Monday, 29 September 2008

Two As and a B

While I am working on a longer post a quick round up of three Shashi-movies I saw recently:

Aamne Saamne (1967): This one had me on the edge of my seat for the last 45 Minutes. It is a kind of thriller, and just and simply brilliant (well, at least in my opinion). Shashi plays a young man who is acquitted from having murdered his very rich wife due to lack of evidence. He then changes his name to Gopal, moves to another city and starts flirting with the girl across the road, Sapna (Sharmila Tagore). She falls in love with him after a live-threatening incident with a merry-go-round, but soon her life is in more danger as somebody tries to kill her. There are plenty of suspects, as she had a fiance prior to Gopal and has a rather possessive brother. Apart from one seriously weird dance number in a hotel the music is nice, though the two of them running around close to cliff edges makes you rather nervous. The only downside, apart from the bizzare dance number is the comic relief couple, but luckily they have only a limited amount of screen-time though they get their own song.

Amar Shakti (1978): It is swash-bucling period masala: Amar (Shashi Kapoor) and Shakti (Shatrughan Sinha) are brothers and princes of the kingdom, separated when their parents are killed by the now ruling king. Amar grew up to be an accomplished swordsman and is serving in the king's army, while Shakti grew up with a group of tribal people and has started to rebel against the unlawful king after his adopted father died. Shakti actually knows who he is and who killed his family; but it takes some sorting out before his younger brother realises the akwardness of his current employment situation. There is a cute song with Amar impersonating the princess's music teacher in order to be able to flirt with her (it was love at first sight), right under the nose of her irritating fiance. This is a fun movie, and the climax features a giant Trojan elephant, which spouts fire from his trunk. What more could one possible want?

Benazir (1964): This is really quite lovely, even if it doesn't end particularily well. Anwar (Shashi Kapoor) is the younger brother of a Nawab (Ashok Kumar). He is very devoted to his sister in law (Nirupa Roy) and much upset when he learns that his brother is spending rather a lot of time with a dancer and actress called Benazir (Meena Kumari). Anwar himself has fallen for Shahida (Tanuja) who is his sister in laws younger sister. However, Shauket (Tarun Bose), a distant relative also wants to marry Shahida, and he comes up with a convoluted plot using Benazir's involvement with the Nawab to create a major misunderstanding between the brothers, give the Nawab a heart-attack and make Shahida's father forbid her to get married to Anwar, and make Anwar leave his home and start to sell beauty products door to door. Things are further complicated by the fact that Benazir has fallen in love with Anwar (I am not blaming her). I liked this; I got very distracted by Shashi's extreme cuteness, especially when he holds his baby nephew, the sets and costumes are gorgeous, the music was nice, and the female characters extremely self-sacrificial. But at least the Nawab's wife gets an apology.


Beth Loves Bollywood said...

I must see all of these! You entice me!

Bollyviewer said...

I am about half-way through Amar Shakti and enjoying every minute of it! :-) The sets, the stunts, the costumes, the scenery chewing, are all top knotch. Cant believe I had it on my shelf so long and didnt watch it before this!

And I really love Benazir too, inspite of the sad-courtesan storyline!

antarra said...

Bollyviewer -- I am glad you liked Amar Shakti. For me it is the perfect Saturday afternoon movie and I think it deserves to be more widely known. I was a bit put of by the Dvd-cover which bore no relation at all to the movie. I wish they wouldn't do that.

And Benazir is lovely, if not happy.