Sunday, November 02, 2008

Those 70's movie shows!

My Dad, unlike most normal Dads was hell bent on showing his kids the movies of the 70’s and 80’s when he was a young man dreaming of Hema Malini and Sharmila Tagore ( shh don’t tell my ma). Now back in the 90’s, the good old VCD’s ruled the roost. Hindi movies of those days were replete with scenes that my Mom pointed out was not exactly wholesome for her children to view. So my Dad became a sort of an amateur movie editor. And his ham handed editing scarred us forever.

Scene one:

Villain has trapped a girl in a room. He is slowly inching towards the girl, lust in his eyes. The girl has nowhere to run.

Villain: heh heh
Girl: Nahiiiin!
Girl’s mother to shopkeeper: Yeh Bhindi kitne ke diye? (How much do these ladiesfinger cost!)
Girl: *puking*
Mother: Nahiiiin!
Us: Huh?
Dad: ermm!

Now imagine a first night scene!

Hero: I love you!
Heroine: *blush*
Heroine to her mother: Mein maa banne waali hoon!
Mother to Dad: Sunte ho heroine ke bapu. Aaap nana banne waale ho!! I am so happy!
Us: Duh!
Dad: err orange squash anyone?

Sometimes my Dad was a little quicker with the scissors or whatever it was he used to edit the movie. And we had scenes like this.

Villain: heh heh
Girl: Nahiiiin!
Hero: (shooting the villain): Kuththe Kameene!
Us: Poor guy!
Dad: No! No! He is not the good guy!!!
Us: Why?
Dad: Chips anyone?

Normal kids grew up applauding the hero as he thrashed the daylights out of the villain. We grew up pitying the poor villain who seemed to do nothing but go “heh heh.” He had a funkier hairdo than the hero and a lot of stamina to withstand the thrashing he would get from time to time. If I were asked to make a five minute Hindi movie, it would go like this.

Hero: I love you!
Heroine: I love you too!

Any ways after watching the Hindi movies of that era, I have more or less become an expert in the salient points and characters that make up the movie.

1. The elderly woman with the saree pallu draped around her head and a big red bindi denotes a chaste pati vrata naari , indulgent mother and wonderful cook who whips up 75 courses meals with her smile and pallu intact. She has witnessed first hand the battle of Mahabharatha and the unfolding of the Ramayan. She is on first name basis with the presiding deity at the temple nearby! Preferred background score when she is around: The sweet sound of Bansuri or Flute!

2. A frail old man in a kurta pyjama is almost always the father who works hard at the villains factory for a pittance. He is a sincere and dedicated worker who sticks to his job even though he has not been paid for the past 72 years! He suffers from a chronic cough that may be used to kill him off if the script demands. Preferred background scores for Pitaji: A mournful violin recital.

3. If their daughter is shown plain and with a cherubic character, then she is sure to get raped by the villain so that her brother, the hero has enough ammo to go after the villain. She will commit suicide after she vomits.

4. If the sister is shown wearing short mini skirts and revealing clothes then she is a bad bad girl and will surely fall under the charm of the villain’s lackey and get pregnant. Hearing this father will suffer a heart attack and die leaving the family destitute. The sister will turn a new leaf overnight and wear simple cotton sarees and begins going to the temple morning, evening and night. She will eventually marry the father of her child after the last scene when the Hero beats him up black and blue and is about to crush his head with a rock the size of Mt Abu. She will intervene just before the Hero crushes his head by imploring the Hero to spare the father of her unborn son or crush her too with the ten tonner of a rock. The father of the unborn child is immediately due to a chemical reaction, transformed into a good man who will promptly agree to marry her without a DNA test of the baby.

5. A woman in a saree with her eyebrows shaped in a sharp arc is the vixen of the piece. Her make up is harsh so that you don’t mistake her to be the loving mother. And to drive home the point that she is the villainous of the piece, the preferred background scores for her will wear out the cymbals and drums of the orchestra.

6. The gal who arrives into the camera frame in slow motion, tossing her hair to some electric music is the Heroine. The Hero instantly falls in love with her. She instantly dislikes him. Then they sing a song picturised around ten International Gardens spanning seven countries. She falls in love with him after the song is over. Then they introduce themselves.

7. The man with the really bad wig, sun glasses and cheap Cigar is the villain! He will sit on a papier-mâché throne in front of a bar with foreign scotch whiskey bottles filled with what looks like weak tea surrounded by a bevy of beauties called Mona, Monica, Ruby and Julie, not necessarily in that order.

