25 great food moments in hindi films

Continuing on the food trail I would like to share some of my most liked film moments which have great culinary potential. Here are 25 of those scenes from the Indian celluloid, which left a lasting impression on me. Its not necessarily in any order but does it make any difference. Here’s one to the food. Hope you like it as much as I did compiling it.

  1. Andaz apna apna: Dr. Prem khuranas 3 course meal sabotage by prince amar singh with the “ghode ka julab”. Bhai jise kha ke acche acche ghode down ho jaate hain wahan, we are no differrent.hqdefault
  2. Cheeni kum: The original hyderabadi zaafrani pulao scene is an interesting one.zaf
  3. Bawarchi:  Rajesh Khanna prepares suran ki sabzi which is equivalent to “Mutton curry”. Banane wala suran ko mutton aur mutton ko suran bana sakta hai!!bawarchi-P
  4. Mr. India: Daga and Tejas dens get busted and they are served a super diet of kankar.
  5. AnMr. indiagoor: The epic bhang ke pakore scene leaves its audience in splits, this is an ikaunic film filled with many a I kaun? Scenes.
  6. Tezaab: Chunkey pandey aka Babban in the film goes to the irani restraint and pulls a fast one on a Marwari angoorseth, played by dinesh hingoo. tez
  7. Queen: The Gola gappas help make Rani an awesome tour de force and help her hook upa with the Italian.
  8. Satte Pe Satta: Scene where big B and Sachin rule the roost, and gave probably the slogan for champions, Yaah!
  9. Chainkuli Ki Main kuli: Karan ordering food at the drop of a hat from the hotel room celebrating is new found sachinesque powers. Showing us how champions eat and hows the smell of success.
  10. Jaane Bhi Do     yaron: The ever so funny cake scene “Thoda khao Thoda Phenko”. satte
  11. chainKatha: Raja ram (Naseer) day dreams while preparing the samosas. It also has a great restraunt scene where Bashu (Farooque Shiek) teaches us a trick to get a free meal.
  12. The Lunch Box: Film actually revolves images (1)mqdefaultaround food and the dabbawallahs. Nawazuddin tells Irfaan how the pasandas were made.JBDY
  13. Chashme Baddoor: Romance over tuti-fruity. But love the waiter saying Yahaan ka mahaul bahut accha hai. In reply to Farooque shieks yahan accha kya hai?
  14. Daawate- Ishq : Aditya Roy Kapoor a restraunter who knows his lucknowi dastaarkhan!! The way to a womans heart can be via food, well what do you know.download (1)
  15. Amar Prem: Ghugni, kachori & jalebi for Nandu! Rajesh Khanna alwaz brings it for Sharmila & the love is so wunderfully shared among them all.vlcsnap-411243
  16. 3 Idiots: The memorable matar paneer (paneer sunaar ki dukaan pe milenge), Bhindi 12Rs/kilo and the best khujli wali roti!
  17. Luv Shuv te Chicken 3-IdiotsKhurana: The secret ingredient which makes daawat-e-ishq-210714the chicken oh so special. The film actually is pepperred with mLSTCKany moments of food and drink. A befitting ode to Punjabi food.
  18. Rehne Hai Tere Dil Me: Love makes Madx240-6lsdy lose his religion over a gal!! Madhvan steals the show post gorging on the chicken.
  19. Duplicate: The food song followed by the Japani khana downloadmade with a Punjaabi touch of bebe.
  20. Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya: Salman tries his hand at cooking to impress his hone waala saala. Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya - Blu-Ray - 720p - x264 - DVD5 - [DDR].mkv_005650874
  21. Chak de India: The gurls go out for coach Kabir Khans farewell at Mcdonalds and end up getting their mojo back. One heck of a burger.hqdefault
  22. Stanley ka Dabba: The mystery of Stanley’s lunch box gets him into trouble, but friends to the rescue.download (2)
  23. Ramji Londonwale: Maddy plays a cook with a golden heart and the funniest english in the film. His food is imagessimply awesome.AjabPremKiGhazabKahani-00241
  24. Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani: Ranbir doing the halwai man act to perfection. Love the jenny jalebis!!
  25. Chotti Si Baat: This deightful 70’s romantic comdey by Basuda is another classic. Ashok Kumar read Col. Nagendranath J Wilfred Singh orders some “Chicken Ala Phuz” post giving tips to his protegee Amol Palekar read Arun to get his gal. This one also has a scene where Asrani read Nagesh teaches us how to eat chhoti-si-baat-_5chinese with his bare hands.

100 years of Indian cinema : The Finale

This is the last of the trilogy. The mordern era has so far been the one I have grown up with and identify with most closely. It’s the last of the journey which started a century but still continues to amaze and inspire people to discuss about. So far this writing experience has been a unique one for me. Hope this installment is an enjoyable read. Have tried to encompass most of the aspects of Indian Cinema but still feel like i have just scratched the surface.

The links to the previous versions of the trilogy are as follows:

https://sittingondafence.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/100-years-of-indian-cinema-wooing-the-world-over/

https://sittingondafence.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/100-years-of-indian-cinema-a-tribute-part-deux/

The era which followed the 70’s was that of change. The initial euphoria of the independence had vanished and the masses were going through a tumultuous phase. The expectations of the masses were shaken by the government to the core. This led to the overall dissatisfaction and  rising angst in the masses. It was a time when the common man wanted his rights back. Gandhian principles were not the order of the day. Though the initial 70’s was an era dominated by india’s first superstar “Rajesh Khanna” and his romantic musical’s like “Aradhana”, “Kati Patang” followed by a few mystery films “Ittefaq” and “The Train” being exceptions. But it was in Hrshida’s “Anand” which really i the cake in immortalized him for the ages to come. The film will probably remain as one his most memorable role on the big screen.  His films were the ideal romantic ones with some of the melodious songs shot at exotic locales and had a simple storyline.  70’s also saw Gulzar’s high on emotion and equally high on the content films which had its own audiences and were later termed  as classics. The modern era would also bring some of the best talents to the fore and win both critical and commercial acclaim overseas. This era would also see the old records broken and new ones made. Fresher faces, the concept of star sons and actors foraying into production houses and India going west. Experimental cinema and attempts at newer genres like horror,comedy, action were made so was the slice of life and  New Wave cinema which also made their mark and further helped Indian cinema reach dizzying heights  and then the decadence of Indian Cinema in the 90’s. Many Indian compositions were adapted by western filmmakers as a part of their sound tracks and technicians and art and costume designers also made it big. The journey which began from the silent era was now reaching out to global audiences.

