Thursday, August 19, 2004

Mogambo.......... Khush Huaa!!!

One of the most recognizable quotes in Hindi film history I'd say. Not THE most recognizable though. There are quite a few that rank higher probably. And Salim-Javed have probably penned most of them.

I remember talking to a very good friend of mine about how there doesnt seem to be any movie that both of us liked. Mr. India was the only movie that we could think of which both of us seemed to like. But the thing is that none of us had seen it recently. I guess the last time I saw it was back in 1980s. Might even be 1987, when it released. Even though I was barely 6 years old then, I remembered some parts of the movie and thought it was a pretty entertaining movie. However, one can't be too sure about these "bachpan ka impressions". So, I decided to watch it again and see if it really is as good as I thought it was. And I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a lot of scenes which I didn't really remember in a lot of detail and which were really good. And not just because of their entertainment value.. some of the scenes with the children were quite touching. I guess Shekhar Kapur is good with children. (I have noticed a correlation between good storytellers and children's movies i.e. either made for children or featuring good child characters. Spielberg comes to mind.. So do Satyajit Rai and Mani Ratnam.. not that there aren't great directors who haven't made children's movies, but I think there is at least some substance in the hypothesis).

You have to hand it to Salim-Javed though. They have penned some of the most memorable characters in hindi cinema's history. Gabbar is obviously right at the top. The angry-young Vijay, Arjun, Shaakaal the bald and then Mogambo in Mr India. Even though I personally wasn't too impressed with the cartoonish Mogambo, it was definitely intentional and was probably lapped up by the kids in the audience.

In fact the movie didn't seem too good in the beginning. The sets/costumes were pretty garish and I thought it really must've been one of those bachpan ka impressions that don't continue after you grow up. But it was only the Mogambo part (his set, costumes of his servants etc.) which seemed that way. They tried to make it very cartoon bookish with all the "Mogambo... khush huaa!! and "Hail Mogambo" stuff and the way they show him drumming on the globe at his hand rest and the "acid tank" melting the gun etc. But once the prefacial (no need to go to freshly coined!!) stuff about Mogambo and the invisibility gadget gets over and the story moves to Arun, Calendar and the kids, it really is entertainment all the way. A lot of funny stuff involves Seema (Sridevi.. I had forgotten that she can give be very funny indeed!!) and her editor. Actually probably more her editor Mr. Gaitonde (Annu Kapoor) and his telephone. Some of his hilarious scenes/quotes are:

1) wrong number. The person thinks that he has reached a vet's clinic. editor picks up and speaks : Hello!!.......arre aapki bhains ne doodh dena band kar diya to bhaai main kya karoon?
the other guy : aap kuchh to keejiye na sir?

2) Seema: Sir! main ek phone kar sakti hoon?
Editor: haan bilkul! karo karo! lekin karogi kahaan se?
Seema (confused): sir! is phone se....
Editor: kisse? isse? ye phone kahaan hai Seema, ye to radio hai! kabhi... (some lines I don't remember) ... aur kabhi mohabbat se lada gadha, mohabbat se ladi gadhi se gadhepan ki baatein kar raha hota hai.. karo karo! phone karo!

3) Seema: Sir! aap meri baat samajh naheen rahe hain!! ye jo Mr. India hai.. vo dikhaaee naheen deta!
Editor: Dikhaaee naheen deta? to kahaan rehta hai? ye aajkal apna malhotra bhi dikhaaee naheen deta.. kahaan rehta hai vo? dikhaaee de to mere paas bhejna..

4) Seema calls Mr. India to meet her editor as he doesnt believe her about the invisibility thing.. so Mr. India is sitting in the office and the editor is looks awestruck.
Mr. India: kya baat hai Editor saahab, aab thheek to hain?
Editor: Hain jee?... haan jee thheek hoon.. kamaal hai seema ek to ye dikhaaee naheen dete aur oopar se poochh rahe hain ki main thheek hoon ki naheen..

5) Mr. India: maine suna aapne seema ko naukri se nikal diya hai
Editor: Arre sir kya baat kar rahe hain aap? hamaara akhbaar to ek chhoti si family hai.. main kaise seema ko nikaal sakta hoon.. vo to bas jab isne kaha ki aap dikhaaee naheen dete to......... lekin ab jab maine aapko dekha.. mera matlab hai naheen dekha.... to... dekha na.. ki naheen dekh sakte....

Anyway, the movie is filled with such funny stuff... like..

Arun: Calendar! ek to mujhe ye samajh naheen aata ki tumhaara naam Calendar kyoun hai?
Calendar: vo mere maa-baap ko kuchh angreji mein naam rakhna tha isliye..
Arun: Calendar, agar tum roz isi tarah late uthhte rahe aur mujhe hi bachchon ka saaraa naashta banaana pada to main tumhaari salary mein se kuchh na kuchh zaroor kaat loonga..
Calendar: zaroor kaar lena.. isi bahaane salary to milegi... by god kaee maheene ho gaye salary ki shakal dekhe hue. kis color ki hoti hai?

Then the parody song about the football is a riot! Javed Akhtar has written the lyrics and they are stupendous!! The song, the picturization, the lyrics.. everything is superb!! This is one thing that I had forgotten about the movie. It was really superb!!

And there are other songs which are pretty hummable and picturized quite well too. "Zindagi ki yahi reet hai", "Karte hain hum pyaar Mr India se", "Hawa hawaii" (not a great song but some funny picturization.. remember "seene se raaz chura loon..haan chura loon..haha chura loon"?) , and the erotic to the hilt "Kaate naheen kat_te"

On the whole the funny parts of the movie stand out in one's memory but there are other scenes that are quite touching. Tina's Bomb blast scene is definitely one. The way she keeps saying "Arun bhaaya, vo kya hai? Umi.. vo kya hai?" with a bit of apprehension and a little smile just takes your heart... so do the scenes when there is no food for the kids...

Not that the movie doesn't have any flaws. In fact it is a dream movie for someone who likes to pick little plot holes/unrealistic script elements as it is overflowing with them. (And I do have a friend just like that. absolutely loves to keep speaking about the little inconsistencies while watching any movie. Amazing how can someone enjoy ANY movie when all the attention is taken by plothole hunting!) But its entertaining all the same. Definitely worth recommending to anyone who hasn't seen any bollywood movie and wants to see a "typical bollywood" movie. This is typical bollywood at its absolute best. (So is Sholay IMHO, but I guess a lot of people who don't know about bollywood will be more put off by its resemblance to Seven Samurai and Once upon a time in the west)

1 comment:

Nishant said...

well written..:)