthday, first I’d like to wish her one:Ardent Madhuri Dixit fan, Gaja Gamini, from Bollywood-ish Blog, declared it Magic of Madhuri Week.  My little contributions are some shocking images of Maduri from Zindagi Ek Juaa  (1992) (Life is a Gamble)

The first image of the film is of  ye olde Central Jail, so right off you know there’s trouble. Maybe one day I’ll make it Film City or whatever movie studio houses Central Jail.

Now a bit about the film:

After saving the life of his employer, Jagjit Singh alias JJ (Anupam Kher), Harikishan (Anil Kapoor) is promoted with a wage increase that he had only dreamt of.  Anxious to please his employer Harikishan agrees to have his name changed to Harry, and does anything that he is instructed to do.  Soon Harry realises that he has been aiding his employer in illegal activities.  When he tries to break away, he is told that his mom (Asha Sharma) is and will be held captive to guarantee his cooperation.  Harry must now come up with a scheme that will guarantee his safety as well as the freedom of his mom, and at the same time save himself from being arrested by the police. (source)

But there’s so much more, and that’s the part about Madhuri’s character Juhi, called Baby by family and friends. Anil Kapoor’s  Harikishan ends up falling for the boss’s daughter when she comes back from Europe and dazzles him with her carefree performance at her birthday party.

 

Very soon after her first meeting with Harikishan, Baby/Juhi becomes the aggressor and makes her lustful feelings very clear:Harikishan is puzzled by her romantic overtures, so the Bollywood cure of the tight slap to the face is used to bring him to understanding:Enjoy Maduhuri’s dance of seduction in  Dil To Dil Hai  featuring the music by Bappi Lahiri and playback singer Ahsa Bhosle:

One thing leads to another, Juhi ends up pregnant, they get married against her father’s wishes, but Harikishan has to handle some of the illegal drug business in Hong Kong, see  you can tell he’s in Hong Kong by the room itself, all oriental in its styling, with the bonus of the awesome cordless phone:Hari’s best friend (Shakti Kapoor) tries his best to watch over Juhi while Hari’s away, but please take special note of the Whitney Houston poster on the wall, as it serves as an ominous warning to what could happen to Juhi. In case you haven’t heard, Houston has fallen on the path of drug abuse, which is the same fate that awaits Madhuri’s Juhi. Eventually she finds out about Hari’s business dealings in illegal drugs, and sends him packing right after she gives birth to their son.  Of course after telling him off she has a huge headache and at that moment, she’ s offered some medicine by an evil friend, Mr. Lal:And just like THAT she’s hooked!

So Juhi has sent her husband packing and quickly becomes addicted to her nose candy.  A police inspector  played by Suresh Oberoi goes to Juhi to find out more about what she knows about Harikishan and  notices Juhi’s addiction, meanwhile, I ignored most of that scene and just noticed this great subtitle ripe for a screen capture:

Harikishan realizes his estranged biwi has pushed him out of her life, and decides to soothe his anguish with music, but he’s shocked even more when a drugged up Juhi makes an appearance.  Staggering and stoned Juhi plays the trumpet stopping only to smoke. What an entrance!  Watch Kabhi Kuchh Khoya with playback singer Kumar Sanu,who incidently I saw in concert with Akla Yagnick  a few yers back when I was too new of a Hindi cinema fan to fully appreciate.

Watch here and at about 1:40 the drug fiend Madhuri enters.  Pay special attention for her crazy drugged trumpet playing while smoking at 2:09. When Anil’s Harikishan sees that it’s a COMPLETE buzz kill and he realizes, “I married a drug whore! My dealing of drugs brought this all about! The mother of my son uses coke!”

I’d like to bring up Whitney Houston again, who just this week was banned from Prince concerts due to her drug using antics and trying to get on stage with Prince in her altered state. Houston  has since gone into rehab.  This makes me wonder if that’s how Harikishan felt when Juhi trid to play trumptet while he was jamming with his friend in  Kabhi Kuchh Khoya. Poor Juhi did not make it into rehab. She realized her problem, made arrangements to have her son cared for: Then she goes down the self-destructive path of drug abuse.But then there’s a knock at the door!Harikishan pleads with Juhi to stop her drug use.

