“Great films aren’t made.They just happen in the process”,as a noted critic points turns out to be so true.They need not often be the big stars who form a part of this.In fact,they turn out to be after being a part of such cinema.They set a trend of such films for the next few decades.The impact lasts long and they’ll inspire many more to go the ‘hatke’ way..Filmmakers often go back to earlier days to know where they have begun from and where they’re heading to.It’s a journey where one needs to rediscover and reinvent themselves.
To begin with,script is the boss.No hefty production values,makeup or gloss can ever hold the fort for an average story.It must have enough heart in it to enthuse the audiences.First of all,it has to impress the filmmaker himself.If it doesn’t emote him well enough,it’ll never satisfy us too.It’s important to say that,the script needs to be conducive enough to pitch in an engaging watch.Some stories are better seen rather than told and it works the other way round too.So a careful analysis is to be done before choosing an appropriate script.
Be steer clear in presentation,the most vulnerable aspect of filmmaking.A story is destroyed of its quality and killed if not narrated pertinently.On paper,if script is the heart of a film, screenplay is it’s brain.Innovation,creativity,wildness,rawness regarding the characterisation comes in handy here.A film can be nerve racking and frustrating for a viewer if isn’t pacy enough.See to that,each scene in the film remains true to the plot and never deviate from the objective to be conveyed.Music is an aspect that’ll turn a work from good to outstanding,so the director needs to decide whether it has to be loud or soothing according to the demands.It has to be taken care of to enhance the effect of an emotion in a particular scene or movie as a whole.A cinematographer needs to fit in the picture-perfect snaps to make the film charming.A lot of hard work beyond imagination needs to be raked in to envisage a script.A few films tend to journey beyond the barriers generally set and this is the reason for them to be named as trendsetters.
This Raj Kapoor starrer is a bible for weaving stories based on an honest common man.The treatment of romance,passion,greed altogether in an innocent heart winning form by the legend himself wielding the megaphone.The sincerity of the characters and the portrayal of the homeless,the burning chemistry of the lead pair with splendid music echoing from Shankar Jai Kishan is a feast to both the eyes and ears.’Ichak Dana’,’Pyaar Hua’,’Juta hai Japani’ are some of the soul warming melodies that deserve a mention consisting simple and uncomplicated lyrics.Nearing perfection,the film transcends an honest B.A graduate to the one who’s lost in the world of money,jealousy and utmost ecstasy.The blissful Raj Kapoor is happy,witty and depicts various emotions with an awesome ease.Nargis minus any makeup or striking costumes,dressed in a simple cotton sari who’s a teacher by profession is naivety personified.Nadira is full of life and oozes oomph in her significant yet short role.Its a well packaged movie with all elements carved with a child like innocence with a simple message,that set a trend for the next 2 decades and unbreakable barriers in entertaining cinema.The timeless quality of the movie speaks volumes of the imagination in the idea.It’s a classic to be preserved in our memories for long and it’s hard to find such an engaging cinema which is equally moving,light and innovative.Probably this is why,Nargis,Raj Kapoor are legends and we don’t bestow the honour for nothing.
The 1960’s witnessed an immense rise in family-centric movies and this movie stood way ahead of them.Sharmila Tagore was at her peak with hits like Amar Prem,Kashmir Ki Kali,An Evening in Paris.Rajesh Khanna too was in superb form and emerged literally as a king in providing hits.The combination more or less was ravishing with equal balance of beauty and substance.S.D Burman composed some of his best tunes for this flick with memorable ones like ‘Mere Sapnon Ki’,’Gun Guna Rahe Hai’ and the unforgettable ‘Roop Tera Mastana’.The film captures some of the best locations of Kashmir,Shimla and many other parts of North India.The first half focuses significantly on the love life of the lead pair while the second half goes on to describe Sharmila’s troublesome life and the fulfillment of her dream .Besides the main cast,Farida Jalal is extremely bubbly .The link established between the mother and her is job well done.The film doesn’t get very preachy or sentimental in the process of family dramas unlike other films of that genre.