The 70’s- the modern era of Indian Cinema

This era saw the rise of many greats like Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Shyam Benegal, Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ghatak, Adoor Goopalakrishnan, etc. and film makers like Nagesh Kukunoor, Anurag Kashyap and Tigmanshu Dhulia in the 90’s and 2000’s modern day cinema.  It was  also a time when Indian cinema through Naseer Hussain, Yash Chopra, Feroze Khan, Manmohan Desai, Raj Kapoor and Prakash Mehra made typical hindi pot boilers. Initially the artistic bent of cinema received a jolt with the Film Finance Corporation being cajoled towards making and promoting commercial cinema. This era however was to see some of cult cinema with “Sholay” making its way into the history books as one of the biggest box office hits ever. It was probably a film which can easily be defined as the very of erstwhile Bollywood. A film which redefined the way hindi films were made and till date is a cult classic. There were films like “Jai Santoshi Maa”  in the mythological genre which made a comeback and was a commercial success. Some other important actors of the 70’s were Sanjeev Kumar, Jeetendra, Vinod Khanna, Manoj Kumar, Rishi Kapoor and Amol Palekar. Actress of the era were Sharmila Tagore, Rekha, Hema Malini, Dimple Kapadia, Mumtaaz and Reena Roy.

This period brought forward the writer duo which was a hitherto unknown selling point in hindi -cinema. Salim-Javed, the duo were the real hero’s of the 70’s and sculpting the the image of “The Angry Young Man” who really was a personification of India against its system.

With author backed roles (Vijay) was the man against the system. The quintessential good guy no more. He was a man willing to take chances and make it to the top with his own rules. The public lapped up the image as it appealed and touched them in various ways. Films like Deewar, Zanjeer, Don, Trishul, Muqqadar Ka Sikandar and Kala Patthar established him as the latest sensation of B-town. He was a force which seemed unstoppable. This period also marked the departure from the romance and drama genre and established the action read (dhishum- dhishum) genre in cinema. The Bachchan  phenomena took the southern cinema by storm as well with Rajnikanth cashing on the image of the “angry young man”. The music of this period was dominated by most of the old stalwarts like Madan Mohan, Naushad, Laxmikant Pyarelal, but the the biggest impact made was by “Boss” or R.D Burman. Fondly referred to as “Pancham” his music was a refreshing change to the classical and melodious compositions Indian people had experienced so far. His style infused beats and was a cocktail of indo-western style. His distinct style made the 70’s get the term swinging.

The question which was asked by them to the system and the way forward made a lot of difference. People wanted to see the common man rise and take what is rightfully his from the rich. Though the 70’s saw a mediocre level of superstars, its was the towering Big B who dwarfed every and walked away with everything . His films were not just classics but were beyond the obvious. The second half of the 70’s and the 80’s were an era which saw some interesting cinema being served to the audiences.

It was certainly the second half of the 70’s which saw the NFDC and FTII alumni make some of the amazing cinema. They produced some great actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri and a host of other artistes like Danny Denzongpa, Amrish Puri, Shabana Azmi, Shatrughan Sinha to name a few. The foundation of  a proper parallel cinema had been laid.

The late 70’s and the 80’s had a very interesting milieu of cinema. The seed’s sown some forty years prior was a now a separate brand of cinema now. The production houses were churning out a host of film genres like comedies, westerns, dacoit sagas, emotional melodramas, period dramas and horror etc. Each actor had his had now his own dedicated legion of fan following, Mumbai became the centre point which churned out celluloid dreams by the day. India was still making a higher number of feature films as compared to most film making nations.  Some of the major films in this era were B, The 70’s specially towards the end had actors like Farooq Sheik, Amol Palekar, Om Puri, Amrish puri, Pankaj kapoor, Kulbhshan kharbanda,  Shabana Aazmi, Smita Patil all took the acting to higher levels. Benegal made the public take notice with his  critically acclaimed “Ankur”. Parallel cinema was spearheaded by the likes of Gulzaar, Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Mahesh Bhatt and Govind Nihalani. These films dealt with themes of realism and were not sheer candy floss and larger than life. Post Benegal’s acclaimed Ankur (1974) which paved way for parallel cinema, many films were made which challenged the status quo and established itself as an alternative to the typical commercial stuff served so far. Benegal later further showed his class with films like “Bhumika”, “Manthan”, “Nishant”, “Trikaal” and “Kalyug”. This era saw some of the most brilliant cinema being made with films spreading and cutting across genres like drama, black comedy, horror, adaptations. Films really broadened the horizons and created its own niche market. Filmmaker s like Sai Paranjpe, Amol Palekar, Sudhir Mishra, Meera Nair, Deepa Mehta, Vidu Vinod Chopra, Kundan Shah.  Most of the FTII and NSD students were a part of this burgeoning fraternity. Films like “Junoon”,” Shatranj ke Khiladi”, “Kalyug”,” Trikaal”,” Gaman”,”Anubhav”,” Dastak”,” Akrosh”,” Ardh- Satya”,” Sparsh”,”Jaane Bhi DoYaroon”, ” Chakra”, “Mandi”, “Garam Hawa”, “Chetna”,” Khamosh”,”Masoom” and” Salaam Bombay” were widely regarded as masterpieces of Indian cinema. 

There were a few films like “Kaala Patthar” and “The Burning Train” which brought the disaster films genre to the fore, but emotions played heavy and bogged them down and the films were not very well received by audiences.

Malayam, Bengali and Oriya cinema also started to make their mark and made some really interesting films and proved to be the golden era of films. Notable amongst them were films by Adoor Gopalkrishnan (Elipatthayam), Shaji Karun (Piravi), John Abraham and G Aravindam in Malayam Cinema. Mrinal Sen, Basu Bhattacharya, Manmohan and Nirad Mohapatra,

The early 80’s also saw the first signs of this Industry being handling over the baton to the gen next. Sanjay Dutt with” Rocky” and” Kumar Gaurav”  ‘Love Story”and Sunny Deol with “Betaab” all sons of illustrious stars hit the screen and received box office success .  The basic fraternity was now divided into two parts. The stars and their brigade and the newbees from the FTII’s and independent cinema people. The era also saw the shift of Southern Stars like Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan tasting success with films like Andha Kanoon and Sadma and Ek Duje Ke Liye. The 80’s music was largely dominated by the likes of Bhappi Lahiri and R.D Burman. But due to the action genre films gathering momentum.The melody made way for disco and other western music. Though this era also saw the the rise of musical geniuses like “Jagjit Singh” who revived the Ghazals and composed some real soulful numbers throughout the 80’s.

