Saturday 27 June 2015

The Dil Maange More Sequel!

'Pehli baar koi ladki hamare car ke front seat pe baithi hai.'
'Aap purush hi nahi mahapurush hain!'
'Bade bade shehron mein aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain Senorita.'

You do know what I'm talking about, of course you do. Especially if you've grown up on the 90s and late 80s Hindi movies. You know that the above is not a conversation, but famous lines from movies of that era :-)

One of my earlier posts Dil Maange More! warranted a sequel ;-). Our childhood entertainment discussion is so not complete without the some classy and mostly nonsensical list of movies we relished then. 

As very very young kids, movie watching was restricted to the Saturday and Sunday evening slots on Doordarshan. Once cable television arrived in India, vacation time (and some not so vacation time) was celebration time :-). As a kid I was a total movie buff. Once rank one was ensured and some extracurriculars were taken care of, I would be free to treat myself to a plethora of movies, Hindi, English, sensible and not so sensible. My grandfather being a part of the film industry helped. He used to do the publicity bit for Hindi movies (which by the way came nothing close to the mega scale marketing that happens today.) Having had a grandpa who had been associated with cinema all his life to earn his daily bread, it was an integral part of discussion in the house. I grew up with access to juicy gossip and free passes for movie premieres. 

As if this wasn't enough, three friends from my school group came from families whose business it was to make movies, A list movies. Venus and Baba, rings a bell? Venus - KhiladiBaazigar and many more. Baba - Ishq, Pyar To Hona Hi Tha, etc. I still remember, one evening on a weekday the gang squeezed into a car had gone all the way to Essel World to attend the premier of Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na. It was a big deal for me. Firstly, managing to get permission from dad (through mom of course!), secondly to go so far without any adult supervision, thirdly, going on a school day, and to top it up, for a movie outing! 

When it came to English I wonder how I stuck to the more sensible kids stuff, Home Alone series, Problem Child, Honey i Shrunk The Kids etc. Cos when it came to Hindi cinema, there was no stopping me! Whether it be a David Dhawan - Govinda combo movie like Coolie no.1, the total masala movies like Beta and Saudagar, the action packed drama like Phool Aur Kaante and Mohraor the lovey dovey ones like Saajan and Aashiqui. But but but, who of us can forget the classy stuff - MasoomJaane Bhi Do YaaronMr India and the likes. Followed closely by more peppy Jo Jeeta Wohi SikanderDil Hai Ke Manta Nahi (let's forget for a moment that it was totally inspired from the Hollywood movie It Happened One Night and our very own old Chori Chori).

No list spanning over these two decades can be complete without a mention of the comedy classic Andaz Apna Apna. The movie didn't do well at the box office but later on went to became an esteemed member of the cult club . A casting coup of sorts, with Santoshi managing to get on board two mega stars cum rivals along with two big leading heroines. Everything about the movie was different and remarkable, the music, the genre given when it was released, the story and the characters, the iconic dialogues. Teja main hoon mark idhar hai, Do dost ek pyali mein chai piyenge, and so many more.

And then there were the big blockbusters, releasing mostly around Diwali. Aamir and Salman became a heartthrob with eternally romantic movies they did at the very onset of their careers, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Maine Pyar Kiyarespectively. Though Shahrukh tried a passionate lover in Deewana, he made a dashing entry later with negative roles in Darr, mouthing the famous Kkkkkkkk...kiran and following it up with movies like Baazigar and Anjaam. But the path which lead him to become the Badshaah of Bollywood, the movie with which he really arrived was the blockbuster DDLJ. His world famous dance step in the movie where he throws out his arms is in demand even today! Aamir did a series of crappy movies until he found his niche and started focusing on different kind of cinema. And it took another Barjatya movie to take Salman's career to another level, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.

Every teenage girl has a favourite among the lot of young heroes she sees when growing up. The men who would fit the bill when I was a teen, were the Khans, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan. You've got to believe me when I say that even the Ajay Devgan of that era, with hair falling down almost making one eye invisible, and the neck always tilted to one side, was the dream man to many a girls. Teenage boys drool over the lead heroines they watch, and the love story continues far beyond adolescence. Madhuri Dixit with her Dhakdhak image, Sridevi with her I Love You portrayal, Juhi Chawla with her cute presence, were some of the ladies who ruled boys' hearts.

Until the 70s decade we did have good cinema, content wise I mean. Come 80s and the quality started dropping. There wasn't a much different story to tell in the 90s. There were very few movies where quality was the focus. The chic, modern, new age cinema as you may call it, arrived after Y2k. To be more precise, Dil Chahta Hai changed the rules of the game. It took a while but others started catching up. 

Those times were indeed different. There were no fab costume designers, just plain everyday clothes, in fact mostly worse than what you and I would wear. There were no Shiamak or Terrence dance troops, only simple junior artists dressed in gaudy costumes behind the hero/heroine. There were no round-the-clock promotions and star appearances everywhere, just simple hoardings and newspaper ads. There were no big extravagant budgets, and therefore no high end technology or camera work. No multiplexes, no 100 crore cinema, in fact most of the movies could not even boast of quality content. Yet there are sweet memories attached. Do you remember the Friend cap that Salman Bhagyashree sported in MPK, the cap that Aamir risked his life for in DHKMN, Salman's multicoloured jacket and Madhuri's green and white ghagra choli in HAHK? All of these would have roadside replicas and would sell like hot cakes after the movie release.

A long overdue revolution came about in cinema and with corporatisation, the whole concept of movie making changed, and so did the end product. Then with the arrival of international studios on the scene, Hindi cinema now has moved to a totally different level. 

The audience today is demanding as well. And why wouldn't it be, when it spends a minimum of 500 on a movie outing per person on simply ticket+popcorn! Despite of whatever we may expect from a movie today, and inspite of all the criticism those childhood movies may draw, there are those chosen few which still have a soft corner in the heart. After all, Dum Lagake Haisha and its Kumar Sanu song with colourful dancers in the background did bring a smile to your face, didn't it? 

PS. If you've enjoyed this post, wait for the next one. All I can say is, be ready to scratch your brains real hard ;-)


Neena Prabhudesai said...

Andaz Apna Apna is my all time favourite....ofcourse all the other movies that you have mentioned also figure in my list

Saloni Bajaj said...

Movies of that era take you back in time for sure. I recently saw HAHK and realized that movie is just a musical saga. I wonder what made it such a hit.

Unknown said...

AAA would feature on everybody's list I think :)

Unknown said...

Thanks Sumeet :)

Unknown said...

Saloni, yep that's a wonder. I think the very fact that the movie was a musical made it a hit in that era. All boils down to the audience taste at that point in time :)

amruta said...

too good article. Movies back then were indeed amazing to be able to create an irreplaceable impact!

amruta said...

too good article. Movies back then were indeed amazing to be able to create an irreplaceable impact!

Unknown said...

Thanks Amruta. Totally agree :)

stuka said...

Nice article...

Unknown said...

Thanks Stuka :)

Ashish Kumar said...

very nice article... enjoyed a lot going through it... i like the title of your blog a lot... :-)

Unknown said...

Thanks Ashish :)
I'm glad you dropped by..keep visiting!