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Daag : First Movie Under Yashraj Banner

Only when you want to fly so badly that you give up being a caterpillar, is when you can become a butterfly. That’s exactly what must have been going on in Yashji’s mind. He had directed five movies under the shadow of his brother Balraj for BR Films, and now he was itching to start a production house of his own where he could make movies of his choice. And Daagwas the first movie of Yashraj Films.

The story of Daag was written by Gulshan Nanda, who had earlier written Kati Patang. Gulshan Nanda had adapted the novel Mayor of Casterbridge, and the story came to Yashji. Wonder what Yashji saw in the story that he was all excited and wanted to produce/direct it. If you see the movie, you will realise that this unconventional movie has no safety net. The only way he could have kept the audience hooked was by having a face that the audience loved seeing, no matter what he did. Rajesh Khanna was a superstar in the early 70′s and his stardom may have prompted Yashji to sign him on as a safe bet. So, Rajesh Khanna was just incidental to the movie, rather than integral.

Sunil Kohli, played by Rajesh Khanna, is a die-hard romantic. He loves Sonia and amidst Ab chaahe maa roothe ya baaba, yaara maine to haan karli, they get married soon after college. While on their way to honeymoon, a heavy thunderstorm blocks their path. Sunil meets a dear old friend Dheeraj who helps them out in this rough weather.

Dheeraj plays the perfect host, but only for a while. His animal instincts get the better of him, and he attacks Sonia with the intention of outraging her modesty, while Sunil is out trying to make alternate travel arrangements. Sunil returns just in time to save Sonia and in the ensuing fight, a violent strike from Sunil leaves Dheeraj dead. A criminal case is slapped on Sunil and he is decreed with death sentence.

Most movies would end with such a climax during the 70′s and 80′s. But this movie only begins to find a footing at this juncture. Sunil and Sonia get separated even before they could start their new lives together. All their dreams, hopes and aspirations get shattered. To make matters worse, the police van which was used for transporting Sunil to the jail, meets with an accident and he is the lone survivor. Sunil is caught in a situation with no option. He understands that life has given him another chance to live. If he declares himself ‘alive’, he would be sent back to serve the punishment.

As I earlier said, its an unconventional love story. Sonia lives like a widow while Sunil re-settles with a new assumed identity. And here, Chandni enters the scene. She is a woman who has inherited a lot of wealth, palatial home but her heart is a cup in which no happiness has been poured, its brimming with sorrow.

Some people look for love, but instead get trapped in lust. Such was the story of Chandni. The person she loved, gets her pregnant and leaves her, absolving himself of all responsibilities. Our society is very cruel where having a child out of wedlock would never be acceptable. The necessity to give her child a social acceptance and to save Chandni and her family of the ignominy of the situation brings the story to its first cross point between characters. The story progresses when a turn of events brings Sunil into Chandni’s life. It could be out of a selfish necessity of Sunil or the unfortunate desperation of Chandni that Sunil agrees to give Chandni’s unborn child his name and agrees to be her husband albeit just for the society. This arrangement was a symbiotic one, where it led to a new identity for Sunil and a respectable name for Chandni and her new born.

It may have been a situation of convenience for Sunil where he would be shielded from the law and would enjoy the amenities of a palatial house and luxuries he had never thought of and at the same time, to be in the company of a beautiful and attractive woman. His true love for Sonia may have prevented him from acting on it, but who is to say that he was not resisting any attraction that any man with any degree of romance in him would have for a woman as virtuous as Chandni. And who is to say that Chandni, on realising that a man who lived with her in the same house and who she at some level may have accepted as her husband had not made any advances at her, was not compressing a sense of frustration within herself.

Just when Chandni had finally managed to forget her horrible past and had got used to Sunil, Sonia comes into their life like a thunderstorm; and she shakes the foundation of their relationship. There was a volcano of emotions bottled up between of Sonia and Sunil that needed an eruption point. Something that took the situation by the scruff of its neck and shook the characters to realise their true feelings.

