Thursday, March 19, 2009

Concepts of China Town have been used in later bollywood films.

Concepts of China Town have been used in later bollywood films.

Shakti Shamanta’s film China Town in the early 60s, had created a trend for following bollywood directors to make films on similar story lines. Shakti Shamanta banked his resources on the underworld activities in China Town in Kolkata at that time.

Shammi Kapoor had a double role in the film. He played the role of a smuggler in China Town who was arrested by the police after he met with an accident. But while he was kept in custody, another Shammi Kapoor was used by the police for extraction of information from China Town.

The law-abiding citizen played by Shammi Kapoor, was asked to pretend as the don of China Town and gather information about the other associates working in that area including the activity of Madan Puri in the film. This person was the twin brother of the don played by the other Shammi Kapoor.

Due to similarity in get up, most of the group members could not recognize the law-abiding citizen. Shammi Kapoor became successful in giving details of the associates of Smuggling Don of China Town to the police. Ravi gave very attractive music in the film with Rafi’s song “bar bar dekho” becoming a landmark hit. Shakila the heroine of the film did well opposite Shammi Kapoor. Helen also complimented the group members with her villainish performance.

In the 70s, bollywood films were made with similar storyline like that of China Town. The film Don made in the late 70s, also had double role of Big B. One of them was a smuggling don whereas the other person was an ordinary middle-class person. There also Iftekar, the police officer used the middle-class person to pretend as don and give information about the rest of the members of the underworld group. The film also became superhit.

Again the concept was used with modifications in Farhan Akhtar’s film Don made in the recent years. In this case Shahrukh Khan played the double role, with one of them playing the role of don, while the other pretending to be don. The story ended differently for keeping an option open for making a sequel of the film Don –The Chase Begins.

Shakti Shamanta’s trend had inspired the modern directors to make bollywood films with similar ideas. For those reason the black and white crime thriller should be restored.

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