He leaves, only to return another time…

to find an overdosing Juhi.

What happened to Juhi?  Watch the movie if you dare to see, or ask me in the comments and I’ll tell you.  Let this be a warning to you, don’t do drugs!  Thank you for reading this post, but now, with all due respect, all I have to say is…

 Report to  Bollywood-ish blog  for Magic of Madhuri Week‘s  FULL LIST BLOG POSTS.

Lajja (2001): item numbers & eye candy, or could I say aankhon ladoo?

Yaar!

I watched Lajja(2001) (translation: Shame) and got carried away with the screen capping knowing I must do a post.  Yet what to post when I see the wonderful bloggers have already said it so well?  You know I specialize in the more superficial enjoyment of all films, so I’ll share my likes here by showing some photos and focusing on the item numbers, but please go and see the great reviews and thoughtful insight on Lajjaat the post punk cinema clubUpperstall, Filmi Geek and at philip’sfil-ums.

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Starring as pictured above Manisha Koirala (Vaidehi); Madhuri Dixit (Janki); Mahima Choudhary(Maithili); and Rekha(Ramdulaari).  All four of the woman stars have a form of Sita for their name.

Epithets: In common with other major figures of epic literature, Sita is known by many epithets. As the daughter of king Janaka, She is called Janaki; as the princess of Mithila, Mythili or Maithili; as the wife of Raama, She is called Ramaa. Her father Janaka had earned the sobriquet “Videha” due to his ability to transcend body consciousness; Sita is therefore also known as Vaidehi (Vaidehi Vaydehi, or Vaithegi) (Sanskrit: वैदेही)). (source) Thanks to Philip’sfil-ums, I know that Ramdulaari (Rekha’s part) tranlates to Ram’s darling.

 

lajja.menThis is a girl power film, and unfortunately there’s certainly large amount of misandry, (and misogeny, go figure) but worry not since there are some super male heros played by the always satisfying Anil Kapoorand Ajay Devgan to help tip the scales back in the favor of good men. Even super bad guy played by Jackie Shroff is redeemed by movie’s end. The film opens with this statement by the director:

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The music numbers covered here are all written by Anu Malik. Choreographer Ganesh Acharyaputs together 3 wonderful dances which serve to hold the sometimes disjointed picture together. Ganesh Acharya really does some provocative choreography with Urmila Matondkarhere, clearly showing life in the fast lane at an American nightclub. I did wonder a bit about the reason for putting those masks on the background dancers, but why not?  Jazz hands! Can one really ever get enough of the jazz hand?  I think not, so I had to share not one, but two screen caps of the jazz hand:

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Aa Hi Jaiye with playback singer Anuradha Srirampicturized on Urmila  Matondkar:

lajja.prestigeOur story starts with Vaidehi (Manisha Koirala) who finds herself married to a womanizing millionaire crorepati and living in the wicked west, New York City that is. You can see in the item number above the loose moral environment Vaidehi’s husband subjects her to. It’s all about the sex, drinking and money for her evil husband played by Jackie Shroff, but Vaidehi herself must keep up the family name.  Vaidehi makes her plea for a moral lifestyle and he won’t stand for it and ships her back to Hindustan. Of course there’s retribution for the husband’s evil ways and after sending Vaidehi back to Bharat he gets in an auto accident, rendering him impotent. Ha! Well we see that even the very rich, amidst their leaded crystal laden mansions in the USA have problems!

