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August 21, 2014 Thursday     


Unanimously quoted as one of those prestigious films representing Indian (Hindi) Cinema all over the world, Guide enjoys a reputed stature in our 100 years history of cinema and is widely considered as a text book material on various aspects of film-making undeniably. Its outstanding soundtrack is included among the best musical scores composed for a film till date and the cult movie has a huge fan following even in the present new age millennium all over.
However very few among the younger generation are aware of the fact that Guide was first actually made as a 120 minute English film for the western audiences in collaboration with writer Pearl S. Buck (of The Good Earth (1937) fame) and director Tad Danielewski. So it was not a dubbed film as many might be thinking but was shot as a complete English movie with all the dialogues spoken by the entire Indian cast in the foreign language itself in an impressive manner.
Here it seems to be a clear masterstroke of the destiny itself as Dev Anand began both the English and Hindi version together to be shot simultaneously directed by two different directors (Tad Danielewski and Chetan Anand). But things didn’t work out well as both had distinctive visions of the script and wished to shoot it in their own individual way. So a quick decision was taken to finish the English version first and then take on the Hindi one later as per Chetan Anand’s vision with a re-written script.
Unfortunately the English version flopped badly and didn’t work despite being a big collaboration with many renowned names. So taking some important lessons from the failure, many substantial changes were made in its storyline suiting the Indian temperaments or traditions and then the much appreciated Hindi version was directed by Vijay Anand, in place of the elder brother Chetan Anand, since Chetan was then quite involved in his epic war film Haqeeqat. Now the new script of Guide (in Hindi) followed a completely different outlook of presenting the same storyline and probably this was one of those rare instances wherein the same plot was shot by two different directors with their own perspectives as two entirely different films based on the same novel. Reportedly the basic theme of the story dealing with adultery was also toned down a lot in the new screenplay. Still it faced few strange objections from the reputed ministry people who considered it to be quite bold for the Indian society, ignoring the fact that the same novel had been earlier given the Sahitya Akademi Award for the Best Works in English Language in the year 1960 by the government itself.
Interestingly R.K. Narayan, the original writer of the famous award winning novel The Guide (on which the film was based), was not really satisfied with any of the attempts made in the two languages. But the Indian audience simply loved the Hindi version with all the thoughtful changes made and the film majorly worked at the box office having a different ending.
Sadly, at present the English version is not available either in the home video market or on any of the movies portals running all over the web. Yet a small clip can still be found posted at Youtube by a true fan giving you an idea of the path breaking attempt made by the team. And believe me, its really a great nostalgic experience watching both Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman speaking their given dialogues in English putting up a real good show. So you can easily check out the clip witnessing the ‘before its time’ venture made by the visionary film-maker in 1965 and then hope that the English version might get release on the net or DVD soon in the near future.
For friends willing to see the two clips, they were available at the following links at the time of positing this article.
Tags : The ageless GUIDE (1965) and its English version, Did You Know Facts on Hindi Films by Bobby Sing, Unknown interesting facts on Bollywood by Bobby Sing, Dev Anand's Guide in English, Guide directed by Vijay Anand, The English GUIDE by Dev Anand.
05 August 2014 / bobbysing /
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Cross on IncestSince the beginning of the last century, Hindi cinema has mostly been about pretty routine & comfortable subjects with quite rare exceptions to the rule and that too more towards the last few decades post the 90s. But surprisingly one of the most controversial and shocking subject of INCEST (objectionable relationship between close relatives, also considered as a serious crime) was adapted in an indicative way even before the independence in the early 40s and since then has been a part of few mainstream projects too mentioned below.
1. BAHEN (1941) - Directed by one of the best directors of Indian Cinema Mehboob Khan, the film is about an obsessive brother who doesn’t wish his sister to leave him even after her marriage. Though the film didn’t deal with the subject being discussed here directly (as my personal conception). Still it is considered to be one of the first films indicating towards the same by many. However its quite possible that the reference of 'Incest' might have surfaced in the later decades with the so called development of our questionable social structure.

2. BAMBAI KA BABU (1960)
 - Written by Rajinder Singh Bedi, this had a storyline similar to O’ Henry’s short story “A Double-Dyed Deceiver” having an imposter living with a family posing as their son. But as an added plot the musical masterpiece had Dev Anand romancing the gorgeous Suchitra Sen desperately, who otherwise supposed to be his sister being the daughter of the same family.
3. PREM SHASTRA (1974) - Dealing with the theme of incest in a much bold and at the face manner, PREM SHASTRA once again had Dev Anand having physical relationship with Zeenat Aman who later turns out to be the daughter of his cunning wife, but from a different person who is none other than his own elder brother.