8. The Villain will almost always kidnap the Heroine and keep her captive in a dilapidated Architectural Society of India (ASI) fort. The fort has huge walls with "Raja loves Rani" and "Jesus saves!" kinda scribbling all over.

9. The Hero will home in on the ASI Fort ignoring the other 4567 forts under its aegis with the precisions of a GPRS device within minutes of the kidnap.

10. The mother of all battles happen in the last scene when the dilapidated fort is made further berefit of huge rocks that the Hero takes to throw at the Villain and his hired men.

11. The Police arrive at the fag end of the movie without an FIR being filed. This is a miracle of sorts in India and happens only in Hindi movies. They will immediately spot and arrest the baddies from the milling crowd of people beating each other to pulp.

12. Hero and heroine are immediately beamed up to a marriage pandal where they smile bedecked at the camera and the legend “THE END”

And they look genuinely happy it is over!


Mind Curry said...

two guys beat up eachother over some thing (usually one is a cop and the other a thief with a big heart)..while they are about to kill eachother, cop rips open the thief's shirt..and sees a mark..and then cop rips open his own shirt..and shows the same mark on his body..and they go into flashback and realize they are brothers separated by a common enemy..

this was a theme my cousin and i were quite tuned to from hindi movies and used to play it out :)

_ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

> And they look genuinely happy it is over!
And the views will be even more happy its over. ;-)

nostringsattached said...

Dad: err orange squash anyone?
lol..nice post...ROFTL...i remember watching the lights turn off on 1st night and the next scene, we can see a cradle with a chubby baby in it..:D...awesome post...

Praveen said...

all the possible cliches mentioned in that exhaustive list:D..hehe

Anonymous said...

The fact that " I love you"; "I love you too" "the end" takes five minutes,is what makes it a hindi movie.. am i right?

Janus said...

A serious comment on a an amazingly funny blog - now that I am actually working (or at least trying to), I cannot thank you enough for the quirky insights that I have got from your blog. Vocab got enriched, and now I know my "chetas" and "chetans", along with the annas, thambis, babus and garus. A general feeling of appreciation came into existence. Everytime I go shopping for booze in a mall in Bangalore, I remember your post in which you shared an experience of doing the same.I owe you a treat if I could possibly give you one :)

scorpiogenius said...

hilarious! i had the smile on my lips from beginning to the end reading this, unlike watching those formula movies, where you smile only at THE END!

Dont you think they've improved now? The villain has almost become an endangered species, with those triangular love stories kicking in.. Watching those 70s flicks now will drive you nuts, especially those all too predictable climaxes! JEEZ!

skar said...

You know in some sense Bollywood is like a God. Its a source of constancy to fall back on in an ever-changing, dynamic, and increasingly frightening world. May be that's why its so popular :-?

mathew said... should obviously make movies by now!!..;-P

"A frail old man in a kurta pyjama is almost always the father who works hard at the villains factory for a pittance" hehehe...hey you watching an awful lot of movies!!:-D

Anonymous said...

stumbled on to one of your blogs by accident and just finished the last one we could find. Simply hilarious!..can't remember when we laughed so much this continuosly or this much truely are the best and have just won yourself around 8 die hard fans!
hats off to you!

Anonymous said...

hehe:) this used to happen at our house all the time too..Our Appa's modus operandi was slightly different..He had all of us well trained at a pretty early age to close our eyes whenever we hear his rather long..."pillleeereeee " call!It used to be issued at anything and everything from the lead pair sharing a romantic look to people even thinking of getting married or raped as the case might be!..Appa was pretty extreme at premptive measures! We were so used to this while watching tv that even nowadays its pretty hard not to hear him calling out whenever something "risky" is being shown! and worse i find myself issuing the same command to the little ones under my charge all the time!

silverine said...

MC: So you got to see the full version? :)

RM: :p

Binny: lol! We certainly were!!! :))

nostringsattached: Hindi movies actually arouses curiosity unlike other movies. My Dad's editing ensured it killed all curiosity! LOL!! :)

Praveen; You are right, these movies were a bunch of cliches! :)

Rukmini: Absolutely, the rest of the stuff were fillers I guess :)

Janus: Thank you! Hanging around with the same bunch of gals from KG has its advantages and that is the unique perspective with which you notice life from a very early age! :)

scorpiogenius: Thank you! :) Yes, things have changed now But I loved those villains of yesteryears minus the rape scenes! :p

Karthik: Awesome observation! Thats why it held people in its grip I guess!

