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Posts Tagged ‘Neetu Singh’

I had originally tried to order Aaina (1977) from Netflix, but got the 1993 version of Aaina instead, which I reviewed HERE.  I eventually did get the 1977 version of Aaina that stars Mumtaz and Rajesh Khanna.  I would not be tricked by Bollywood’s duplicate titles and miss out on my original plan to see the 1977 version!

Shalini (Mumtaz)  is a poor yet happy brahmin girl who spends her time laughing and smiling, despite her  family’s poverty.  Ashok (Rajesh Khanna) and Shalini like each other but are from different castes.  They tease each other and have a lot of fun, but ultimately they come to understand that society’s norms will keep them apart.

When Ashok notes that Shalini’s only sari is worn to the point of having holes, he buys her a new one.  Shalini’s mother (Nirupa Roy) lets her daughter know that she can not accept this sort of gift from a man because it would be shameful for the entire family.  I love how this lesson of  family honor is filmed with the characters on either side of the worn sari:

Things continue to worsen for the family when the dad’s evil sister, Janki (Lalita Pawar) comes with her daughter to live with the already financially stressed family.   Janki doesn’t do a thing to help out, in fact she just spends time going to frivolous Bollywood  movies and gossiping.  When Janki finds one of her starving nephews begging for food she fails to understand that her taking money to go to the movies has caused the problem since that money would otherwise go for food for the children. Then Shalini finds her mother one night mixing poison in with the food so the she can poison the family out of their misery.

The next obstacle is that one of Shalini’s brothers wants to go to medical school, so in an attempt to get a recommendation to insure his entry to the program, Shalini travels to the big city. She stays with some friends of the family in the a home with a large central split staircase, so often seen in Bollywood films, hai na?

Shalini’s connection to try and get the recommendation for her brother’s entry to medical school is a fraud, and the situation ends with her being raped, as represented by a mirror aaina being broken.  She then hears of another person who can help her get the medical school recommendation, who invites her home to meet his wife.

But the wife is not there, only her picture is on the wall, and this powerful man has the same nefarious interests in Shalini as the man who first violated her.

So this is how Shalini, a young Brahmin girl, eventually turns to prostitution to support her family. One night she’s enjoying the company of a client, and he discovers that she’s Brahmin like him.  Note the symbolism of the mirror aaina on the wall saying hey, why don’t you look at yourself first yaar, before you point any fingers.

Shalini points out the ridiculousness of his hypocrisy and returns his tight slap to her face with one to his face.  Ironically, later in the movie when Shalini returns home to pay for and attend both her sister and brother’s weddings, who turns out to be the groom for her sister?  Not to spoil things, but it’s this creep here!

I learned from Suhan, a commenter on my 1992 Aaina post, that Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (2007) pulled from the 1977 Aaina.

This one comes out smelling of mothballs, like a wedding dress stored for decades in an attic trunk. Not surprising, since the plot is vintage 1977 from Aaina, and the 1995 Marathi film Doghi. (Hindustan Times).

If you’ve seen LCMD, perhaps like me you remember once Rani Mukerji became a high class call girl, she lived in a super deluxe apartment in Mumbai.  This was the only shot of that apartment I could find, but you get a general idea of its sleek, modern look.

Like Rani Mukerji’s character in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag,  Shalini also gets a fantastic place to live thanks to her profession.  I’m not saying it’s a good trade off, but it sure is a cool place.  One of my favorite parts of the film was when Shalini got a visitor, she would push a buzzer on the table and a curtain would automatically pull open, revealing the client behind the door. Check it out:

Sometimes it was a shock just who would stop by, like in this case, her friend Ashok from back home who told everyone he died in the war.  After knowing he could never be with Shalini, Ashok faked his own death, but eventually years later fate brought him right to her door!

Is that double lucky kismat at work or what?  Not only does he get a prostitute, but she’s also the woman he loves!   What are the odds of THAT happening!?  Alas, Shalini is shocked and ashamed.  Don’t you love that torpedo/bullet bra she must be wearing under her shirt?

Despite her circumstances, Ashok understands and more importantly accepts her as she is, and wonders what could have been between the two of them and life hadn’t taken them on different paths.

