Sunday, September 17, 2006

Masoom

When you watch a movie that was made some 25 years back, you cannot possibly come out and talk about it, can you? I've been catching up on old Hindi movies over the last couple of weeks and somehow feel I should be writing about them now. It's all about falling in love with Sabana Azmi and Hema Malini and Mousumi Chatterjee all over again. How could I miss them when I was young? Was it because we Bengalis did not like anything from Bollywood? Like we liked everything French as opposed to anything from Hollywood. Hollywood, after the stiff guys like Anthony Quinn and Gregory Peck, was unacceptable to Bengalis. They looked for Eisenstein and Kurosawa and Ray. And in that process, the younger generation missed out on a wealth of beautiful Bollywood movies that dwelt on another unreal plane. A plane of black and white characters, of evil versus good, of unnatural strength, and love everlasting. And the towering Amitabh Bachhan. If he is on screen, you will willingly gloss over the technical flaws and bad scripting without blinking an eyelid. You will happily allow yourself to be transported to this world of the absurd, which you so wished were true.

And then came Naseeruddin Shah. Despite being kinda nondescript to look at, he equalled or perhaps surpassed Tom Hanks in diversity of roles. So real, you could almost feel him breathe in the theater. I watched Masoom yesterday. Yes, almost 25 years late, you can say, although I had heard the soulful songs.

And when I watched Being Cyrus last night, which too has a middle-aged Naseer and happens to be a very contemporary movie, I found a new hero: Saif Ali Khan.

I hope the Bengalis are watching Hindi movies too these days and are not as stuck up as I can remember them from the late eighties. I am watching and am enjoying every moment.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

In fact, I did not happen to be one of those stuck up Bengalis. I remember seeing Massom at Anuradha cinema in Benachitty. And when Durgapur Cinema came up, I used to go almost every week to see some trash Hindi movie. That was because I had to rebel against the homefront where my parents barred us (me and my brother) from watching Hindi movies.
But alongside mindless Hindi movies, I do remember seeing some art movies and today I remember those more than scores of Hindi movies I saw. Like Khandhar (of Mrinal Sen, starring Naseer and Shabana--must see movie.It's based on a Premendra Mitra short story), Chakra, Ardha Satya, etc.

Oreen said...

hey anon...shaibal bishnu naaki?
i would only go to chitralaya for some trash hollywood movies, although those too were kinda banned...

Prerona said...

i think when u say 'we bengalis' u might have meant a very small segment of people ... i used to do that a lot too, i used to say 'we calcuttans' :)

cant blame the hollywood / french film bias, can you ... ever watched breathless straight after a bout de souffle ... and people bitch abt bollywood making 'horrendous copies' of hollywood movies

but having said that, there are good movies from every region and category, even the paati commercial flicks have some very well made movies, i think.

common, even the pakka aatel section of the bongs were tuned into massoom, ek pal, etc. werent they?

Oreen said...

believe me, i watched izaazat only in 1989, and that too upon somebody's insistence . . . did not remember a thing from the movie until I watched it again sometime in the last couple of years . . .

i think it had something to do with not understanding hindi one bit. but we didn't understand English too for that matter . . . :-))

Prerona said...

hey! u left a comment on my home page (serendib) sometime back. i am sorry i have been so slack in checking those guestbook entries - my only excuse is life has been a mad rush last few time-units :)

you had asked for my email id. my email id is on my blogger profile. pls do write.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous was Gaurav from Dubai. Enjoy reading your stuff.

prachi said...

hope you will enjoy a lot more...

soem more classics from bollywood..

vibhor said...

bollywood has produced some very good piece of art and its worth watching...

keep enjoying it..

hithaz said...

thanks :)

the mad momma said...

you might not be able to place me.. and then again.. you just might.. ryze?

am glad you're enjoying hindi cinema.. have another bengali friend who really freaks out on it .. he's also originally from calcutta...

Rupa said...

i enjoyed all these hindi movies, i still do, and a big fan of bollywood/hollywood.....tui ki kore chilina tai bhabchi!