Movies Ashdoc's Movie Review - Couple Of Old Movies I Saw On Dvd

Discussion in 'Theatre, Movies & Cinema' started by ashdoc, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    1. Buddha in a traffic jam

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      Arunoday Singh plays a dynamic young man who has come to Hyderabad to study in a university . He is talkative and can make speeches inspiring his peers . He has all the makings of a yuppie ; he is liberal and cool and as sophisticated as they come . His and his friends' lifestyle is as cool as it can be in India ; they dance and sing to the beat of rock music , they ( including the females ) drink and smoke and party . His female friend ( played by Akanksha Dwivedi ) is free enough to dance almost topless on the bartender's table in a lounge . So free that she act attracts the unwanted attention of the moral police , who violently interrupt the act .

      But at not too long a distance from Hyderabad in the district of Bastar lives another India . The tribals living there are being crushed by both sides---by the naxalites who beat them up regularly for co operating with government authorities and the government authorities who humiliate them for being in cahoots with the naxals . They have no hope of progress or development . Their only source of pride is their 5000 year old way of life that has not been change for 5 millenia . It is they who are focus of the film , even though it is played out mainly in the big city .

      Back in the big city , Arunoday Singh takes part in a campaign called pink bra campaign against the moral police and he comes into the limelight due this . His articulate speeches against the moral policing win him admirers and he becomes a popular figure in the university . During this time he comes to the attention of a professor in the university ( played by Anupam Kher ) and his wife played by Pallavi Joshi . They run an NGO which sells pottery made by the tribals from Bastar and the sales of the pottery are used to help raise money for the tribals' development....a worthy cause , no doubt . Along with them is Mahie Gill , who openly says to Arunoday that she is a believer in the tribals' cause. A naxalite sympathiser who grows close to Arunoday soon .

      But the NGO runs on government grants , and the government has recently decided to cut the flow of funds to such NGOs because the money is being fuelled to the naxalites . So Anupam Kher approaches Arunoday to create a way of raising money for his NGO . Arunoday takes up the task with full gusto and soon comes up with a master plan to sell the tribals' pottery online and cut out all the middlemen , so that the money is directly transferred to the tribals for whose benefit the whole enterprise is supposed to be . But Anupam Kher develops acute discomfort at this idea , and he says that he is a professor not a businessman and his prestige as a professor will be affected if he goes into online business .

      But the real reason for his refusal is different ; he is the typical JNU type of professor , in cahoots with the naxalites and their brutal leader who is played by Gopal K Singh . Anupam goes to meet them in their hideouts , and this time when he goes there he is told that Arunoday must be killed immediately . For Arunoday's plan for helping the tribals' is too good ; it will bypass all the middlemen controlled by naxalites and even the government agents who are all revealed to be part of the money siphoning mafia . Arunoday has unwittingly got mixed up in all this and has brought about his own doom...or has he ? For Anupam Kher's aide Mahie Gill is not a corrupt person but a real passionate naxalite who genuinely cares for the tribals' cause and is appalled by this planned murder , and her personal reason for this is that she is in love with Arunoday too . Also Anupam's wife Pallavi Joshi is shocked by her husband's involvement with the naxalites and is prepared to help Arunoday . Together they and Arunoday hatch a plan to bring the situation to justice....

      Straightway I must say that it takes courage to make such a film ; the JNU type of anti nationals whom the movie villainizes have a tremendous hold on our media and culture . All reviewers panned the movie after it was released under pressure from the liberal/anti national mafia which controls our press . And the director's courage must be applauded by watching the film . For it brings out the true colours of the universities like JNU and their professors . They are clearly funding the maoists and in cahoots with them .

      I could see myself in Arunoday---a real person , a buddha like figure who believes in peace and wants to lead a liberal westernized free life . But he has peoples' good at heart and being liberal does not mean he wants to be anti national . But in this movie Buddha has been caught in a traffic jam created by elements inimical to our nation....

