Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rajender Kumar and Saira Banu

Rajender Kumar and Saira Banu.

Rajender Kumar, better known as Jubilee Kumar, had acted in memorable films in the 60s, ranging from Mere Mehboob, to Sangam, Aarzoo to Suraj, etc. During that span he had acted with all the leading actresses of bollywood films including Vaijayantimala, Sadhna, Meena Kumari, Wahida Rehman, etc. His combination with Saira Banu was well accepted by the viewers.

Most of their films became successful and did very good business during the 60s. Their film Ayee Milan Ki Bela was a romantic film with melodious songs composed by Shankar Jaikishan. The memorable songs sung by Rafi and Lata include “to bura man gaye”, “o sanam tere ho gaye hum”, “aha aye Milan ki bela dekho aye”, “tum khamseen ho”, “mai pyar ka diwana”, to name a few. Dharmender got a supporting role in the form of brother of Rajender Kumar. He also did well in the film.

Their film Jhuk Gaya Aasman was based on reincarnation. Rajender Kumar met with an accident and took the place another person who had huge property. The other Rajender Kumar was subject to conspiracy Prem Chopra and others who were interested to take his property.

Music again played a notable role with Shankar Jaikishan providing westernized tunes for Rafi and Lata. The hit songs sung by Rafi and Lata included “o priya, kaun hai jo sapno me aya”, “saccha hai ghar”, “kahan chal diye”, to mention a few. The popularity of Rajender Kumar and Saira Banu contributed a lot for the success of the film. Rajender Nath, the brother of Prem Nath did well as a relief character.

The film which was less known involving Rajender Kumar and Saira Banu, included Aman. The film was based on the victims of Second World War. Rajender Kumar was a doctor and went to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to treat the victims who got infected due to hurling of Atom Bomb during the Second World War. Rajender Kumar went there against the wishes of his father played by Balraj Sahani. There he met Saira Banu and got involved with her.

The film depicted the damage that caused in most parts of Japan including the population and their property. It was not a romantic film in that sense. But the music of Shankar Jaikishan again appreciated by the audience. The notable songs included “surahidar garden, koel si hi awaaz”, “aaj ki raat”, etc. Rajender Kumar died at the end of the film.

The films of Jubilee Kumar and Saira Banu should be restored for the next generation as their romantic pair provided entertaining performances in the 60s.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Uttam Kumar and Sudhin Dasgupta

Uttam Kumar and Sudhin Dasgupta.

Uttam Kumar had dominated Bengali cinema for more than 35 years till his death in 1980. There were lot of composers who had contributed a lot for the success of his films which included Anupam Ghatak, Robin Chatterji, Anil Bagchi, Hemant Kumar, Nochiketa Ghosh, Salil Choudhury, to name a few. Among them Sudhin Dasgupta made a memorable contribution for the success of Uttam Kumar’s films and he especially created a combination of Manna Dey with Uttam Kumar which no other composer thought before him.

Sudhin Dasgupta used Manna Dey for the song “lag lag lag lag bhelkir khela” in Uttam Kumar’s film Goli Theke Rajpoth in 1959. At that time although Uttam Kumar became Mahanayak he was still overshadowed by the powerful performances of Chabi Biswas who was the dominating figure in Bengali films in the 50s. The film was related to the manner in which Chabi Biswas reformed Uttam Kumar who was previously a thief in the film. The music was appreciated by the musiclovers.

In 1966, Sudhin Dasgupta stormed Bengali films with his romantic composition for Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar titled “ke prothom kache esechi” in Uttam Kumar’s film Shonkho Bela. The film was directed by Saroj Dey under the banner of Agragami and Uttam Kumar acted along with Bosonto Choudhury and Madhabi Mukherjee in the film. The other hit songs in the film included “ami agantuk” by Manna Dey and “aaj mon cheyeche ai hariye jabo” sung by Lata Mangeshkar. The film became superhit and gave birth to the combination of Uttam Kumar and Manna Dey which ruled Bengali films for the next 20 years.

The same combination entertained the viewers in the film Choddobeshi. The major hit songs of the film included “amar din katena” by Asha Bhosle, “aro dure cholo jai” by Manna Dey and Asha Bhoshle, “ami kon pathe je choli” and “bachao ke acho” by Manna Dey. Sudhin Dasgupta impressed the viewers with his westernized tunes in a film which was based on a comedy story. The same film was remade in hindi with the title Chupke Chupke.

Sudhin Dasgupta gave superhit tunes in Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen’s film Har Mana Har. The hit songs included “esechi ami esechi”, “lekhaporata sikhe phele”, “pae pae choriye rakho”, etc. The film was released in 1971 and created strong impression in the box-office.

The other hit films where Suchin Dasgupta gave good music to Uttam Kumar included Kokhono Megh, where Anjana Bhowmick acted opposite Uttam Kumar. The above-mentioned films should be restored for their immense musical value.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla

Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla.

Anil Kapoor had acted with many actresses during his long career including Sri Devi, Meenakshi Sheshadri, Madhuri Dixit, Kajol, Rani Mukherjee, Aishwarya Rai, to name a few. His combination with Juhi Chawla was also appreciated by the viewers and their films did well in the box-office.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee experimented with the pair in the film Jhoot Bole Cowa Kate. It was a sequel of the films Golmaal and Naram Garam. Anil Kapoor had an affair with the actress Juhi Chawla, and he had to take the recourse of falsehood to please her father played by Amrish Puri, who allowed him to do clerical work in the film. At the end of the film the truth was unfolded and Amrish Puri had to forgive Anil Kapoor after all the relatives and friends convinced him that he was a good person from heart. The music of Anand Milind was impressive with successful songs of Udit Narayan.

The same pair performed in the film Deewana Mastana, where Govinda was the other hero. Both Govinda and Anil Kapoor loved Juhi Chawla and pretended to be rich people to impress her. From the time they came to know that the other friend also loved Juhi Chawla they became enemies of each other. But their plans of creating mischief was displayed with comedy sequences. Both Govinda and Anil Kapoor have good comedy conception and the director had used their performance for creating the love triangle in the film. LP’s music was successful with hit songs like “o mummy mummy”.

Both of them acted together also in the film Loafer, where Anil Kapoor played the role of an action hero. He raised his voice against the evils that took place in the city due to intervention of Mukesh Rishi and his men. As a result of it his family members were victimized. He did not care about it and continued his protests against the unlawful activities.

In the late 90s, Juhi Chawla launchd her production house called Dreams Unlimited with Shahrukh Khan. She concentrated on producing films under that banner and acting in some of those films. So her involvement in more bollywood films got affected and the viewers could not get the same combination of Juhi Chawla and Anil Kapoor any more. Although Juhi Chawla acted in films in the recent past like Salaam –e –Ishq, the roles were mainly in the form of character roles.

Anil Kapoor still acted in the roles of main actors in modern films, like the detective in the film Race, that was released this year, the role of mawali, in the film Welcome, released last year, or the film Yuvvraaj, this year. The viewers expect Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla to combine again to provide successful performance which can benefit bollywood films.

Shankar Jaikishan and Manna Dey

Shankar Jaikishan and Manna Dey.

Shankar Jaikishan had utilized the talents of all the leading singers of 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s who glorified the world of playback singing in bollywood films. They have used Rafi, Mukesh, Talat Mehmood, Subir Sen, Hemant Kumar, Mahendra Kapoor, Kishore Kumar, on one hand and among female singers they have used Lata, Asha, Suman Kalyanpur, Sharda, and many other singers. If any composer in bollywood films had done justice to the immense talent of the classical singer Manna Dey then it was Shankar Jaikishan.

The versatile capability of Manna Dey in singing every type of songs ranging from qawallies to ghazals, westernized songs to folk songs, romantic songs to pure classical numbers, was used to perfection by SJ. In Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420, SJ used Manna Dey to sing romantic songs like “pyar hua ikraar hua hai” and used him for other types of tunes like “mur murke na dekh mur murk e”, “dil ka haal sune dilwala”, etc.

SJ used Manna Dey for romantic songs in Raj Kapoor’s successful film Chori Chori which was an adaptation of Hollywood film Roman Holiday where Gregory Pegg and Audrey Hepburn provided landmark performances. The hit songs in the film included “aa ja sanam”, “yeh raat bheegi bheegi”, where Lata and Manna Dey sang memorial duets. Raj Kapoor and Nargis gave able lips in the hit songs.