Throughout the 80’s Amitabh became and further established his image as the action -comedy and man with the entertainment bone. He was followed by most of the other stars. This era saw a growth in action capers with only a few comedies or romances. Directors like Yash Chopra, Suraj Barjatya, Mahesh Bhatt, Raj Kumar Santoshi, J.P. Dutta , Mehul Kumar Raj Kapoor still made films for a mass audience level.  This period also saw the newer faces like Raj Babbar, Mithun Chakrabortory, Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff. Sridevi, Rekha, Tina Munim, Smita Patil, Zeenat Aman, Jaya Prada, Padmini Kohlapure and  Madhuri Dixit  being the top actressess of the time, This genre saw masala films being made with a lot of fervour and saw the art house favourites swithcing to do commercial films as well. The 80’s and 90’s. saw the decadence of cinema and  saw the release of a host of b-grade films which focused on excessive usage of violence and vulgarity to woo the audiences. The horror genre was dominated by the “Ramsey brothers” who specialized in the use of cheap prosthetic’s also provided audiences with some cheap thrills with films like “Veerana”.

The mid 90’s  also introduced the Khan phenomena which even after 20 years is still going strong. Startring with Aamir and Salman khan in 1989 with “QSQT” and “Biwi Ho toh Aisi”.  Followed by SRK who debuted with “Deewana” in 1992. The mid and late 90’s also saw romance make a comeback with many a candy floss flicks making mullah at the BO. Thus setting a trend for romantic films to make a comeback.  Besides other actors who provided wholesome entertainment were Govinda, Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor etc. Many immortal villains and character actors also left their mark. Notable names were Amrish Puri, Paresh Rawal, Sadashiv Amrapurkar etc.. Amrish Puri went on to be a legendary status with his portrayal of his roles of super villains. His craze and status was no less than our heroes, Mugambo being his most notable in Mr. India.   However the period also saw some good cinema and filmmakers who made an impact as well Like Mahesh Bhatt with his sensitive and truer to life relationship based films like “Saaransh” “Arth” and “Daddy” with really no major stars but with actors and a script which was the real star. But these films had a limited audiences and a market which was predominantly driven by the burgeoning middle class and intelligentsia. This phase actually was the turnaround phase and encouraged many film makers in the later half to make some great cinema.

But the real change was the firebrand RGV (Ram Gopal Verma0 who changed the face with the return of hard core cinema with” Shiva“,“Satya”, other important cinema was made by Mani Ratnam’s “Roja”, “Bombay” and “Dil se” as well as Sanjay Leela Bhansalis “Khamoshi” and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanaam.  Other important filmmakers in the 90’s were Mahesh Bhatt, Raajkumaar Santoshi, Karan Johar, Rakesh Roshan, David Dhawan and  Inder Kumar were a few names who tasted success at the silver screen . Notable films were “Aankhien,” Mohra”,” Darr”, “DDLJ,” “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun”, “Ghayal”,” Border” and” Dil Toh Pagaal Hai”.  Lots of fresh faces made a beeline primarily the star sons with Puru Raaj Kumar, Bobby Deol and Akshaye Khanna in the 90’s. The earlier part of the 90’s saw a flurry of B-graders which were the major cause of concern and the home video industry killing the theater going audiences and restricting them to indoors. Most films made in the early 90’s were usual potboilers and lacked content. Films were focused on violence and vulgarity made it really difficult for family going audiences to attend shows.  Govinda with his comedies and the Barjatiya’s and Chopra’s ensured that the families returned back to be enthralled with films like Chandini, DDLJ, HAHK and a host of other films. David Dhawan was another director who teamed up with Govinda to serve up laugh riots like Hero no 1, Coolie No.1, Sajaan Chale Sasuraal and Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. The music of the 90’s was kickstarted with the comeback of melody by the duos like Nadeem- Sharavan and Jatin Lalit. With romance making a return the music composed in the initial era was good. But post that and a few musicals the era really had some of the most erractic and outrageous numbers made. Special mention goes to A.R Rehman who made his mark and composed some of the most unique marvels and pitchforked Indian music on the global stage like never before.

Regional cinema specially that of the Bengali, Marathi and Southern (Malyalam and Tamil) cinema gained prominence too. With many regional language cinema making it to the top awards and making its presence count. Filmmakers like Mani Ratnam, Aparna Sen, Ritparno Ghosh and Amol Palekar made some of the best possible regional cinema. It was a major time where some of the most intriguing topics were covered.  Films like Harischnadra chi factory, Deool, Swas, Chokher Bali, Yugant, Mr and Mrs. Iyer, Kanchipuram.

The good thing which happend in the later part was that technological breakthrough’s and budgets of films going up made a lot of difference.  The late 90’s saw many blockbusters and established the stardom of the Khans and took the three to another dimension altogether. They were like the holy trinity of Bollywood. There were besides the big production houses a few smaller ones and independent production houses. Directors like Nagesh Kukunoor and Kaizaad Gustaad made success with films like “Hyderabad Blues” and “Bombay Boys” which set the ball rolling for many directors to follow. Directors like Priyadarshan with his “Gardish”, “Virasaat” and “Hera-Pheri” also made his foothold strong in the film industry.

The 2000’s also see many actors turned to production and Aamir’s “Lagaan” which got nominated for the Oscars in the best foreign language category top 5. The 2000’s also saw a paradigm shift and many small studios and new faces saw their films released and make it big. Directors like Vishal Bharadwaj, Anuraag Kashyap, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Anant Balani, Milan Lutharia, Dibakar Banerjee, Rakeysh Sudhir Mishra, Prakash Jha and Om Prakash Mehra were the few notable ones. Female film makers like Deepa Mehta, Kalpana Lajmi and Mira Nair also made many notable contributions. This was in many ways the era where new talents emerged in all departments of the film business.

The action oriented 80’s also made a huge comeback in the second decade of the 2000’s. With actioners like “Dabangg”, “Singham” and “Wanted “getting the crowd on their feet. 

The whole concept of television and piracy in the 2000 made it tough for the film industry to handle. The whole concept of multiplex cinema revived the audiences which had left to come to the theatres. There were  allotted elaborate budgets to really woo the audiences. There were separate  TV channels exclusively for films and stars. The Budgets of films were really through the roof. There were a lot of films and stories that found audiences which earlier were lying canned. Indian films also had a global audiences. The audiences were also subjected to bolder and uninhibited cinema. iconoclastic cinema with “Dev-D” and “Nishabd” proving that the audiences are accepting fresher topics. The young brigade spearheaded by filmakers like Frahan Akhthar, Ayan Mukherjee and Shimit Amin are showing that Indian audiences are maturing at a rapid pace.  With the  themes becoming varied and layered. Cinema had found a whole new dimension. The way things are going its really interesting for the audiences and challenging for the makers. The music too has gone  a long way and compsers like Amit Trivedi and Shanker Ehsaan Loy making it count with there musical scores. and Its good see the coming of age of cinema and new films on varied topics are being made with Gangs of Wasseypur and Bhag Bhag Milkha Bhag taking Indian cinema places there is no dearth of excitement. It will be a even a more competing and the changing values of the audiences making it ever more interesting.