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But…lekin, there is a simple solution! Evil father ( Suresh Oberoi ) suggests:

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Meanwhile back in the safe arms of India, Vaidehi meet a bandit with a heart of gold played by Anil Kapoor, who is called a biscuit wallah and scoundrel here:

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In order to hide from her husband’s men hunting her down, Raju (Anil Kapoor)  and Veidehi crash a wedding and blend among the crowd.  It’s there they meet the bride to be Maithili (Mahima Choudhary)and meet her snobbish in laws. Look at Maithili’s sweet mother (Farida Jalal) be snubbed in her gift offering:

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The bride has an admirer who I thought tried to imitate yesteryear actor Johnny Walker. The second great item number is Saajan Ke Ghar Jaana with playback singers Alka Yagnikand Richa Sharma, picturized on the lovely Sonali Bendre:

 

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Eventually Vaidehi makes her way to another safe haven, where she meets Janki (Madhuri Dixit ) who is an actress. Her first exposure to Janki is her acting out a seen on stage from the 1960 epic Mughal-e-Azam .

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How can you not adore Madhuri?  The third item number is Badi Mushkil with playback singer Alka Yagnik,picturized on Madhuriand Manisha:

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That’s all the fun we get because Janki finds herself pregnant out of wedlock and her fiance is made to question her virtue by her Ravana-esque manager.  So when she’s doing her staged performance of Ramayana, she asks why should Sita  have to do the trial by fire to prove her virtue, why not Ram?

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Backstage she continues to share what’s on her heart and mind:

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Now that’s a great question, but I guess she forgot she was in India. It’s more than just an elephant in the room, it’s the elephant in the country.  The aftermath of the big question about equality has predictable results in a man’s world:

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The crowd beats Janki and as a result she miscarries.  Infuriated, Vaidehi goes to confront the evil, gossiping, lecherous pervert manager of Janki and get a load of what she says:

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Yeah!  She said it! Vaidehi escapes that mess and finds yet another safe haven with  Rekha‘s Ramdulaari. Do you see how in Rekha’s world they keep it real, cow dung patties drying on the wall.  Now that says “village!”

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And while I speak of cow dung patties, here’s a photo I took of some I saw on my trip to India:

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Back to Rekha and Manisha and their suffering:

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Another hero that comes to Vaidehi’s rescue is the super human Bulwa (Ajay Devgan) who handles dacoits on a train as well as the evil town leader Gajendra( Danny Denzongpa ). Now Bulwa has held a grudge ever since the Gajendra boiled Bulwa’s moms hands in oil.   This resulted in Bulwa amputating one of Gajendra’s arms back in the day, which of in turn caused Gajendra to hold a grudge against Bulwa.  Years pass and Bulwa returns for another confrontation and Gajendra whips off his pashmina to reveal that arm he’s been missing for years:

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Amputations are one of those things I look for in a Bollywood film.  Nothing says revenge like an amputation. Bulwa even commits a double arm amputation on another scoundrel.

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Bulwa is once again to the rescue when Vaidehi’s evil  NRI husband catches up to her. The sword wielding hero is ready to chop off her husband’s head, but to Bulwa’s horror, she stops him:

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Well Bulwa does have a valid point there Vaidehi, hai na?

Here’s one more screen cap to show what a bad-ass Bulwa is:

Since I’d like to end on a positive note, feast your eyes on the ever beautiful Madhuri:

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If you’ve seen Lajja, tell me what you thought.

Video of the Day: “Tere Ishq Mein Nachenge” from Raja Hindustani (1996)

johnniewalker.jpgJust like yesterday’s video, here’s another from Raja Hindustani (1996):

“Tere Ishq Mein Nachenge”

The song is set at a party where Raj (Aamir Khan) is feeling mighty low and drinks away his shame of being from the wrong side of the tracks. Eventually after consuming some J&B whiskey, he starts drinking Johnnie Walker, Red Label at first, but then it switches to Black Label, which is one of the things I love finding in Bollywood movies: Characters drinking Johnnie Walker! And as all you fans of the genre already know, drinking Johnnie Walker is as common as seeing a dance contest, hearing “Happy Birthday” sung, or people getting a tight slap to the face in Bollywood films. Yet another one of its many, many charms!

