Sunday, 16 November 2008

Rootha na karo (1970)

Not all movies about which little is known are necessarily forgotten cinematographic masterpieces. This one isn't either. Having said that, it is a pleasant enough movie, somewhat lacking in the plot department, but filled out with a number of rather excellent songs (there are three in the first forty minutes).

After a rather pretty title sequence

Voila, my reason for watching this movie:
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we meet Neeta (Nanda)

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and Sudhir (Shashi Kapoor)

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who are afflicted by matching his and hers hiccups. They meet and sing a sweet song amongst the hills and trees. It is quite obvious that they are a couple.

soo sweet:
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The next morning, Neeta is somewhat miffed with Sudhir, and he points out that they are having the type of fight people usually have after they are married and then gets all embarrassed when she asks him whose marriage he is talking about. It is all rather cute, and the two go and watch some local tribal people dance:

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So much harmony, something has to go wrong at some point. We are soon introduced to the fly in the ointment in the shape of Naina (Kumari Naaz):
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Naina spends most of her time sitting around reading magazines and making Neeta doubt Sudhir's love by pointing out that Neeta is very rich and Sudhir is just a poor photographer. Obviously, he is only interested in her money. Neeta starts to worry and spend more time than is sensible on a balcony in not enough clothes.

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Neeta also has a lap dog:

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Amazingly, Neeta doesn't catch a cold, but instead meets Sudhir and quizzes him as to why he loves her. She isn't entirely satisfied with his answers and it takes him a song in the snow to convince him of his love for her and that she has no reason to doubt him.

Better get used to this face, she looks like that a lot:
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Just as they have finished their song, Naina turns up, engaging in her favourite past time of making snarky comments about photographers and love:

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She also tries to convince Neeta's mother (Sulochana Latkar), that Sudhir is not to be trusted, but Ma points out that she has known him for years and likes him a lot, and she sees no reason to separate him and Neeta:

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All four of them are going to have lunch together, and Neeta's mother congratulates Sudhir on having become a successful photographer. We are then treated to a flashback in which we learn that Neeta and Sudhir knew each other in college and Naina was already trying to put a spanner in the works back then:

Sigh, this has been going on for how long?
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You may wonder at this point whether there is no comic subplot in this movie. Fear not (or do not breathe any sighs of relief prematurely) of course there is: Neeta gets a phone-call from Anil ( Rajendhra Nath) who asks her and Sudhir to participate in a show he organizing. Now, I do quite like Ranjendhra Nath, but he is definitely on my list of "people I don't need to see without their shirt";

alas (and there are also scenes without the plant):
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Anil is looking for a girl-friend, but without terribly much success. He is more successful in organizing the show which takes on the shape of the next song, involving giant-sized drinking vessels, and Sudhir in various shades of pink and purple:

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We are then treated to some more of the trials and tribulations of Anil's love life and some very sweet flirting over breakfast:

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However, the loving couple's peace is disturbed by the arrival of a letter by Naina who again questions Sudhir's love for Neeta. Neeta goes and asks him (again) why he loves her, and he points out that he can't have such nice fights with anybody else. He is probably suffering from sleep deprivation as Anil snores rather badly. We also learn more about Anil's attempts to woo various girls, including Aruna Irani, and are treated to a song involving his heart and a read back

The next day, there is an item in the newspaper about a young man who killed his rich wife for her money, and of course Naina phones up to warn Neeta, as you never know what Sudhir's intentions might be. Neeta goes straight to Sudhir to ask him what he would do if she were poor. He answers that he would actually prefer her to be poor

Oh, not again:
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Between Anil and Neeta, the man has the patience of a saint:
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After we check on Anil and his latest love-affair, Ma decides that it is time for everybody to go home. However, we are treated to another song, this time lots of people frolicking around a swimming pool, and inside the pool, too, as Neeta was upset that Sudhir was dancing too energetically with somebody else.

Back home, Neeta's mother announces that she has arranged everything with Sudhir's Mother, and the two are going to get married very soon. Sudhir looks suitable happy:
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Naina less so:
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What will she plot now in order to separate Neeta and Sudhir? Will she succeed? Will we ever find out why she is doing all this? Or, for that matter, why Neeta still trusts her?

Does Nanda beg at Shashi's feet for him to love her in every movie they did together?
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(Actually, the answer to the last question is no.)

It is a very sweet movie, the songs are lovely (even the one with Rajendhra about the red bag), but it leaves one a bit puzzled as to why Neeta is so willing to believe all the bad things Naina tells her about Sudhir, especially since this has been going on since they were in college together, and he is Ma-approved, and never shows any sign of not being loyal to her.


Several more good reasons to watch this movie:
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6 comments:

memsaabstory said...

Well clearly besides the annoying repetitive plot points I need to see this. I love Nanda too (I know I am in a minority there ;-)

Bollyviewer said...

lol at "Does Nanda beg at Shashi's feet for him to love her in every movie they did together?" - it does seem like it! ;-) She had her revenge in Mohabbat Isko Kehte Hain though and succeeded in turning Shashi into a reel-life Devdas.

The songs in this were lovely but Nanda's pouting and sulking got on my nerves even though my reason for watching was the same as yours. Couldnt understand why Sudhir didnt dump her and go off with Naina who clearly was head-over-heels for him.

Beth said...

Ha! Based on what you say, I gather that the actual film is far less entertaining than your writeup. As someone who sometimes needs a lot of reassuring, maybe I'd empathize with her, but she does sound grating.

LOVE the title sequence (we should have t-shirts with that picture!) and the bottom picture.

Rum said...

Ohhh I do love jealousy-inducing movies like this, Nanda who I love purely for her cool outfits that have made it into my wardrobe, she was soo annoying here I wanted to shake her and say "Dammit how dare you question the Shashilove?" But Naaz to me looked a bit haggard or old, probably coz i saw boot polish and her other kiddie roles, that i was like WOAH when she grew up gorgeous!

antarra said...

Memsaaab -- It took some time, but Nanda has become one of my favourites.

Bollyviewer -- Mohabbat isko kehte hain made me very angry. Not so much because of Shashi's Devdasesque fate, more because it seemed such a waist to nurse him back to health only to have him slain by styrofoam rocks (again). Though that song where he watches her in the mirror and crushes a glass in his hand is rather nice (if you like this sort of thing). I am also not sure whether she begs in Juaari.

Beth -- Needing reassurance is fine; falling for the doubt-sewing of the same person over and over again becomes somewhat irritating after a while, especially as Sudhir's love for her really is never in any doubt.

Rum -- Nanda's behaviour had me puzzled, too. As for Naaz I thought she lookes all right, given that she was meant to be the evil trouble maker.

In general, the really good thing about this movie is that one gets to enjoy a lot of cute Shashi and isn't in danger of missing important plot-points due to being side-tracked by him .

Bollyviewer said...

"the really good thing about this movie is that one gets to enjoy a lot of cute Shashi and isn't in danger of missing important plot-points due to being side-tracked by him."

Thats an excellent way of looking at this and many others of his movies! You're right, Nanda's character in Juari didnt beg either, but Shashi plays such a jerk there, that I completely failed to fathom her reasons for liking him!