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Posts Tagged ‘B. R. Chopra’

Mumbai: Legendary film-maker B.R. Chopra, who made immortal classics highlighting socially relevant issues and produced the popular Hindi TV serial ‘Mahabharat,’ died on Wednesday at his home here following prolonged illness. Baldev Raj Chopra, elder brother of another filmmaker Yash Chopra, was 94. Mr. B.R. Chopra had not been keeping well for sometime and the end came at 8.30 a.m. at his residence in suburban Juhu, family sources said. One of India’s most respected film personalities and an eminent film producer-director, Mr. B.R. Chopra is survived by his film-maker son Ravi Chopra and two daughters. Mr. B.R. Chopra was known for making films based on powerful off-beat themes such as Dhool Ka Phool (1959), Waqt (1965), Naya Daur (1957), Kanoon (1958), Humraz (1967), Insaf Ka Tarazu (1980) and Nikah (1982). Whether it was issues relating to adultery (Gumraah), the politics of rape (Insaaf Ka Tarazu), Muslim matrimony laws (Nikah), rehabilitation of prostitutes (Sadhana) or widow remarriage (Ek Hi Raasta), he always had a sharp, clear and effective non-formula tale to tell. He laid great emphasis on the story because he himself had started out as a writer. (The Hindu)

This Times of India article on Chopra is quite interesting. I just loved Chopra’s Naya Daur and Nikaah. The supplemental disc to Naya Daur contains a great interview with Chopra which I blogged about HERE. Now here’s a nice tune from Naya Daur to send off Chopra:

Credit for the B.R. Chopra film images posted above goes to the marvelous Karen’s Gallery. Stop over to Rough In Here to see some more videos from B.R. Chopra’s films.

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When I saw Nikkah (1982) which means an Islamic marriage contract, I thought it really should have been called Talaq, Talaq, Talaq! So in my post movie online research, I found that it originally was to be titled Talaq Talaq Talaq (divorce). I thought, “Hey that’s what I thought it should be titled too!”

Nikaah is a 1982 Hindi film produced and directed by B. R. Chopra. The film stars Raj Babbar, Deepak Parashar and Salma Agha in her Hindi movie debut role. The film also had Asrani, Iftekhar and Gufi Paintal in support roles. The films music is by Ravi. The original name of the movie was Talaq Talaq Talaq, but was renamed Nikaah on the insistence of Islamic clerics. (wikipedia)

No one wants to get on the wrong side of an Islamic cleric. The movie begins with a series of rather sensual oil painting in the background. Some of the paintings are nudes!

As the paintings flash by, a woman recites the following:

I am a woman the daughter of Eve
Sent down from the heavens pure and sacred
I’ve bloomed the flowers in this world
I give birth to a man and train him to walk
As a sister I tell him amusing stories
As his beloved, I make his life melodious
I sacrifice the precious pearls of my life
In a need I walk along with him
By serving him like this I lose my entity
The story of my sacrifice is in all the holy books
All that I have said is an illusion
I’ve always had one fear after many centuries
I may be pushed into some brothel
I don’t know when I may be bet in gambling
I may be compelled to prove my chastity
I may be put to death just after my death
I may be auctioned in the flesh markets
I may be accepted as a wife after marriage
I may also be divorced and rejected
My chastity may be ravaged by the same men
This is all because I am a woman

Off to a dramatic start with that opening poem, right? That’s followed by some subtitles I’d never seen before using the word buttock, not buttocks, just buttock:

That’s Haider Raj Babbar and his college buddies talking about Nilofer (Salma Agha). Haider is actually a good guy and is a real Ghazal expert. Haider and Nilo had a bit of an attraction in college, but Nilo was set to marry the fancy Nawab Wasim (Deepak Parashar) who immediately gets a business deal for a 5 star hotel! I love how often the term “5 star hotel” appears in Bollowood movies. I’ve seen enough Bollywood to know that the 5 star hotel theme is quite ominous and those involved in the deal will eventually fall from their greedy quest for power. 5 star hotel = bad guy. 5 star hotel = bad scene.

And sure enough, the 5 star hotel deal interrupts the celebration of the honeymoon. While Nawab Wasim meets with his business partners, poor Nilo sits on the rocky Mumbai beach, watching other honeymooners as she scrawls “honeymoon” on a rock, the word eventually being washed away by the crashing waves.

As may be predicted, since Nilo and Wasim’s marriage starts of with a rocky honeymoon (sorry couldn’t resist) it only continues to have highs and lows like the waves of the ocean. Eventually things take a nasty turn when Wasim gives Nilo a tight slap to the face, and the highs are gone. Nilo spends most of her time waiting for her workoholic husband, and when he finally appears after standing her up repeatedly, he’s often in a foul mood. Although Nilo dedicates herself to the marriage, she realizes that it’s not working.

But fear not ladies, Nilo is a strong woman and doesn’t take this abuse and the next time that arrogant nawab raises his hand to her she puts him in his place!

