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Posts Tagged ‘Balraj Sahni’

izzat

Izzat (1968) stars  Dharmendrain a double role playing brothers who don’t know they’re brothers until late in life. One is rich, the other poor; one dark, the other fair; one a land owner’s privileged son, the other an illegitimate  hard working student who’s just been orphaned.  There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents!..doesn’t Amitabh or SRK scream that out in some film, maybe it’s Amitabh in Lawaaris?  Tell me if you know.  Fate brings the Dharmendrai together and wacky misunderstandings occur and vendettas are settled.  Here’s a plot summary courtesy of  the prolificrAjOo, but skip it if you don’t want spoilers.

After completing his college, dark-skinned Adivasi Shekhar returns home and finds that his mother, Savli, has passed away. Distraught, he is consoled by Father Abraham, who also tells him that his mother had an affair with wealthy Ramgarh-based Thakur Pratap Singh, who refused to marry her even after she became pregnant. Shekhar decides to avenge his humiliation and sets forth to expose Pratap. Upon arrival in Ramgarh, he finds that he has a fair-skinned look-alike half-brother, Dilip, as well as a sister, Neelu. Dilip meets him, hires him as an office staff person, and asks him to impersonate him in order to meet Deepa, the only daughter of wealthy Vinodbabu, and Shekhar agrees to do so. Shekhar meets Deepa and both are attracted to each other. Shekhar decides to tell her the truth about himself, and returns to Ramgarh. Once there, he finds history repeating itself as Dilip is in love with an Adivasi belle, Jhumki, but is refusing to marry her. Written by rAjOo (IMDB)

At the beginning of the film Shekhar who I will refer to as dark Dharmendra, since in the film they make a big deal about this dark skin, finds out about his mother’s tragic past, and his parentage.  That Thakur (Balraj Sahni) kaminey found his dark skinned, low caste villager good enough to sleep with, but once she was with child, he coldly accuses her of wanting his lakhs. Thakur is wrong, all she wants is his love, and ek chutki sindoor and blessings of the goddess.izzat.$

"Ek chutki sindoor!"

"Ek chutki sindoor!"

So Shekhar works himself into the fancy home of his father and finds that he’s got a fairer skinned half brother.
izzat.vendetta izzat.double Shekhar’s got some killing on his mind, but he also finds himself at a party.  What to do? Dharmendra sings at  the party, as Shekhar and they all think he’s his look alike rich brother,  Dilip.  Please take note of the bollywood balloons that decorate the party:izzat.balloonI suppose I should have been excited by Dharmendra and Tanuja’s performances  here (yawn), but for me this was  Jayalalitha‘s film.   It was the first time I’d ever seen her.  She plays a super spunky mountain girl, who likes that fancy Dharmendra character, fair-skinned Dilip, but he’s socially out of her reach, being wrong caste for her to desire, let alone acquire.  She can’t possibly marry up…or can she?  Take a good look at her, I think she can:
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The live wire  Jayalalitha of Izzat transformed herself into a  real life politician. It was the first time I’d seen her in a movie, and she was a Tamil star, so her part in a Hindi film was not the norm.  She also did some playback singing.

Prior to her venture into politics, she had a successful career in the Tamil film industry as an actress. She acted in the English language movie “Epistle” released in 1961 produced by Shankar Giri, son of former president of India Dr. V.V. Giri. Chinnada Gombe, her first film (in Kannada) was a major hit. Her first Telugufilm Manushulu Mamathalu made her famous. In 1972, she was honoured by the Tamil Nadu government with the award Kalaimamani. She has acted opposite Dharmendra in the Hindi Movie named Izzat. Her last film was Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal in the year 1980. (source)

Now that I know she’s an over achiever, I’m a bit suspicious of her, but after her performance in Izzat, I’d vote for her, no problem.  On a side note, I would be an extremely reckless voter in India, for that very reason. “Jaylalitha is on the ballot!?  She was soooo cute in Izzat, and what a dancer!” I’d check that ballot, not even caring about her politics simply because she was so cute in that film.  Good thing I can’t vote in India. In her role as Jhulki, she’s fearless, not afraid to love:

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She’s not afraid to defend herself against a dirtball goonda/thug/dacoit. This scoundrel has lusted after her and when he tries to forcefully move in, she delivers a tight slap to the face! Go girl!

izzat.slapI wasn’t able to find a version of the item number featuring Jayalalitha dancing with about 30 other women to the music Laxmikant Pyarelal and a lavish set, but I did find it as part of a set clips of the full movie uploaded on youtube. Now THIS is what I call an item number:

The beginning part of this number, which is not in the above clip can be seen about 8 1/2 minutes into this link.  This number was so lavish that I needed to screen cap some of it for the world to see.  Look how fantastic Jayalalithaa looks here.izzat.item.7izzat.item