Sunil & Sonia find themselves in a difficult situation yet again, where inspite of being under one roof, they couldn’t be together. Mere dil mei aaj kya hai, tu kahey to mai bata doon, but there is so much to say that Sunil didn’t know where to begin from. Sunil is obligated to Chandni due to societal pressure, but his heart beats for Sonia. Chandni is unaware of Sunil’s past and in enraged by his sudden proximity with Sonia.

Love also results in jealousy. Sometimes people think they are not jealous/envious, but when they see their loved one having a good time with somebody else, the green monster appears from nowhere. Sonia is jealous of Chandni because she can’t be seen with Sunil in public, while Chandni is jealous of Sonia because although Sunil is with her, his heart is with Sonia.

This is a story that has happened in many a household, and such peculiar problems require unique solutions. This awkward situation leads to a nonconformist end, possibly the only ending that could be an acceptable solution to all three characters. Only an iconoclastic director like Yash Chopra, with his deft handling, could have made the movie palatable. Its his understanding of a man-woman relationship, that results in creating such credible characters.

This poem of love had some really good music from Laxmikant-Pyarelal and lyrics was written by Sahir Ludhianvi. Some songs are timeless pieces and are hummed to this day. Sahir captures the sense of the drama very well and pens his thoughts nicely.

This was the last superhit movie of Sharmila & Rajesh Khanna together. Sharmila Tagore, as Sonia, gave a very good controlled performance. But it was Rakhi who walked away with the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress, for her role as Chandni. And Yashji won the Best Director award for this movie.

This post was also published on MadAboutMoviez

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in bollywood, movies

 

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Rajesh Khanna Passes Away, May His Soul R.I.P.

And this time, the voice of Anand will not respond to Babumoshai and yet again the tape will play-on endlessly till it breaks from the spindle. The superstar passed away sometime back, leaving a huge void in the film industry and in our hearts.

Many a tribute was written in the last couple of weeks as his condition deteriorated. And many a channel played out his songs. The news media killed him even before he was gone. They actually prepared us for his death, but then, we can never really be prepared for such news. It aways comes as a shock.

May his soul R.I.P.

Maut aani hai ayegi ek din

Jaan jaani hai jayegi ek din

Aisi baaton se kya ghabrana

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in movies

 

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Fun Mode : Kishore-da’s Unbridled Enthusiasm

Just the other day I was listening to Kishore songs, not the sad depressing numbers which can make even a normal person melancholic, but some fun songs for a change. One thing that came out loud and clear was the fact that he enjoyed singing those songs, however silly the lyrics was or however absurd the tunes were; he gave it his all.

If a singer himself does not seem kicked about a song, how will he ever enthuse others? That’s the feeling I get when I hear those inane new talents on the numerous talent hunt shows. They come, they sing, they don’t even bother to work on the comments given by the judges [some of the judges are not even worth their salt, better not hear their comments at all] and mechanically appear again in some other show.

Anyways, back to Kishore da. He totally gets into the mood, full-on, unplugged. There are legends about Kishore and the manner in which he rendered the Khaike Paan Banaraswala number. It goes like this: Kishore actually asked for a bunch of pans which come in those cases [as seen in Padosan] and a peek-daan to spit out the paan. He sat on the floor or some kinda bed and literally rambled the words Bhang Ka Rang Jama Ho Chaka-chak. I go back to my previous para where I mentioned that unless the singer does not enjoy the song, there is very less chance that others will. And Kishore was a master of that. The kind of energy that he would blow into the song and the infectious jovial nature is unparalleled.

Since his Padosan songs have been talked about no end, I shall refrain from doing so. Let me talk about his other songs, especially from the black & white era. In the same genre as Mere Bhole Balam from Padosan was a song called Gaana Na Aya Bajana Na Aya, Dilbar Ko Apna Bana Na Aya. Its a hilarious song that blows your top-off. Kishore is seen trying to create a new song and the result is pure comedy. The lyrics were again by Rajendra Krishen and music by Hemant da. There is a small Brit accent piece, Kishore trying an imitation, really funny. Who could imagine the ever-serious Hemant Kumar composing such a number, but such was the exuberance of Kishore that everyone was affected by it. Also seen in the video clip is Gemini Ganesan along with Meena Kumari who are baffled by Kishore’s antics. Probably the only time that the south matinee was seen with Kishore in the same frame.

