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Chandni : Eternal Moonlight

Her heart was a secret garden, and the walls were very high“.
-William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Chandni is not just a character from this movie, but she is a character who has been residing in Yashji’s thoughts for a long time. What culminated in this movie was the effect, but the cause of it can be found in his earlier works. Yashji is not a writer, I do know that. And this implies that Chandni is not a character that he has created. And yet, the character kept coming back to him, again and again. It was more like the character found him, rather then he going after the character.

The story of this movie was written by Kamna Chandra, who had earlier written Prem Rog, and her next work was 1942 A Love Story. She has been really selective about her work, and the quality of her work shows in the characterisation. She writes strong grounded characters, be it male or female. The screenplay was written by Arun Kaul and the dialogues were beautifully written by Sagar Sarhadi, another person who has a rare quality of writing mesmerising lines. Earlier, Sagar Sarhadi had written the screenplay of both Silsila and Kabhi Kabhie.

The bubbly and garrulous Chandni meets the naughty and romantic Rohit. When Rohit strikes the lighter at the staircase and the glow from Chandni’s faces brightens the screens, it almost like a storm-in-a-tea-cup moment. Even the heartbeat of the audience stops for a moment. Who wouldn’t fall in love when a smart and daring stranger compliments a beautiful small-town girl! And not just compliment, but open the heart like a bedsheet and shower all the petallic words. The fortress had been breached, someone had gained entry into Chandni’s heart. She just wanted to convince herself that its infatuation, but in fact it was love.

And that deep a love is resounded in the words of Chandni when she questions Rohit ‘Agar tum meri jagah hotey to tum kya karte?‘, when he comes back to reclaim her. Its not easy to fall in and out of love, not for people like Chandni & Rohit. What Rohit does is cruel, but sacrificial at the same time. Both Rohit and Chandni are two sides of the same coin. Chandni wants to tend to Rohit’s leg injury and even becomes his wheelchair in the act, but Rohit wants Chandni to lead her own life and not waste her time on him. She is ready to hear all abuses from his family members, and he is ready to abuse and humiliate her for her own good, so she goes away. And in the process, both of them hurt each other. But if there is more tears than smiles, how can it be called love? Suddenly, the love of Chandni pushes Rohit into going for a treatment. And after he regains his mobility, he shows up at her door. Rohit should not have come back into Chandni’s life, it was too late.

In the meanwhile, Chandni moves in with her friend in a new city and tries to gather the pieces of her broken life. She comes across Lalit, a person who owns a tourism business. Lalit is also a loner, having lost his loved one. But he has accepted life the way it is since his relationship had a closure. That’s where Chandni’s story was different, she did not have a closure. Walking out on Rohit was an impulsive decision, and not a thought out plan.

Its not everyday that you come across a character like Chandni, someone who is so full of energy and bundle of joy, someone who spreads cheer and keeps her pain to herself, someone who makes you feel good although she maybe herself be under duress, someone who nurses your pain and licks her own wounds. When someone loves you with all their devotion, least that we can do is not hurt them. But Chandni has always suffered, and not just at the hands of her loved ones but also by nature’s design. It could have been God’s way of saying ‘don’t love with all your heart’, but Chandni probably doesn’t wish to hear that. When she loves, she brings the moon to her man’s doorstep, but when she cries, there is no one to console her.

I had started out talking about Chandni, the character, rather than the movie. The above story is similar to the story of the character Chandni from Silsila. Just equate Rohit with Amit and the helicopter accident with the death of Amit’s brother. Chandni went onto marry Dr.Anand, but we don’t know under what circumstances. It was an incomplete story without any closure, and suddenly one fine day, she comes face to face with Amit. She is again pushed into making a choice.

The movie ‘Chandni’ explains what may have happened after the departure of Amit from Chandni’s life. How Dr.Anand came into Chandni’s life and the many questions that Chandni must’ve asked herself before deciding to move on. The situation in Silsila is a lot more tense, because Amit and Chandni were married, but not happily-married. Both of them were leading a life of compromise, a marriage of convenience rather than conviction. Amit should not have come back into Chandni’s life, it was too late.