4. MAUSAM (1975) - Had only a subtle indication towards the subject when Sanjeev Kumar finds his young daughter working at a brother having a face exactly similar to her dead mother. And now he is in dilemma about how to deal with this disturbing fact and bring her back to his house saving her from that ugly hell.
5. ZAMEER (1975) - Based on an almost identical storyline of the above mentioned BAMBAI KA Babu (1960), ZAMEER had Amitabh Bachchan playing the imposter son in a rich businessman’s (Shammi Kapoor) house. But reaching there he is introduced to Saira Banu as his sister, with whom he was earlier having a romantic relationship in the film’s first hour.
6. MANDI (1983) – Based on a classic Urdu short story 'Anandi' by Ghulam Abbas, MANDI is about the life lived by several women in a brothel running in the center of a small city. Interestingly the young boy of a local politician falls in love with a beautiful girl of the brothel (Smita Patil), who in reality is her own sister as the father of that girl is the politician himself.
7. EK NAI PAHELI (1984) – Talking about love between different age groups, this is a complex tale of few unusual relationships formed when the hero (Kamal Hassan) leaves the house (after an argument with his father) to live with a beautiful middle aged lady (a singer). And the young rebellion daughter of that singer lady accidently starts having a live-in affair with the hero’s father only at the other end, heading towards a marriage. No doubt, complex enough to understand in just a few lines!
8. TRIYACHARITRA (1994) – In this offbeat venture based on Shiv Murti’s novel with the same title, a poor & innocent girl is not only raped by her cunning father-in-law but also blamed for the shameful act by the village Panchayat ignorantly, proving the sad state of women in the rural areas.
9. FIRE (1996) - Deepa Mehta's famous upsetting movie which was widely opposed in India at the time of its initial release, had lonely wives of two brothers living in the same house, moving into lesbian relationship without feeling any kind of regret whatsoever breaking the society’s norms. 
10. HUM DEEWANE PYAR KE (2001) – A confused mother cannot approve the girl selected by her young son as she doubts that the father of that girl might be her husband only whom she assumed to be dead many years ago in the havoc witnessed during a political upset.
11. EVERYBODY SAYS I’M FINE (2001)A young man running a unisexual parlour accidently gets the power of listening his client’s thoughts running in their minds. And during one of his sessions comes to know about a beautiful girl having an incestuous relationship with her sick father.
12. MATRUBHOOMI (2003) – One of best realistic films from Indian cinema, focusing on the alarmingly serious problem of ‘Girl Foeticide’, this award winning gem sarcastically portrayed the issue talking about a sick family. A family of all men (five brothers and their father) who mutually decide to share the wife of their elder brother, taking turns assigning each day of the week to an individual member……….shockingly also including their father. A film, which can easily make the sick Indian mindset feel the disgusting shame like never before.  
13. JANANI (2006) – A young boy is denied the approval of marrying a middle class girl because in reality she is his sister. Reason being, the girl’s mother had served as the surrogate mother for the young boy’s family and it was him only, getting birth from the girl’s mother in the past.
14. UNDERTRIAL (2007) – Reportedly based on a true incident, it revolves around a poor man who was accused of raping his three young daughters with the charges filed by his wife only. A debut attempt by the director, the film did manage to raise many eye brows but couldn’t reach majority of audience due to its quite dark & sadist theme.
15. THANKS MAA (2009) – A worth watching thoughtful film about an infant child left alone by his mother, who is later found and taken care of by a group of street kids. But when the leader of that street boys gang somehow finds the real mother then he comes to know that the girl had left the child to die, since he was the result of the sick & helpless relationship with her own father.
16. THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW BOOTS (2010) – A bold film revealing the shocking truth found by a girl, who was desperately searching for her father since long. A father, who was a sex maniac abusing his daughters in their early childhood and now looking for some kind of spiritual solace in various cities, ashrams and even a massage parlour, where incidentally his daughter only was working as the masseuse.
Now expectedly none of the above mentioned films could witness any kind of success at the box office due to their unpleasant and dark themes showing the society its real face, often put under the carpet out of shame, disgust and regret. May be that is the reason, a few films in the above mentioned list tried to justify the weird storyline making some sane adjustments in the end to make it more acceptable for the Indian audiences.
But still, it was indeed a daring act by their respective makers to go ahead with such experimental projects showing their guts, which were bound to meet a negative fate at the ticket window due to many obvious reasons.