The delicate relationship between the characters make the viewer feel sympathetic.Despite the film being a tad too long,the soul takes the movie forward and lands it a cult status.Similar to Shree 420,this movie set standards to explore human sentiment with unnerving simplicity.Rajesh Khanna in a double role,Sharmila Tagore playing a dutiful mother were brave enough to take up roles that defied commerciality.Many scenes of the movie became show stealers like the train song,the child birth scene,the climax where the son talks about his mother.A straightforwardness unparalleled with great acting makes Aradhana a true gift to pleasure for.
Action movies before this came and went,but there was nothing like this.Actors,all of them Amitabh,Dharmendra,Hema Malini,Jaya and most importantly Amjad Khan turned from super stars to rock stars overnight with Sholay.It wasn’t a movie,it was a phenomenon.Every action scene had a specific purpose and emotion behind it.The movie pays an unending tribute to friendship and ultimate selflessness.The cast leaves an indelible impression on each character injecting enormous soul and substance.The movie explains how a reasonable script is maturely and masterly executed in front of the camera. That’s what sincerity and clarity on the subject does.Never can the impact of this movie be repeated in any possible way.The audience lived in the world of Sholay,the atmosphere and characters were so connectible and reachable to a common man.The movie panned by critics in the first week saw collections piling up steadily at the start.With positive word of mouth spreading across the crowds,the ticket window saw masses thronging into the cinema halls.Amjad Khan,better known as Gabbar Singh portrayed his character with utter uniqueness that till now gathers appreciation and he’s the X factor/crowd puller separating it from the rest.The dialogues “Teen Goli aur Teenon Bach Gaye”,”Kitne Aadmi The” , the drunken scene where Dharmendra confesses his love for Basanti ,the “Yeh Dosti” song not forgetting the magic number “Mehbooba” are some of the memorable moments that a viewer will never forget in his/her movie watching experience.
Even if the viewer doesn’t know much about the leads,the characters of Jai,Veeru,Basanti are the names one remember than their original ones.The brutal Gabbar, chatty Basanti,angry Jai,witty Veeru are a few examples.The movie ran for almost an year in most of the theaters and the distributors saw happy times finally after they saw red in times of national emergency.The length was never a problem,in fact it takes time for a viewer to usher into normalcy after a moving end which weeps even the heartless.If anyone asked a pure hardcore action with emotion,Sholay would augur them well.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Yash Johar was undoubtedly one of the best filmmakers we’ve ever had.His work in Dostana and Agneepath truly stand out among them.So his son too proved that he’s no less in caliber and class with this love triangle that revived Dharma Productions out of its bankruptcy.Shah Rukh Khan,Kajol,Rani Mukherjee,Anupam Kher,Farida Jalal formed a majestic cast for a debut movie and he left no stone unturned to garnish this well enough.Make no mistake, though the story didn’t have as much depth as desired,he put all his life experiences,innocence,freshness into it and made it work big time.The refreshing music,simple dialogues,tight screenplay,exceptional cinematography and many other aspects gave an opportunity to celebrate love and friendship like never before weaving a delightful tale that was delicately balanced in emotion.Coming to performances,the roles didn’t have anything new or unpredictable but the comfort levels of both SRK and the ladies showed up to make it a remarkable ride.
Rahul,Tina,Anjali(both Kajol and the child) are loveable as characters and quite relatable and that’s its biggest strength.Nowhere in the movie do we feel that the situations are unnatural or beyond imagination.The college life,basketball court,summer camps,rain duets take us down the memory lane in our lives.The acting infuses life into the movie.Salman in a special appearance is unbelievably sweet.Wonder where has this charm gone in his recent works!Probably that’s the path of self destruction.The costumes in the movie depict a perfect blend of both western and Indian outfits according to the enormity of the situation.The song compositions by Nadeem-Shravan are an asset to an already strong film.The title track,”Tujhe Yaad Na Meri Aayi”,”Koi Mil Gaya”,”Saajan ji Ghar Aaye” are works of a lifetime with appealing youthful lyrics from Sameer.It all fell into place perfectly.The already famous jodi of SRK-Kajol recapitulated to an all-time favorite one.Rani Mukherjee emerged as a true talent to look out for after scoring consecutive hits along with Ghulam.I may not call this one legendary,masterly or great.It’s simple,it’s love and it’s fun.It also stresses that love isn’t a one time feeling.It has many situations to emerge and never count it out of your scheme of things.There was never a telecast on television of this movie that I’ve missed.There’s something new to encounter with every viewing.It’s simply Bollywood masala at it’s very best.
