Listening to : Chor Machaye Shor (1974)

Chor Machaye ShorI confess. I chose this film because of a pair of incisors. In my teenage years, I thought that the smiles these incisors graced were the most charming ever! To indulge my curiosity to see if the smile felt as charming as it did then, I picked this film for today’s music review.

This film, like a number of other Bollywood films, has left me feeling as if I am in some alternate universe which looks and feels like mine, but is disturbingly different. It suffers from the normal shortcoming of films from India, a bad and manipulative script. How they insult the intelligence of the viewer! They throw in random elements together into a bizarre story where these is neither logic nor sense. For the curious, this movie offers Mumu in weird and wonderful wigs,  Shashi in a  variety of colourful shirts and neck clothes, a ridiculously easy prison break, a most inept police chase, even more inept villains, simplistic conversions of ‘bad men’ into ‘good men’, Shashi as action man (!!), corrupt politicians, corrupt rich people and corrupt dacoits.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much evidence of the incisors but when they appear, the smile is as charming as it always was.

The music by Ravindra Jain is good and includes two very memorable songs.  Lyrics are by Gulzar and Inderjeet Singh.

  • Ek Dal Par Tota Bole – Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar  A pleasant romantic duet, quite enjoyable. Smile
  • Le Jayenge – Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhonsle. This superhit song has wonderful verve and energy. I have heard it so many times that I am not sure whether I love it or its familiarity.  Open-mouthed smile
  • Ghungroo Ki Tarah – Kishore Kumar Great voice. Beautiful melody. Good lyrics by Gulzar कभी टूट गया कभी तोडा गया सौ बार मुझे फिर जोड़ा गया यूंही लुट लुट के और मिट मिट के बनता रहा हूँ मैं  Very well Put!! That’s life, hmmm?  Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Paon me dori – Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhonsle. This lovely melody reminds one of the hills of India, I like it well. Smile
  • Agre se Ghaghro – Asha Bhonsle. Not catchy and the melody is common. Achance for Mumu to show her dance moves. Disappointed smile

Click here to listen to the full album.

As my top choice doesn’t offer even a glimpse of a charming smile, here is my second choice :

And for Kishore fans, here is the fantastic Ghungroo Ki Tarah.


Filed under Bollywood 70's Music

8 responses to “Listening to : Chor Machaye Shor (1974)

  1. Hello Suja,
    I loved your “incisor” take on Bollywood, and it’s all the more precious as it comes from an Indian person. Yes, it’s true that such movies are often an insult to the spectator’s intelligence… But (and I’m saying even though probably it won’t change your opinion) I’ve somehow learnt to put too much “incision” aside (hope you see what I mean) and appreciate what’s fun in those movies, what’s good-natured, what’s colourful, what’s energetic. I can still watch only tolerably well-scripted stories (it shouldn’t steep TOO low naturally) with pleasure, because I don’t mind crazy and self-indulging stuff that makes for a good show. Now of course when this show dimension exists with a good story, it’s a treat, but somehow I equate Bollywood with that sort of necessary escapism!
    cheers, yves

    • Thank you Yves 🙂 You are correct, of course. We see mainstream Bollywood pictures exactly for those qualities that you so correctly describe – fun, good natured, colourful, energetic escapism. Evidently there are millions who look for the same as it is a very successful industry. Like yourself, I do not set too high a standard for scripts – I am willing to watch it as long as there is some decent flow to the story. This film is actually not too bad, I’ve seen far worse. In my totally jet lagged sleepless state – i just flew across the earth to Australia and am suffering a 9 hr time difference – my tolerance is a bit low. If only the scripts are better written, these Masala films would be such a treat!

  2. Banno

    I think one of the biggest problems with the film was a glum Shashi Kapoor and a sober Mumtaz through most of the film. Their romance in the beginning, until ‘Le Jaayege’ is the most fun in the film. After that, there is just too much ‘good’ and ‘bad’.

  3. Filmbuff

    Hi suja – this is not the best place for my comment which is more related to your posts on carnatic music. I enjoyed reading your posts on the various navaratri days. It was so good to read your posts on saraswati, bhuveneswari and associated classical things

    I tend to read your carnatic music posts regularly. Although I am not trained in classical music (i wish i was), I am an avid listener. I don’t miss any concerts – local or international.

    Like all desis i like watching movies esp hindi and some good tamil ones – hence i am also interested in your posts on hindi film music

    • Hi Filmbuff, Thank you very much for your kind words and also for being a regular reader. After all, anyone who writes likes to have a readership, so I am much obliged 🙂 Like you, I too am not trained in classical music but I am a passionate listener. I write to share my interest with people exactly like you ie. avid listeners. There is not enough ‘meat’ in my posts to interest people with technical knowledge. So I am glad you wrote. Do comment from time to time and if you would like to share your favourite music with my other readers, you are welcome to add links.
      Cheers. Suja

      • Filmbuff

        Oh good – i was kind of hesitant to say anything on classical music as i was under the impression that you are a trained singer!

        Well, even as a listener, i think you are more knowledgeable than I am after reading your explanations of some of the ragas.

        BTW, belated happy Deepavali. This Sat I will be attending the annual SMC (Sydney Music Circle) concert which is a navaratri special – lots of talented local artists over here. Should be interesting. The annual desi diwali mela is on Sunday – shd be interesting too with its cultural programs and fireworks.

        I like songs from Meri Surat Teri Ankehn esp Manna Dey’s pucha na kaise mein

      • Thank you for your wishes. Unfortunately there is no big concert in Melbourne while I am here this next month. I am tentatively planning to be in Chennai 2012 December for the music season, until then I shall satisfy myself with my collection and the music available online!!

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