SJ used Manna Dey to sing emotional songs in Balraj Sahani’s film Seema. Manna Dey did extremely well in the song “tu pyar ka sagar hai” alongside Rafi’s successful song “kahan ja rahe ho”. SJ used Manna Dey also for the song “muskura ladle muskura” where Rajender Kumar gave able lips.

Manna Dey got successful songs from SJ also in the film Pagla Kahin Ka where Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh played memorable roles. Even the pure classical numbers of SJ for Manna Dey are still remembered like the song “sur na saje kya gayun mai” from the film Basant Bahar, where Bharat Bhushan played a landmark role. Manna Dey even showed his classical control opposite renowned classical singer Bhimsen Joshi in the film Basant Bahar.

Although Roshan, Madanmohan, Salil Choudhury and other composers also used the classical talent of Manna Dey to perfection, Shankar Jaikishan considered him as one of the most versatile singers of all times after Mohammad Rafi. SJ and Manna Dey’s combination should be preserved and restored for future generations.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Suchitra Sen and Geeta Dutt

Suchitra Sen and Geeta Dutt.

Suchitra Sen had a tremendous combination with singer Geeta Dutt and their understanding both in Bengali films and bollywood films had created history during the golden age, that is the 50s and 60s. In the film Indrani, all the songs sung by Geeta Dutt for Suchitra Sen including “jhanak jhanak madhur badan”, “nir choto khoti nei”, “ogo sundoro”, etc., all became super hit. Suchitra Sen provided hit films one after the other with Uttam Kumar, during that age and Indrani also falls in that category.

Even in films where Geeta Dutt had sung only one song for Suchitra Sen, even in those films, the songs had a great impact in the success of the films. The song in the Ajoy Kar’s epic film Harano Sur, in 1957, titled “tumi je amar” had a unique appeal for the audience. Uttam Kumar lost his memory due to meeting with an accident and Suchitra Sen sang the song a number of times in the film. It haunted the viewers and touched the souls of numerous admirers of Bengali films.

Geeta Dutt’s song for Suchitra Sen also in the film Hospital also became extremely successful. Ashok Kumar acted opposite Suchitra Sen in the film and the song was “ei shundar sharnali sondhae”.

In bollywood films, SD Burman used Geeta Dutt for Suchitra Sen in the film Bombai Ka Babu. Dev Anand acted opposite Suchitra Sen in the film and all the songs were super hits. The main songs included “dekhne me bhola hai”, “pa ma ga”, etc., out of which some of them were duet songs with Mohammad Rafi and their romantic by every musical standard.

As Suchitra Sen made memorable contribution in bollywood films for more than 30 years, a lot of legendary singers contributed for her during that period. There were hit songs sung by Sandhya Mukherjee in landmark films like Sagarika, Pathe Holo Deri, Sriti Tuku Thak, Uttar Falguni, Bipasha, etc. At the same time in bollywood films Lata had sung landmark songs for Suchitra Sen including “rahe na rahe hum” composed by Roshan in the film Mamta, “is mor se jate hai”, “tere bina zindagi me shikwa” composed by RD Burman in the film Aandhi.

Even then Geeta Dutt was probably the only singer who sang songs for Suchitra Sen both in the Bengali films as well as the bollywood films. As Suchitra Sen’s hindi films were restricted to only Devdas, Champakali, Musafir, Bombai Ka Babu, Mamta, Aandhi, etc, Geeta Dutt got a limited scope of contributing in Suchitra Sen’s hindi films. Even then, the songs are still remembered by many generations and for those reasons the films should also be preserved.

Helen, Queen of the Nautch Girls

Helen, Queen of the Nautch Girls

some clips from Bollywood films featuring knockout performances from Helen. A selection of great clips from ’60s and ’70s era Bollywood films that are all well worth viewing.

Gumnaam (1965)

Jewel Thief (1967)

Night in London (1967)

Caravan (1971)

Anamika (1973)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy birthday to Bappi Lahiri

Happy birthday to Bappi Lahiri.

The viewers of bollywood films wish happy birthday to Bappi Lahiri on 25th November, 2008. He had huge contribution in bollywood music during the 70s and 80s and his compositions are remembered even today.

He is the son of famous Bengali singer and composer Aparesh Lahiri. Aparesh Lahiri had very impressive basic discs and the songs like “takka tare”, “jhar” stormed the Bengali audience in the 50s. His composition for Lata Mangeshkar, titled “ekbar bidae de ma” in Bengali films should his capability of using powerful resources successfully.

Bappi Lahiri emerged in the bollywood film arena, when composers like Shankar Jaikishan, Roshan, Madan Mohan, SD Burman, died and composers like Laxmikant Pyarellal, RD Burman, Kalyanji Anandji were the main competitors in the late 70s. Bappi created an impression before the audience with his compositions for the film Zakhmee where Sunil Dutt and Asha Parekh were the main performers.

The music of his film Namakhalal became super hit. Big B’s lips and Kishore Kumar’s song “ki pag ghungru”, made Bappi Lahiri a big star in the early 80s. He also gave ppular music in the film Sharabi, where again the Big B, KK combination stormed bollywood. The song “imtehan ho gayi intezr ki” became super hit.

Bappi Lahiri and KK combination did work also in the films of Mithun Chakravarthy. All the songs of the film Disco Dancer became super hit where Bappi Lahiri himself sang hit songs like “yaad aa rahai”, etc. The other hit films where Bappi Lahiri contributed well include Thanedaar, with Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit, where the song “tama tama loge” became very popular.

Bappi Lahiri was very successful in his composition of music for Bengali films as well. His music in Uttam Kumar’s last film Ogo Bodhu Sundari became super hit. KK’s songs “ami ekjon santoshito”, “shikte tomai hobe”, etc., became very successful. The other hit Bengali films where Bappi Lahiri made valuable contribution include Guru Dakhina and Amar Sangi. The hit songs include “o amar gurudakhina”, “prithibi hariye geche”, “sangi, sangi”, “jekhanei thako”, etc.

Bappi Lahiri had been often criticized for copying music from international films and other sources, as his tunes were very similar to others tunes. But that controversy is faced by lot of modern composers as well. The big thing is Bappi Lahiri had entertained audience of bollywood films for more than 15 years. His admirers expect him to compose innovative tunes in more films in future.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy birthday to Amol Palekar

Happy birthday to Amol Palekar.

The viewers of bollywood films wish happy birthday to Amol Palekar, on 24th November, 2008. He had been an invaluable asset of realistic films of the 70s and 80s. Directors like Basu Chatterji, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and others had displayed stories relating to the common man due through the performances of Amol Palekar in the related films.

He caught the attention of the viewers with his performance in the film Rajnigandha, directed by Basu Chatterji, where he acted opposite Vidya Sinha, the successful actress of the 70s. Salil Choudhury’s music in the film Choti Si Baat and the film Rajnigandha including songs sung by Lata, Yesudas and others like “janeman janeman”, “ranjigandha”, etc., created special impact on the viewers. Amol Palekar’s performance in the other film of Basu Chatterji, titled Chitchor also impressed the viewers. In that film a new pair of Zareena Wahab was created with Amol Palekar who was accepted by the viewers. The film revolved around the romantic story of Amol Palekar that took place in forest locations. The performance of Master Raju in the role of a child artist was also impressive. The music of the film composed by Ravindra Jain including songs like “gori tera gaon”, “tu jo mere sang me”, etc., sung by Hemlata and Yedudas was very impressive.

Amol Palekar also gave brilliant performances in serious films like Gharonda, where he expressed the agony of a jobless person in Mumbai and other complication of life. Zarina Wahab again did well opposite him in the film. The music given by Jaidev and the lyrics written by Gulzar in the film was of very high standard. The notable songs sung by Bhupinder Singh and Runa Laila like “do diwane shahar me”, “ek akela is shahar me”, “tume ho na ho”, etc., are important landmarks of Indian film music and Amol Palekar should his capability of giving able lips even in compositions catered to the intellectual commodity.

If the serious films of Amol Palekar gave variety to bollywood films in the 70s, the comedy films made every section of the society laugh. His combination with Utpal Dutta was considered one of the most successful combinations in the 70s and 80s, especially in respect of films which had intellectual humour in them.