Shalini returns home to give her family money and pay for her siblings weddings. A cute part of the movie was the film within the film where the village  watched stars Dharmendra and Neetu Singh film a song sequence to Jaane Kya Ho Jaye with playback singers Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar.  This is scene cuts back and forth being picturized on filmi film stars and the “real” young couple in the film, Shalini’s sister and that scoundrel she’s engaged to, Shalini’s former client:

Shalini sacrifices herself to fund her family and is disgusted to return home only to  find her mother pregnant again!  There are already about 8 kids in the family. Of course her mother has no idea just what Shalini has done to earn money.

Seems word has gotten out around town about Shalini’s new job and her little sister points out how her music teacher (paid for by Shalini) was staring at her. Shalini flirts with idea of suicide to answer the question of her eternal suffering, but when she’s about to jump, she hears the sounds of her siblings calling to her.

So how do you think it all ends? If you’d like to know more, please go to see the plot summary by rAjOo.

I’d love to hear your impressions of Aaina too.

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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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amarakbar25rishi.jpg Dosto, today I present you with the songPardah Hai Pardah from the 1977 film, Amar Akbar Anthony. I enjoyed this song so much I added 4 versions for you. At the Bollywood Food Club, we don’t really do true film reviews; why bother when there are already so many great bloggers out there doing it so well? So I refer you to Bollywood 501, Filmiholic, Filmi Geek, and Philip’sfil-ums for some great insights into Amar Akbar Anthony. I will simply deal with the more superfical and say that any movie that starts out with Pran and a suffering Nirupa Roy instantly wins my heart. I have to add that I liked the patches Anthony wore on his clothing and Akbar’s array of sheer colorful shirts. Amitabh’s Anthony made me proud to be a Catholic, and Vinood’s Amar made me yearn to be a Hindu, while Rishi’s Akbar had me praising Allah. I LOVED this movie. And in particular I loved Rishi Kapoor‘s performance in Pardah Hai Pardahas well as the voice of its playback singer, Mohammed Rafi.

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This is the kind of suffering I’m talking about! A blinded mother, not realizing she’s touching her very own son! Nirupa Roy suffers so well.

 

amarakbaranthony.jpgAmar Akbar Anthony (Devnagari: अमर अकबर एन्थोनी) is a 1977 Bollywood film about three brothers separated during their childhood who grew up in three different homes, adopting three different religions. The film was directed by Manmohan Desai and starred three actors, of them included Amitabh Bachchan (as Anthony Gonsalves), Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor. Each of the three heroes had an affilitian with a heroine, which included Parveen Babi, Shabana Azmi and Neetu Singh. Nirupa Roy, Pran and Jeevan were supporting actors. The music was written by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Kishore Kumar sang for Amitabh Bachchan, and Mohammed Rafi sang for Rishi Kapoor. The soundtrack was one of Mukesh‘s last soundtracks with Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Anand Bakshi was the was the lyricist. A ex-convict must flee his mob boss, leaving his family to fend for themselves. The ex-convicts wife in a fit of bad luck turns blind and inevitably his children are abandoned. They are adopted by a Hindu policeman (Amar), a Muslim tailor (Akbar), and a Catholic priest (Anthony). The Hindu raised son becomes a policeman in his turn; his Muslim-raised brother becomes a singer; and the last brother, played by Amitabh Bachchan, becomes a happy-go-lucky Catholic who lives on the edge of law. The boys meet again and their lives become entangled in an incredible twist of unlikely coincidences and furious action sequences interspersed with songs. (wikipedia)

So here are the video clips of the addicting tune, Pardah Hai Pardah:

 

1. Original version starring Rishi Kapoor, with playback singer Mohammed Rafi. It’s fun to know that he’s singing to Neetu Singh, who he married a couple years after this movie. I mean who wouldn’t marry him after this performance, hain na?:

Thanks to sikkbreman for the video. Makes me want to rush to a mosque!

 

2. Here’s a crowd favorite, from SaReGaMaPa Challenge, Amanat Ali. I especially like how he substitutes his own name in the “Akbar” part of the song:

I’ve already posted about my favoritism for the Indian singing talent search shows, so click here to see that and some more of Amanat. Thanks to shesthebest for the YouTube video.

3. Here’s Vinit Singh, another contestant from SaReGaMaPa Challenge:

Thanks to sachinscs for the YouTube video.

4. Here’s Irfan, from Star Voice of India. Not only is he great but how fun to see the movie’s real stars, Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Singh (I think that’s her) judging along with playback singers Alka Yagnik & Abhijeet:

Thanks to AmulStarVoiceOfIndia for the video.

 

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