100 years of Indian Cinema: A tribute Part Deux!

100 years of Indian Cinema Part Deux

Continuing with the tribute and moving on to the next era which is hailed as the golden era of Indian cinema. The 40’s (late) to 60’s gave audiences a taste of many facets of the Indian ethos and culture. It was a period which churned out some real classics and cult movies that would be revered by the ages to come. This era would also witness the inception of many awards as well as technical breakthroughs, creation ageless melodies and renditions, see the rise of actors that really established our ( the Indian) brand of cinema in on the global canvas like never before.

The Golden Age: 40’s to the 60’s
The 40’s:
The 40’s was a time of change, especially with the “Quit India” movement and high anti-British sentiments being on the rise followed by the breaking out of the famines and the wars. All this contributed majorly to the making cinema which had a soul and connected with its audiences. Eventually this era made the audiences witness some quality cinema and changed the landscape forever.
It was primarily due to the vision and imagination of creative geniuses like Raj Kapoor, Bimal Roy, Mehboob Khan, Ritwik Ghatak, Satyajit Ray, Chetan Anand, V.Shantaram and Guru Dutt, that this era saw some of the most flourishing cinematic work ever done. Films made were balanced with both emotional and realistic content and also dabbled with melodramas which were a treat both visually and musically. Cinema landscape was to change forever. 
The change started with Bengali Cinema which really spurred the turnaround of the Indian films. With its unique and touching tales, it was the coming of age of the so called parallel/art cinema. Films like “Naagorik” and “Do Beegha Zameen” proved to be the stepping stones of neo-realism in Indian cinema. This status was also further consolidated by films like “The Apu Trilogy” (Pother Panchali, Apur Sansar and Aporajito) and Guru Dutt’s “Pyaasa” and “Kaagaz Ke Phool” in the 50’s. Films which are till date considered as an integral part of the best cinema of all times.

The 50’s was the era which saw the unprecedented rise of Indian Films on the global arena. Films by Ray and Bimal Roy took both the critics and jury by storm and swept across all the accolades at national and international circuits. Ray’s Pother Panchali won as many as 11 awards. Although each filmmaker had his own style and distinct way of narration, most of these style was accepted by the audiences and till date inspires new filmmakers.
The prominent landmark film of the 40’s was” Kismet” (1943) which saw Ashok Kumar play a negative character with finesse. It was also the first legitimate box office blockbuster. Other films like ‘Mahal” and “Humayun’ made him a credible star.
The later part of the 40’s was dominated by Raj Kapoor. In 1948 Raj Kapoor debuted with his “Aag” followed by films like “Barsaat”, “Awaara” and “Shri 420” and proved to be India’s answer to Charlie Chaplin. He actually can be credited as the man who really took Indian Cinema beyond boundaries and his films reached out to the masses even in nations like Russia then USSR, China and other parts of South East Asia. Inspired by “Citizen Kane” and Chaplin’s “The Tramp”. “Awara” showcased Kapoor’s talent very well. It was not just his chaplinesque act but his passion for cinema as well. He created an open set for the dream sequence and torched his set to get the desired effect for scenes in “Awara”. The song took 30 days to shoot. But what shown across was the genius of Kapoor. He was one man who really showcased India’s issues on the big screen like no one else did. His contribution also was that he introduced a young Shashi Kapoor to the screen. Shashi, of course would later became the poster boy romantic hero and also produced some critically acclaimed films with Shyam Benegal and also go on to work in some interesting Merchant Ivory films. In fact it is the oldest film family in India.

The 50’s

The first National Award (1954) was won by Bimal Roy’s “Do Beegha Zameen”. There were stories, that the film fraternities were not keen to see a dhoti kurta clad personality (Bimal Roy) pick up the award. But Raj Kapoor who was nominated in the same category went out of his way hugged Roy and announced that it was a film even he would have been proud of. The film also was one of the very first where a foreign educated Balraj Sahani, took some serious method acting classes by pulling the Rickshaw barefooted on the scorching streets of Kolkata to get into Mahato’s character. Passion for cinema was evident in the era.
This era also gave us a breed of accomplished actors like Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand , Raj Kapoor, Balraj Sahani to name a few. They spearheaded the film bastion. This phase would also see the rise of commercial cinema and would also see experimentation with varied topics like social status disparity, status of women, class divide and problems of the common man. The lost and found genre, the dacoit drama, reincarnation, women liberation, class divide etc were some basic themes this era would see along with adaptations of classics and out and out musicals.
This era also saw the first brushes with glamour as actresses like Nargis, Madhubala, Nutan, Waheeda Rehman, Vayjayanti Mala stunned the audiences and left them gasping with their looks, superlative performances and their dancing prowess. People actually fell in love with cinema like never before. Cinema had succeeded in making the audiences believe in a world beyond their own.
The same era saw the likes of Dilip Kumar debut with “Jwar Bhata” but was noticed in “Jugnu” which established him as the numero uno matinee idol for quite some time. He was a pro at both thespian roles and played comic and romantic roles with aplomb. He was amongst the finest actors to have surfaced on the silver screen. He also won the first Filmfare award in 1954 for “Daag”. The market for films was growing and some actors were also offered international assignments as well.
The comedy genre was dominated by the hugely talented Kishore Kumar Ganguly, he was a master mimic and an iconoclast. He could sing, dance and act. In short almost do it all. With films like “Ziddi”, “Half Ticket” and “Chalti ka Naam Gaadi” he made his presence felt. However he was largely interested in singing, which his elder brother Ashok Kumar was not willing of initially. But he switched gears and later established himself as an all-time great singer dominating the charts throughout the 70’s and the 80’s. He also made an attempt to make his mark as a director with “Door Gagan Ki Chaoon Mein” and touched his audiences with his flair for cinema.
This era also saw films focus on both urban and rural India. While Dilip and Kapoor both dabbled with rustic roles and the modern city bred blokes, it was the suave and debonair Dev Anand who stamped his arrival by playing the city slicker and the modern man. He established himself as the ultimate romantic and India’s first style icon. His films had themes of love, deceit and suspense which also were a novelty in the 40’s and 50’s.Films like “Baazi”, “CID” and others saw him team up with Guru Dutt and later make his own production house called “Navketan”.

The film industry also saw on screen goddesses light up the screen. Madhubala one such diva, was endowed with immense natural beauty and grace. She was the biggest heart throb during her era. Debuting with “Basant” as a child actor, her talents were noticed by many and she later starred in many hits like “Mahal”, “Kaala Paani”, “Badal”, “Tarana”, “Howrah Bridge”, “Phagun” , “Mr and Mrs 55” and K.Asif’s magnum opus “Mughal-e-Azam”. She was one of the few actresses who also generated a lot of Hollywood interest and was also approached by Frank Capra to act in a Hollywood film as well.

Other actresses like Nutan with films like  “Seema:, Bandini, Paying Guest and Waheeda Rehman with films like “Kaala Baazaar”, “Pyaasa” to her credit who also made acting talent count. Later Asha Parekh and Mala Sinha also followed up with hits and films like “Teesri Manzil”, “Shikari” and “Gumraah”, “Pyaasa” “Aankhen” and “Himalaya Ki God Mein” respectively.

But the one actress who left an indelible mark was Nargis. Starting early she acted in a host of hits like” Barsaat”, “Awaara”, “Andaaz”, “Shri 420” and “Mother India”. She and Raj Kapoor made one of the most famous on screen couples in the late 40’s. 
It was the late 40’s which would introduce heroines (without dupattas), which actually earned the films with a dubious “A” certification. These were a few instances which showed our industry was maturing fast. Filmmakers like V. Shantaram with their path-breakers proved that Indian cinema was here to stay. This was a time too when the southern and eastern film industry made their initial forays and gave superstars Like NTR and Uttam Kumar. Our industry was peaking and slowly making its presence felt amongst the global audiences. Wowing the Russians and the Europeans had started. Films like “Barsaat”, “Do Beegha Zameen”, “Do aankhen Barah haath”, “Dr. Khotnis” blurred the lines between the real and the commercial and won the applause of the critics and the audiences alike. Fresher topics were introduced as compared to the stalemate in the earlier years. Ritwik Ghatak with Bengali films like ”Megha Dhaka Tara” and “Subarnarekha” and Mrinal Sen with “Oka orei Khatha” and “Bhuvan Shome” won many hearts.
Malyalam films also were in a budding stage and got late acclaim. But films like Ramu Kariat’s “Chemmeen”. Prem Nazir was the Malyalam hero and played lead in most films and starred in 610 films. Notable of these were “Marumakkal”, “Vissipinte Villi” and “Irruthinthe Athimayu”. Udaya, KK Combines, Excel and Merryland were some of the important production houses.
Music was another important area where the golden era really made some serious contributions. Composers like Naushad, S.D Burman, Madan Mohan, Shanker Jaikishen were a few musical geniuses who created some magical tunes which would last for decades.
Sensitive issues with stunning visuals and deft treatment by the masters, made films into an experience which were hard to forget. The fifties saw a spate of new actors like Dev Mukherjee, Biswajeet, Manoj Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar and Raaj Kumar who essayed many roles and were a part of many landmark films like “Waqt”, “Kohraa”, “Ek Musafir Ek Haseena”, “Mere Mehboob”.
But it was also an era which saw a few character actors without whom the films would have been rather bland. Be it Shubha Khote, Lalita Pawar, David, Pran K.N Singh, all can be credited for their special contributions. Pran was an icon in his own way, as he had films written keeping him in the centre and was the ultimate villain. So much so that people even stopped naming their children “Pran”. He gave some superlative performances in films like “Azaad”, “Madhumati”, “Jis Desh Mein Ganga behti hai”, “Ram aur Shyaam”, “Shaheed” etc. But his acting prowess was unmatched and he commanded equal attention as the other stars during his era.

The 60’s

The 60’s saw cinema trying to break away from the black and white era and try to change it colors. It was shifting from the realistic era to the one that of commercial. The 60’s was an era where dancing and music were an integral part of cinema. The other interesting thing about this era was gradual shift towards lighter cinema with comedy and humor being the chief themes which was experimented with. It was an era which saw Shammi Kapoor and RD Burman make serious waves and enchant audiences with their song and dance flair. The 60’s brought about a distinctive change from the serious cinema and established simple and family based films. It was a time which also saw some interesting technological breakthroughs. But it was commercial cinema which ruled and “Bollywood” films were a distinctive brand. Films instead of focusing on issues were trying to give the audiences happy endings and packaged formulae with music, songs, dances, comedy and tears wrapped in all.

The 60’s was also the emerging of many important landmarks as it saw the flux from serious cinema to a lighter brand of films. It also had movies which would be shot at foreign and outdoor locations and make the cabaret a sensation “An Evening in Paris” and “Love in Tokyo”. It would also see the rise of new stars and the birth of the first Indian Superstar “Rajesh Khanna”. The man who lived the dream- first by winning the talent contest and then later by reining the film industry. The era saw other filmmakers like Hrishijesh Mukherjee, Shakti Samanta, B.R Chopra, Mehboob Khan and K.Asif make films for wider audiences and become successful with their own brands.
The other side of the 60’s was credited to Manoj Kumar and his patriotic brand of cinema. His films like “Shaheed”, “Upkaar” and “Purab aur Paschim” earned him a lot of kudos and his name was christened to Bharat. This era also saw director Hrishikesh Mukherjee at his sublime best. Starting his career as an editor to the great Bimal Roy and having edited films like” Do Bigha Zameen”, “Madhumati” and” Devdas”, his notable films during this era were “Anari”, “Anuradha” and “Asli Naqli”.

One interesting aspect of experimentation in Indian cinema here was that live location shots were also being canned. This broke the monotony from films shot on sets and gave opportunities to cinematographers to give us some memorable shots.

Comedians like Memmood left their lasting impression on the masses and sometimes even stole the show amongst stalwarts. With movies like “Bhoot Bangla”, “Gumnaam” and “Pyaar Kiye Jaa” Mehmood made his own position as an actor.

This period also saw the rise of stars like Dharmendra, Sunil Dutt. Both had their own disctinctive style of acting to some amazing performances. Sunil Dutt’s “Sadhana”, “Sujata”,” Gumraah”,” Mother India” and “ Mujhe Jeene Do” were successful and his film “Yaadien” was an experimental and ahead of its time film. While Dharmendra’s “Anpadh”, “Bandini”,” Phool aur Patthar” and “Bharaein Phir Bhi Aayengi” and” Haqeeqat” were popular hits.