Golmaal and Naram Garam are two films where Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutta complimented each other with their distinct style of acting. In Golmaal, Amol Palekar had to play double role to impress Utpal Dutta and marry his daughter Vindya Goswami. In Naram Garam, he worked in the estate of Utpal Dutta, and after all the preparations being made Utpal Dutta instead of marrying Swaroop Sampad, asked Amol Palekar to marry her.

Amol Palekar also did well in films like Baton Baton Me, opposite Tina Munim. His contribution to bollywood films was also wide in respect of direction. His directed film Paheli was critically acclaimed by the critics. He used Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee very well in the film.

Viewers want Amol Palekar to make a comeback in bollywood films, as his face is wanted more infront of the camera than behind it as director. He can still contribute in character roles in modern bollywood films.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Consequences of success of Yuvvraaj

Consequences of success of Yuvvraaj.

Yuvvraaj had been released on 21st November, 2008. The film got good response on the first 2 days after it has been released. As a number of noted personalities like Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Zayed Khan, Anil Kapoor, Gulzar, AR Rehman and Subhash Ghai are involved in its making the film has very important role to play in the career of all these celebrities.

If the film flops the greatest blow will be faced by Subhash Ghai other than anyone else. He had been considered as the second showman of bollywood films after Raj Kapoor. Even more than that the stars who had acted in his films later on got huge recognition and became established celebrities. The list starts with Jackie Shroff, Meenakshi Sheshadri, Reena Roy, Madhuri Dixit, and the list just goes on. Someway or the other his magic has not worked from the time of making the film Kisna. The film scenario also underwent a huge amount of change with comedy films getting predominance over action films, multistarrer films not becoming an exception, but reality, new subjects being appreciated than traditional subjects. Keeping that in mind Subhash Ghai is facing greater competition than the amount of competition he has faced at any time of his career. If Yuvvraaj fails, it will end the era of Showman Subhash Ghai.

The film does not have that amount of significance in the careers of AR Rehman and Gulzar, as they had composed many songs for different movies in the year, so success of one movie or its failure will hardly matter, except the fact that this is the first time they have worked together with Subhash Ghai. Gulzar had played a long innings over 40 years, so his control over alfaaz is recognized all across the world, and a certain section of critics consider him one of the most composed directors of all times.

The film also does not have that amount of significance in the careers of Salman Khan and Anil Kapoor. They had many releases during the year, like God Tussi Great Ho, Race, Heroes, Tashan, etc. Both have at least one hit film under their belt that had been released this year.

But the success of the film has a great implication in the career of Katrina Kaif. Katrina Kaif had hit films in the past, but there is a requirement of recognition from the point of view of good acting and bagging awards where Katrina Kaif had not opened her account till now. She had many hit films but the viewers feel that her glamour, dancing skills, on-screen appearance worked more than acting. If Yuvvraaj fails, her acting skills will require more time to get recognition. So she is totally dependant on the film. Also Zaid Khan had to prove his acting through the performance in Yuvvraaj and his fortunes are also related to it.

So the film Yuvvraaj, requires strong presence of viewers to make an impact and help the careers of the personalities that are mentioned above.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy birthday to Helen

Happy birthday to Helen

Viewers of bollywood films wish happy birthday to the veteran Helen on 21st November, 2008. She had been considered as one of the most skilled westernized dancers of bollywood films of all times. Her sheer brilliance in dancing had compelled producers and directors to include her in the scripts of hit films of 60s and 70s, and the dance sequences added variety in the films.

Her successful films include Gumnaam, where she played the role of one of the few persons who were taken to an isolated island. She was killed along with a number her friends by Tarun Bose in the film who was identified by Manoj Kumar at the end of the film. Her dance number in the songs “hum kale hai to kya hua dilwale hai” and “is duniya me jeena ho to” composed by Shankar Jaikishan were brilliant by every judging standards.

She was sublime in her dance no. in the song “muqabla hum se na karo” in the film Prince along with Shammi Kapoor and Vaijayantimala. She did the western part while Vaijayantimala did the eastern part. Whenever she got a scope of performing opposite Shammi Kapoor her performance used to get a different dimension as he was the only male star in the 60s to dominate bollywood films with rock and roll dance performances.

Both of them did well in the film Teesri Manzil. The song “o haseena zulfonwali” is remembered for the dance of both Helen and Shammi Kapoor. Helen got a villainish role in the film and trapped Shammi Kapoor in a murder case where the actual murderer was Prem Nath.

Helen even got few roles of heroines in the 60s including the role in the film Pyar Hi Pyar where she acted opposite Mehmood, where the main roles were played by Dharmender and Vaiyantimala. Her prominent roles continued in the 70s, including her cameo in the song “piya tu ab tu aja” composed by RD Burman in the film Karwa, her role in the film Sholay, where her dance number in the song “mehbooba mehbooba” amazed the viewers.
The villainish roles continued like the one in Big B’s film Don, where her song “yeh mera dil” became a runaway hit.

Her notable films include Mere Jeevan Saathi, Hindustani, Half Ticket, etc. She even acted in character roles in the 90s in films like Akela and Khamoshi. Her performance in the film Khamoshi had been appreciated by all section of viewers. The admirers of Helen expect her to make more contribution in bollywood films in character roles as she has a lot acting still left in her.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy birthday to Shilpa Shirodkar

Happy birthday to Shilpa Shirodkar.

Shilpa Shirodkar
All the viewers of bollywood films wish Shilpa Shirodkar happy birthday on 20th November, 2008. She made her presence felt in bollywood films in the early 90s. Most of her films were successful also.

She was very sublime in her role in the film Gopi Kishen. Sunil Shetty played a double role in the film with one person being smart and the other one utterly foolish in nature. The simple person was the constable and married Shilpa Shetty in the film who was more intelligent than her husband. She spoke broken English with funny accent which was enjoyed by the viewers. Karishma Kapoor was involved with the twin brother who was smarter. The songs of the film were successful as well and due to drama, comedy and action the film did good business.

Shilpa Shirodkar got a docile role in Big B’s film Hum. Although Big B had the prominent role in the film just like any other film in the late 80s and early 90s, but Shilpa Shirodkar got the role of the daughter of Kader Khan who was a military officer. He wanted his daughter to be married to only a military officer. Shilpa had an affair with Govinda, the brother of Big B, and he pretended to be a military major to get his brother married to Shilpa. The entire playacting was in vain as the truth was unfolded. The film had other issues of taking revenge against Danny, but Shilpa’s performance was impressive in the action film.

Shilpa Shirodkar
She also played a docile role in the film Kishen Kanhaiya, with Anil Kapoor. In this film Anil Kapoor played a double role of twin brothers. The film was made with the same formula with which other hit films relating to double roles were made in the past like Ram Aur Shyam with Dilip Kumar in the 60s, Seeta Aur Geeta with Hema Malini in the 70s, Chaalbaaz with Sri Devi in the 80s. The smart brother played by Anil Kapoor was involved with Madhuri Dixit while the timid brother married Shilpa Shirodkar and were beaten up by Amrish Puri and others for most part of the film.

Shilpa Shirodkar

In the late 90s, Shilpa Shirodkar added weight and faded away from the bollywood industry. Her sister Namrata Shirodkar acted in many hit films in that period including Vastav, opposite Sanjay Dutt, Aghaaz, opposite Sunil Shetty, Pukar, opposite Anil Kapoor and many other films.

Shilpa Shirodkar
There is no doubt that Shilpa Shirodkar still had acting left in her. The viewers wish on her birthday that she should make a comeback in bollywood films in character roles in future.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy birthday to Sushmita Sen

Happy birthday to Sushmita Sen

Sushmita Sen
The viewers wish happy birthday to Sushmita Sen on 19th November, 2008. Not only that she had created an identity in the fashion world she had made valuable contribution in bollywood films during the last 15 years.

She faced the glamour of Katrina Kaif in the film Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya, opposite Salman Khan and yet impressed the viewers with her unique performance. She was a nurse in the medical clinic of Salman Khan and she was asked to play the role of his first wife to satisfy Katrina Kaif. Salman Khan went on saying lies one after the other and Sushmita Sen had to help him for the wrongful cause. A time came when Sushmita could not bear any more. At the end of the film Salman Khan married her as she really loved him. Sushmita Sen gave brilliant lips in the song “laga laga laga re”.