But here, in this movie, both are still yearning for each other. When Chandni is in doubt, her friend tries to convicne her saying ‘Rohit tumhara guzra hua KAL tha, Lalit tumhara AAJ hai‘. But she is still not convinced. Although she agrees to marry Lalit, its more a decision of the mind than the heart. Buth when Rohit comes tumbling down the stairs on the day of the wedding, Chandni’s inner feelings come to the fore. A bride, a soon-to-be-wife of Lalit, forgets everything and runs upto Rohit; that one scene changes everything for everybody. A story that had started from a staircase and mandap ends with mandap and staircase. The same questions about love and loyalty start bogging Chandni. She is again pushed into making a choice.

Chandni was dumped by her boyfriend because she was just a toy for him and when she got pregnant, it was like a burden for him to handle; so Chandni was ditched in Daag. She had trusted him with her life, and here she was, left at crossroads. Sunil comes into her life and lends her legitimacy, while she gives him a new identity. And when things were going fine and she had started liking Sunil, from nowhere Sonia lands up to reclaim Sunil. Sonia should not have come back into Sunil’s life, it was too late.

Again, by nature’s design, Chandni is hurt. Her marital life is marred by another woman, and she doesn’t know how to handle the situation. She can either lose Sunil or share him. She is again pushed into making a choice.

That has been the bane of Chandni. She is always left to make a tough choice. In Daag, Chandni ends up sharing her object of affection with somebody else; more out of societal pressure than free will. In Silsila, Chandni chooses to make amends to her life and forget Amit for ever. She has an awakening and they both decide that it would be selfish if they didn’t honour the committment of their spouses. Amit too has a realization and agrees to let go. In both movies, the story of Chandni’s life was incomplete.

Finally, its here that Chandni has a proper closure. She gets to cry the tears of joy. All the wandering years spent in search of love, ultimately results in attaining it. And only Yashji could have made it possible by making this movie during the time when action movies ruled the box office.

Shiv-Hari were the music directors of this movie as well as Silsila. In fact, they even went on to do the music of Darr and Lamhe. Also, a signature tune in this movie went on to be used as a tune for a song in Lamhe, Kabhi Mai Kahoon. Their extensive use of tabla and santoor in both movies is a standout point. They understood the demands of the situation really well, and gave an awesome musical score. They pushed Amitabh Bachchan into lending his voice in Silsila, and they did the same with Sridevi in this movie. Wish they had continued to give music to some more movies, but we have to be content with a handful of albums from this brilliant duo, Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hari Prasad Chaurasia.

The lyrics were penned by Anand Bakshi and the songs are sung in every wedding since then. Mere haathon mei nau nau chudiyan hain & Mai sasural nahi jaoongi has risen above the status of being just a song and has become a folklore. Its the simplicity of the situational lyrics that keeps us glued to the movie, be it Tu mujhe suna mai tujhe sunao apni prem kahani or Lagi aaj sawan ki phir wo jhadi hai. The songs are memorable and they sit easy on our lips without taxing the brains. It was a phenomenal artistry with the pen.

There is a Chandni all around us, but we probably fail to see her or perceive her. Sridevi as Chandni came across as a loyal, sweet and an innocent persona. Her love was pure as gold and soft as marshmallow. Sridevi justified the character, and for once, she corrected her diction so the dialogues seemed natural and effortless. Rohit was played brilliantly by Rishi Kapoor. Its so easy to not notice him because all the attention is on Chandni. But as a frustrated lover or a romantic fool, he rises above the level of the script. And not to forget, Vinod Khanna as Lalit was immaculate. It was a while since we had seen Vinod in such an avtar, and he lent credibility to the character of Lalit. You feel for him towards the end, and for Waheedaji who plays his mother.

Chandni ushered in a new era of love and romance. In an interview Yashji had said that when he was driving down the lanes of Bombay, everywhere he saw movie posters of heroes with guns. That’s when he decided that his next movie would be a love story, and Chandni happened to him again.

This post was also published on MadAboutMoviez

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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in bollywood, movies

 

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Kannada Matinee Star ‘Sahasa Simha’ Vishnuvardhan No More

https://i2.wp.com/mimg.sulekha.com/vishnuvardhan/Stills/thumbnail/Vishnuvardhan04.jpgToday’s early morning news came as a big shock to most Kannadigas when they were rudely awoken by Vishnuvardhan’s sudden demise.