Some of the most memorable compositions of the era (40’s were ) 50’s were Mera Joota hai Jaapani (Shri 420), Yeh Nayaan Dare Dare (Kohraa), Awaraa hoon (Awaara), Shola Jo Bhadke (Albela) . The era also saw the magic of Kishore and Rafi rule the charts with immortal numbers like Abhi Na Jao chod kar (Hum Dono) Hum Bekhudi mein (Kala Pani) and Mana Janaab ne pukara nahi (Paying Guest) which are being adapted to popular tastes (remixed) till date. Amongst the singers Shamshaad Begum, Suraiah, Begum Akhtar, Geeta Dutt and Noor Jahan in females and Rafi, Mukesh , Kishore, Hemant Kumaar, Talat Mehmood and Manna Dey were the leading voices. The void left by Saigal was tried to be bridged but was instead closed with most of the original voices which wowed the audiences. Mukesh who actually copied Saigal, was gradually to become the voice of Raj Kapoor and the duo created some of the brilliant songs ever made. The composers were another group who were largely responsible for making the audiences take notice. Starting from folk to classical and western experimentation this era saw it all. Composers like O.P Nayyar, Shanker-Jaikishen, S.D Burman, Anil Biswas, Khemchand Prakash, Chaudhry, Naushad were some legends of this period. Well there are innumerable compositions which were very popular then and are still quiet pleasurable to listen to.

But I would like to share some of my personal favs here like Aaaiye Meherbaan (Howrah Bridge), Tu Pyaar ka Saagar Hai (Seema), Main Zindagi Ka Saath (Hum Dono), Hum Bekhudi Mein (Kaala Paani), Eena meena Deeka (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi) , Woh Shyaam and Tum Pukaar lo (Khamoshi), Waqt ne Kiya (Kagaaz Ke Phool) and all the songs of (Pyaasa). 

This era also saw the inception of the awards like the filmfare awards then called the “Clare” award after the critic in 1954. The award was started initially with just five categories. But later went to become one of the most popular awards of all times. The period also saw the awards and gossip magazines flourish big times. Bimal Roy with 7 awards still holds the record for the best director of all times and Nutan with 6 for acting are stalwarts proving that this indeed was an era to reckon with. Film like Mehboob Khan’s “Mother India” was another special which was India’s first official entry into the Oscars. Another film which deserves special mention is K. Asif’s “Mughal –e-Azam” which took 14 years and Rs. 1.5 crores to make. The film was a landmark for Indian cinema. The film was also the first to be promoted in a grand way with elephants and lavish sets used during the premier. The film also had many stories attached to the top one being K.Asif’s affair with Dilip Kumar’s sister. The lavish sets the grandeur and the huge star cast made “Mughal –e-Azam” the top grosser for many years to come. 

It’s actually surprising as to the many films which featured on the lists of top 100 films of all times etc. ‘Pyaasa’ and ‘The Apu Trilogy’ feature in most of the lists. Specially the films made in the 50’s which was an age where creativity ruled and melody and music made hearts flutter and stellar performances and off screen romances kept the paparazzi busy. Be it the Dilip Kumar – Madhubala or Dev Anand- Suriah were all part of the romances which made folks interested in films.
This era was followed by the 70’s which reinvented the entire way films were made and introduced action, Indian westerns and horror genres more on that in the next edition.
Keep watching this space.

100 years of Indian Cinema: Wooing the world over!!

Born in the 80’s cinema was initially watching action or romance capers in single screen cinema’s, or watching the Saturday, Sunday feature film telecasts along with a segment called “Panorama” which promoted the regional cinema.  But slowly and steadily I felt that movies were beyond entertainment. They were an integral part and parcel of our lives. Masses identified with them; they actually used to form a major part of the usual past times banter. People who used to be domestically employed with us used to constantly quote from films like ‘Sholay”, discuss scenes from “Roti Kapda aur Makaan” and other action and high voltage drama films. The impression of films was undeniably deep rooted. This was one heady dope which made people happy and made their lives tolerable. It acted as a panacea for the masses. 

It’s actually amazing that India had its tryst with its own brand of films almost a century ago.  1913 was a landmark year for India. It was the year when India made its foray into cinema production. It was primarily due to the visionary and his relentless efforts, Shri Dadasaheb Phalke (Largely considered the father of Indian Cinema) that Indian film industry got its first taste with the celluloid. But, the romance and courtship with the global audiences still continues.  It is now an industry which has spawned legions of fans, produced cult classics, and has given us screen gods and god makers (geniuses who made their mark) even before cricket. Films have mesmerized us with trips to exotic locales for a nominal fee and made thousands dreams come alive on the silver-screen. It’s a place a wonderland where the common man becomes special. Thus, inspiring many commoners to embark upon a journey to the city of dreams and later rule in the hearts and the box office. Beyond the obvious, films also mirrored the social fabric and proved to be means for the masses to democratize entertainment.

I being a big film buff really can’t imagine a life without cinema. Cinema is a way of life. It’s not just an Industry, but a place where dream merchants weave their wondrous spread to make the audiences life better atleast for the time they spend in the theatres, making them for while away their worries. This piece of work is an ode and tribute to that cinema from me. Its something which empowers me to dream. It manages to secure a curve which plays on my lips whenever I experience the ecstasy on screen. It inspires me to visualize the world in a different way, to blur the lines between reality and the surreal. But, most importantly to learn and romance life.

The Beginning: Silent Era 

Indian film industry started off in 1912, as a fledgling one, thanks to the laudable efforts of a man named Dada Saheb Phalke. Although the first film made in India was “Shree Pundalik” which remains an unknown fact, but since the film had a crew which was mostly British is not really considered an Indian film.  Phalke saab’s impressive repertoire consisted (95 full length silent films and 20 short films). He was passionate about his films.  Knowing the public sentiments well, Phalke focused mostly on historical s and mythologies. His films were based historic icons like Harsha, Ashoka and the Mughal’s which were easily comprehensible and required almost zero narration. But It was Phalke’s contemporary Raghupati Venkaiah Naidu the master filmmaker of the Silent Era who made some interesting contributions during this era. Since this was the silent era the 1913’s, conservative Indian mentality contributed much to the making of films as well. So much so that even the female characters were largely portrayed by men in wigs.

This era however had its share of few more peculiarities and roadblocks. A few interesting   films like “Pati Bhakti 1922′ starring Lalita Pawar, saw her (Ahem) kissing on screen, this was however considered a taboo in movies till the late 90’s and had stiff opposition from the censors. Controversies were created by films like “Bhakt Vidur (1921)” which had rows with the censors for depicting anti british sentiments and not vulgarity or violence.

This era saw stars like Hiralal Sen, Baburao Painter and R. Nataraja Murlidhar.  Though the initial response to the films was from the affluent class, subsequent flux of the masses was also seen towards the later part of the era. The pricing and the content of films both started to favor towards the masses. Commercial cinema was also showcasing the life and the culture of the nation.  This was also a period, where other newer genres were being experimented with. Internationally also audiences were getting  aware of  the Indian cinema. The silent era which lasted upto 1931 had laid the foundation for the talkies, this is when Adeshri Irani (the father of the Talkies era) changed the sceanrio with his film”Alam Ara”.Which was the first talkies.

