July 15, 2006

Jab Jab Phool Khile

This is, apart from Mugal-E-Azam, the oldest Bollywood movie I watched so far. And its a close relative to the 50ies/60ies movies from Germany (the ones with Peter Kraus or Peter Alexander). Very tame and virtuous. With a very young Shashi Kapoor. And ain´t he sweet.

The heartwarming story goes something like that: Somewhere in a house in Marine Drive Mumbai lives rich daddy´s little princess. And is very progressive as she tells dad that she will only get married to a guy she approves of.
On that note her as well progressive parents even allow her to go on vacation to Kashmir (alone!!) to become clear as to what kind of guy she wants.
So off she goes, while dad heads back to the country club and mom sticks to wearing the same lilac dressing gown thoughout the film (who´s story runs over a timespan of about 1 year)

Arriving in Srinagar little missy is not content with the choice of houseboat the local travelagent is offering instead she chooses the boat of Raja (not caring that his boat is already booked by some other guests).
But Raja, being a guy takes one look at snotty missy and dumps his other guests. Ts ts. Men. He soon starts to regret his deed as missy is somehow in constant PMS mode.

Until...Well, until she hears Raja sing. She mellows somewhat to Raja and even starts to teach him how to read and write. Why he never learned, is a sad story we can forget for the moment. So summer vacation passes with tuitions, singing, a boatrace and other fun stuff until a wire arrives with the news that daddy met with an accident. Thus ends summerfun. Rita leaves hastily. Raja is heartbroken but hopeful as Rita promises to return next summer.

As it turns out daddys accident was a minor one (my guess: he slipped while playing tennis) but he has other news in store. He wants his girl to marry the son of a business partner. Not so progressive all of a sudden hai naah?
Missy is not content as she now wants sweet Raja. And goes back to Kashmir a summer later. One hitch though: She has her fathers choice Kishore in tow. Had to promise dad at least to check him out. What a snobbish bore. Gets in the way of Rita and Raja all the time. But not stupid. Catches the vibes between Rita and Raja real fast. And acts: Calls in Daddy, hits Raja on the head with a paddle and while Raja is unconcious takes Rita home to Mumbai. Cheat.

But Raja would not be the Raja we all love if he would not leave his underaged orphaned little sister (thats part of that sad story I told you to forget) and his business alone and rushes to Mumbai to ask for Ritas hand.
And now it gets ugly. Daddy having promised the freedom of choice of bridegroom to his princess divises a darksome plan to avert the poor sucker to becoming his son-in-law: He approves of Raja and makes Rita teach him the society ways - matlab trade the longhi for a suit, stop eating with your fingers, speak English, dance waltz vaghairah, vaghairah.

So Rita and Raju roam the city and sing and dance in Mumbai (oh there is a lot of singing and dancing in this film)

Lets move this already very long story towards an end. Daddys plan works. Raja, after learning and behaving like required from Rita has had it during a party where he is presented like a monkey. Words fly. Egos are bruised and Raja packs his bag. But daddy seems not to have watched too many movies before, as he makes that one really stupid mistake: he brags about his so well executed plan and -DUH!- is overheard by Rita, who finally sees that money is not everything and true values can only be found with simple rural chaps like Raja. So she rushes to the trainstation, tries to find Raja´s train, finds it, finds him, he being very pissed does not react to her pleas, so - and according to imdb.com a stunt done by Nanda/Rita herself - she runs beside the already starting train holding on to it still pleading until at the very last moment before the platform ends Raja pulls her in and takes her home to Kashmir with him.

Btw: Kashmir´s mountainside really looks like Switzerland/Austria:

If your´re not a Shashi fan, you can skip this one. Its rather lame. Too clean for my taste. What I liked apart from sweet Shashi was the beautiful Kashmir scenery (check Akshays photoblog for recent pics of the filmlocations like the floating gardens) and, for professional reasons, the use of syncsound throughout the movie - not perfect but cool.

No comments: