A movie so successful, so famous that its known only by its acronym, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge is iconic in the minds of Hindi film viewers. I was reminded of this film when I was browsing through my music collection looking for my children’s favourite albums before going on a recent road trip. Oddly, even though I remember enjoying the film, I almost never play its music. So didn’t I like it in truth? Curious, I decided to re-watch the film.
After seeing it I am still trying to pinpoint the reason for this movie’s phenomenal success. A variation of a formulaic story, it has a good cast, good looking leads, decent music, great locales, some comedy, some romance, some drama, some patriotism, some dancing, some villainy and a handful of magic stardust which make this a truly watchable film.
The music by Jatin-Lalit duo is catchy but I wouldn’t classify it as extraordinary. Anand Bakshi’s lyrics are very apt but are they poetry? I’m not sure. What I like is how perfectly placed the songs are in the film, a song for every step as the story unfolds!
Meet The Girl Song = Mere Khwabon Mein
– Lata Mangeshkar. I think Lata’s voice sounds too old for Kajol. But the melody is lovely and the lyrics are apt.
The Teasing Song = Ruk Ja O Dil Deewane
– Udit Narayan. Boy decides to bait girl to get her attention. The song didn’t appeal to me. I also cringed when Shah Rukh jumps on the piano and plays with his shoes..really!!
The Girl Loosens Up Song = Zara Sa Jhoom Le
– Asha Bhonsle, Abhijeet. Now this is a lovely little song with a great melody and fun lyrics. I really enjoyed both the song and leads’ antics. Kajol is in her element in situations like this, she lights up the screen. I am a fan! And as for the singing, this is a song made for Asha and Abhijeet keeps up impressively with his senior colleague.
Love Realisation Song = Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko
– Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan. I don’t think the prelude and the main song go well together at all. Lata’s voice is just too old for Kajol but Udit Narayan sounds really good. For me this doesn’t work. I liked the picturisation though.
The Declaration Song = Tujhe Dekha To Yeh Jana Sanam
– Lata Mangeshkar, Kumar Sanu. This is a lovely song but if only it had been sung by a young Lata and Kishore!! It would have been so perfect!! As it is, I like it well enough but Kumar Sanu tries to hard to be Kishore and Lata…well you know my complaints.
The Wedding Dance Song = Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna
– Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan. Lata’s voice sounds better in this, still……why don’t people retire in time? The song however is excellent and Udit Narayan is wonderful. I really like the lyrics too. Shah Rukh’s dancing is fun and I fell big time for this song on screen. I can clearly see why Shah Rukh climbed the ladder to King Khan status – the man has oodles of charm! Memorable Moment: Achala Sachdev’s smile towards the end when Amrish Puri sings O Mere Zohra Jabeen.
The Nostalgia Song = Ghar Aaja Pardesi
– Manpreet Singh, Pamela Chopra. They play it often throughout the movie and by the end I quite liked it.
You can listen to the whole album here.
Today I present Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna, my favourite from this album.
Once upon a time, a Phenomenon called Rajesh Khanna ruled in India. He was a true romantic and wooed the world with his twinkling eyes and charming smile. All that he touched became gold. He had it all – name, fame and a young Dimpled Queen. Into his kingdom came a dark and morose man. Who knew then that he would be the new King; in fact that he would set up his own Dynasty? But we should have known…yes..there was this unleashed power, a violence, within him…and it was in Namak Haraam that we had the first inkling of this.
As I re-watch the film today, I am surprised that this was the role which was the turning point for Amitabh. I didn’t find his role particularly appealing; it was rather one-dimensional and contradictory. Take, for example, how he looks down on his household staff and the workers at the factory. Would a man like that have a friend who is so middle-class? How can he miss the fact that his manipulations to make Rajesh popular make him look weak and ineffectual? Shamed by apologising to Hangal, why did he accept losing face to Rajesh publically? I see holes in Gulzar’s development of Amitabh’s character. But Amitabh does a good job of his material, especially towards the end.
Rajesh definitely has the better role. You can see how the character grows and changes over time and Rajesh is very convincing in his role. I was sold on him, cynical as I am. The ladies, Rekha and Simi, appear decorative but have very little to do. Other supporting actors like Hangal, Asrani, Om Shivpuri and Raza Murad have small roles but impress nonetheless.
One mustn’t forget the part played by Alcohol ! It is ever present as the young men bond over their shenanigans, its over alcohol (and bhang!) that Rajesh bonds with his new friends, Rajesh’s ‘conversion’ is complete when he realises that one peg of Amitabh’s whisky costs more than a month’s wages of his other friends and its over alcohol that the friends have their final confrontation. Ah, the power of nasha !