Mathew: I have watched all the hits! :)

Deepa: Thank you so much girl! You just made my day and the week!!! :)

Anon: hehe one of my freinds Dad used the same strategy! And whenever I watched movies at her house I had to do the same. :p

S said...

Heroin's family does not have enough money to feed themselves...Heroin standing at the Bus Stop glances at Hero on Bike...Scene change and we are teleported to the Swiss Alps and Heroin dances in thin Shiffon Saris while Hero is snug in a thick woolen jacket...and a white muffler!
yepp...i can relate to that any day! :)

--xh-- said...

I was never keen on watching movies, even those which used to come in TV. by the time I was in 9th, i used to get English movies video cassets, but only thing my mom told me was - "there are things unsuitable for your age in many of the English movies. Dont watch them before you are at the right age to watch them" and they never looked at the movies I watch. I still remember watching True-lies and rewinding and watching that scene again and again... :)

Anonymous said...

Mother with twins is boarding a train and the twins get separated, often with each having one piece of a soap box or something like that. One becomes the bad guy and the other the cop. Story continous along same lines until they reunite in the last scene thanks to the soap box and a very sick mother.
How could you have skipped this?????

Anonymous said...

And lets not forget the group photo at the end.

Pramod Abraham said...

Om Silverine Om

Sparkling said...

You should stop watching all those Hindi movies woman! :)

There's another go for you as a film critic if you want, I'm definitely gonna take your reviews seriously, seriously!

silverine said...

S: lol! And dont forget the numerous changes in wardrobe mid songs. Used to puzzle me no end! :p

--xh--: Well I wasn't keen too and now I don't have the patience nor interest to watch them. So I am glad that I was made to see them then or I would have missed out on this phase of Hindi cinema.

browser: These cliches come in different form. Getting lost in train, village fair, maternity ward etc being the popular ones. And Amulets, moles, birthmarks etc are the popular choice of items that reunite the family 20 years later! :) The last scene is the group photo! :)

Pramod: Karz was better than Om Shanthi Om. It had all the 70's masala! :)

still thinking: I have stopped watching them long ago. This was when I was in primary school! :) I have done only one film review. You can read it here if you want!

Alameen said...

you saved my 150 Rs.. :)

Whenever it rains in movies(at night), there will be some gal getting raped... LOL

For that matter, Devasuram, malayalam movie was a pleasant surprise when we realised that Villain kidnaps the heroine just to trace back to the hero.. There was a scene in which Villain tells heroine not to worry and he is not going to touch her.. :) how sweet...

Bye Till the next un!!

Superficial Gibbering prater said...

ROTFL @ "She falls in love with him after the song is over. Then they introduce themselves "

Btw..Prolly you should watch King of Bollywood starring Om Puri..

And to be honest.You have done a far more entertaining parody than them :)

Thoorika said...

Now you are all set to direct one movie!!! :P

confucius said...

So all fathers are alike..I thought I was the only one who had to see all this... :)
And a bubbly girl ( heroes sister,gf or friend ) wearing mini skirts and colorful clothes learns that she has cancer ( or HIV or common cold ) ... she changes to white sari, white blouse and white bra....and sings a very sad song... and all this happens instantaneously...

Pratz said...

sigh...ya made me nostalgic ya know...kahaan gaye woh bollywood ke din...hey wait they still show such movies on tv......

p.s. have ya seen "Clerk"... ??

Usha Pisharody said...

Amazingly funny, all over again... And yes we did too.. watch all of those movies, with all of those cliched happenings, and laughed endlessly... especially at the park scenes when the hero and heroine would inch closer and closer, and suddenly u had two big bright flowers nuzzling each other! LOL!!

Sheer nostalgia,this one!

Anonymous said...

Someone's been watching too many Mithunda movies...

Maddy said...

How about bro/bro or bro/sis or mom/son sepaated at night while getting down from a train in a desolate railway station...they remember until the climax only by thier "family song" which extolls family happiness....My iranian friend says that this is the same in thier country's 70s movie before the revolution!!!!!

Unknown said...

hey...the best scene is hero heroine approaching each other to kiss and they are replaced by two Roses!!!!

Cynic in Wonderland said...

i LOVE the background score bit!

mournful violin et al.

Abhi said...

Oh loved the post. It's great to see such an awesome review of indian film industry :). But half way through it got me worried as to what i'll do when i'm the dad and plan to watch some movie with my kids. I've seen many dad's squirming in theatre's when the SCENES appear on the screen. Hope it doesn't happen to me. :(

Anonymous said...