Sushmita Sen
She had acted with all the leading stars of bollywood during her long career, including Shahrukh Khan in the film Mai Hoon Na. The title song of the film became big hit and Sushmita was well accepted by the film lovers across the country.

She even did well in roles of second heroines like the one she played in Salman Khan’s film Bibi No. 1. Salman Khan was married to Karishma Kapoor and he lived with Sushmita after having an affair with her when he went for a foreign visit. When the question came as to upbringing of Salman Khan’s children Sushmita Sen failed miserably. Anil Kapoor and Tabu helped Karishma Kapoor to create ill-feelings of Salman Khan against Sushmita Sen and ultimately the family peace was restored in favour of Karishma Kapoor. The songs picturised on Sushmita Sen and Salman Khan became super hit like “ishq sona hai”, “chunari chunari”, etc.

Sushmita Sen also acted in challenging roles in films like Chingari, which were made for response from critics and Sushmita had shown her acting skills in these types of films. Her other successful films include Aaghaaz, opposite Sunil Shetty, where she played the role of police officer, Zor, opposite Sunny Deol, etc.

Sushmita Sen
Both Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai joined bollywood films more or less at the same time and there was an express competition between both of them as both had come from the fashion world.

Although Sushmita Sen showed her potentiality in many films and the films had done well in box-office, she was not as lucky as Aishwarya Rai in bagging the big banners of Subhash Ghai, Sanjay Leela Banshali, Ram Gopal Verma, etc. Sushmita has also appeared as judges in many dance competitions hosted in different TV Channels in recent years along with other celebrities like Wasim Akram and others.

Sushmita Sen
The viewers still believe that Sushmita Sen has a lot of acting left in her and she can do even better in bollywood films in future.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Has Rani Mukherjee lost the No. 1 position in bollywood?

Has Rani Mukherjee lost the No. 1 position in bollywood?

Rani Mukherjee
Viewers wonder what happened to Rani Mukherjee in 2008, who was maintaining the no. 1 position in bollywood films even till 2006. She was the automatic choice of different types of directors including Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Banshali and others. Not only her films became hit but her performances received critical acclamation.

She was well appreciated for her performance in the film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, directed by Karan Johar. All the songs in the film became superhit including “ladka bara anjana hai”, “kuch kuch hota hai”, “koi mil gaya”, etc., where she matched Shahrukh Khan and Kajol with her soft performance. She followed it up in action films like Badal and Bicchu opposite Bobby Deol. Both these films were related to terrorism and corruption in the Narcotics Identification Sqaud. She adjusted herself to the requirement of the film in a very good manner. The huskiness of her voice never stood in the way for giving versatile performances.

Rani Mukherjee
She did extremely well in the role of advocate in the film Veer Zara. She released Shahrukh Khan from a prison in Pakistan after he was falsely imprisoned on charges of being involved in anti-national activities. Although Preeti Zinta had the lead role opposite Shahrukh Khan and the film revolved around the theme of cross-border relationship between an Indian and a Pakistani, Rani Mukherjee was probably the best performer in the film. Her submission in the court opposite Anupam Kher requires special mention.

Rani Mukherjee
Rani Mukherjee was brilliant in the film Black where she played the role of a blind girl, who learned the art of identifying things from Big B who also gave a landmark performance in the film of Sanjay Leela Banshali. If these films had received great reviews from critics then there are other films where Rani Mukherjee had helped the producers huge profits from blockbusters.

Her combination with Abhishek Bacchan in a number of films had resulted in the film becoming super hits. Bunty Aur Babli became a runaway hit with hit songs like “bunty aur babli”, “dharak dharak”, “karja re kajra re” composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy. The film had the backing of tremendous performance of Big B also in the role of a powerful police officer.

Rani Mukherjee did extremely well in the film Yuva, opposite Abhishek Bacchan. Her lips in the song “kabhi neem neem” was also appreciated by the viewers. With hit films one after the other under her belt including Nayak, opposite Anil Kapoor, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke opposite Salman Khan, she had the no. 1 ranking in bollywood till 2006.

Rani Mukherjee
The moment the news circulated relating to the marriage of Abhishek Bacchan with Aishwarya Rai spread, the bollywood industry became indifferent towards Rani Mukherjee. Not only that she had faced competition from younger actresses like Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, but more than that her films released this year like Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic, opposite Saif Ali Khan had not created any great impact the way it did two years back. The viewers know that she still has a lot of acting left in her and can make a strong comeback in the years to come.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pritam - the innovative composer of bollywood.

Pritam – the innovative composer of bollywood.

Pritam Chakravarty, better known as Pritam, had competed against the classy composers of bollywood films like Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Vishal Shekhar, Anu Malik, A R Rehman, and created a name for himself within the short career. He is the son of Probodh Chakravarty who runs a music school in Kolkata.

Pritam got involved in a bengali band called Chandabindu and another band called Jotugriher Pakhi and became popular in Bengal with his musical experiments. He joined the Film and Television Institute in Pune and learned sound engineering and at that time he got an offer to compose music in a film made by Hungarian filmmaker Istvan Gaal.

He created a partnership with Chandrajeet Ganguly who is better known as Jeet and composed music for the film Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai. Pritam stormed bollywood with his successful music for the film Dhoom after which did not have to look back.

He has been one of the judges of the Zee TV Saregamapa music competition and has been a familiar personality along with Shankar Mahadevan, Himesh Reshamiya, Adesh Srivastav, Aditya Narayan who are judges and conduct the program for the last few years.

In 2006, his music in the film Apna Sapna Money Money became super hit. Ritesh Deshmukh and Koena Mitra did well in the comedy film. Pritam’s composition for Amit Kumar titled “dekha jo tujhe yaar dil me baji guitar” became super hit. Pritam again struck box-office with his westernized tunes in the film Dhoom 2. The songs composed by him for Suniti Chauhan like “crazy kiya re” picturised on Aishwarya Rai and Hritik Roshan became super hit. All the songs of the film became extremely successful and the film did equally good business just like its music.

In 2007, Pritam’s music in the films Bhoolbhulaiya and Jab We Met became super hit. The songs in Bhoolbhulaiya like “ami je tomar” and in Jab We Met like “mouza re mouza”, “na gara na gara”, etc., contributed a lot in the success of the film. Kareena Kapoor even received filmfare award for best actress for her performance in the film Jab We Met.

The dream run of Pritam also continued in 2008. His music in the film Race had become super hit. Songs like “pehli nazar me aisa jaadu kar diya”, “alla duhai hai” had become some of the most popular songs of the year with the strong screen presence of Katrina Kaif, Akshay Khanna and others. The classy music was followed in the film Singh is Kinng with songs like “dil kho gaya ho gaya kisika”, “singh is king” which again had become bumper hits.

Pritam’s latest composition for the film Golmaal Returns also stormed bollywood with the song “golmaal, golmaal, everything is going to be golmaal”. He is having a brilliant period of providing hits one after the other.

The viewers and audience expect him to continue his good work in providing innovative tunes in bollywood films in future.

Happy birthday to Meenakshi Sheshadri

Happy birthday to Meenakshi Sheshadri

Meenakshi Sheshadri
The viewers of bollywood films wish happy birthday to Meenakshi Sheshadri on 16th November, 2008. She had been a celebrated star of bollywood films in the 80s and her work is still remembered today.

Subhash Ghai saw the spark of acting in Meenakshi Sheshadri and used her in the film Hero in the early 80s opposite Jackie Shroff. The song “ding dong” in the film became landmark hit and both Meenakshi Sheshadri and Jackie Shroff were accepted by the viewers as newcomers. Within short time Meenakshi competed with the other South Indian stars like Sri Devi and Jaya Prada and was considered as one of the leading actresses of late 80s.

Meenakshi Sheshadri
She acted in the hit film of Big B titled Shahehshah and did well. Although it was a male-dominated film with Big B pretending to be police-officer during the day and taking law in his own hands as Shahenshah at night, Meenakshi showed her dancing skills in the song “jane do jane do mujhe jana hai”. She showed her matured acting in the film Joshilay, opposite Anil Kapoor. Sunny Deol and Sri Devi were the other leading pair in the film which was action based.