How funny can Kishore da get? Well, turns out very funny. So funny that in the movie Aansoo Aur Muskaan, there is a song picturised on Kishore in a ashram which is called Swami Kishore-aanandam Kirtan Ashram. And the song itself is Guni Jano Bhakt Jano, which sees Kishore in the garb of a sadhu. The lyrics of the song even goes on to list all the stars of bollywood in a fine spin of words sounding like bhajan

brahmaande he koti sitaram prithvi par bhi anek sitaram
arre aashirvadam ashok-kumaram
prithvi-putram raja-kapuram shammi-kapuram shashi-kapuram
ramam shyamam dilip-kumaram purab-pashchim manoj-kumaram
arre premapujari dev-anandam, roopa-pujari IS-joharam
arre nilam-kamalam raj-kumaram, yade yadam sunil-dattam
are ittefaqam rajesh-khannam jai jaani rajendra-natham
uchhalamakudam jai mahamudam

Two of the wackiest Kishore songs feature Pran, and Kishore himself in motley attire, thats pure coincidence. In Cheel Cheel Chillake, he is dressed in a school uniform, probably on some tour in scouts jamboree. The movie was Half Ticket, I haven’t been able to see the movie yet. But if the movie is even half as good as the song, then it shall be a treat to watch.

No one can forget a pre-supposed duet song being sung by the same singer. Kishore achieved that feat in Aake Seedhi Lagi where he not only cross-dressed but also cross-voiced. He sang as Kishore for Pran and then as squeaky/screechy and rustic village-belle-Kishore for himself. I am not even finding words to describe Kishore’s ludicrous yet fantastic act. No one could have pulled it off, but him.

‘Kahani Kismat Ki’ had an unprecedented song picturisation. And much before Dharamendra had climbed atop a tank in Sholay, he was seen in a crane elevated carrier singing Rafta Rafta Dekho Aankh Meri Ladi Hai; which he does after gathering a small crowd. Towards the end, he even starts singing ghati lyrics which is hilarious, and an embarassed Rekha looks around for some kind of sanity.

Then, there is the Eena Meena Deeka number. The mukhda of the song is a string of garbled words that make no sense but have been sung with great conviction as though it were the commandments. Kishore totally believed in the song and executed it with perfection, just watch his choreography; amazing. And the lyrics of the song has some insensible wisdom. Check this

Mat socho ki sasta hai sauda
Phal paayega lagayega jo paudha
Dil ki ye kyaari banegi phulwaari
Ye duniya jalegi, jalan ki hai maari
Hasegi hasegi hasegi meri pyaari

If you thought Kishore had sung only romantic and sad songs for Rajesh Khanna, then you are wrong. Rajesh Khanna too had a fair share of Kishore’s masti songs. One of them being the Saasu Tirath, Sasura Tirath from the movie Souten. The lyrics literally mean that in-laws are are to be worshipped and visited regularly as a duty and a pilgrimage.

Another lesser spoken about song from the movie ‘Chalti Ka Naam Gadi’  was Hum The Wo Thi Aur Samaa Rangeen Samajh Gaye Na. The two brothers, Anup and Kishore, discussing the forbidden topic of an encounter with a woman which Anup hasn’t had and Kishore teases him with lyrics which go like this:

Khoya Mai Kaise Uski Baton Mei
Kehta Hoon Dam To Lene Do Ahhaha
Khoyi Woh Kaise Meri Baaton Mei
Kehta Hoon Dam To Lene Do Ahhaha
Kya Kya Keh Dala Aankho Aankho Mei
Kehta Hoon Dam To Lene Do Ahhha

Another song from the same movie, worth mentioning, is the Panch Rupaiya Barah Aana song. It so happens that Kishore repairs Madhubala’s car and she still owes him Rs.5.75. And Kishore is out to get that money, even if it means earning it by entertaining her.Watch Kishore dressed in leather pants, jacket and a feathered cap. And watch him each time he says Chahe Namoona Dekh Le and tunrs up in a different costume. This song later became an inspiration for a song in movie ‘Jeevan Ek Sanghursh’, where Amit Kumar crooned Dede Mera Dede Tu Bees Rupaiya, Twenty Rupees My Twenty Rupees.

