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”

Top 12 friendship songs of Bollywood

The bond of friendship has been one of the oft depicted bonds in Bollywood since time immemorial. From Jai and Veeru of Sholay to Akash , Sid and Sameer of Dil Chahta Hai , the depiction of friendship in Hindi cinema might have gone a radical change. Still it continues to be one of the most explored relationships in Hindi. Moreover , when it comes to declaring undying love and dedication to their friends no one does it better than Indian cinema.

On the eve of Friendship day, here is a look at the some of the best songs in Hindi cinema that have gone to immortalise the bond of friendship on celluloid.

Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge – Sholay

How can one not mention Sholay while talking about Best friends forever(BFF) jodis of Hindi Cinema? Right from doing daylight robberies, harassing “Angrez ke zamaane ke jailor” to taking on the most dreaded villain of Hindi cinema – Gabbar Singh, the duo of Jai and Veeru have done it all. And they survived through almost all of it, thanks to their strong friendship . And what could be better than this song , which brilliantly depicts their love and respect for each other.

Tere jaisa yaar kahaan – Yaarana

The film Yaarana sees Bishan (Amjad Khan) helping his best friend Kishan (Amitabh Bachchan) to realise his dreams of becoming a playback singer and they stick with each other through thick and thin , proving that their  bond of friendship is indeed a strong one.

This beautiful composition by Rajesh Roshan sees Amitabh Bachchan getting his moment of glory as a singer and performer in the film. And it also gives him a chance to thank his BFF for sticking with him through thick and thin.

Diye Jalte Hai – Namak Haraam

Namak Haraam directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee was loosely based on a Shakespearean play ‘Beckett’. The  film tells the story of   two best friends Somu(Rajesh Khanna) and Vicky (Amtabh Bachchan) belonging to different strata of the society and how their friendship gets affected due to a clash of ideologies.

This beautiful song composed by R.D Burman and sung by Kishore Kumar shows the duo in one of their happiest moments together.

Yaaron – Rockford

The film Rockford is a coming of age story set in hostel and centered around a school going kid. Though this song was a part of the Rockford OST, it was never featured in the movie. Instead, a separate music video was shot (which was a very popular trend those days and still continues to be ) to promote the film.

This beautiful composition rendered beautifully by K.K  implies that friendship and love are one of the best things to happen in an individual’s life. And the memories of such love and friendship are to be cherished forever.

Bane chahe dushman zamana hamara – Dostana

This Dostana doesn’t refer to the Abhishek BachchanJohn Abraham starrer. Instead this refers to the Amitabh BachchanShatrughan Sinha film in which the two actors star as childhood friends who are separated due to misunderstandings only to reunite towards the end in true Hindi film fashion.

This song sees them giving an ode to their immortal friendship. Composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal , this song is one of the rare collaborations of Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi who come together to do the playback for Amitabh and Shatrughan Sinha respectively.

Yaari Hai Imaan Mera – Zanjeer

The first solo megahit of Amitabh Bachchan sees him as an honest police officer who avenges the death of his parents who were murdered by Teja (Ajit) with ample help in the form of ladylove Jaya Bachchan and a good samaritian Pathan played by Pran.

This song follows after an explosive confrontation between Amitabh and Pran in the police station. And this song shows  the bond of friendship being cemented between them. With vocals by the versatile Manna Dey and music by Kalyanji Anandji, this song is undoubtedly one of the best songs that celebrates the bond of friendship in true hindi film style.

Dil Chahta Hai – Title Song

Director Farhan Akhtar created a revolution of sorts with his directorial debut , that had some brilliant cinematography (Ravi K Chandran), awe-inspiring visuals and some brilliant music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

The result was Dil Chahta Hai. A trendy, urban, coming of age movie set in an urban milieu.

The film is about three best friends Akash (Aamir Khan), Sameer (Saif Ali Khan) and Siddharth (Akshaye Khanna), their individual relationships and the effect that these relationships have on their friendship.

At a time when Bollywood was getting increasingly stereotypical, this film came as a breath of fresh air with its subtle and subdued depiction of individuals and relationships.

The title song sees the friends heading to Goa, wherein they are having a gala time whilst enjoying the company of each other , indicating that  the moments spent with best buddies are to be cherished forever.

Qurbani – Title Song

Qurbani directed by the late Feroz Khan was a stylish actioner with the right mix of action, setinments, romance and melodrama. The film focusses on two friends Vinod Khanna and Feroz Khan who drift apart since they are in love with the same woman – the superhot Zeenat Aman only to come together for a action packed and an emotional reunion in the end.