Born as Sampath Kumar, he was given the screen name of Vishnuvardhan by Puttana. Vishnu was a veteran of more than 150 movies and has acted in lots of award winning movies, most memorable of them being Mutthina Hara with Suhasini.

He stormed the theatres in his debut movie Naagara Haavu by Puttana which was an instant hit. This regional language movie was later remade in Bollywood as Zahreela Insaan, where Rishi Kapoor played the role of rebel Ramachari.

He also acted in a few Hindi movies along side Akshay Kumar in Ashaant and Zaalim.  Prior to this he was also seen in the movie Inspector Dhanush. Of these, Ramsays made Inspector Dhanush and Ashaant.

His association with Dwarkish was fruitful and they delivered a series of hits with Raja-KuLLa combo. He also starred in Nishkarsha which was heavily inspired from Die Hard. Vishnu excelled in movies of all genres – drama, action and comedy. He went on to gather 7 Filmfare Awards and many other state honours. So popular was his persona and stature that the state govt declared a holiday as mark of respect and mourning. May his soul rest peace. And may God give strength to his wife and two adopted daughters.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2009 in bollywood, movies

 

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movie review : love aaj kal


the movie is finally out and i am waiting to watch it. i can do that only tomorrow as i returned late from work. but i did the next best thing…read a whole lot of reviews of the movie. all the reviews have been positive and that gives me hope that the movie will be good. more often than not, the critics get it wrong and i hope they are right this time.

anyways, let me just list out a few excerpts of the review for u:

one review says exactly what i feared, that the movie is just good when it could have been so much better.

Love Aaj Kal is a harmless, watchable film — sad, because it could have been truly special. It has its moments in the first half, while the second half is an over-melodramatic drag.

the same review also has good things to say

Ali uses a very interesting device by casting Saif himself in the Kapoor flashbacks: Kapoor tells Khan how the boy reminds him of his youth, and so the Sikh Saif isn’t Kapoor as he used to look, but Kapoor as both he and Saif can visualise him as the tale is narrated. It’s a clever move even though Saif struggles rather laughably with his Punjabi early on in the film, and it doesn’t help how the narrative inevitably flips back and forth between that and the overslanged Lay’s-salesman Saif of today. A good move overall, though.

the entire review can be found here

here are words from another review that raves about the movie

After making the much loved Jab We Met, Imtiaz Ali succeeds in giving us an extremely different love story that we have never witnessed before on Indian screen. He scores high on his writing and his treatment of the film. In the initial 10 minutes he successfully establishes Saif and Deepika’s relationship and their character quirks. He surprises you then by putting a melancholic song (Ye Dooriyan) as opening credits role showing montages of various important twists of the plot that lie ahead.

and some more appreciation for the movie

Making the film extremely relatable to everyone who has ever been in love and broken off with his/her partner, Imtiaz takes it notches higher by his dialogues that sound simple but convey a lot. Plenty of scenes stay with you as you come out.

this review can be found here

i am booked for tomorrow, make sure that you watch it too.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2009 in bollywood, movie review, movies

 

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love aaj kal OR love aajkal

Aaj kal and aajkal have two different meanings. While aaj kal is a reference to today & tomorrow, aajkal means now-a-days. I am sure Imtiaz Ali has handled both meanings, aaj kal and aajkal.

Here’s the dope on the movie. It begins with Saif and Deepika being in love with each other. But love is not what can keeo them together. They are ambitious genX youth who have ambitions which are of higher priority than love. So, taking a totally practical approach they part ways seeking their own paths. That’s love aaj for you, the frivolous love of today’s times.

Rishi Kapoor, who plays Saif’s dad, narrates his lovestory. So, while the lovestory is of Rishi, Saif plays it out. Hence we see the sardar get-up of Saif, who is the younger version of Rishi. His dad narrates how his was love-at-first-sight. The moment he saw her, he just flipped. That’s love kal for you, the love which drives people totally crazy and the love which makes them do anything for it.

Now that the comparison of aaj and kal is done, we are left with aajkal. Saif takes a leaf out of Rishi’s book and chases Deepika Padukone. He realizes how love is the stability that he has been looking for and that she is the one with whom he can be happy forever. That’s the love aajkal for you. Today, yesterday and the now-a-days…all find a place in this movie. I am just itching to watch it, you too watch out!

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2009 in bollywood, movies

 

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