Raj Kumar Santoshi made the best use of Meenakshi Sheshadri during her illustrious carrier. In Ghayal she played the role of a journalist who published all the illegal work of Amrish Puri in th newspaper who was otherwise considered to be law-abiding industrialist. Sunny’s brother Raj Babbar was killed by Amrish Puri and he was imprisoned with false charges. Sunny came out of prison and took revenge against Amrish Puri and his men with a small team of men. Meenakshi was even kidnapped at the end by Amrish Puri after her publication about created sensation in the city. Meenakshi showed her depth of acting opposite powerful actors of parallel films like Om Puri in Ghayal.

Meenakshi Sheshadri
Damini also directed by Raj Kumar Santoshi was probably the best film of Meenakshi. She played the role of the wife of Rishi Kapoor. She saw the maid servant in their house being raped by the brothers of Rishi Kapoor and gave her testimony before Court of law.

The entire familymembers of Rishi Kapoor pressurized her to withdraw her statement before Court of law and when she refused to do so, she was proved to be insane by Amrish Puri, the Defense Counsel. Sunny Deol, who played the role of the opposite Counsel helped her in her fight against evil. Ultimately she gave her testimony against all he odds and showed the Court that whenever these types of cases are tried, the objectionable questions asked by the lawyers to the victims and their supporting witnesses make the tragic incident a mockery. Meenakshi proved that even good scripts were offered to her she had the capability of performing challenging roles like Shabana Azmi or Smita Patil.

Meenakshi Sheshadri
Her other hit films include Meri Jung opposite Anil Kapoor, Ghatak, opposite Sunny Deol, Akela opposite Big B, etc. Shedid her MA while acting in films and her academic skills helped her in the performance in dynamic roles. She left films in the mid-90s. The viewers experct her to make a comeback in bollywood films in character roles in future.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Winners of 2008 - Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif.

Winners of 2008 – Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif

priyanka chopra
The year 2008 is almost going to end. Bollywood industry had benefited a lot this year due to success of many films including Race, Jane Tu Ya Jane Na, Jodha Akbar, Golmaal Returns, Heroes, etc.

Among the actresses Priyanka Chopra had been one of the winners. It was not due to all her films doing excellent business, but more than that she had acted in many films and made her presence felt all round the year. Some of the films did average business like Love Story 2050, Champku, but her performance in those films had been well appreciated. The presence of Harman Baweja and his similarity with Hrithik Roshan may have been the reason of the medium business of Love Story 2050, but the songs were hits.
priyanka chopra
Priyanka Chopra acted in challenging roles this year like the one in the film Fashion directed by Madhur Bhandarkar. The film already is doing good business and had got critical acclamation where the acting skills of Priyanka had been utilized to the fullest extent.

Dostana had just been released and had got a very good opening. Looking back at the history of films produced by Karan Johar, they had never failed in the past whenever there was good casting, good music and good locations. Even in the case of Dostana, the songs like “desi girl” became hit before the release of the film. Besides, the acting of Abhishek Bacchan and John Abraham and exotic locations of Miami will draw more viewers in the long run. The only film God Tussi Great Ho could not fulfill the expectations of the viewers inspite of Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra being appreciated for their performances.

The other actress who is having a dream run include Katrina Kaif. She had given hits after hits from the last two years. Her film Race was the first hit film of the year with all the songs like “pehli nazar me”, “allah duai hai”, etc., becoming superhits. It was a multi-starrer film with Bipasha Basu, Sameera Reddy, Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Khanna providing fantastic performances. The glamour of Katrina Kaif in the exotic locations of South Africa added value for the viewers.

Katrina Kaif
Her other film Singh is Kinng opposite Akshay Kumar had been extremely successful. The film had all the elements of entertainment including comedy, drama, romance, etc. Again the music composed by Pritam stormed bollywood. Songs like “dil kho gaya”, “singh is king”, etc., had entertained the viewers.

With the positive response relating to the music of Katrina’s recent film Yuvvraaj, it is obvious for film critics to be optimistic about the success of the film, especially with the unification of Gulzar, A R Rehman and Subhash Ghai for the first time. Viewers are curious about the relationship of Katrina Kaif with Salman Khan and the film Yuvvraaj would add spark to the anxiousness.

Katrina Kaif
Viewers are inquisitive enough to know whether Priyanka Chopra or Katrina Kaif can bag any award this time after giving so many hit films in the same year. The viewers have to wait for few months to know it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rafi and Asha in the 60s and 70s.

Rafi and Asha in the 60s and 70s.

Rafi and Asha had sung many memorable duet songs during the 60s and 70s. In the 60s their songs “diwana hua badal”, “isharon isharon” in the film Kashmir Ki Kali became super hit. Shankar Jaikishan used Rafi and Asha together in many songs in the 60s.

Prominent among them were “raat ke humsafar” from the film An Evening in Paris, picturised on Shammi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore, “ai chand zara chup ja” from the film Latt Sahab picturised on Shammi Kapoor and Nutan, etc.

In the 70s RD Burman became prominent in bollywood films and he composed may duet songs for Rafi and Asha during that time. His hit songs include “are ho goriyan kahan tera desh re” from the film Karwa, picturised on Jeetender and Asha Parekh, “o haseena zulfonwali”, “aja aja main hoon pyar tera”, “o mere sonare sonare sonare” from the film Teesri Manzil picturied on Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh.

OP Nayyar always used Asha and Rafi for his major hit songs and the list is very long. Some of them include “zulf ke chayon me chehere ka ujala lekar”, “naznee bara rangeen hai wada tera”, etc. from the film Phir Wahi Dil Laya Hoon, picturised on Joy Mukherjee and Asha Parekh, “bahut shukhriya”, “mai pyar ka rahin hoon”, etc., from the film Ek Musafir Ek Haseena, picturised on Joy Mukherjee and Sadhna, “roka kaibaar”, “humne to dil ko”, etc. from the film Mere Sanam, picturised on Biswajeet and Asha Parekh.

In the late 70s, due to classical orientation of both Rafi and Asha composers used to use them whenever qawallies were given in films. Both of them had provided hit songs like “hum kisise kum nahin kum nahi” from the film Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin, picturised on Rishi Kapoor and Zeenat Aman, “pal do pal ka” from the film Burning Train, picturised on Jeetender and Neetu Singh.

Rafi and Asha had adapted themselves to the requirement of singing westernized songs which were mainly composed by Shankar Jaikishan, OP Nayyar and RD Burman during the 60s and 70s. The songs had been big assets of the films and for those reasons they should be preserved and restored.

Aruna Irani and bollywood films.

Aruna Irani and bollywood films.

Aruna Irani, the actress of more than 200 films had seen the transformation of bollywood from the 60s till today. She started acting as a child artist and was recognized by the viewers even in her smaller roles like the one played in Dilip Kumar’s Gunga Jumna in 1961.

In the 70s she made her presence felt after providing landmark performances in the dnace sequences of that age. In Jeetender’s film Karwa, she played the role of an aggressive banjara who had affair with Jeetender. She dazzled with her brilliant dance in Lata’s hit song “dilbar dilbar” composed by RD Burman.

She also did a splendid job in Raj Kapoor’s hit film Bobby. She showed her dancing skills in the song “mai shayar to nahi” sung by Shailendra Singh. She depicted the character of a mentor of Rishi Kapoor in the film. At that period she also acted in prominent roles in films like Bombay to Goa, opposite Big B and Shatrughun Sinha.

In the following period she was used by the directors in every type of role that was possible. She played a negative character in Firoz Khan’s super hit film Qurbani. She killed Amrish Puri and used her brother Shakti Kapoor to even murder Vinod Khanna for the bargain of expensive stones. The greatest transformation took place when Aruna Irani being once a leading actress, a successful dancer became a powerful character artist in the 90s.

She had shown her acting capability in the film Ghulam-i-mustafa, opposite Nana Patekar. She belonged to a South Indian Hindu family who was obsessed with her customs and usages. Nana Patekar being a muslim came to stay in her house to save the family. He had given a word to her girl friend Ravina Tandon who died in a clash, that if he did one good work for any stranger all his bad deed can get excused. Nana Patekar was used by the local politician for unlawful activities. Aruna Irani initially showed her discontent as she never accepted a muslim person in the same house. But her barriers in the mind were removed after knowing Nana Patekar. She displayed the change in the character to perfection in the way Shabana Azmi an Smita Patil used to do in the 80s.