Vinod Khanna has rarely been seen in comical acts, except for the movie Hera Pheri with BigB. But in this song Priye Praneshwari from movie ‘Hum Tum Aur Woh’ is a song which sees Vinod Khanna in never-seen-before getup. The only other funny getup Vinod Khanna ever did was in Hera Pheri. In this song, Vinod is singing to his lady love in chaste hindi and even I did not know the meaning of a few of those words. The lyrics of the song and Kishore’s rendition is just awesome.

priye praaneshwari, hridayeshwari
yadi aap hamey aadesh karey to
prem ka hum shri ganesh karey

If anyone is depressed, thinking about love and missing their loved ones, should listen to Hum To Mohabbat Karega from ‘Dilli Ka Thug’. Its another comical song which describes the extent to which a person can go, to prove his love and to stay with loved ones. After hearing words like Joota Polish Karega Tel Maalish Karega, they are bound to smile at their own stupidity and limitless affection for their loved one, what with thoughts like … joota paalish karega lekin tum par marega, laila laila karega thandi aahen bharega and doobegaa nahin tairega pyaar se ham nahin darega

A song which encapsulates the qualities that a man looks for in a woman is very humorously penned in Zaroorat Hai Zaroorat Hai Zaroorat Hai, Ek Shirimati Ki, Kalavati Ki, Seva Karey Jo Pati Ki. It may sound a bit regressive, but its to be taken with a pinch of salt; because the song is really a romantic one at heart. Sample this:

haseen hazaaro bhi ho khadey, magar usi par nazar padey
ho zulf gaalo se khelti, ke jaise din raat se ladey
adaaon mei bahaar ho, nigaahon mei khumaar ho
qabool mera pyaar ho to kya baat hai 

itar mein saanse basi basi, vo mastiyo mei rasi rasi
zara si palkein jhuki jhuki, bhavey ghaneri kasi kasi
phoolon mei gulaab ho khud apna jawaab ho
vo pyar ki kitab ho to kya baat hai

And with Kishore enacting it, his facial expressions and the naugtiness in the voice was great.

This is just the beginning of a long list of Kishore-da’s songs which continue to enthrall us. The man was a complete maverick and no one entertained us, the way he did; whether it was infront of the camera or behind it, be it in the recording studios or shooting a movie. Whereever there was a fun moment, he was there; or may I put it like this – wherever he was there, there were fun moments. So, please go ahead and list your fave Kishore songs which tickled your funny bone, I am sure that won’t be a tough task!

This post was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2010 in bollywood, movies

 

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Shakti Samanta – A Musical Tribute

ye kyaa huaa, kaise huaa, kab huaa
kyon huaa, jab huaa, tab huaa
chhodo, ye naa socho

humne jo dekhaa thaa, sunaa thaa
kyaa bataaye wo kyaa thaa
sapnaa salonaa thaa
khatam to honaa thaa, huaa

When the end came, it was really sorrowful. But as all good things come to and end, so did the life of Shakti Samanta. The above lines are from his movie Amar Prem and they are so true. Shakti Samanta made a humble start in the movie industry. He came to Bombay with dreams of becoming a hero, but he ended up becoming a producer/director; and he excelled at it.

The music in his movie was always great, he had a fantastic sense of music. These songs continue to be played by radio stations and people hum the songs to this day. But music was not his only strong point. Shakti da’s films had a very strong emotional quotient, sometimes they would turn out to be tear-jerkers as in Amar Prem. But in most cases, the emotional content was well-balanced with the romantic sequences that would leave a lump in our throats, as in Kati Patang, Amanush, Aradhana etc.

After the success of his initial movies like Bahu, Hill Station and Inspector, Shakti da launched his own production house in 1957 called Shakti Films. The first film under this banner was Howrah Bridge made in 1958, a nice suspense thriller starring Ashok Kumar and Madhubala. The song Aaiye Meherbaan of the movie is one of the most seductive numbers sung by Asha Bhosle.