Aamir Khan’s career can be divided into two phase,one before Lagaan,one after Lagaan.He was always the charming next door lover boy who could a bit of action and masala flicks to a good extent.But he wasn’t a threat to the other Khan’s who were blossoming at their peaks.Lagaan saw a bolder Aamir Khan emerging who would begin to experiment and a director who would give us classics like Swades,Jodhaa Akbar in near future.Cricket is a topic which every Indian citizen has an opinion on and would go crazy about it.But no filmmaker had real guts to make a sports centric film and build a proper story.Ashutosh Gowraiker was firm enough though.We today see many film-makers resorting to cricket based plots but none of them have the cutting edge that this had.It had such good heart and content in it that Aamir Khan went on to produce the film that became a run away success witnessing global appreciation.A small village in Rajasthan,an autocratic British empire were the background of this astounding work.A queen to fall for an Indian,minimal rains that made tribal life cumbersome,a game to play for life and death,that’s Lagaan for you.The troublesome life of farmers are naturally depicted and their need for help is beautifully shown.The mindset of the village,the callous empire clash at every given interval.There’s an open challenge now.Play a cricket match,be victorious and forget about the taxes else pay thrice the tax required.Mouths wide open the villagers are shattered but Bhuvan is not.He foresees this is a golden opportunity from no where and an open window to sneak in.He faces opposition,but stands tall and unites the place for a strong cause and pleads his men to stand up to the challenge and be positive about their chances of making it through.He isn’t alone either,the queen too is shaken by the will and determination they have shown for the village and its existence and offers an invaluable helping hand to increase their knowledge about the game.She slowly lives with them,helps them and becomes one among them.She ignites a force in their souls.She is an inspiration.Despite being an enemy and against the villagers,her help shows depth in her character and clarity in her ideals.
Member by member add on to the team,effort and hard work increase day by day and god’s with them.Their belief wasn’t any much stronger before,after all it’s their duty to stand up for their motherland.Nothing can string them apart.No obstacle seems large.No one looks undefeatable.They move on to the field with glimpses of hope and grit to make it big.They fall,get bruised,get assaulted but they fight and fight hard,rise up to the situation.They’re unorthodox,unique and purposeful.The captain Bhuvan remains a man of substance,an epitome of concentration who clinches the height of glory from the jaws of a heart breaking loss.The village is thrilled.The celebration,excitement and joy knows no bound or limit.The rain pours in as an accolade to an exceptional feat.Tears,happiness and high intense emotions raise among the villagers that they’ve made it.No talent or skill can substitute determination and fortitude to succeed.Aamir Khan never steps a foot wrong in his delineation as Bhuvan.He instills a sense of patriotism and love for his land through apt expressions and superb subtlety.Gracy Singh is as graceful as her name and she sails through her part with an uplifting assurance.For a first film,it couldn’t have gone any better for her.The villagers,the Sardar,the rulers, most importantly the queen add great prominence to this work.The music remains as Rahman’s most accomplished work till date.Javed Akhtar engraves beautiful lyrics unleashing all his guile and wit into it and lifts the songs to another level.O Rey Chhori,Ghanan Ghanan being a few to be named.Ashutosh Gowraiker heads the lot with a canny script and a sweeping screenplay.Aamir Khan as a producer deserves compliments for taking up such a brave and a risky concept and entirely believing in it.A good balance of both commercial values,heart touching treatment ensured Lagaan a place in the record books.This 222 minute masterpiece was nominated into the Best Foreign Film category of the Academy Awards but couldn’t scrape through.Nevertheless,it’s a gem that saw Aamir Khan grow and mature as an actor to be part in films like Mangal Pandey,Taare Zameen Par and the very recent 3 Idiots.Its so amazing to see such films being made unlike the usual rom-com with those artificial duets and unusual sets.Lagaan is a magnificent art that deserves praise.
Well,it’s been a Tour de Satisfaction in journeying these works of great multitude and varying contrast.It’s class and commitment par excellence that lead these exemplary magnum opus’s to take shape.Salute to Indian cinema and its true gifts!