Macho Wasim has to have the last word. In fact he has the last 3 words and says “Talaq! Talaq! Talaq!” Giving her the triple talaq = D-I-V-O-R-C-E! I warn you if you see this scene and are prone to seizures, this may trigger one as it flashes back and forth between these 2 pictures at a rapid rate of about 100 times in 30 seconds.

 

Nilo gets her talaq and goes on to marry Haider, who thinks she may still love Wasim. Haider then trys to reunite Nilo and Wasim in an act of sacrifice. Nilo’s not having that! These men making all the decisions and not consulting with her at all drives her to the edge and she declares the truth:

What I loved about this movie:

  • More adabs and Subhan’allahs per scene than any movie ever!
  • 5 star hotels mentioned
  • Tight slaps to the face
  • Johnnie Walker consumed by a bad guy
  • Women triumph in the end

The most interesting part of this movie to me was the fact that Salma Agha was her own playback singer for the tune “Dil Ke Armaan” and won the Filmfare Best Female Playback Award for the song.

Thanks to anupkumar07 for the video.

LYRICS with and English translation by Madhu.

Even more interesting than Salma being her own playback singer is the fact that she was discovered at Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Singh’s wedding. And it gets even better: Salma was already famous for recording the hits of ABBA in Hindi with her sister Sabina:

AGHA – Salma and Sabina Agha sing ABBA hits in Hindi. (wikipedia)

Listen to Salma and Sabina work their magic:

Mamma Mia, Super Trooper, and Dancing Queen

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WOW! I saw the classic Naya Daur (New Age) this week and LOVED IT! It’s a drama of man vs. machine. I threw out every machine in my house after seeing it, but then I went out and replaced them all when I understood, if used correctly and without taking away human dignity, they’re OK.

Naya Daur is a 1957 Indian drama film starring Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala, Ajit and Jeevan. The film is set in post-independence India where Industrialization is slowly creeping in. nayadaurposter.jpgThe focus is on Tangawallahs who earn their living transporting people from place to place on Tangas (horse – carts). Their livelihood is threatened when the son of a rich landlord (Jeevan) begins operating a bus service in the town,which he subsidizes heavily with the sole intention of first driving the Tangawallahs out of the down and then making profits. Dilip Kumar plays one of the Tangawallahs who petitions the landlord over this injustice.Then, Jeevan’s character proposes a competition to decide which service is the best – The Bus or the Tanga? It is then decided that there will be a race between both the vehicles. The highlight of the film is definitely the heart stopping final race where the underdog wins and how? (wikipedia)

Check out what upperstall has to say about this movie. There’s also an official website since the 1957 film was colorized and re-released in all its glory in July, 2007. The fancy re-release of the classic has a supplementary disc where you can see Yash Choprā interview the film’s director, his brother, B. R. Chopra, who he calls, “bhai sahib” in the interview, which I loved. So formal! He even wishes his brother the oh so Indian, “All the best!” at the end of the interview. I’d love to interview my own brother and call him brother sir, he’d be so confused. Anyway, the supplemental disc has lots of nice tidbits, like Yash Choprā saying, “43 years ago, a time when people made films with their head and hearts and not just with calculators in their hands.” B. R. Chopra laments that “today’s artists are business men, not so much passion, artists only reworking the same story over and over.” B. R. Chopra speaks of hiring a large group of bangra folk dancers for the movie, worth every rupee I’d say. He also talksnayadaurasha.jpg about how Vyjayanthimala‘s role was originally intended for Madhubala, but her father refused her participation in the film for fear she’d romantically reinvolve herself with heart-breaker, Dilip Kumar. The musical launch segment has both Chopra brothers, Aditya Chopra, Vyjayanthimala, Dilip Kumar, and Asha Bhosle, all looking great in 2007!

The music in this film by O. P. Nayyar is spectacular! As upperstall writes, “The film is a musical triumph for OP Nayyar and lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi. Each of the songs in the film was a raging hit and won OP Nayyar the Filmfare Award for Best Music.” I especially liked the devotional song “Aana Hai To Aa” by playback singer Mohammed Rafi. This song offers that Bollywood wisdom that I love. Here are the lyrics in English, but I bet the Hindi is richer, more meaningful and more beautiful:nayadaurdelay.jpg

Come if you have to

There are no turns in the path

There is delay but no denial

Come if you have to

When you can’t solve your problems

Have faith in the Lord’s justice

He will resolve your problems

What you couldn’t do the Lord will

He knows everything that’s in your heartnayadaurtemple.jpg

The Lord knows your every condition

Your wishes are fulfilled without asking

Those whose hearts are pure get to take shelter here

This is the court where you get justice

He is the ultimate master of the world

Lyrics

We’re lucky enough to have BFC’s favorite remix artist, Dr. K Chaudhry post a version of the same beautiful song:

I’ll have to come back and post a bit more about this fantastic movie later.

Read what theBollywoodFan wrote about the film.

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