But I was drawn to the film by the memory of one particular song and it doesn’t disappoint. The rest of the album is average and Anand Bakshi’s lyrics are adequate.
Suni Re Sajaria –
Asha Bhonsle. A mujra
song, its rather formulaic. Not bad.
Diye Jalte Hain
– Kishore Kumar . A good ‘Bromance’ song, its too slow to be truly light hearted. Kishore’s singing carries it through.
Nadiya Se Dariya
– Kishore Kumar. Sharabi
songs have quite a place in Bollywood and this is a good example.
Main Shair Badnaam
– Kishore Kumar. I was moved when I heard it the first time all those years ago; I was moved again by Kishore’s fabulous singing.
Holi Ke Rang
– (unknown chorus) I always look for fun in a Holi song but this was isn’t that interesting.
Woh Jhoota Hai
– Kishore Kumar. Kishore has obviously had fun singing this, but it doesn’t quite grab me either.
You can listen to the whole album here. But for my post today, I have no choice really; it has to be Main Shair Badnaam!
‘I need something to cheer myself up’, I think as an excellent but sad English film I saw on TV keeps lingering in my mind. Cheering up film? I immediately think of Seeta aur Geeta which I haven’t seen since the seventies. But it left a happy impression on my mind then so I am hopeful about it. Though the music is no classic, I remember a couple of cheerful numbers. The presence of a very handsome Dharmendra and an endearing Sanjeev Kumar is a definite draw!
The film is as much fun as I remembered. A light-hearted plot, you shouldn’t look for too much logic in it otherwise you’ll just get frustrated. Take it as it comes and you’ll get a couple of hours of amusement. Some off-the-cuff observations :
Hema is more convincing in the fight scene at the end than Sanjeev! Its nice to see the leading lady see some action instead of simpering in a corner.
Dharmendra has such great comic timing! He shows it off in a number of movies, I remember Chupke Chupke in particular.
Sanjeev is so natural! When it comes to making acting look effortless, he and Balraj Sahni stand apart, as far as I am concerned.
The music I found to be just average, but perhaps its unfair to expect R.D.Burman to deliver each time. Or is it? However, thanks to Asha, Lata, Kishore and Manna being in great voice, even ordinary compositions provide easy listening pleasure. In short, an album for good time-pass, but no more.
Zindagi Hai Khel
– Manna Dey, Asha Bhonsle . Manna’s voice doesn’t suit Dharmendra, in my opinion. These days they never look for voice match but films in the seventies used to do a good job of it. Nevertheless its well sung.
O Saathi Chal
– Asha Bhonsle, Kishore Kumar. This is the song I associate with this film so I have to mark it as my favourite ! Very catchy tune, Kishore & Asha enhance each other’s singing.
Abhi To Haath Mein Jaam
– Manna Dey. It was as if I heard the song for the first time, I don’t remember ever hearing it. Its quite a well sung song but I don’t know….
– Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar. A cheerful song, I found myself singing along and remembering all the words! Yet I haven’t heard it at least for 25 years!!
Haan ji Haan
– Lata Mangeshkar. Hey, why not Asha? Isn’t it her kind of song? I must do a post on sharabi
songs, there is such a wealth of them in Bollywood! A good song.
To remind all of you in my generation of our carefree years, here is O Saathi Chal with Hema looking beautiful and Sanjeev charming as ever.
This is a charming film based on a slender storyline – the difficulties of communal living in a Mumbai chawl (tenement) for a newly married young couple. Written and directed by the talented Basu Chatterjee, this movie managed to keep me interested in the fate of these two likeable leads and the equally likeable supporting cast. That I think is the charm of the film; they are all likeable! However difficult their situation, they have a certain something in that household which one longs to have.
I remember the songs well from the old days, I even remember the words to a couple of them! It was the memory of those songs which drew me re-watching this film on youtube today. I am glad I did, its a gentle little story and it suited my tired mental & physical state. And the music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal is very pleasing, gently so. The lyrics by Anand Bakshi are adequate.
Yeh Zulf Kaisi Hai
– Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar. Rafi’s voice is gentle and soothing in this very beautiful song.
Piya Ka Ghar Hai Yeh
– Lata Mangeshkar. Lata emotes well in this song, giving voice to a young woman’s dream of her own home.
Yeh Jivan Hai
– Kishore Kumar. A rather sad song, it is about acceptance and Kishore does a wonderful job. This is song I remembered best.
Bambai shahar ki
– Kishore Kumar. I was surprised by this song as I don’t remember ever having heard it before! Didn’t make any impression on me.
Instead of offering my favourite song, which is rather sad and contemplative, I present instead the rather charming duet by Rafi and Lata. Yeh Zulf Kaisi Hai indeed – Jaya’s long and beautiful tresses made me quite envious!