Howrah Bridge had another hit song to its credit, Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu. The movie was a run-away hit and gave more muscle and money to Shakti da to continue producing and directing movies. His next big movie was in 1962 called Chinatown starring Shammi Kapoor, Shakila, Madan Puri and Helen. This movie was written by Ranjan Bose who had earlier written the thriller Howrah Bridge. Chinatown was again a thriller about look-alikes where one Shammi replaces another. This was among the first movies to come-up with that concept which was later copied in so many other movies like Don. Chinatown had a fantastic Rafi number Baar Baar Dekho which is counted among the best Rafi and Shammi songs.

Between Howrah Bridge and Chinatown, Shakti da had directed two other movies; Insaan Jaag Utha with Sunil Dutt which was a rare Shakti da movie about rural India and plight of farmers; and the other was a Dev Anand and Madhubala starrer Jaali Note.

Then came the era of Eastman colour and Shakti da came out with Kashmir Ki Kali in 1964. This time again, Ranjan Bose wrote this nice romantic movie which had a twist towards the end. The movie starred Shammi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore in an unforgettable romantic journey. The movie had a beautiful soundtrack by OP Nayyar and the songs are evergreen with such richness and depth, they are such a pleasure to the ears.

Apart from Ye Chand Sa Roshan Chehra, there were other great songs like Isharon Isharon Mei, Subhanallah Haseen Chehra and Hai Duniya Usi Ki. The lyrics were penned by SH Behari, now totally forgotten. This movie established Shammi Kapoor as a romantic hero of this new era of color movies, especially because he could carry-off comedy scenes so well. A proof of that romanticism is evident in this song as well, Deewana Hua Badal.

This was one of the first hits of Sharmila Tagore and it entrenched her in the Hindi movie industry. And sparked-off a long movie making relationship with Shakti da. After the success of Kasmir Ki Kali, he worked with Sharmila again in his next movie Sawan Ki Ghata, co-starring Manoj Kumar. The movie was quite an indifferent work by Shakti da, who came back to his own self in 1967 with An Evening In Paris. This movie was again among the first few movies to be shot totally outside India. Sharmila was seen again with Shammi Kapoor, and this movie too had a marvellous musical score by Shankar Jaikishan and some great singing by Rafi. He had become the voice of Shammi by then, and he sang four solo songs for Shammi in this movie.

The title song saw Shammi going bonkers on the streets of Paris and infront of Eiffel Tower, but he carried it off very well. The movie had Sharmila playing double role Roopa and Deepa, a bad girl replacing the good one. Raat Ke Humsafar was a beautifully picturised song with slow and romantic moves, then there was the Deewane Ka Naam To Poocho where Shammi continues to prance around. But Asmaan Se Aya Farishta takes the cake in terms of song picturisation and the story of the song recording is legendary.
Shammi was not around when Rafi was in the recording studio. Shammi was unable to reach Rafi and was not sure what kind of nuances Rafi would add to the song. Shammi had that quirkiness which was so well captured by Rafi, but for that Shammi had to be around; that was the reason why Shammi was worked-up. But when he heard the track, Rafi had sung it just as Shammi would have liked him to. The way Rafi matched up Shammi’s madness was like two-body-one-soul.

Again, when the song was being picturised Shammi just could not hear the song because of the helicopter noises and yet his lip-sync is perfect. The song would start and Shmmi would immediately get the rhythm and keep the rhythm going in his mind till the time  the helicopter was lowered. This madcap genius was so fantastically captured by Shakti da.

That was the golden period for Shakti da, whatever he touched turned to gold. After the super success of An Evening In Paris, his next movie was Aradhana in 1969. He continued with Sharmila, their fourth movie together, and Rajesh Khanna was signed. He was barely new to the industry and still struggling, but this movie and a few others following this catapulted him to superstardom. Aradhana was a remake of To Each His Own which was made in 1946.