      The movie scores on photography and colours and has decent music and songs . Acting by Arunoday is top class and Anupam Kher too excels , especially excelling in his last speech when he spells out his mad dream of communist revolution in the classroom . For anybody interested in politics and wanting to be in touch with contemporary issues , the film is a must see !!

      Verdict---Highly Recommended .

      Four stars out of five.
     
     
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  2. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    13 hours

    Amazingly , history itself teaches us that the lessons of history are never learnt and therefore history is condemned to repeat itself. Just like they had destroyed Iraq in 2003 and killed Saddam and created a failed state , in 2011 the western powers intervened to destroy the regime of another dictator/tyrant---muammar gaddafi of Libya . Result---another failed state and death of the US ambassador Stevens, who was killed by insurgents.

    Just saw the movie '13 hours' on the killing of the US ambassador and the harrowing time US personnel living in Benghazi had trying to fight with an overwhelming number of insurgents. Several US personnel were killed too . The movie shows all the fighting in gory detail. Seeing the movie made me revisit the mistakes made by the western powers in the so called Arab spring . I would rate the movie as good and give it three and half stars out of five
     
  3. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Tara---the journey of love and passion ( 2013 )

    I saw this film because it deals with the vaghari community from Gujarat , a community which inhabits the area around my clinic and forms my patients in large numbers . Also because vaghari women are very beautiful with many having light eyes and fair skin and frankly I am attracted to them . But I never dared to ask a vaghari woman out for a date because they are mostly illiterate and lower class . Also other gujaratis have a low opinion of them and that discouraged me . The former british rulers of India topped in this vilification . They declared the vagharis to be a robber caste . The stigma has stuck . However , this very stigma has brought the art film world to showcase this film in various film festivals across the world and give it awards . The appetite of westerners is whetted by films like these showing the life of alleged robber castes from poor India .

    The film shows the trials and tribulations of Tara ( played by Rekha Rana )---a feisty young woman living in a village straddling the Maharashtra Gujarat border , judging from the equal number of Marathi and gujarati characters in the film . She deeply loves her husband Baldev ( played by Rohan Shroff ) and spends many nights soaked in passion making sumptuous love on their bed . I also was dreaming of doing the same with her , considering the bare naked back she was showing throughout the film wearing backless cholis . Indeed , the whole film shows these vaghari women in backless cholis which turn up our temperature . The women selected are fair and with seemingly soft skin of their bare naked backs , and they make love with their mates with some zest .

    But misfortune strikes---Tara's husband Baldev is contracted by Patil who is the rich man of the village to ferment an illegal concoction of alcohol , but the police arrive on the scene to arrest Baldev . A wailing Tara tries to save Baldev to no avail and the court sends him to jail for months . This gives the villain of the story ( Babanya ) the chance to prey upon Tara , and when she refuses he spreads the canard that she is pregnant with his child in order to take revenge for her slapping him .

    While this is happening to Tara her neighbour Sumi's condition is worse . Her husband has also been arrested along with Baldev and her own father in law takes advantage of this to try to make her the prey of his lust . Patil also takes sexual advantage of the poverty of vaghari women---so all men are the same . When Sumi's husband comes back he takes terrible revenge on the father in law by murdering him with a pickaxe . Meanwhile famine strikes the land and the vagharis have to steal water which is scarce by force from tankers with Tara in the lead threatening the driver of the water tanker with her sharp sickle . But she is a woman with humanity---she helps an old helpless woman by giving her own jewellery .

    The big catastrophe for Tara comes when her husband believes Babanya's tall claims after coming out of jail and calls a village meeting and throws out Tara from the village for becoming pregnant with Babanya's child allegedly . Tara walks out in despair and gives birth to a female child . A kind Marathi lady gives her shelter . Here she meets Kishna ( played by Ashish Saleem ) who is well read and teaches her to read , falling in love with her . But Tara rejects his proposal of marriage ; she says she has respect for him but is now disinterested by the idea of marriage due to her past experience . She still believes that a woman's place is with her first husband , but the Marathi lady tells of her own alcoholic husband who used to beat her before he died and convinces Tara of remaining alone .

    But the task of removing the stigma from Tara's name remains , and a DNA test is duly called for .The test confirms that Tara's child's father is her husband Baldev . Baldev agrees to accept her back , and do they all live happily after that ?.....naah...this is art film , and art films get awards only when the women walk independent . So Tara having cleared her name kicks out the undeserving husband and walks away free of men....she starts her own handicrafts business with her Marathi mentor and becomes financially free too....

    The movie is obviously poverty porn made for the west to savour with images of poverty like an old woman dying due to lack of care and kids playing in dirty clothes . Acting is juvenile . But somewhere the movie's simplicity and earnestness of the heroine touches your heart . I gained an understanding of the life of my patients ; those people whom I used to ignore after treating them became real life people for me . Tomorrow when I walk into my clinic I will know something about them . The vagharis eat nonveg food unlike other gujaratis , a fact shown in repeated chicken killing scenes in the film .

    Colours and photography of the film is real good . I found it an okay watch .

    Two stars out of five .
     
  4. ashdoc

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    Waterloo ( 1970 )


    Waterloo movie's main achievement is the fact that it manages to win a bit of sympathy for the loser of the battle of Waterloo , Napolean Bonaparte . Inspite of him being a megalomaniac who invaded large parts of Europe , you do feel for the great man as he nears the end of his illustrious career as warrior .

    The movie was made with Russian soldiers as extras , which reduced the budget as they demanded less pay than westerners and allowed for the creation of large armies of actual men rather than create them by special effects . That indeed is the special point of the film ; it really shows large armies of real men manoeuvring and skirmishing and clashing in battle .

    The movie begins with Napolean surrendering before his enemies and being forced to abdicate to the island of Elba , but a wave of popular emotion in France brings him back to power . The scenes of crowds of French men and women cheering him are authentically portrayed . Marshals who have promised to keep Napolean in an iron cage are forced to accept him back and he forgives them generously because he needs them to command his armies . But his enemies led by the British are not ready to accept him as ruler of France and war is certain .

    The British forces are led by Arthur Wellesley , a slim and cool person who is not ruffled by changes in fortune when battle is going on or when persons close to him are killed ; His own daughter's fiance is destined to be killed in the coming encounter . As news comes that Napolean is on the march , Wellesley coolly asks the ball dance that is happening to go on . He shockingly talks about his own soldiers as scum , but accepts before his wife that the scum are wiling to lay their lives for him .

    The tension in the two camps on the night before battle is well built up , and Napolean has ill health because of the tension . The battle is all or nothing for him , and France is alone against the armies of Britain and Prussia . The Prussians are led by Blucher but are away and it is not certain whether they will arrive to impact the battle in time .

    As the two armies confront each other , it is a grand spectacle for a connoisseur of war movies . The British are in red uniforms , the French are in blue and the Prussians are in black .Perfectly disciplined formations of men go into battle with drums beating and guns roaring and firing yellow flames and acrid smoke . The charges of heavy cavalry are well pictured , with masses of horsemen charging the battleground in ever increasing speed filling you with awe and the enemy with fear .

    At first the battle goes in favour of the French as they manage to storm a well defended fortified position of the British , but when Napolean is taking rest his marshal orders a charge of cavalry without infantry support . The British infantry which is well dug in defends doggedly by making several square formations . However Napolean still manages to retrieve the French position and soon Wellesley is in dispair as he is staring at defeat . But the French marshal ( Degrouchy ) who was supposed to stop the Prussians sticks too rigidly to orders and does not follow their forces . This allows Blucher and his Prussians to arrive to attack the main French troops just when needed by their allies the British . The battle decisively swings in the favour of Napolean's enemies because of this and all is lost for him.....his troops however refuse the British offer to surrender and prefer to to be mown down by artillery guns to redeem their honour ; the final scene is full of pathos as the victor ( Arthur Wellesley---the future Duke of Wellington ) surveys the battlefield .

    The movie scores in acting , and photography and colours are good . Background music is decent too . I would rate it three stars out of five .


     
    Exodus ( 1960 )

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    The real problem for the moviemakers was an impossible one---to match the novel on which the movie was supposed to be based . And EXODUS is one of the most influential novels of the 20th century , a masterpiece if there ever was one ( GODFATHER and CARPETBAGGERS are others ) . But the novel is so vast in scope and scale that it was not possible to pack all it's events in one movie , even though the movie was already long at 3 hours 15 minutes . A miniseries would have been more apt to film the novel , but it would not have had the grandeur of a film would it ?? Certainly not in the era of small TV sets which did not have HD ; the movie was made way back in 1960 when TV technology was in it's infancy . So a cinemascope movie that left out some of the events in the novel was made .

    The movie starts with an American nurse ( played by Eva Marie Saint ) who is a volunteer at the internment camp of holocaust survivors in Cyprus wanting to adopt a young danish Jew girl and take her back to the US . But fate has other plans as a rebel Jew ( played by Paul Newman ) who had fought in the British Jew brigade smuggles many Jews including the danish girl onto a ship which is renamed the 'Exodus' , and the ship is destined to sail to Palestine . The Danish girl ( played by Jill Haworth ) is in love with a holocaust survivor ( played by Sal Mineo ) and wants to go to Palestine and not America . The American nurse also boards the ship , and the rebel Jew threatens to blast the ship by dynamite if the British authorities do not remove their blockade of the ship . So they relent and allow it to sail to the cheers of the Jews not only in the ship but also in the internment camp . Their joy is to be seen to be believed ; the call of the holy land promised for 2000 years and now at last in reach after innumerable sufferings is something that others like me will not even begin to understand....

    All the Jews have stories of persecution and horror to tell ; the stories are beyond the imagination of those who have led secure lives . For example , the holocaust survivor loved by the danish girl had chosen to co operate with the nazis to bury murdered members of his own community by dynamite in order to save himself , and the nazis have done unspeakable things to him . The British officers guarding the internment camp also look at the Jews with racism and think of them as troublemakers .

    The movie has two love stories---one of the american nurse who first loves the character played by Newman , but feels different from his family and rejects him until a life and death situation makes her realise her love for him . The other is of the danish girl who has fallen in love with the holocaust survivor . The two lovers are opposites ; he has seen the worst form of persecution under the nazis , while she has seen compassion as all danish citizens marched out wearing the star of David ( jewish symbol ) when the nazis asked the Jews to identify themselves thereby hiding the Jews . Naturally she has a wide eyed innocence about her . But it is she out of all people who is selected by fate for death at the hands of the Arabs ; she who constantly worried about the holocaust survivor...such is the hand of destiny in the midst of war .

    And war it is , as the Jews and Arabs have to fight it out for claiming Palestine . The film has bomb blasts and assassinations and full scale fighting . The Jews' moment of triumph is shown in the movie---when the United nations passes the resolution for partitioning Palestine to form a Jewish state . And more fighting has to be done . Some Jews like the character played by Paul Newman are friendly enough with some Arabs that an Arab friend lays down his life to save him ; he is buried along with the danish girl . Naturally , the character played by Newman dreams of a nation where Jews and Arabs with live like equals . But as history tells us with the benefit of hindsight , dreams are not always fulfilled !!

    Inspite of it's shortcomings , the movie has the ingredients of an epic . And I went on to like it as I saw it more . Acting is not natural but theatrical , but the director has woven the events into a well told story . Music is of course the strong point of the film , and is tinged with emotion with the Israeli national anthem being it's theme . Photography is okay .

    Verdict---Good .