Eventually that nasty Thakur gets his just rewards.  It was only a matter of time before karma catches up with him.izzat.tribalsWell, tribals will be tribals, so easily incited and ready to light a torch for justice.izzat.riotThough she had a small part, I was very taken with Laxmi Chhaya’s performance as a servant.  She’s a real mess here, but very hot, so I suppose she’s a hot mess. I just love the colors here, from the walls to her sari, to her make up. Fantastic!izzat.maid.2

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And as a nice touch, there was a cute little statue of Jesus, in front of some stylin’ flagstone.  I like my Jesus with flagstone, sort of how I like my coffee with mile and sugar. Now I’ve got to see more of Jayalalitha, so looks like there will have to be some more Tamil, Telegu and Kannada films are in my future. Now head over to Memsaab’s blog, to read her impressions of Izzat.

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She was known as one of the most beautiful women in the world:anuradha.leela.5

anuradha.leela.9 Last month while checking my blog dashboard, I noticed skyrocketing hits searching a post I’d done a while back on The Householder (1963). Closer inspection revealed to me that the  search engine term that referred people to the blog was Leela Naidu.  It was then I read the news that she had died on July 28, 2009. Since I posted a few pictures of Naidu in The Householder post, people were coming to look at her.  Then I went ahead to look for more images of Naidu online and  I noticed that there weren’t too many, though Pitu Sultan has a few great ones HERE.   So as a public service, I went ahead to take some screen caps of this lovely woman from two more of her films.  I saw Anuradha (1960) from the beginning of her career and Trikaal (1985) from the end of her career.  In each of these films she played the suffering wife and looked and acted equally beautiful in both.

Here are a few images of Leela Naidu from Anuradha.  She begins the film as a famous singer:

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1960-f-AnuradhaAnuradha Roy (Leela Naidu), a noted radio singer and daughter of a rich man, falls in love with an idealistic doctor, Dr. Nirmal Chowdhary (Balraj Sahni), who serves the poor in the distant village Nanda gaon. After the marriage and a daughter, she realizes the gravity of the choice of living in a village, it is then she has to decide between her love and her love for city life. (source)

After marriage to a doctor (Balraj Sahni) assigned to work in a rural village, Anuradha (Naidu) loses here fame and stands around looking gorgeous, waiting for her husband to pay some attention to her:

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Extra credit in Anuradha:

There’s  a brief apperance by David, who is looking very young here.anuradha.david

Twenty five years after making Arunadha (1960), Leela Naidu starred in Trikaal (1985) , where she continued to look glamorous.

1462_17_TrikaalTrikaal (1985) (Past, Present and Future) is an Indian movie written and directed by Shyam Benegal, setin Goa during the early 1960’s (pre liberation) Period. The film starred yester years actress, Leela Naidu, in a comeback role after many decades. Set in 1961 Goa, when colonial rule of Portuguese was on its last gasp,  the movie revolves around the life and tribulations of a fictional Goan Christian family called “Souza Soares”. (source)

trikalExtra credit in Trikaal: You get to see Naseeruddin Shahas well as Kunal Kapoor. No not that Kunal Kapoor, but the Kunal Kapoor who is Shashi Kapoor’s son, playing Captain Rebeiro.  Can you see a resemblance? I believe I can.

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There were also some great subtitles.  I like seeing the use of “paining”:

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Anti European comments are always a pleasure:

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And, best of all, the use of the term spinster always makes me smile, since I am a spinster myself! Jai spinsters!

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Naidu is pictured here above with Neena Gupta and Anita Kanwar.  There was also an appearance by playback singer Alisha Chinai, who played a singer of all things.  trikal.alishaChinoy

The song performed was a nice love ballad in what I thought might be Portuguese, but is more likely in Konkani, but I couldn’t find it online, so allow me to substitute a completely unrelated Alisha Chinai song since I admit I love it, and I know you probably will too. So here’s the interval to this post:

~ INTERVAL ~

Teekay, the interval is finished, back to Trikaal. Naidu’s Dona Maria Souza-Soares  raises Milagrenia as her own child, even though she’s the child her husband fathers in one of his many affairs.  Kuta! The classy Dona Maria shares both her grief and wisdom over the loss of her husband with Milagrenia.

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The two women share seances and finally have a mystic vision leaving them at peace with their grief and confusion:

I was able to find some prophetic images from both films where we can imagine Naidu is speaking on the end of her own life on this earth:

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And perhaps talking about what’s going on with her now:

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And if you’d still like to see more of Leela Naidu…

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Rest in peace Leela Naidu.

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For a more in depth look into Naidu’s life, read Leela: A Patchwork Life, by Naidu along with Jerry Pinto, reviewed here by G Sampath in his article The importance of being Leela Naidu for  DNA.

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