One of the film’s highpoints was undoubtedly the music by Kalyanji-Anandji and Biddu. The extremely hummable title song(co-incidentally once again song by (Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi) well establishes the bond between the duo of Feroz Khan and Vinod Khanna in the film.

Jaane nahi denge tujhe – 3 Idiots

Based on the book ‘Five Point Someone’ by Chetan Bhagat , 3 Idiots was a much better on-screen adaptation of the book directed by Rajkumar Hirani with his usual flair for feel good cinema.

The film focuses on three friends (Aamir, Sharman & Madhavan) and the ups and downs they face during the course of doing their engineering course.

The song comes at a time when Sharman Joshi’s character is going through one of his worst phases as a student. Being unable to take the pressure anymore , he attempts suicide. The song sees his other friends Aamir and Madhavan trying their best to help Sharman recover from the incident. Though the picturisation is a bit filmy unlike the normal style of Hirani , it does manage to brign a lump in your throat.  Shantanu Moitra and Sonu Nigam deserve a great amount of applause for doing a wonderful job composing and rendering the song beautifully.

Imli ka boota – Saudagar

At the time of its release , Saudagar was one of the most hyped and eagerly awaited films . For a very simple reason – since it brough together , two of the biggest superstars – Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar in the same frame. Besides this , the film also featured an ensemble cast of Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher, Jackie Shroff, debutantes Vivek Mushran and Manisha Koirala amongst others. It also featured music by Laxmikant Pyarelal which contained chartbusters such as ‘Ilu Ilu’ and the above featured song amongst others. And director Subhash Ghai met the expectations as the film went on to become one of the biggest box office hits.

The film tells the story of  best freinds Veeru Singh (Dilip Kumar) and  Rajeshwar Singh(Raaj Kumar) who become bitter enemies due to a misunderstanding created by Chuniya(Amrish Puri) and his accomplices. Only to re-unite towards the end to eliminate their common enemy Chuniya and rekindle their everlasting friendship.

This song which is the theme song of the film plays at various critical junctures of the film. At this point , the song is playing when both the friends reunite after a long time.

Khudgarz – Zindagi Ka naam dosti

Khudgarz which was the directorial debut of Rakesh Roshan tells the oft-repeated story of two best friends (Jeetendra  and Shatrughan Sinha) who become sworn enemies due to a series of misunderstandings initiated by the evil Kiran Kumar. Though the storyline is predictable , the film is well directed by Roshan and well enacted by Jeetendra and ‘Shotgun’ Sinha.

One of the film’ s highpoints was the music composed by Rajesh Roshan which featured a couple of hummable numbers, including the above mentioned number which very well depicts the friendship between Jeetendra and Shatrughan Sinha.

Mustafa Mustafa – Duniya Dilwalon Ki 

Duniya Dilwalon Ki was a dubbed version of the Tamil hit film ‘Kadhal Desam’ starring Abbas, Vineeth and Tabu amongst others. The film is love triangle where two friends (Abbas and Vineeth) fall for the same girl (Tabu).

The music composed by A.R Rahman was one of the biggest strengths of the film even in the dubbed version. The Mustafa Mustafa song was a rage when it had released.  The song which celebrates the spirit of friendship is rightly considered by many as an anthem of friendship.

 

Discerning Few : Rafi Sings For Bachchan

Yesterday was Rafi’s death anniversary. Hope his soul is in peace.

na fankaar tujh sa tere baad aya
mohammed rafi tu bahut yaad aya

– A song from movie Kroadh

Just the other day I was watching the song and something struck me. I felt that the song was ironical in so many ways. Although its a tribute to Rafi Saab, it was sung by Md.Aziz, a so-called Rafi clone, whose voice is such a far cry from the soothing and melodious voice of Rafi. And the fact that the song was filmed on Amitabh Bachchan, whereas Rafi hardly sang a dozen songs for him.Continue reading “Discerning Few : Rafi Sings For Bachchan”

Rajiv Rai : Master of the ‘Masala Movie’ genre

As a kid, a friend of my dad had gifted me an audio cassette of Tridev. Those days the audio cassettes would come in a special edition which had an entire film in the audio format as it would be in its theatrical version. And the cover used to bear the name “Full Songs With Dialogues.”

I was only 5 years old when I first heard the songs and dialogues of Tridev but from a very early time this movie has had a special place in my heart. And later on thanks to Tridev, also came to know of the whiz kid director, Mr Rajiv Rai.Continue reading “Rajiv Rai : Master of the ‘Masala Movie’ genre”