I recommend 1972 classic called 'Bindiya aur Bandook' or better pick any one by O.P. Ralhan.

Anonymous said...

Looks like your Dad had to give out a lot of chips and orange juice!

My favorite ones - >>She falls in love with him after the song is over. Then they introduce themselves.

and >>of huge rocks that the Hero takes to throw at the Villain and his hired men.

Unknown said...

You are an expert on the subject!! a surprise considering all the cut scenes...:D

My father was much more "forward" thinking though. He would just ask us to close our eyes, which we didnt do anyway... our childhood was boring.. no mysteries, everything was out in the open...:D

Philip said...

Very, very good post :D

"She will commit suicide after she vomits." Hehehe.

silverine said...

Al almeen: Don't forget the glass breaking scene meaning the gal has been raped! :))

SGP: Thank you! :)

Thoorika: :)

Confucius: LOL!!! Spot on!

Pratz: I read some hilarious reviews about "Clerk' in IMDB. So gonna avoid it! :))

Usha: Glad I was able to take you down memory lane! :)

Mathew: Someone's doesn't know much about Mithunda movies. :)

Maddy: Yep, the combinations will put Baskin Robbins to shame! :)

chirpy paro: Its almost as if the flowers have legs and walk towards each other! lol!!

Cynic: The music is pretty obvious for all scenes. In fact you can close your eyes and describe the scene from the music! :)

Abhi: When you are a Dad, your kids will be censoring "those" scenes from their innocent old dad! :p

Vinayak: I loved the comedians of those days like like O.P Ralhan. They provided the much needed comic relief!! :)

Cris: Dad would make all arrangement before the movie like chips and cold drinks so that we did not wander off on the pretext of getting them! :p

Abraham: The censoring was when we were kids. Later we watched these movies in full on DD unsupervised till Dad got to know of it and put the clamps.

Philip: Thanks! Can you imagine our confusion when someone hangs herself over a puking! :)

EggHe/\D said...

I guess in 90s VCDs ruled the roost or VCRs. Or perhaps that is the indication of my upbringing. Anyways nice post, reminds me of my father too.

Sparkling said...

I read ur review on 'My super ex GF' It was hilarious woman!

As I type this I'm still laughing remembering the 2nd last para. Is there any news abt that 5th gurl as of yet? :)

Scattered Thoughts... said...

Sorry its going to be a long comment but can't help with old memories so here it goes..

When we were kids, TV was not that common thing and all of the neighbors and their brats used to come and sit at our home to watch TV. You know the good old" Doordarshan". The special attraction for us (kids) was to name the advert before it gets finished and I was quite bad with it. One fine day I got my golden chance and as soon as the advert started, I screamed with joy, hey I know this ad.. this is "Nirodh"

Now it won't take a rocket scientist to figure out that what happened next but that was the last day of our game :)

thomas said...

LOL! Reminds me of Great Bong's review of 'Gunda'. Long time back there was no cable TV; DD was the prime source of entertainment; and every friday night me and dad would take a pack of chips and watch those Amitabh, Jeetendra, Shashi kapoor movies. And I still do that now occassionally. ;) Speaking of which i've always felt that the villains in these movies are extremely lucky; they're rich, has a big mansion, has a classy car and above all, they get to do all the rape scenes. I just love the villains. Ab teera kyaa hooga kaaliyaa!!

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

70s. 80s,90s 2000- fundamentally the hindi movies remain the same- the change is but superficial, reflecting,in a very shallow fashion the change from the days of licence raj to the liberalised india.
the same stereotyping continues, i think.
your take on present day hindi movies?
extremely well written piece

Nandya said...

Very Entertaining!! :D

Unknown said...

absolutely rotfl-able piece... had fun :D

came here thru Pareltank - lovin the humor will visit more often!

silverine said...

Egghead: Thank you! :)

still thinking: :p Thanks gal!

scattered thoughts: That was hilarious!! LOL!!

Thomman: Yeah, me too thought the villains lived a charmed life...mostly due to the edits! :)

Kuchuthressiamma: Thank you!! I haven't seen much of the new Hindi movies! :)

Nandya: Thanks buddy! :)

CJ: Thank you and welcome to my blog! :)

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! That one was awesome! Too funny! - Anon

Lyfe said...

I enjoyed the part where you observed that "Then they introduce themselves". Awesome post. My laziness prohibits commenting on blogs, but this post has generated an exception!