As with other Shakti da’s movies, this movie too had soul stirring music by SD Burman. The songs have become immortal and will be sung for eons to come. This movie was in a way the much needed boost that Kishore Kumar was looking for. Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar together went on to write history with their face-voice combination. Rajesh Khanna breathed and Kishore sighed, Rajesh Khanna smiled and Kishore romanticized it, it was a rapturous collaboration. On hindsight, Shakti da was responsible for this historical feat which enthralled the nation. Songs like Baaghon Mei Bahaar Hai, Gunguna Rahe Hain Bhawre, Roop Tera Mastana and Kora Kagaz Tha Ye Mann Mera were on everyones lips. These songs continued to be sung despite the absence of any publicity from FM radio, internet, tv channels only because of its merit and melody.

The movie Aradhana again was a double role stuff, wherein Rajesh Khanna played father and son as the movie panned two generations. Sharmila as the mother with greying hairs was as adorable as she was when she danced around in her youth, in the movie. The critics had written off the movie, but against all odds the movie became a huge hit. This was the biggest hit of  Shakti Films and one of the best movies of Shakti da. The way the story unfolded and the way he handled Rajesh and Sharmila was wonderful, and his contribution in music sessions with SDB and RDB is commendable.

After the super success of Aradhana, Shakti da made Pagla Kahin Ka in 1970 with Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh. I felt the movie had some traces of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, but was quite different. The title song of the movie became popular, Ashiq Hoon Ek Mehejabeen Ka, Log Kahe Mujhe Pagla Kahin Ka and Tum Mujhe Yu Bhula Na Paoge. The movie was quite forgettable though, coming from Shakti da. But his next movie, also in the same year, Kati Patang was a huge hit.

Shakti da worked again with Rajesh Khanna but this time the actress was Asha Parekh. It was made on a short story called I Married A Deadman by Cornell Woolrich. The movie was made in Hollywood not once but twice, first as No Man Of Her Own and then as Mrs.Winterbourne. Anyways, this fact notwithstanding, the movie was a good entertainer. Asha Parekh plays a widow and Rajesh Khanna plays a misogynist because his wife turned out to be a runaway bride. But Asha sparks love in his barren life and he falls for her. The songs of the movie are sweet and there is a song on every conceivable mood. A sad song Na Koi Umang Hai, a Holi song Aaj Na Chhodenge Bas Humjoli, a picnic song Ye Shaam Mastani, a cabaret number Mera Naam Shabnam, a romantic song Pyar Deewana Hota Hai.

The movie had its own sad moments and Shakti da captured sorrowness with as much expertise as he captured happiness and romantic moments. His next movie turned out to be more of a tear-jerker than romantic. In 1971, Shakti da made Amar Prem whuch had Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore. The movie was a remake of a Bengali movie Nishipadma which starred the superstar of Bengali movie industry, Uttam Kumar.

Amar Prem had a bold theme about society and people’s insensitive and apathetic attitude towards prostitutes. It highlighted how people abhor such acts and call it immoral by day, but revel in their pleasure by nights. Rajesh Khanna as Anand Babu finds peace, love and comfort in the company of Pushpa, played by Sharmila. And Rajesh Khanna’s dialogue ‘Pushpa…I hate tears‘ has become legendary. The movie boasted of really good songs like Raina Beeti Jaye, Bada Natkhat Hai Re Krishna Kanhaiya, Chingari Koi Bhadke, Ye Kya Hua and Kuchh To Log Kahenge.

All the songs were soulful and beautifully written by Anand Bakshi. Once Javed Akhtar had said that he would like to have the pen with which Anand Bakshi had penned the song Kuchh To Log Kahenge.

Shakti da’s next few movies were social dramas like Jaane Anjane, Anuraag and Charitraheen. While Jaane Anjane was a story about reforming a petty thief to live a respectful life, Charitraheen was about how a woman scorned in loved ends up becoming a victim of circumstance and takes to prostitution. The starcast of the movies were topnotch. Jaane Anjane had Shammi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna, Anuraag had Rajesh Khanna, Nutan and Ashok Kumar while Charitraheen had Sharmila Tagore and Sanjeev Kumar.

In 1974, Shakti da came up with Ajnabee where Rajesh Khanna and Zeenat Aman were paired. The movie dealt with marital discord and the re-union of two hearts that love, but not without some suspense and a murder mystery.