See, first the J&B, then the Johnnie Walker:

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Of couse BollyWHAT? already has a great Synopsisof this scene:

At Aarti’s stepmother’s request, they go to Mumbai to celebrate Aarti and her father’s joint birthday. (Aarti’s stepmother is scheming to find a way to keep all the wealth in her own hands.) Shalini tricks Aarti into giving Raja a tuxedo and lying about where it came from (at Shalini’s suggestion, she tells Raja she saved up and bought it herself). Later, at the party, Shalini’s nephew tells Raja that it is actually his tuxedo, and Aarti gave it to Raja because she didn’t want to be shamed by his shabby clothing. Raja gets drunk and embarrasses Aarti horribly, and then raises his hand to her father, a slight which she cannot forgive and which leads her to cast him out from her home. (Fun fact: Aamir Khan, who is not in the habit of drinking, consumed almost a liter of vodka before the filming of the song in this sequence, “Tere Ishq Mein Nachenge.”) (Thanks BollyWHAT?)

rajahindustani.jpgThis scene features most of the movie’s cast: Aamir Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Suresh Oberoi, Archana Puran Singh, Pramod Muthu and a lot of extras and dancers. Boy wouldn’t it have been fun to play one of the extras?

And now “Tere Ishq Mein Nachenge,” with music by Nadeem Sharavan, Lyrics by Sameer, and playback singers Kumar Sanu, Alisha Chinai, and Sapna Mukherjhee.

 

“I’ll dance around in your love!”

Lyrics in Hindi and English from BollyWhat?

Video of the Day: “Pardesi Pardesi” from Raja Hindustani (1996)

Today’s video is the song,“Pardesi Pardesi” from Raja Hindustani (1996). First off here’s a bit about the movie:

raja.jpgRaja Hindustani (1996). (Hindi: राजा हिंदुस्तानी, Urdu: راجا ہندوستانی) is a 1996 Bollywood film directed by Dharmesh Darshan. It is a tale of cab driver from a small town who falls in love with a rich girl. Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor play the lead roles. The film became a box office hit. Its theme is similar to the 1960s hit Jab Jab Phool Khile starring Nanda and Shashi Kapoor. Two people from opposite socio-economic backgrounds fall in love and get married against the girl’s family’s wishes. The girl’s family then conspires to create a rift between the couple by exploiting the boy’s jealous, short-tempered nature. Wealthy Mr Sehgal (Suresh Oberoi) lives with his daughter, Aarti (Karisma Kapoor), and her stepmother Shalini (Archana Puran Singh) in a palatial home. Aarti wants to go for a vacation to a small hill station named Palankhet where her parents had met for the first time. Once there, she meets with taxi-driver Raja Hindustani (Aamir Khan), and after a short period of time, both fall in love with each other, and get married without Mr. Sehgal’s blessings. Eventually, Mr Sehgal forgives his daughter, and invites both newlyweds to his palatial home, not knowing that his wife, her brother, Swaraj (Pramod Moutho), and her nephew Jai (Mohnish Behl) have plans for him and his daughter that will change their lives forever. (wikipedia)

The movie stars Aamir Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Suresh Oberoi, Johnny Lever, Nevneet Nishan, Veeru Krishnan, Archana Puran Singh, Pramod Muthu, and the young Kunal Khemu. Kalpana Iyer and Pratibha Sinha are the roadside dancers in this clip of “Pardesi Pardesi.” The drunken-sharabi one, Kalpana Iyer, shows up in my internet research as the paramour of the married Amjad Khan! Her wikipedia link says, “Kalpana has been rumoured to have a live-in relationship with Bollywood villain, Amjad Khan until his death in 1992.”

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Well she is pretty hot and scary at the same time.

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I bet after seeing these screen images you can understand why I can’t get “Pardesi Pardesi” or the movie out of my head. The playback singers of the version here are Udit Narayan , Sapna Awasthi, and Alka Yagnik. There’s also a version of Pardesi Pardesiwith Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik as the playback singers. Enjoy and beware, this song may temporarily take over your brain!

“Foreigner, foreigner, don’t go and leave me. Foreigner, my friend, keep your promise! Remember me, don’t forget somehow!”

Thanks for the YouTube video chandaliali

LYRICS in Hindi and English and synopsis thanks to BollyWhat?

For more stills and a review about this great film click HERE.

For a bit of chugli on Karisma, read this blog entry: “The Real Pardesi