    Three stars out of five .
     
  5. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Duel ( 1971 )

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    Review has spoilers


    This movie was the first ever directed by Steven Spielberg in 1971 . It won him recognition as a director .

    The film shows a man driving from his town to another town in his car after a minor tiff with his wife . On the way he overtakes a trailer carrying inflammable liquid . The driver of the trailer is some psycho who takes this overtaking personally and begins to follow the car and try to ram the car .

    The frightened car driver stops at a cafe , but the trailer stops outside the cafe . The car driver does not know whom among the people assembled in the cafe is the trailer driver and gets into a fight with the wrong person who he thinks is the trailer driver . But the man soundly beats him up .

    Soon the trailer leaves ( it's driver was not in the cafe at all ) and car driver breathes a sigh of relief and resumes his drive , only to find that the trailer is waiting for him ahead . The choice before the car driver is to turn back and head back home , which any normal person would have done . But he decides to challenge the trailer....otherwise how would the movie become interesting [​IMG]

    As the car tries to overtake the trailer , the trailer driver inexplicably signals to let him overtake . But as he tries to overtake , the car driver sees another car coming from the opposite side at high speed ; the trailer driver has led him to a death trap , but the car driver's expert driving saves him and he overtakes . But soon he discovers that the trailer has a very powerful engine and he can't match the trailer's speed and the trailer is catching up .

    The car driver has to stop at a train crossing with the train roaring in front of him , but to his horror the trailer arrives and tries to push his car onto the train to kill him . After the train crosses the car driver tries to stop at a phone booth to call the police , but the trailer arrives to smash the phone booth from which the car driver jumps out just saving his own life in time . The trailer then swerves back to try to kill him again , but again he just escapes .

    The car driver then swerves his car off the road to a dirt track to avoid the trailer but the trailer follows . The dirt track however ends in a dead end . So is it certain death for the car driver ? No....Watch him trick the trailer driver into smashing into his trailer into the valley below .

    In all this madness the face of the trailer driver is not shown even once ; he remains an unknown quantity , adding to the suspense . And his reason for trying to kill the car driver is unfathomable except for the conclusion that he is a psycho .

    Spielberg keeps the tension alive and the drama on high gear throughout the duel between the two unequal vehicles ; one car against a huge trailer , and the trailer carrying some inflammable liquid which might explode in a ramming . Background music is appropriate for the situations and photography is decent too . Colours of the movie are not that impressive though . There is not enough time to build the characters of the two protagonists at all in the one and a half hour short movie . The thrill is in the situation created .

    Verdict---Decent .

    Two and a half stars out of five .
     
  6. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Operation daybreak ( 1975 )

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    1942---the heyday of nazi occupation of Europe . Hitler's right hand man Reinhard Heydrich is appointed as the Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia ( modern day Czech republic ) and he quickly unleashes a reign of terror there , giving orders for murder of countless innocents . To stop him , the British parachute three Czechoslavs with orders to assassinate Heydrich . The Royal air force drops two of them in the wrong position 200 km away from their intended target .

    The two are questioned by a german patrol and have to kill the germans . But they are helped by czechs who bribe a german driver to take the two to a doctor because one of them is wounded slightly . To the surprise of the two , the doctor first questions them and then unites them with the third member of the group . The mission is on and they prepare plans to kill Heydrich while hiding in a church along with the Czech underground resistance .

    The members of the Czech resistance do not agree with the idea of killing Heydrich because the nazis would take terrible revenge by killing scores of innocent Czechs . But for the three sent from Britain , orders are orders . However the first chance to kill Heydrich is lost as another oncoming train blocks their sight just when they are going to shoot him from afar while he is travelling in a train to Berlin .

    But they use the resistance members to track Heydrich's movements and find out that he regularly uses a route for reconnoitering the countryside and slows down at a particular turning point . Two members of the group plan to kill him there . They are Sergeant Jan Kubiš ( played by Timothy Bottoms ) and Sergeant Jozef Gabčík ( played by Anthony Andrews ) . The third ( Sergeant Karel Curda---played by Martin Shaw ) goes to meet his wife and child and stays there .