She had excellent comedy skills and that had been depicted in the character roles played opposite Govinda in films like Haseena Maan Jayegi, Dulhe Raja, etc. She matched the comedy conception of veteran actors like Kader Khan with her own style of acting.

In a long career spanning over 40 years there are many films which can be referred to like Khel Khel Me opposite Rakesh Roshan, Sargam with Rishi Kapoor, Love Story, etc. Even her award winning performances like the one in the film Beta with Anil Kapoor, where she won the filmfare award for the best supporting actress, can be referred.

But more importantly she had become an indispensable actress of bollywood films for the last 15 years as she played meaningful roles in every alternative film. The viewers expect her to continue the good work in the films in future.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy birthday to Juhi Chawla.

Happy birthday to Juhi Chawla.

Juhi Chawla
Viewers of bollywood films wish Juhi Chawla happy birthday on 13th November, 2008. Although she had grown old she still has huge fanclub who still remember her hit films. She impressed the viewers with her first film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, opposite Amir Khan released in 1988. The music composed by Anand Milind played a very significant role in the success of the film with songs like “aye mere humsafar”, “akele hai” sung by Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan becoming super hits. Juhi Chawla gave elegant lips in the songs of the film.

Her film Darr, opposite Shahrukh Khan and Sunny Deol, stormed bollywood with hit songs and encounter of Sunny with Shahrukh who played a negative character for the first time. Juhi Chawla was sublime in the dance sequences of the songs “tu mere saamne”, “jadu teri nazar”, which became superhits. Juhi Chawla established herself in the list of top actresses and was rated after Madhuri Dixit in the early 90s.

Juhi Chawla
Her hits films included Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke opposite Amir Khan, Bol Radha Bol opposite Rishi Kapoor, Ishq opposite Amir Khan, Jhoot Bole Cowa Kate opposite Anil Kapoor, Duplicate opposite Shahrukh Khan, etc. The songs of most of these films were successful and Juhi gave excellent lips in all of them including “ghunghat ke ar pe dil barkha”, “bol radha bol”, “ishq hua”, “la lai lai”, to name a few.

In the mid-90s Juhi Chawla launched her own production house along with Shahrukh Khan with the title Dreams Unlimited and the films produced by them also were appreciated by the viewers. Both of them acted in the film Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani which was launched by their own production house. Both acted in the role of journalists who initially competed against each other but later became friends. They saved Paresh Rawal, an innocent citizen against false charges of being involved in terrorism. The music of the film became hit including the songs “I’m the best”.

Juhi Chawla also was comfortable in comedy roles and she balanced the comedy conception of Anil Kapoor and Govinda in the film Dewaana Mastana with her own style of acting. She showed her timing sense also in the film Jhoot Bole Cowa Kate.

With the appearance of new actresses in the late 90s like Aishwarya Rai, Preeti Zinta, Kareena Kapoor, Juhi Chawla faded away from the bollywood arena.

Juhi Chawla
She continued to perform in character roles and also made her presence felt in hit films like Salaam-e-ishq which had been released in the recent times. But the glamourous representation of Juhi Chawla ended in the last 10 years. Her admirers expect her to continue the good work and appear in bollywood films with bigger roles and more frequency in future.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kali Banerjee - the legend of realistic films.

Kali Banerjee – the legend of realistic films.

Kali Banerjee had been the first choice of the directors of realistic films in the 50s, 60s and 70s. His capability of entering into the skin of the character had given him a separate identity in Bengali films. He played the challenging role of a postmaster in the film Dakharkara directed by Agragami. He was loyal to his uniform and even fought out against his son to protect the expensive items that he used to carry and reach the recipients at an age when postmasters did not have vehicles to reach the messages to the recipients. He received the sad news of his son dying in warfare and the medal for his bravery was the last message that was reached to him. Kali Banerjee gave outstanding lips in the legendary song “ogo tomar shesh bicharer ashay” sung by Manna Dey and composed by Sudhin Dasgupta. His outburst with the name of his son “netai” shook the cinema halls in the late 50s.

Hritwik Ghatak experimented with Kali Banerjee in the film Ajantrik. The story was related to the relation of a driver with his car which he used for business purposes. He never considered it as a non-living being, he equated it with a live object. The abstract subject could be reached out to the viewers only by Kali Banerjee. He was sublime also in Mrinal Sen’s film Neel Akasher Neeche, where he played the role of a Chinese person who had settled in Kolkata and got involved with a Bengali family consisting of Manju Dey and Bikash Roy.

He acted brilliantly in the role of a compounder in the film Arohi directed by Tapan Sinha. He learned the application of medicines from Bikash Roy, his guru, and whatever he earned during his lifetime he sacrificed the earning for the education of Bikash Roy’s son after the death of Bikash Roy. Sanjeev Kumar played the same role in the hindi version of the film titled Arjun Pandit and did justice to the challenging role.

Satyajit Ray also experimented with Kali Banerjee in the film Manihara, where his wife died and Kali Banerjee expressed the feelings of horror when the ghost of his wife appeared before him with the reference of the jewellary that the wife used to wear during her lifetime. It was part of the film Teen Kanya written by Tagore and picturised by Ray; and Kali Banerjee’ versatility of used to the fullest extent by Ray.

He had an extraordinary capability of representing the rural characters in Bengali films like the character of a farmer in the film Notun Fasal. He also acted in the bollywood film Bawarchi and represented one of the brothers of the joint family where Rajesh Khanna appeared as a servant and taught them to be self-sufficient.

His other landmark films included Louha Kapat where he played the role of a prisoner, Badshah, Parash Pathar, Sonar Harin, Surjo Toron, Dadar Kirti, Guru Dakhina, to name a few.

If Uttam Kumar, Anil Chatterji, Bikash Roy, Bosonto Choudhury represented the urbanized Bengali youth of the 50s and 60s, Kali Banerjee represented the common mass whether urbanized or rural and due to his sheer brilliance of acting the characters came out of the books and literary texts and became a reality with blood and flesh. His performances have huge cinematic value and should be restored.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Review of the film Dostana.

Review of the film Dostana.

Dostana is the new film produced by Karan Johar which is awaiting release in the mid November. The moment the name of Karan Johar comes into play, viewers immediately think about Shahrukh Khan. Shahrukh Khan had featured in nearly all the hit films of Karan Johar including Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna.

But Dostana has new set of actors including Abhishek Bacchan, John Abraham and Priyanka Chopra. Both Abhishek Bacchan and John Abraham were not allowed to enter an agreement of staying in a house in Miami for rent. The landlady feared that their presence can create problems for her relative Priyanka Chopra.

Both Abhishek Bacchan and John Abraham pretended to be gays in the film to convince the landlady so that they could enter into an agreement to stay in the apartment of the landlady on rent. But all their commitments are forgotten once they see and meet Priyanka Chopra. They got involved in friendship and the locations of the sunny beaches of Miami were used for showing their story.

All of a sudden Priyanka’s boss played by Bobby Deol entered the scene and created further complications. He also had attachment towards Priyanka and never wanted her to get involved with John Abraham and Abhishek Bacchan.

Tarun Mansukhani had directed the film and he had used the exotic locations of Miami to perfection and the shots in the film would impress any section of the crowd. Very significantly the music of the film was given by Vishal Shekhar. The song that had already being promoted before the release of the film include Desi Girl. The other notable songs include “jane kyun”, “khabar nahi”, “kuch kum”, “shut up and bounce”.

Shilpa Shetty also made a guest appearance in one of the songs and did her part quite well. Karan Johar in the previous years had used Shankar Ehsaan Loy and they had provided extremely hit tunes in the last few years including the tunes for the songs “mitwa”, “kabhi alvida na kehna”, “it’s the time to disco”, etc. Karan Johar had given a chance to Vishal Shekhar this time. Already the young pair of composers had provided innovative tunes in the film Bacchna Aye Haseeno. Their compositions in Dostana also has promise.

