This one is for my sweet and sexy (or so is my educated guess from the interactions both of us have had though I have not had the good fortune of meeting her. Hope she would not mind this) ‘co-blog owner’. And since David Dhawan recently released the bastardized remake of another Paranjype classic Chashme Buddoor, this piece by Harneet Singh seems even more topical
Harneet Singh : New Delhi, Sat Jun 11 2011, 22:54 hrs
The classic fable was retold wonderfully in Katha
Meet Rajaram P. Joshi, a simple man with basic dreams. A clerk in a shoe company, he feels like the king of the world when he is made “permanent”. He loves Sandhya, the girl next door, but is unable to express his feelings. Always helping his neighbours in a Mumbai chawl, Rajaram believes life is all about being (a good) human.
Now, meet Basudev Bhattacharya aka Basu Bhatt aka Washu who can talk his way out of any situation. A college dropout, he believes “naukri dhoondi nahin jaati, aasman se tapakti hai”. He comes to stay at Rajaram’s house but ends up wearing his shirts and ripping him of his savings. He walks around with a key chain, which he calls his “sudarshan chakra”. Women, including Sandhya, fall for his charm. Washu calls his way of life “kalakar ki bechain aatma”
The opening shot of this TV series has to be one of the most iconic images of Doordarshan’s golden era. The catchy jingle (composed by Vishal Bhaedwaj and written by Gulzar)- Jungle Jungle Baat Chali Hai Pata Chala- is one for the ages. They just don’t make ’em like this anymore. Pretty much symbolizes the end of ‘the age of innocence’ for me.
“Vincent: All right. Well, you can walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam and buy a beer. And I don’t mean just like in no paper cup; I’m talking about a glass of beer. And in Paris, you can buy a beer at McDonald’s. And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
Jules: They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
Vincent: Nah, man, they got the metric system. They wouldn’t know what the f#$k a Quarter Pounder is.
Jules: What do they call it?
Vincent: They call it a “Royale with Cheese.”
(the above dialogue as we know is from Tarantino’s immortal film “Pulp Fiction”- a film which gave to the American pop-culture as much as it borrowed from it)
At a crucial juncture in this film, the narrative came to a sudden standstill for me- the scene shows an important character, at once, finding herself in the proverbial Hitchcockian motif of ‘the innocent man caught up in a an impossible situation’; the character is stranded, unable to fend off questions asked by our ‘agent’, with his/her only source of proving his/her innocence, seemingly lost. This tense situation in the film, is created by surreptitiously referencing to Bachchan’s ‘Don’, wherein another character, who is a Pakistani Army General named ‘Ifthekar’ (the actor Ifthekar played DCP D’Silva in 1978 Don who also created a similar situation there too), is bumped-off…..
(This piece was originally posted here- http://satyamshot.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/saurabh-on-vijeta/ )
Vijeta is a film which has stayed with me since I first saw it more than a decade back with my father (incidentally). Another superlative effort from the auteur, the film remains a very sharp and hard-hitting work even now. Cleverly masquerading as a coming-of-age story, the film came across to me as a sharp take on the ‘angst’ in the society and also touches upon the prevailing ‘generation gap’ in the late 70’s and 80’s of India. Under any other director this could have ended up being Bollywood’s Top Gun (though in any case the Tony Scott film came later) but Nihalani uses a not so uncommon trope to make a telling statement on a larger issue- how personal crises are often a microcosm of the generational conflicts and conflicting visions plaguing a nation state.