Wednesday, February 21, 2007

PUKAR… I don’t get it.


Sometime last year I watched two old Amitabh Bachchan films – ‘Kasme Vaade’ and ‘Pukar’. Both were directed by Ramesh Behl, and Randhir Kapoor co-stars with Amit-Ji in both as well. The legendary R.D. Burman does the music for both movies – and while there are definitely some duds in there, I think he does a fairly good job. In ‘Kasme Vaade’, Rakhee plays AB’s love interest, in ‘Pukar’ it’s Zeenat Aman. Also, in both movies, Amitabh tries out a moustache – not cute at all.


Randhir Kapoor (above doing his Portuguese thang) is interesting to watch, mostly because he reminds me of a teddy bear and it’s hard to take him seriously, especially in ‘Pukar’ where he’s trying to be all freedom-fighter-ish. It was much easier to enjoy his performance in ‘Kasme Vaade’, because he was just playing a funny-looking happy-go-lucky youth who eventually is forced to grow up.

‘Kasme Vaade’ is an alright movie. It’s not that good, actually, but I like it for three reasons. 1. AB is very, very cute as a strict and principled teacher (less cute as a criminal – in the same film). 2. The music is lovely – one song in particular (‘Aati Rahe Gi’) – the title song is good too. 3. There is loads of fugliness, thanks to AB and Neetu Singh (look here if you’re interested). Oh, and Rakhee’s craziness (she's good at doing crazy) had me transfixed for a few minutes.

As for ‘Pukar’, I just do not get it. What kind of movie is this, really? It’s just… bizarre. I mean, it has to be seen to be believed. It’s definitely interesting though. I think Ramesh Behl was trying to give a whole exotic, Portuguese, beachy, summer-y feel to the film (it's set in Goa), while at the same time being very Indian, while at the same time also being rather artsy. I'm not sure it works, but it's something to see, that's for sure. AB plays ‘Ronnie’, a career criminal running away from his traumatic childhood. Zeenat is ‘Julie’, his moll who eventually turns against him, because he won’t support the freedom fighters in Goa. AB is so OTT in this film – it’s a bit sad really, I’m like, you don’t have to jostle for attention, you’re the Baadshah of Bollywood, relax! But no, he’s all over the place – he even sings (in his own voice) a song or two (ermm, it’s, uh, not very good – best to leave it to the playback singers, A.B). He is sooo OTT (he’s like ‘Ronnie is the best! Ronnie is on top of the world!’ – or something like that)… but it certainly makes for an… interesting watch. Here he is with his live Portuguese band doing his dance-licious thang:


But this was the really crazy part for me. Zeenat sexily splashing around… par for the course.


Amit-Ji jumping out of nowhere and doing a very frantic song and dance for Zeenat… a bit odd but still par for the course in Bollywood.



But then there’s this – some strange poses - oh so very French arthouse…. Or not.



And the ending is so… silly seems too irreverent a word to use for all the ‘Jai Hind-ness’… but it’s the only one that comes to mind. The army marching in just in the nick of time? How could they end it that way? And the colours of the flag magically appearing on a headband? Hmm. My goodness, as you can probably tell I’m short of words – this movie has to be seen to be believed – and even then you won’t believe it.

8 comments:

Beth said...

I have absolutely no justificaiton for it, but I find some of the loverboy Amitabh photos a little offputting and/or jarring. It might be the shirt. The man can be dead sexy but he's just not doin' it for me here.

Sanket Vyas said...

The best thing you can say about both of these movies is that they have a pretty good soundtrack. Completely agree with your comments on both & that Randhir Kapoor does best when he plays himself (as what I think he would be if I knew him of course). Pukar is what some of my friends refer to as a 'Bollyweed' movie - meaning that either the director was smoking something when he was making the movie or that you need to be when you are watching it ;)

Daddy's Girl said...

@Beth: I'm so with you - I think it's a combination of the ugly shirt, the dyed hair and the general air of desperation around him. He looks like he's trying way too hard, and to put it bluntly, he looks like a bit of a loser. I love Big B, but in 'Pukar' he doesn't do it for me either.

@sanket: LOL at 'Bollyweed' - I love that word - and it's so true for 'Pukar'. I can already think of films that qualify as Bollyweed - 'Ishq' (with Aamir, Ajay, Kajol, and Juhi) for example. Hmm, thanks, you've got me thinking now...

Tohou Lidia said...

I have to disagree with Beth here :) Amitabh still does it for me...even in the weird beach attire and while dancing in the ocean :)

Daddy's Girl said...

@tohou lidia: ..and that definitely says a lot about his considerable charms!! There's only one Amitabh Bachchan. While he doesn't do it for me in 'Pukar', the man has still got it in spades even at his age. I loved him in 'Eklavya'.

Aparna said...

The only thing I personally love about Pukar is the music...definitely foot tapping and racy....esp 'Jaane jigar' and 'Bachke rehna re baba'

Daddy's Girl said...

@aparna: I can't remember which song 'Jaane jigar' is (is it the one with the band and both couples in the restaurant?), but I really like 'Bachke rehna re baba' - you're right - 'foot-tapping and racy'.

Safi said...

I like this film too. as Big B is my favorite...................