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Posts Tagged ‘Ahsa Bhosle’

In honor of Beth Loves Bollywood’s international Khanna Family initiative to celebrate all film industry Khannas, Khanna-o-Rama, I would like to contribute a little write-up on Dayavan (1988).

 

It starts out with poor little orphan, Shakti Vellu, aka Dayavan (kid version of Vinod Khanna) ending up witnessing his dad being unjustly murdered by some corrupt police.  He has to flee his southern home and hide in Bombay for safety only to run into some punks on the seaside who try to beat and rob him.  During this fight, Dayavan runs into a little ruffian, Shanker (kid version of Feroz Khan), who is impressed by Dayavan’s fighting skills,  flair, generosity, piety, all that good stuff , which to me are the personality traits I want to believe the Khanna’s  (Rahul, Akshaye, and Vinod) posses in real life, don’t you?  OK, real life, whatever, back to the movie.  Dayavan sets Shankar straight about his true inner badass nature, for within the composed orphan, lies a heart capable of murderous rage with he witnesses injustice!

I am too lazy to get into retelling you the plot of the film, so here’s a synopsis to suffice and then I’ll skip to the parts I liked best.

After having witnessed his dad being killed by the local South Indian police, and being orphaned and homeless, Shakti Velhu develops a hate, and distrust of the police in India. He is befriended by another homeless boy named Shanker, who asks him to accompany him a slum in Bombay, where they live with a kind-hearted Muslim named Karim Baba, and his daughter, Shama. This is where Shakti and Shankar spend their childhood. When they mature, they take to petty crime. Here too, Shakti witnesses police brutality and atrocities, especially at the hands of sadistic, alcoholic, and womanizing Police Inspector Ratan Singh. When Karim Baba is arrested, jailed, and found hanging by his neck in police custody, Shakti hunts down Ratan Singh, and kills him in broad daylight in front of the several hundred people. An investigation is launched, but no one comes forward as a witness. Thus Shakti gets his reputation as a Don with a good heart viz. Dayavan. Shakti marries local prostitute, Neelu, and has two children, Suraj and Sarita. He becomes even more powerful and influential all over Bombay, and his working partners are powerful criminal dons who have ruled over Bombay for eons. Shakti eventually replaces these dons, and becomes Bombay’s only Don. This creates enemies for him and his family, but he believes since he has not really done any harm to anyone, he and his family will be safe. It is this belief that will take a heavy toll on his life and that of his family, when the truth dawns that he, himself, is responsible for being kind to a man, who will ultimately bring forward ruin to the Velhu family. (source)

Fast forward from their childhood to adulthood still in the slums, think Slumdog Millionaire, except in this case the two guys stick together and have a life long bromance.  Check out one of their bromantic escapades here:

There’s the supreme policeman villain there to push Dayavan’s buttons, talk about a corrupt dude!  Inspector Ratan Singh (Amrish Puri!)  harasses the slum dwellers, especially a spicy widow played by Aruna Irani.

As a spinster, I’ve managed quite well for very long without a husband, Amrish-ji, I mean Inspector Ratan Singh.  When the evil cop is not harassing widow Aruna, he  lies about with the courtesans of the slums drinking hooch.

Enter Khanna hero, Vinod, who witnesses the harassment of the widow and breaks into a justice fueled fury, and executes a beat down on the inspector.

Haughtiness intact!  Yet another trait I image the Khanna’s have in real life: intact haughtiness under adverse circumstances.  Then after the severe police brutality takes its toll on Dayavan’s body, enter Shankar, to comfort him. Take in the splendor of the bromance:

How do you cheer up your buddy after an assault from a crooked cop?  A night out at the local brothel of course!

The tune I liked most from the film was Kahe Saiyan Teri Meri Baat with playback singers Ahsa Bhosle and Kavita Krishnamurthy (music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, lyrics Aziz Qaisi). I couldn’t find the video separate from the film, so to see it go to 2:30 in the clip below to see the greatness.

Shankar teases Dayavan about his lack of experience with women and arranges for him to have an overnight stay in a room at the brothel, if you know what I mean.  Dayavan uses the room to sleep off his night of drinking and is awakened, as is so commonly the case, by the innocent prostitute, who is quietly, yet intensely studying for her exams.  He gives her money to continue her studies, and leaves her untouched.  Now doesn’t this remind you of the class and flair of what you’d imagine the Khanna’s to be like in real life?   Anyway, I suppose I mentioned just then that Madhuri Dixit was in the film  and I found it a waste of her talent  since she really didn’t dance too much and her role was too brief.  Kya waste hai! Here’s a taste of her dancing in a Holi number.

I don’t like seeing other people kissing, since it’s so private, so Hindi movies are perfect for me.  Dayavan has a famous kissing scene between Madhuri and Vinood,  in fact if you google videos for the film, the kissing scene is most prominent and you can see it here if you’re inclined.  If you watch it please make note of how unconvincing Madhuri’s hands are in the scene, which reveals to me she was not comfortable filming it. I mean wouldn’t most women have more gusto in their grasp if sharing a moment with Vinod Khanna?

Let’s end with a few more memorable screen captures & subtitles from Dayavan:

Double point for me here, since the screen cap includes a subtitle with dacoity (which is even better than dacoitery in my book) and a lone bottle of Johnnie Walker black label, which is obviously better than red label, isn’t it?  Look at Vinod Khanna’s intensity here when someone comes to him to get justice: Did I mention that Feroz Khan is in the movie?  Seems like I’ve ignored him, but here he is, handling business!

And handing out a little vigilante justice, which I know chandelier connoisseur Shweta will enjoy:

During the course of the film, Dayavan’s daughter  (Amala)avoids him due to his illegal work, and ironically she marries a police officer  played by Aditya Pancholi,  who is cheated, since she declared herself an orphan.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with declaring ourselves orphans now and again. Dayavan is a remake of the Tamil film called Nayagan (1987).  Have you seen the movie in its original Tamilian form? I want to see it now in its pure form!  Since I’ve  focused on Vinood Khanna here,  I must throw a bit of attention on his sons, Rahul and Akshaye, to balance out my Khanna-o-Rama contribution.  I will ask you the ask the  timeless question that Briyanshu posed: Rahul or Akshaye? HERE’S THE ANSWER.  Now I command you to click on this feast of Khanna-o-Rama blog posts to fulfill all of your Khanna Family desires.

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The word association I have with leprosy is Mother Teresa, India, and Jesus. After reading this,

Many doctors view leprosy as a scourge of Biblical times or faraway places, but there are still thousands of U.S. cases, with more diagnosed each year, experts say (source)

maybe I’ll associate leprosy with the U.S. now too. This map shows that I wasn’t too wrong to associate leprosy with India. The WHO has all the latest leprosy statistics HERE.

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deshpremeeinquilabjesus2With all the Bollywood movies I’ve seen, you’d think I would have run across a leper sooner than now, but it took Desh Premee (1982) to expose me to my first Bollywood leper, Shamila Tagore, as Bharati. Finally! And speaking of me associating Jesus and lepers, Amitabh breaks out with the most Jesus looking parts in this film. Just look at him suffering here. —————>

If that doesn’t remind you of Jesus and his crown of thorns, I don’t know what will. I know with Christmas right around the corner it’s baby Jesus time of year and not crown of thorns Jesus time, but still, I’m technically working in a Christmas theme.

Since it’s a Manmohan Desai film, I’ll save my self a lot of explaining and refer you to this SYNOPSIS. An extra bonus to the film is Shammi Kapoor playing a lovable, chunky Sikh. You can see a bit of Sikh Shammi in this number.

More and more I’m loving Kader Khan as a villian. Have you seen him in Tawaif? In Desh Premee Khan plays Sher Singh who snatchs Bharati from her freedom fighter, patriot husband (Amitabh) as part of a revenge plot. Sher Singh lusts after Bharati for years, yet she remains faithful to her husband who believes her to be dead. Bharti is repulsed by the scoundrel and tells him:

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Careful what you wish for Bharati! Evil Sher Singh puts Bharati up in a filthy rat infested hovel and she comes down with leprosy. I don’t think leprosy is passed by rats, but you get the point watching the scene in her new home when a rat crawls out of a hole in a wall: Rat = dirty = bad = leprosy. As a means to depict how depraved Sher Singh is, he’s shown frolicking with trashy goris. Look! One gori is drinking, the other is smoking, while one clutches his leg. Dirty! Bad!

When I see them, I lose track of the film and am instantly plopped into reality and think stuff like, “Are these German toursists? They look German. How did they get these parts? I wonder why they were traveling in India? Are they friends?” OK, back to the film. After years Bharti returns, in the midst of Sher Singh’s debauchery. He thought she’d never come around to his advances and that this is finally his lucky day!

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Then she says what he’s dreamed of hearing her say…

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HA! Tricked! Take THAT Sher Singh!

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deshpremeeshirt1Have you seen leprosy in any Bollywood movies? I would also like to include the image of another one of the bad guys from the film, just because I wanted to show the world his shirt and scarf.

OK, to end on a happy note, forget about the leprosy and check out Hema Malini and Amitabh in blackface performing Gori Nahin Hum Kaali Sahi, with music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. The playback singers are Asha Bhosle and the song’s writer, Laxmikant. This video either needs no introduction or a really big one, I can’t tell.

If you click on the video and it says embedding disabled, just click it again to get there.

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