The only concern is with respect to the popularity of Abhishek Bacchan, John Abraham, etc., in the bollywood films. The viewers had not found any impressive work from them this year and none of their present films had become super hits. Taking that into consideration the entire burden of pulling the film through is on the shoulders of Priyanka Chopra who had done well and on whole Dostana has the elements of impressing the crowd and doing good business.

Happy birthday to Mala Sinha.

Happy birthday to Mala Sinha.

The viewers of bollywood films wish happy birthday to Mala Sinha today on the 11th of November. She had been an unhonoured legend of the golden age of bollywood films of the 50s and 60s. She is probably the only bollywood star other than Manisha Koirala who had come from Nepal and made her presence felt in the list of powerful actresses of the 50s and 60s.

Her performance in the films Phir Subah Hogi, Parvarish, etc., opposite Raj Kapoor were very challenging. The films required very serious emotions and she did justice to the films and also to the songs like “woh subah kabhi to ayegi” and “phir na kije meri gustaq nigahon ka gila” composed by Khayyam in the film Phir Subah Hogi.

She got a challenging role in Guru Dutt’s Pyasa where she played the role of a student who studied together with Guru Dutt but married a rich man. The greatness of Wahida Rehman was glorified in the film who even being a tawaif had given shelter to Guru Dutt when his own brothers denied to recognize him. Mala Sinha displayed the compulsion of hindu wives in fulfillment of the marital responsibilities once they are married.

In the 60s Mala Sinha impressed the audience with her performance in the film Jahan-Ara. It was a historical film based on a love-story which took place during the Mughal regime. Bharat Bhushan played the role of a poet and singer in the film and Mala Sinha gave able lips in the songs “baad muddat key eh ghari ayi” composed by Madan Mohan. The personality of Jahan-ara was depicted by Mala Sinha and she was sublime in her pronunciation of urdu dialogues in the film.

She acted in many musical blockbusters in the 60s ranging from Dil Tera Diwana opposite Shammi Kapoor, Baharein Phir Bhi Ayegi opposite Dharmender, Night in London opposite Biswajeet, Mere Huzoor opposite Jeetender. Mala Sinha had also given adequate lips in many of the hit songs of that period including “aap ke nazron ne samjha” composed by Madan Mohan, “dil tera diwana” composed by Shankar Jaikishan, “tasveer teri dil me” composed by Salil Choudhury, to name a few.

She also created her identity by acting in hit Bengali films opposite Uttam Kumar in the 50s and 60s. She gave elegant lips in hit songs like “nishi raat bakha chand akashe” and “bashi bujhi sei sure”, etc., sung by Geeta Dutt. Her major successful films opposite Uttam Kumar include Sathihara, Saharer Itikatha, Putrobodhu, Bondhu, Khelaghar, etc. She also showed her depth of acting in the role of Abhaya, written by Sarat Chandra Chatterji in the film Abhaya Srikanto opposite Bosonto Choudhury who played the role of Sarat Chandra Chatterji himself.

She knew how to sing herself and that had helped her to give effortless songs both in bollywood films and Bengali films. She also impressed the viewers in character roles like the one played in the film Khel with Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in the 90s.

Her films should be watched by the new generation to learn the art of acting and playing notable characters according to the requirement of the stories.

Manmohan Desai, Big B and Rishi Kapoor

Manmohan Desai, Big B and Rishi Kapoor.

Manmohan Desai had created landmark films during the 60s, 70s and 80s starting from Raj Kapoor’s Chalia. He had experimented with different sets of actors or actresses. But his greatest success came with the use of Big B and Rishi Kapoor together in commercial films.

The combination was very rare as Big B had established himself as angry young man in the mid-70s and from that time he became the uncrowned king of action films. In fact he shaped the world of action films with success in Zanjeer, Deewar, Sholay and mny other films. Rishi Kapoor on the other hand was considered as one of the most successful romantic actors of all times. The songs in the films of Rishi Kapoor including Sargam, Laila Majnu, Karz, Saagar are considered as masterpieces.

Manmohan Desai used both of them in the same films to keep the balance between action, romance and comedy. In Amar Akbar Anthony, Big B showed his control over comedy performance in most part of the film. But his encounter with Vinod Khanna who was also appreciated for his success in action films, was enjoyed the most. In the same film Rishi Kapoor got beaten up at different parts of the film and yet impressed the audience with his romantic andaz. He gave excellent lips in the songs “parda hai parda”, “shirdiwali saibaba”, “humko tumse ho gaya hai pyar kya Karen”, etc., sung by Rafi and composed by Laxmikant Pyarellal.

Big B and Rishi Kapoor played the role of brothers again in the film Naseeb. Shatrughun Sinha balanced the action andaz I this film along with Big B. Big B being a worker in a hotel sacrificed his life for educating Rishi Kapoor. There were lot of other aspects in the film including the relationship of Pran with Amzad Khan and Kader Khan. But the romantic andaz of Rishi Kapoor and the action andaz of Big B and Shatrughun Sinha got predominance.

When Coolie was released in the early 80s, Big B became a one-man industry. It hardly mattered who was acting opposite him or whether Parveen Babi, Zeenat Aman, Rekha, Hema Malini or Jaya Bacchan balanced his performance or not, the presence of Big B was enough to make the film a box-office hit. Rishi Kapoor did very well in the film as a friend. He played the role of a photographer. Big B represented the coolies all across the country.

The film was extremely successful for the storyline and also for the fact that Big B got injured while shooting for an action sequence. In the 90s, Big B shifted to character acting and Rishi Kapoor did put on weight, otherwise the magical combination could have contributed in Manmohan Desai’s film even more. The films should be restored.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Manna Dey and bollywood films

Manna Dey and bollywood films

Manna Dey is probably the only legend who is alive along with Lata Mangeshkar. He had been an indispensable figure in the world of playback singing in bollywood films in the 50s, 60s and 70s. He had sung every type of song that had been composed by legendary composers during that period ranging from Qawallies to Rock and Roll compositions to bhajans and romantic songs.

The songs that stand out in his illustrious career include “kaun aya mere man ked ware” composed by Madanmohan in the film Dekh Kabira Roya, “sur na saje kya gayun mai” composed by Shankar Jaikishan in the film Basant Bahar, “pucho na kaise maine rain bitayi” composed by SD Burman in the film Meri Surat Teri Ankhen, “laga chunari me daag chupayun kaise” composed by Roshan in the film Dil Hi To Hai, to name a few.

Although Manna Dey had not sung songs for many bollywood stars other than Raj Kapoor, Mehmood and Pran, whenever there was requirement of singing any classical songs the composers had the choice of engaging either Rafi or Manna Dey. His songs had created history over a period of time and classical singers of the later generation follow Manna Dey as a model singer.

His romantic songs during the golden age include “pyar hua ikraar hua hai”, “mur murk e na dekh”, “dil ka haal sune dilwala” from Raj Kapoor’s film Shree 420, composed by Shankar Jaikishan, “yeh raat bheegi bheegi”, “aaja sanam madhur chandni mai hum”, “jahan bhi jate ho” composed by Shankar Jaikishan in the film Chori Chori in the 50s. He also sang pure classical songs like “o mere naina” in the film Talaash, afghani songs like “ai mere pyare watan” composed by Salil Choudhury in the film Kabuliwala, chorus song “zindagi kaisi hai peheli hai” composed by Salil Choudhury in the film Anand.

In the 70s also Manna Dey had a huge demand with RD Burman using him for singing songs having South- Indian classical style in the film Seeta Aur Geeta including the song “zindagi hai khel, koi pass koi fail”, romantic song “yeh dosti hum nahi torenge” in the film Sholay. Manna Dey’s qawalli “yaari hai imaan mera yaar meri zindagi” composed by Kalyanji Anandji and picturised on Pran stands out as one of the most notable qawallies sung in the history of bollywood songs. The landmark qawalli sung by Manna Dey titled “na to karwaki talaash hai” composed by Roshan in the film Barsaat Ki Raat is considered as a grammer for singing qawallies.

Even his songs on sobre mood like “kasme wade” in the film Upkaar, “hey bahi zara dekhke chalo” in Mera Naam Joker, folk song like “chalet musafir” in Teesri Kasam, shows his range and sweetness of voice. His songs in the film Seema like “tu pyar ka sagar hai”, and other songs like “muskura ladle” had become immortal over the years.

