October 26, 2006

Namak Halaal - Much Ado About Much

The concept of first aid is something that is hurtfully missing in many a Bollywood movie. Well I´m used now to weeping hysterical spouses holding their dying dear ones, doing nothing to stop them bleeding to death, but this takes the cake.

Standing beside this fatally wounded woman, holding the kid she brought not caring for herself and not even one ounce of helpfulness . Yah, yah, I know, she´s only a woman and a servant too but, hey, a little concern maybe? Just for show?
But don´t bother with her or him, we´re not even through the credits yet. Lets start at the beginning. Hotel tycoon and his sort of bodygard are killed on account of evil (wig wearing - whatelse?) goon. Both have sons and bodyguard even has wife (Waheeda Rehman), whom, as dying wish, he orders to raise tycoons brat as her own and leave own flesh and blood at granddads´. Since its a dying wish an´all she does as commanded, gets insulted by granddad for the death of her husband (WTF?) and promises never to contact her son again. But of course twenty years later we have Arjun and Raja crossing paths as Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor. AB 1.0 who grew up to be a very tall baby
, is sent to town by his granddad to finally become a man and maybe find a wife while he´s at it.

Shashi grew up in boarding schools in Europe and only returns to India when his sking trip goes sour as as somebody tries to kill him.

So he goes back to find out if his foster mum really is after his life and money. And meets Arjun who coincidentally got a job in his hotel (Mumbai is not that big yet it seems), after delivering a fantastic monologue in English. Now there we have Arjun, his mummy (both blissfully ignorant of each other), Raja, of course the evil guys and, since we need girls too, a dancer (Parveen Babi) with an agenda and Poonam (beautiful Smita Patil), another ladki who works at the hotel, all in the same proximity.

Poonam who is a real nice girl gets Arjun and a great rain song. Nisha, the dancer, is after Shashi using the hotels fancy nightclub and some psychodelic SFX as glittery backdrop for her chase.

And it gets dramatic and crowded and, not to forget, hilariously funny. There are incredibly cool oneliners, fights, emotional moments. The full masala works.

Its the early 80ies so we´re at the border of still funky settings and first attempts at real cheesy clothes. And even though Shashi gets to play a real cool dude, its AB 1.0 who captures the limelight goofing around. Like so, for example:
(Sorry couldn´t get a better screen cap)

I couldn´t stop myself from laughing out loud often and giggeling most through the film. Its a classic. If you haven´t seen it. Do.

P.S: I´ve found another Bluffmaster! reference. When AB1.0 pretends to strike a deal with the bad guy, he, while chewing paan, wants "fifty/fifty". AB 2.0 almost copies that 1:1 when he negoiates with Nana about the price for the stolen juwelry.


Maja said...

You had me at "Shashi" and "skiing tour" - I must see this, especially as the rest of the review sounds great too :D

Anonymous said...

I love that pink sparkly set. I'd re-do my bedroom in homage, but Akshaye takes too much tension if his work life creeps too far into his home life.

(Was that libelous? Oopsy. Absolutely no offense or harm meant.)

babasko said...

oh beth. have pity. you´re using words i have to get up and look up in the dictionary. non native speaker here LOL

and somehow i think it really could be a bit much for a bedroom but thats comming from a person who already dreams to decorate her flat like rishi/maja´s KANK loft

Aparna said...

I loved this movie...and mostly thanks to AB 1.0...but then Shashi looks equally sweet...and the songs were pretty good. Loads of comedy, and a load of 'mothers can never be evil' ideologies.

babasko said...

I think Shashi is really hot here. I love it that he plays it all cool and cynic :D