    As Heydrich's car slows down one of the two tries to kill him upfront by sten gun but his gun jams . As he flees , Heydrich's bodyguard chases him and leaves his master unprotected . The other lobs a grenade from the other direction fatally wounding Heydrich . The two then meet in the church and members of the resistance then ask them to flee as the avenging germans are after their blood . The two decide to wait for the third member ( Curda ) to come back .

    But Curda who is living with his wife gets terrified after he hears about the german massacre and destruction of the village of Lidice as revenge for Heydrich's murder . He fears for his wife and child and thinks that they would get killed too in the german orgy of revenge . He actually goes to the germans and rats out on his comrades in return for safety of his family !!

    As the germans surround the church and begin to kill , the extended climax is full of pathos . Of the twosome realising to their chagrin that the comrade they waited for has actually betrayed them . Of the resistance group putting a fierce fight to the death killing many germans . At last gas is pumped into the hiding room of the two and still they hold out . Finally they are attempted to be drowned by pumping water until they are forced to shoot themselves .

    The movie has decent photography , but it is the musical score that excels . The background music truly is scintillating and is rich with emotion . The nazi era is properly recreated complete with nazi salutes and uniforms and brutality . Acting and action is good but it is in emotion that the film really scores . The men find time to form dalliances with women and the grief of the women on their death is hard to watch , especially because it is a true story . Yes the movie is based on real events and what happened to each character during or after the war is told at the end . As expected , the war takes the lives of most . But the destroyed village of Lidice was rebuilt after the war , a testament to the triumph of justice .

    Verdict---Good .

    Four stars out of five .
     
  7. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Souten ( 1983 )

    Set on the beautiful island of Mauritius , which has a majority of Indian descended population , the movie has an interesting and modern take on the relationship between hindu God Krishna and his chief wife Rukhmini and the other woman in their life of whom Rukhmini is constantly jealous . This is Radha , the eternal devotee of Krishna with whom he has a deep but platonic relationship . Unlike Rukhmini and Krishna who have physical relations , Krishna and Radha do not have physical relations but instead a deep love that is so legendary that they are worshipped together as if they are a couple and many times we find idols with Krishna and Radha together....but never is an idol found of Krishna and Rukhmini together . This is of course a constant source of anxiety to Krishna's chief wife Rukhmini , and the film is based on this triangle . But an interesting twist is added in the film---Radha in the film belongs to the lowest caste in Hinduism which is considered untouchable by upper castes ; that is , even touching people of her caste is considered filthy by upper castes .

    So on to the story of the movie---Shyam ( another name of Krishna ) is played by Rajesh Khanna who is the Krishna of the movie , and he is a self made man who has risen from humble origins to become a successful owner of fishing ships . One day a man called Gopal ( played by Sriram Lagu ) from the untouchable caste comes to him for a job and begs him to give him the job as his daughter is not even having food to eat at home . Shyam takes him in and soon is impressed by his devotion to his work , so he makes his second in command in his venture . Gopal is so grateful to Shyam for this promotion that he daily tells about the kindness of Shyam to his beautiful daughter Radha ( played by Padmini Kolhapure ) and hearing his stories she soon falls in love with Shyam even without meeting him .

    Shyam is ambitious and goes to meet the head ( Raisaheb played by Pran ) of a finance corporation to get a loan for buying more ships . Raisaheb is impressed by his plans and arranges the loan and also invites Shyam to a party , where he is introduced to Raisaheb's daughter Rukhmini with whom he develops an instant attraction . Rukhmini is stunning and stylish and fashionable and hungry for love . Inspite of opposition from her maternal uncle ( played by Prem Chopra ) and her mother , she gets married to Shyam . When Radha hears of this , she is obviously disappointed that she could not get Shyam . But she quickly adjusts to this reality and continues to love Shyam without even having met him once !! But Rukhmini detests these lower caste people and refuses to associate with Radha's father Gopal .

    Being from a very rich family , Rukhmini is used to having her way and her passion for gambling brings out friction with her husband Shyam . One day she on the advice of her mother gets herself operated for not having children for a long time because she does not want to lose her figure in pregnancy . But the operation results in her becoming never capable of having children , leaving Shyam devastated . The couple begins to draw apart .

    In the midst of all this , Gopal invites Shyam to his house for lunch and Shyam and Radha finally meet . Shyam is instantly drawn to Radha and he begins to meet her regularly to soothe his mind . The much in love Radha gladly obliges . One day a big ship that Shyam has purchased on the loan he got capsizes and loses all it's men and his money . Once more he goes into the arms of Radha to forget his troubles and this time she holds him in her embrace . And forces him to sleep that night in her house because a thunderstorm has made it impossible for him to move out . But there is no sex between them and the relationship remains chaste .

    But Rukhmini's maternal uncle seizes the chance to claim that they ( Shyam and Radha ) slept together and rouses the jealousy of Rukhmini . Mad with jealousy , she invites Shyam and Gopal and Radha to a party where she dances with lascivious movements in exposing clothes and becomes increasingly drunk . And at the end she confronts Shyam over his relationship with Radha . Angry and frustrated over her behaviour , Shyam admits to loving Radha and in return gets slapped by Rukhmini . She runs to her father with the news and gives him a heart attack by which he dies . But she continues to love Shyam still . It is upto Radha to clear the misunderstanding and bring the couple she worships ( Shyam and Rukhmini ) together . And to do so , she plays the ultimate price....gives up her own life .

    Embellished with beautiful background music and superb songs , the movie was the last triumph of the superstar of yesteryear---Rajesh Khanna . For it was his last hit as hero of a film . His then girlfriend Tina Munim played Rukhmini with aplomb and looked stunning in the latest fashionable clothes and styles . Today when the untouchables have begun to forsake the hindu religion for buddhism , it was nice to see a time when the role of hindu God Krishna's companion Radha was done by a girl shown to be of the untouchable caste in hinduism . And nobody complained . Padmini Kolhapure has done justice to that role .

    Verdict---Good .

    Four stars out of five .
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  8. ashdoc

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    Ek baar phir ( 1980 )

    The Indian star system of Bollywood in the 1970s---full of tyranny of the top film stars . Mahendar Kumar ( played by Suresh Oberoi ) plays just such a film star . He arrives late for shootings keeping his producers and directors waiting even though their precious money is on the line . Sometimes when he does not have the mood he simply skips the shooting wasting the time resources and energy that has been spent creating the movie set . Reason---he is sleeping with some woman . Producers literally have to fall at his feet and beg him to resume shooting . He forces changes in the dialogues of his films to favour himself and sometimes changes entire scenes to suit his star status . No one dare reproach him for his misbehaviour for he is the darling of the masses ; the man for whom people come to watch films .

    At home Mahendar's wife Kalpana ( played by Deepti Naval ) is subject to a different kind of tyranny . She has to suffer neglect as Mahendar is away for shooting leaving her alone at home . But many times his keeping away from home for shootings is nothing but an excuse for sleeping with other women . Not that he takes much care to hide his affairs . Women lie half naked on his lap in parties in front of Kalpana and make a beeline for sleeping with him because they want roles in films through his recommendations .

    Kalpana who has married him thinking how lucky she is to marry this great film star remembers with regret the carefree days of her youth where she used to frolick with her friends before marriage . She feels humiliated by Mahendar's open dalliances with other women in front of her eyes while she has to play dutiful wife dancing on his tune . But this is India in the seventies and women have to live lives hidebound by tradition . In real life too wives of film stars like Raj Kapoor and Dharmendra had to live long suffering lives where they were not allowed any freedoms while their husbands opening cavorted with other women .