Ajnabee had some really good songs like Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mei, Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se and Hum Dono Do Premi, the music was by RD Burman. The Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mei song was remixed by Leslie Lewis and Anupama Verma featured in the video, thereby giving it a new lease of life, people had forgotten about it.

The next year, 1975, saw the release of Amanush starring Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore. The movie was bilingual, in Hindi and Bengali and Uttam Kumar with the help of Sharmila and Shakti da did total justice to the character. The Bengali version was a mega success in WB, but the Hindi version did not do all that well. Kishore’s vocals, though, gave us a very haunting sad song which is sung time and again by us.

Utpal Dutt was seen in a rare negative role, but he was awesome in the movie as the conniving merchant.

Shakti da’s next movie in 1976 was a reincarnation story called Mehbooba. The movie starred Rajesh Khanna and Hema Malini who play a singer and a courtesan in a palace. A tragic accident sends them down a valley, and how they are reincarnated years later. Since it was based on singer/courtesan it had to have good music by RD Burman with songs like Gori Tori Paijaniya sung by Manna Dey, Jamuna Kinare sung by Lata Mangeshkar and of course Mere Naina Saawan Bhadon sung by Kishore and Lata, in their own versions and not as a duet. This song formed the recurring theme of the movie as Rajesh was trying his hardest to help Hema recall their past birth.

After the success of Mehbooba, Shakti da made the movie Anurodh in 1977, continuing with the singing character of Rajesh Khanna where he sings for AIR and works as auto-mechanic as well. The movie also starred Vinod Mehra, Ashok Kumar and Simple Kapadia. The movie did not fare well at the box-office and interestingly enough, the reason given out was that Rajesh Khanna was married to Dimple in real life and in the movie he romanced Simple, this did not go down well with the audience. Anyways, the music was just about ok but lacked the punch of previous Shakti da’s movies. This time the music director were Laxmikant-Pyarelal, and two of their memorable songs were Aate Jaate Khoobsurat Awara Sadkon Pe and Aapke Anurodh Pe.

Anand Ashram was Shakti da’s next movie but was a disaster. It spoke of spiritual healing and starred Uttam Kumar. This disaster pushed him to come back with a blockbuster and so came The Great Gambler in 1979. Shakti da was back with another movie about double-role and look-alikes changing camps to get the roller-coaster going. Amitabh Bachchan played Jai and Vijay, one a cop and other a gambler; and the co-stars were Zeenat Aman and Neetu Singh. The movie was extensively shot outside India. Although the music was by RD Burman, just one song registered in the minds of everybody Do Lafzon Ki Hai.

Shakti da worked with Amitabh Bachchan again in Barsaat Ki Ek Raat in 1981. It was a simple story of a forest officer who marries a blind girl played by Rakhi, and how their life is shattered by Amjad Khan who harms his wife. Though the movie was very predictable, it mad e for a good watch. The movie was a bilingual, it was made in Bengali too.

The last time that Shakti da collaborated with Rajesh Khanna was in 1985, their 9th movie together was ironically titled Alag-Alag. The movie co-starred Tina Munim and had Bindu in a vamp role. RD Burman was back as the music director and Kishore sang some very good songs for the movie. Rajesh again played a singer, a street talent whom Bindu finds and wants to groom him for the movie industry.

Shakti da also went on to make some Bengali movies like Anyay Abichar, Debdas and Geetanjali. But he did not enjoy the great success that he had enjoyed through the 1970′s. Although his directorial capability was never in question, nor was his production of movies but the overall quality of movie writing had led to his downfall. Also, age was not on his side. So, he was unable to act with the same energy and vigour.

All these musicals point to the fact that he had a deep sense of music and understood it so well. Shakti da being the producer and director always must have had tough choices, whether to be honest to the movie as a director or become saleable because he was the producer as well. Its to his credit that he has handled movies of such varying themes. It really saddens to see such a poor response to the loss of such an eminent movie-maker. In fact, the last video-song Kabhi Bekasi Ne Maara is quite apt here, especially the second stanza. But let me also add that, whenever anyone sings a song from Shakti da’s movie they will be paying a tribute to him, his works.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2009 in bollywood, movies

 

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