The Talkies 

The era of talkies had begun. But it was a tough phase of the filmmakers as there was a dearth of quality topics and script and screenplay writers to begin with. The actors  in addition to looking good had to be adept at singing and had to be blessed with a golden voice.  Filmamkers like H.M Reddy with Telugu films like “Bhakt Prahalad” and “Kalidas” proved to be huge crowd pullers. This era saw both Adeshri and Reddy combine to form a formidable partnership in the era.  Irani was also the first make a colour film (Kisen Kanya 1937) . But this was not a popular format of film making till the 60’s.  Here on the films made by Wadia bros carved a niche for themselves. With Robinhoodesque capers like “Hunter Waali” etc making a huge impact with the oppressed masses. The Wadia’s actually were attempting to make films for the cerebral audiences. But their films found a huge mass response from the lower oppressed strata. The Wadia’s made films with actions and stunts, which were never seen before on the Indian screen. Films like “Hunter Waali” brought the Australian born actress and Stunt woman Marie Ann Evans aka Nadia and post the stupendous success of the film “Fearless Nadia”. This also was another first where the films prime protagonist was a woman.

The late 30’s saw the likes of Devika rani and Ashok Kumar the first legitimate superstars emerge and give romance a new definition. The film “Achoot Kanya” proved to be an iconoclastic film defying the rules of a highly caste based cinema. It is widely regarded as a master piece of the non-independent India. The irony being Devika Rani being the  was the real star then as compared to our Dada Moni, who would later become one of the iconic legends of Indian cinema in years to come.  Other notable actors were Sohanlal, K.N Singh and K.L Saigal.

Slowly but steadily the Indian love affair with music had begun. With better progress in the technology of sound, music and songs became the latest rage of the late 30’s. Notable musicals in this era were “Indra Sabha” and “Devi Devyani” which were widely accepted by the audiences. By 1935 most metros like Madras, Mumbai and Kolkata had established studios and films were accepted as a craft and an established medium of work.With the success of films like “Devdas” and others established the likes of K.L Saigal, Suraiah, Shamshad Begum as the new icons of cinema. Saigal was one of the most sought after actors of this era. His voice was like honeydrop to flies. He redefined the films with his voice and became an undisputed artistes with a unique identity for ages to come. Saigal was truely a persona which made a huge impact, which continues till date with the 2011 film “Delhi Belly” giving him a tribute with a song called “Saigal Blues”.

But in the 40’s and specially the later part (partition related). Bombay Talkies and Prabhat Studios were the major studios of the era. Prithviraj Kapoor  the founder and patriarch of the Kapoor family also made rapid strides in this period. Also having the credit of acting in the first talkies “Alam Ara”he later made his own mark by establishing his theater troupe. His notable films were “Vidyapati” and “Sikandar” 1941, where Kapoor portrayed the role of Alexander with rare finesse. His look in the Alexander-sue costume was almost inimitable. Only to be equalled decades later by “Dharmendra”.     But with the audiences asking for more and with newer international topics gaining ground the Indian cinema stepped into the 40’s. This era however as per the viewer would have been a tad bland. No real juicy gossips, no competition, no awards. Obviously being  at a nacent stage these things came up gradually. But what makes showbiz really intresting are these aspects. But this era laid the foundation for an Industry which was here to stay and to captivate audiences for a long long time.

The next era was to be one of the best and golden era’s of Indian Cinema. Where many benchmarks were set by actors, filmmakers and technicians. The audiences (both  domestic and overseas) experienced  path-breaking cinema (Indian) at its best. An era which lasted two decades and enthralled spectators and ‘etched n earned ‘ and made that lasting impression with many a masterpieces in world cinema. But this era being a special one deserving a special mention would be further discussed in part two of this three part series. So keep watching the space….


Reinventing self-destruction “Dev.D”

Anuraag Kashyap is known as a maverick, accepted as an eccentric and lauded by many as an iconoclast. The reason why AK is considered to be worthy of such superlatives is evident from the very few initial scenes of DEV.D! So much so as even the film certificate is red too. The attitude is clear its bold, brash and on your face. That’s just the beginning. The film quickly clarifies that it isn’t your usual family wallah’s Devdas. Rather it’s one which is modern with times and at times even shocking. Switching gears is the Devdas in question, a selfish, inconsiderate and wuss of a guy but still a classic.

Made, remade and recycled with the same storyline over and over again, spreading across actors from K.L Sehgal, Dilip saab and SRK, Kashyap dabbles with a classic by taking the central plot and characters and staging them in a modern scenario. The major exception being this Dev is a Dhillion and not a Bengali as made by Shri Sarat Chandra Chattopadhya in the original novel. The narrative of the film breaks away from the previous versions and develops the three central characters the lovely Paro-played by Mahi Gill, Dev essayed by Abhay Deol and Chanda-the modern Chandramukhi by Kalki Koelchin independently but as a part of the story. The movie also dabbles with two infamous incidents- the DPS MMS Scandal and the BMW run over poor pavement dwellers by a rich young driver who has alcohol well over the accepted norm in his blood stream.

The freshness of the film is its essence. Post the first half an hour or so, Dev starts to break into what he does best drink, dope and abuse. The character is developed in a way that you actually do not sympathize with him rather loathe and despise him for his ways. Using songs as many as 18 of them to build on and show the pathos and self-destruction of Dev. Kashyap enthuse fresh blood into an ordinary and mundanely simplistic plot. Amit Trivedi and Amitabh Bhattacharya make the most and provide bollywood with a soundtrack to marvel with. It probably will not be out of place to say that the best debut award deservingly should go to him. The movie is both unpredictable, dark, gothic and uber edgy to the core-which is a hallmark of most of AK capers. Trivedi also lends his voice to most of the tracks which sum up the many hues and  moods like pathos, angst, allusions and comedy through a stomper of a OST. Thus there are no lines which you would really remember as dialogues but the music speaks volumes. Most songs will linger in your mind for a long long time. However the one dialogue which stays on ur mind is ‘Dilli mein billi mar lo , kha lo par palo nahi’!  

In terms of performances it’s a Mahi who makes a spirited debut as a fiery tongued Paro, whose as bold as to shedding her clothes to send Dev a bina kapdo waali snap or carry a mattress to the fields on a cycle just to floor Dev to submission. Hopefully, God makes such dames and let men have more encounters with them! Abhay deserves a pat on the back for certainly choosing to play the unconventional and edgy role. He does justice to his part. Sadly Kalki has a  ‘great character” but an average performance is a letdown.

