Johny Mera Naam (1970): 50 years of Crime & Morality

The long weekend had given me some respite from work from home, I decided to watch a film of which I have heard so much, but never found the time to watch it. earlier Surprisingly as I watched this in the early hours of Sunday, I must say that it kept me hooked on for the entire duration.

Johny Mera Naam is a tale of two brothers who get lost in childhood, ending up in two different sides of the law. But then this is a Vijay Anand film, twist in the tale is that the one who is supposed to uphold law the cop is cheating people to achieve his goals.  Johny Mera Naam might look like a crime thriller at the outset, but like a good pulp film, it has layers to it.Continue reading “Johny Mera Naam (1970): 50 years of Crime & Morality”

The Rajiv Rai Trilogy

Recently I’ve come across many trilogies by great directors, like the Color trilogy, death trilogy, some zombie trilogy, some vampire trilogy and there are many more which I’m unaware of. When we look for trilogies coming from India, the first one that comes to mind is the Apu trilogy. I am sure Shyam Benegal also has a trilogy, but to be honest I’ve seen very few of his 70-80’s era movies.

But I grew up with the Rajiv Rai trilogy. Hahaha. Sounds like a big joke, right? Believe me, it isn’t. I very strongly believe Rajiv Rai completed a trilogy with Mohra. Please don’t laugh. I confess. I am a tru-blu fan of Mr. Rajiv Rai.Continue reading “The Rajiv Rai Trilogy”

Dharamputra – the travails of religion…

What is Religion? Wikipedia says that “Religion is a collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values”. What is faith? Depending on the religion, faith is belief in a god or gods or in the doctrines or teachings of the religion. For some, faith is also about not believing in anything. However, more than knowing these definitions, what’s crucial is to know how we develop our respective faith or religion? How do we manage to ignore the immanent disparities within our own value system? If not, have we moved on to a level where we can keep our bigotry aside and discuss the topic?Continue reading “Dharamputra – the travails of religion…”

Deewaar: Rise of the Angry Young Man

In the mid 1970’s India was going through changing times as far as the socio-political scenario was concerned. The days of the emergency which lasted for 21 months only went on to bring in a lot more discontent into the system. The common Indian who till then hardly raised his/her voice now started feeling the suffocation getting a bit too much to handle and the frustration was only creeping in all the more.
We do know that life imitates art and vice versa and cinema is art too. Indian Cinema has also more or less kept in tune with the socio-political happenings in the Country. So no wonder that Bollywood started slowly but surely moving away from the weepy romantics ( handled with ease and elan initially by Rajendra ‘Jubilee’ Kumar and later by Rajesh Khanna ) and light musical entertainers ( no one could get it as good as Shammi Kapoor ) to films reflecting the angst of the common Indian.Continue reading “Deewaar: Rise of the Angry Young Man”

Trishul! A High Voltage Drama Par None!

Trishul! 3 years after the record breaking classic that Deewar was, Yash Chopra set out to make another high voltage drama about a son’s vendetta against an errant father. While Deewar was set in the big bad streets of Mumbai, Trishul shifted the location to the plush and sophisticated environment of upper class Delhi.
Like every follow up to a massive hit, this one was grander in scale, bigger in ambition and never really matched the reach of its predecessor. Nobody in their right mind would refer to Trishul as an underrated movie, but, out of Yash Chopra’s biggest hits, this one has hardly been written about by the critics and almost never analyzed. Of course, the following article is not a critical analysis of the movie, but more of a tribute to one of the best dramas ever captured on screen in Indian Cinema. A drama so good it’s been remade in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, revisited as Vijay by Yash Chopra himself, and if rumours are true, it will be remade as Aurangzeb with Prithviraj and Arjun Kapoor.Continue reading “Trishul! A High Voltage Drama Par None!”