Indian top 10

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Re: Indian top 10

Postby A » Thu Nov 30, 2006 3:23 pm

Read it now, and i think I have to see the film first. I'm completely ignorant of Bollywood movies, I should add. If I watch the film, I'll come back to your review.
This thread on indian films is really becoming a great source of information for what to look out for.
A
 


Re: Indian top 10

Postby jcdavies » Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:18 pm

Madhuban: well, i have now seen Umrao Jaan and enjoyed it- my wife liked it even more. Thanks a lot for putting me onto it. Also now seen Pyaasa (very good, a few tremendous sequences, but let down by the final section, i thought, so overall i'd expected better), Sahib bibi aur Ghulam (ok), Sholay (disappointing- hardly very subtle, though i know some like its references + coverage of all sorts of genres). Guide (Anand), Bombay (Ratnam), Meera Naam Joker + a few others on my rental list. I'm very glad to see the site here is still going as i thought it was finished! A refuge to return to.
jcdavies
 

Re: Indian top 10

Postby madhuban » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:14 pm

Hey John, glad to see you back
madhuban
 

Re: Indian top 10

Postby A » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:52 pm

Dito. Looks like you`ve been watching quite a lot of Indian films, judging by my own standards. I`d be more than pleased if you could tell us more about them.
A
 

Re: Indian top 10

Postby jcdavies » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:35 pm

Oh my god, i've just done a neat little run-down on the films and pressed a wrong button, all lost!! Blast and damn. Wait till i collect myself and regain the enthusiasm after the dismal setback
jcdavies
 

Re: Indian top 10

Postby jcdavies » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:41 pm

Right, try again.

Sholay, massive hit in 1975, made megastar of Amitabh Bachchan, still possibly the most popular Bollywood film of all. A sort of broadly comic genre-hopping romantic musical Eastern Western about 2 young likeable petty crooks who are hired by a former lawman (who admired their courage in a previous escapade) to take revenge on the dastardly villain of the piece. More than hints of Leone and Chaplin, but not really my thing.

Saving this, before onto the next.
jcdavies
 

Re: Indian top 10

Postby jcdavies » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:53 pm

Pyaasa (Guru Dutt, 1957). This pops up in a few critics' top 10's so i had very high hopes, having enjoyed Dutt's 1959 film Paper Flowers. Here Dutt is a destitute neglected poet who is appreciated by and takes up with beautiful prostitute Waheeda Rehman, after the love of his student life marries an exploitative publisher. Dollops of social satire, especially in the last 1/2 hour (which has a rather o.t.t messianic feel), whereas i prefer the film's sometimes lush sometimes melancholic romanticism and some marvellous visual sequences. There's already a strain of self-pity, cynicism and anger at society, which brought to mind Dutt's suicide in the 1960's. If the film had ended 1/2 hour earlier i might well have ranked it among the greats; no doubt others appreciate the change of tack more.
jcdavies
 

Re: Indian top 10

Postby jcdavies » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:58 pm

Sahib bibi aur Ghulam (1962). This time Dutt is the star not (official) director; a wistful melancholic film in which he looks back at the eye-opening days of innocent youth at a now deserted palatial mansion, where he had met 2 lovelies- Rehman again (with whom in real life Dutt had just finished an affair) and Meena Kumari (who shared his alcoholic tendencies). This had a good write-up by British critic Mark Cousins, but i was a touch disappointed, especially as my favourite sequence was the opening.
jcdavies
 

Re: Indian top 10

Postby jcdavies » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:07 pm

Umrao Jaan (Muzaffar Ali, 1981). Madhuban recommended this one to me here. Based on a popular novel, set around Lucknow in the 19th century; about a young girl who is kidnapped into a life as courtesan entertainer, who becomes famous and has rich suitors but finds social stigma comes between her and true love. Very colourful, fine sets and costumes, and Rekha looking lovely. I enjoyed it, but i must admit i still prefer the even more opulent Mughal-e-azam (1960) and the utterly magnificent, bewitching, beguiling and breath-taking Pakeezah (1971, also about a courtesan, starring Meena Kumari)
jcdavies
 

Re: Indian top 10

Postby A » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:38 pm

Thanks a lot. Now I only need to get my hands on some Indian films. Today I read an article from 1997 about Adoor Gopalakrishnan but none of his films are available in my parts, while the stores are full of Bollywood movies. But Im not too interested in those.
A
 

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