The movie  for a change is not a crowd pleaser, but is experimental and unconventional. Just to mention a few instances – Watch Dev send shivers through an old garrulous woman when he gobbles up her DTC bus ticket or the scene where the Chunni Lal character, played by Dibyendu Bhattacharya with elan, is having a bout of drinks with ‘pardesi’ playing at the backdrop. I would say that off late the national capital has generated quiet an enthusiasm amongst the filmmakers, but most of them are content sticking to the good parts. DevD transcends this line and gives us a sneak peek into the hitherto shunned but existing world of drugs, sleaze and flesh trade, giving the business a nouveau identity. Extra marks for this content and detailing. All in all a guilty pleasure one cannot ignore.

Lit for Life Session 1: New Wave Cinema (Featuring Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra (ROPM)

The discussion began with the history and the transition of the Indian cinema. Post independence our films reflected a mood of euphoria. Thus we had films which showcased the celebrations of independence. Songs like ‘saathi haath badhana ‘ were examples of the mood. Then we realized that everything we have is imported, songs like ‘Mera joota hai jaapani” sermonized that excepting the heart rest all was imported. The mood slowly mellowed down, and gave way to cynicism, where one used to imagine that independence was actually not what the nation had aspired. Songs like “jinhe naaz hai hind pe who kahan hain’ summing up the mood. This gave way the filmmakers to ideate and give us escapism, Shammi Kapoor being the first star to show us how to shake a leg. Since people were alteady sad enough, films shifted gears and presented a rosy picture and larger than life cinema was born. This continued till the 70’s until Big B changed it all. Where the system was the villain and somebody had to challenge the status quo. This also made the shift from quintessential good boy image to the anti hero image as well. This was really followed by cinema which depicted real and believable cinema, where the life of the Indian diaspora was explored.

The rise of filmmakers like Nihalani, Benegal, Sidhir Mishra etc changed the cinematic landscape. Bold hard-hitting subjects were treaded into and met with success. This was the so called new wave, but essentially the history of new wave was French cinema, where people who thought that the society needs to be documented and shown to the public to make them understand the current issues. Random cameras were put to use and to record the lives of people and were exhibited at various cinemas across France. People paid to watch them. This was real new wave. According to ROMP any cinema which can create a movement and has the power to move the audience in a major way and have a ripple effect can be termed as new wave cinema. On being asked about RDB, Aks and Dilli 6, and his inspirations to write them, he said that Aks was essentially the good and evil residing in oneself and their conflict. This philosophy was really followed and is the crux of the film. For the influences for the cult RDB, he says this was a result of all the various events in his life. Staring from the model MIG’s at his school at “Airforce Bal Bharti’ to his school days and his gradual advance to the college. Here he was mostly aloof from the reality of india and used to complain about India being a country gone to the dogs. Then during his college there was a change in him and he and his fellow mates considered that they have to take the onus of changing the society.

This was the time when the mandal commission happenned, to the mass movements during the mandal commission made him also participate in candle light marches and people standing up against the system. Then there was the system which reacted in a way no one ever expected. In the midst of that he also used to booze and jump into surajkund and the other places shown in the film. Influences of Bhagat Singh were there where Bhagat singh at the age of 21 knew that they were not fighting the foreigners but were rather fighting the exploitation and the suffering which was brought about by them. The HSRA knew that Indians would be free from the British only to be governed by another group of tyrants. So they had a vision of a nation building rather than that of fighting the british. All this khichdi as he puts it translated into RDB. The only case being the parallels of the 30’s and the 2000’s.

The question was really what made the guys /youth like bhagat singh a student, Bismil and Ashfaqullah who were poets put their pen down and really take the gun? The reason was exploitation. The enemy within. All these were forces which helped him develop RDB. On delhi he dabbled with the topic of good and evil residing in oneself, his experiences of the class and religion divide which he experienced during the Delhi roits. The local boys loosing their manhood to jalebi an outcast. All these were primarily personal experiences which he wrote about and later made them into films. On being asked that earlier Hollywood studios majorly investing in writers almost 10-15 people per script to develop it, ROMP replied that a story that needs to be told will always be better than a one which is tried to be made. For screenplay writing one needs to think like an editor, his job was created because of writers and filmmakers. Thus screenplay writers need to think like an editor before writing. Interesting tips were writers need to experience life, depict experiences they have gone through, inspirations. Basically a pictorial story is a film, so it has to have all ingredients.

He also said he was looking about a modern day script of Karn which really made the journey of the 2000 0r 3000 years and his version of the Karn of today. He also spoke about Indians being a poor copy cats, we have our own culture and can have original ideas but still ape and make really pathetic versions of Hollywood cinema. He lauds the fact that foreign authors and filmmakers do a better job at making films with an Indian backdrop. Will write about the other two sessions later..

Harry cleans up the dirt…

This Harry ain’t dirty…

Watching the entire Dirty Harry collection was sure fun. Clint Eastwood essaying the role of Harry Callahan, that would be regarded as a cult and an inspiration spawning a number of film. Eastwood blazes the screen with his cold blooded cop act and his smooth and slow dialogues, adding a dash of elan to the otherwise run of the mill cop films. The film series also shows the dare devilry and the risks which are involved in a cops life. With unforgettable dialogues like “do u feel luck punk” and scenes with harry blowing baddies with the Smith & Wesson. 44 Magnum, are a treat to watch. It also helpd Eastwood establish his iconic status as an action hero. 

Harry Callahan aka Dirty Harry c’se he does all the dirty police work for the police department. A series of killings and a threat note to the police department, make the PD turn to Harry Callahan to rescue the city from this killer. Though Callahan is not our typical by the book cop, he is rather a person who is regarded as a result getter but unruly and a rebel cop. The film exposes the shortcomings of the system by the culprits, who use the media, law and the system to actually get away with murder.  Harry with his unconventional means gets the victim who escapes due to lack of evidence and frames Harry instead. But Harry finally gets the better of him eventually.

The film was followed by other films like Magnum Force, Enforcer, Sudden Impact and Dead Pool. The films , which were successful at the box office. The film also reflects the social protests, as the film shows the law to be lop sided towards criminals through a system which can be manipulated.

The series marks and also shows the changing attitude of the Police department. With the topics of vigilante justice in magnum force, where young cops led by a police senior form a striking squd bumping off mafia and other baddies at will. This is followed by Enforcer where Harry is forced to train and is assisted by a female cop, which marks the changing face of the Police Deptt.  The next two films in the series are Sudden Impact and Dead Pool have revenge as their central theme. The last in the series also marks the arrival of the actors like Liam Neeson and Jim Carrey in small roles.

All in all this is an exciting series which certainly makes for an engaging watch for Eastwood fans.