    One day on a shoot in London Mahendar as usual neglects Kalpana for shootings and also for other women and the thoroughly bored Kalpana is intrigued by the paintings of an Indian street painter ( played by Pradeep Verma ) called Vimal . Vimal sees her interest and asks her to pose for his painting . But rains pour in and he offers Kalpana a ride in his car . As they strike up a conversation they both realise that their common interest is painting . Kalpana had to give up painting after marriage as part of the sacrifices an Indian film star's wife had to do for her husband's household but she still dreams of painting . Vimal invites Kalpana to the painting class he learns painting at and she agrees . Her husband Mahendar is so distracted by other women that he goes for film shooting in Switzerland with his current girlfriend leaving her behind alone .

    At the painting class the two are soon attracted to one another and are going out for outings in gardens . One day Kalpana visits Vimal's house and sees a nude painting of herself . She asks him if he dreams of her like that and the inevitable happens---the two bodies are drawn to each other for making love . But back at home Kalpana is riven by guilt . She after all is not a western woman but an Indian woman kept in chains of tradition and extramarital sex is taboo for women like her . She decides to break off with Vimal that very night and phones Mahendar to tell him that she wants to stay with him in Switzerland . But in the dead of the night the phone is picked up by his girlfriend . It is obvious that they are sleeping together . Sick of Mahender's philandering Kalpana decides to continue with Vimal .

    However Mahendar's career receives a further boost as he gets a film in Hollywood . Overjoyed by this news Kalpana decides to give the marriage another chance and decides to accompany Mahendar to Hollywood . But Mahendar throws cold shower over her plans by refusing to take her with him . Angered by this Kalpana gets ever closer to Vimal and dreams of making love with him when her husband is making love to her . She compares the two and finds Vimal to be caring attentive and gentle to her . While the wives of real life film stars like Dharmendra and Raj Kapoor stayed with their husbands for their money Kalpana is not swayed by such considerations because she is made of sterner stuff . She wants a man who is totally for herself and Vimal is not a philanderer like her husband .

    But a woman carrying an extramarital affair would have been castigated by the backward Indian society in the seventies and this fact soon weighs on Kalpana . Mahendar as a man was free to carry on his dalliances with many women but Kalpana as a woman was not free to have a single affair . She decides to cut off Vimal....but he has grown too emotionally attached to her . He asks her to meet him just one more time . Actually Mahendar wants Kalpana to come to Bombay because the members of the press are going to interview him there and he wants Kalpana by his side just for photo ops and to present the perfect picture of him as a family man . But Kalpana relents for the sake of Vimal and postpones her flight to Bombay . And she goes to meet Vimal just one last time , to say goodbye . Vimal cries in her lap like a baby and implores her to stay with him for he needs her more than her husband needs her .

    Torn between the two men Kalpana is at a crossroads of life . All of a sudden things are made easier for her by a phone call from Mahendar . He is freaking mad that Kalpana had not arrived in Bombay on the day he was to be interviewed by the press and could not give fake photo ops as the perfect family man . And for this perfidy Mahendar howls like mad dog on Kalpana on phone . Thoroughly humiliated by the shouting Kalpana finally does what is right . She tells Mahendar in no uncertain terms that she is leaving him and his life for Vimal .

    As Kalpana packed her belongings and went to sit beside Vimal she still was wondering whether she had done right....or so said Vinod Pande the director of the film . But that has never stopped aficionados of true romance like myself and many others from celebrating her liberation....

    Background music and songs are most perfect in the film , reflecting the mood of every moment in the movie . Colours and photography are very decent . Acting is good by both Suresh Oberoi and Deepti Naval as star husband and star wife . But Pradeep Verma brings real vulnerability to his role as lover ; he seems so gentle that any woman would find it hard to break his heart .

    Verdict---Good .

    Four stars out of five .
     
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