The songs and the films should be preserved because classical singers like Manna Dey are born once in a life time and if Indians can feel proud about the contribution of Rafi and Lata in bollywood films they should also feel proud for the contribution of Manna Dey both in bollywood films and songs in different regional languages.

Salman Khan Katrina Kaif in Zee TV Saregamapa

Salman Katrina in Zee TV Saregamapa.

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif appeared in Saregamapa music competition held in Zee TV on 8.11.08. Salman Khan had appeared in Saregama competitions before also. The panel of judges in the competition include most of the leading composers of bollywood films like Shankar Mahadevan, Pritam, Adesh Srivastav, Himesh Reshamiya, etc.

The main purpose was the promotion of the film Yuvvraaj where Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif had acted. The participants sang most of the songs of Salman Khan and Katirna Kaif, including “dil kho gaya” composed by Pritam in the film Singh is Kinng, “chunari chanari” composed by Anu Malik in the film Biwi No. 1, “no no no no no no no no no entry” composed by Anu Malik in No Entry, “mujhse shaadi karogi” from the film Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, etc.

Some of the leading singers of bollywood industry are the products of Saregama competition like Shreya Ghoshal and Kunal Gunjawala. Salman Khan asked Aditya Narayan, the son of successful singer Udit Narayan, about the fate of champions of Saregama Competitions in the past like Aneek or Raja. Aditya Narayan said that some of them had sung in films, others are making private albums. Salman Khan had a very good record of promoting new singers, actors, etc. in the bollywood industry and he showed his interest in the upcoming singers and wished them best of luck.

Salman Khan allowed lot of actors of bollywood industry including Amir Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Akshay Kumar and others to promote their films released this year like Jane Tu Yaa Jane Na, Love Story 2050, Bacchna Ay Haseeno, Singh is Kingg, in his show Dus Ka Dum shown in Sony Television Channel in the past.

So when he came for the promotion of his film Yuvvraaj, the participants, the audience and the judges were extremely happy. Salman Khan had been one of the personalities of bollywood who had shown his presence both in the big screen and the small screen in the recent times.

He has been a personality who even got reference in TV shows where other actors are invited to give interviews. Sajid Khan interviewed Anil Kapoor few days back in his program Sajjid’s Superstars, and Anil Kapoor mentioned that it was Salman Khan who introduced the taking of remuneration for performing in award functions. Although the undaunted spirit of Salman Khan had been adversely looked upon by a section of the audience, his admirers feel that there is no other bollywood personality who tells the truth in the same way in which Salman Khan says even without fearing the consequences.

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif had a number of releases this year and the viewers expect that their film Yuvvraaj is going to be a greater hit than the other films with the combination of Subhash Ghai, Gulzar, AR Rehman, Anil Kapoor and other noted stalwarts in the industry who had worked together in the film.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy birthday to Kamal Hassan.

Happy birthday to Kamal Hassan.

Kamal Hassan
Kamal Hassan had his birthday on 7th November. All the readers of Station Hollywood and the associated people wish him happy birthday. He had been one of the most gifted actors of South Indian films who had impressed bollywood viewers during the 80s.

In the early 80s, his film Ek Duje Ke Liye stormed bollywood with the innovative story and powerful music. He entered into an affair with a hindi speaking girl whose language he could not understand at the beginning. The parents of both the family were against the marriage of Kamal Hassan with Rati Agnihotri. So they committed suicide and died together. The music of LP with Lata’s song “hum bane tum bane” stormed bollywood in the early 80s and film became superhit inspite of negative ending.

Kamal Hassan
Kamal Hassan did even a greater job in the film Sagar with Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia. He sacrificed his weakness towards Dimple Kapadia as she was attached with Rishi Kapoor who was also his friend. He died at the end of the film to save Rishi Kapoor. In a film full of power-filled performances, his part superseded the romantic performance of Rishi Kapoor. Dimple Kapadia later became an indispensable figure in parallel films like Rudaali.

With hit films one after the other like Greftaar Kamal Hassan created a steady box-office in bollywood films. His own production in Chachi 420, not only showed his acting capability but more than that he had shown his choice of casting in the film which had almost all the stalwarts of bollywood films like Om Puri, Paresh Rawal, Amrish Puri, Tabu, to name a few. The comedy displayed in the film was of very high standard and the script in the film had intellectual dimension. Johnny Walker at his old age was given a very impressive role.

Kamal Hassan was even excellent in films like Nayakan, and other South Indian films, where the language was also under his command. Even considering the success of Kamal Hassan in films like Sadma (opposite Sri Devi), it is sometimes felt that the bollywood directors did not utilize the talent of Kamal Hassan to the fullest extent.

Kamal Hassan
Not only that he was exceptional in understanding the characters he played he was an exceptional dancer and amazed the viewers in action sequences too. May be that he had appeared in films too late, not at the time when Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalini and other renowned directors made classic films like Akrosh, Bhumika, etc.

The viewers of Indian films expect Kamal Hassan to contribute more in bollywood films in character roles where he can show his range and capability. He had been an institution by himself and is an inspiration for the new generation of actors.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Robin Chatterji - the romantic composer of classic films

Robin Chatterji – the romantic composer of classic films.

Robin Chatterji had modernized the listeners of Bengali songs in classic films with his westernized tunes over a period of 25 years. He helped the pair of Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar with melodious songs in the early part of the career. In Sabar Upare, released in 1955, his compositions for Sandhya Mukherjee including “ghum ghum chand” picturised on Suchitra Sen became superhit. There was blank verse song for Dhanonjoy Bhattacharya titled “kataro aghate” in the same film. The film was remade in hindi with the title Kala Pani.

His composition for Sandhay Mukherjee “dheere bondhu dheere” in the film Saheb Bibi Gholum was equally melodious. He was probably at his best in his compositions for the film Lalu Bhulu, which was remade in hindi with the title Dosti. The songs of Lalu Bhulu which were written by Sailen Ray and sung by Manobendra Mukherjee including “ei pranjharona jaglo”, “dukkho amar shesh kore dao probhu”, “dukher pothe namli jodi”, “jar hiya akasher”, “surjo tomar prothom toron” were landmarks in Bengali film history which inspired Majrooh Sultanpuri and Laxmikant Pyarellal for the immortal compositions made in the film Dosti where the songs were sung by Rafi.

While the romantic songs of Robin Chatterji sung by Sandhya Mukherjee and picturised on Suchitra Sen like “e shudhu ganer din”, “tumi na hoy rohite kache”, “ami sapne tomay dekhechi”, “monero madhuri mishaye”, etc., amazed the viewers, his experiments in off-best films astonished the musical pandits. He experimented with Portuguese folk music in the film Deeper Naam Tiya Rong. The two songs he had given to Shyamal Mitra titled “o amar saat rajari dhan” and “phiriti basakar kure giya dishe” was unique in their orchestration, form and lyrics.

Robin Chatterji was versatile in his compositions which fulfilled the requirements of the directors of different films. His songs for Shyamal Mitra “amar sapne dekha rajkonya” in Uttam Kumar’s film Sagarika were totally different from the Baisnov-angik bhajan in the film Kamal Lata titled “o mon kokhon shuru” where the devotion towards God was at issue.

He was sublime in all the songs given in the film Pathey Holo Deri, Bipasha, Uttar Falguni, Sriti Tuku Thak, Sagarika, which became immortal over the period of years. The Bengali film industry is highly indebted to the legendary composer who was indispensable during the 50s and 60s and his use of piano had brought revolution in Bengali modern songs along with Salil Choudhury and Sudhin Dasgupta.

His notable compositions for Bengali modern songs include “gan sonanor jalsaghare” sung by Ila Bose, “ei nodi tire” sung by Sandhya Mukherjee, “amar andhar gharer pradip” and “mor premo gaan” sung by Robin Mojumdar, “brindabano pothojatri” sung by Siddheswar Mukherjee (the uncle of Manobendra Mukherjee), “alote chayate” and “chander eto alo” sung by Talat Mehmood, to mention a few.

The death of the legendary composer in 1969 had ended the legacy of the piano during the age of romantic songs over 25 years, because none of the later composers could use the piano the way it was used by Robin Chatterji. Article after articles can be devoted to the legend and it is not possible to mention the respect he commanded from the leading singers of Bengal in the golden age. His creations should be preserved and the modern composers can learn a lot from the legend.