(Bobby Sing)
Tags : Bold Hindi films on the theme of INCEST, Did You Know Facts about Hindi Cinema by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Conrversial & Bold Hindi Films talking about unsual and sick relationships, Amazing unknown facts about Hindi Films by Bobby Sing
31 July 2014 / bobbysing /
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Subhash Ghai’s KARZ which was a mixture of more than one specific genres (namely a musical, murder-mystery, suspense or family drama), was declared a semi hit in certain regions as it was considered to be ahead of its times and unconventional too by many trade analyst of that era in 1980.
But interestingly if we look back then KARZ enjoys a rare two way inspirational status like very few films do wherein at one end it is supposed to have a hugely inspired script as well as an identical soundtrack borrowed from the west. There on the other the film went on to inspire more than 10 Hindi and regional films in the country itself taking evident clues from its storyline, execution and lyrics quite frequently.
Talking about the borrowed concepts first, though Hindi Cinema had already made successful films on the subject of reincarnation like MADHUMATI way back in 1958 but still KARZ was supposed to be heavily inspired from the English flick THE REINCARNATION OF PETER PROUD released in 1975. But anyone who has seen this English original would readily agree that Ghai’s version was a much more polished and entertaining film for sure if compared to its source material. Apart from the basic plot its melodious soundtrack composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal, had a highly identical number “Ek Hasina Thi” (including its famous signature tune) straight away taken from George Benson’s “We as Love” which was a part of his album “Weekend in LA”. Besides the track “Om Shanti Om” was again a quite intelligent rehashed work of Lord Shorty’s “Shanti Om” released in his 1974 album “Endless Vibrations”.
Now conversely coming to the films inspired by Subhash Ghai’s KARZ itself, firstly it was officially remade as YUGA PURUSHA (1989) in Kannada, ENAKKUL ORUVAN (1984) in Tamil and AATMA BALAM (1985) in Telugu along with the most recent adaptation being the Hindi film KARZZZZ (2008) starring Himesh Reshammiya & Urmila in the lead. However before Himesh, Farah Khan also came up with her own re-worked version of the same theme in OM SHANTI OM (2006) and for that she even planned a respectable tribute by beginning the film with a restored song footage of original KARZ featuring both Rishi Kapoor and Subhash Ghai dancing along (made possible through the digital revolution & computer graphics). Plus she also got a new track specially arranged by Pyarelal to honour his majestic contribution to Hindi cinema as an appreciable nice gesture indeed.
Later the film’s name and few key phrases of its various songs inspired seven films in all. Including ‘KARZ- The Burden of Truth' (2002) re-using the same title with a new tag line and "Ek Hasina Thi" (2004), "Aashiq Banaya Aapne" (2005), "Dard-e-Dil" (1983), "Om Shanti Om" (2007), “Main Solha Baras Ki" (1998) and "Paisa Yeh Paisa" (1985) borrowing their titles from its various song’s mukhdas or lyrics.
But other than this rare two way inspirational status, KARZ had some unique special points in its execution too as mentioned below:
1. It was a project based on upbeat, trendy Disco music which was the forte of then immensely popular R. D. Burman. So many were shockingly surprised when Ghai chose Laxmikant Pyarelal as his music directors who were more known as the masters of Indian musical arrangements and instruments. However what LP did for KARZ proved Subhash Ghai right strongly without any doubt.
2. Similar to his odd choice for the music directors, another unusual casting option made by Ghai was of roping in Simi Garewal in the major role and that too of a killer woman or a deadly vamp which she had never played before.
3. Despite given a powerful persona as the Villain, Prem Nath didn’t have a single dialogue in the film and he only conveyed through a tapping sound made on various things like a glass, phone receiver and more.
4. With KARZ, Subhash Ghai also introduced a pretty useful concept of brand promotion on the screen and promoted the music company HMV boldly by some innovative stage designs. For instance just watch the whole dance sequence of Rishi Kapoor in his opening song wherein he is dancing on a giant record and the music company’s name is written in big letters all over in the background.
5. The soundtrack had its all songs sung by Kishore Kumar as he was a perfect choice for the particular genre suiting Rishi Kapoor. But Laxmikant-Pyarelal were too keen for using the voice of Mohd. Rafi for one soulful ghazal “Dard-e-Dil” in the film. And later both Kishore Kumar’s “Om Shanti Om” and Mohd. Rafi’s “Dard-e-Dil” got nominated for Best Male Singer and Best Lyrics category in the Filmfare awards of 1981. However Kishore Kumar won the award that year for “Hazaar Rahein” from THODI SI BEWAFAI.
Hence though KARZ did manage to achieve only moderate success at the box office in its year of initial release, yet the film rightly deserves to be rated as a cult path-breaking entertainer of the 80s and a must watch film too unarguably.
(Note : For more on this inspirational angle and on the making of this cult classic from the director himself, just click on the following link and enjoy your journey back in time.)
Tags : Karz and its two way inspirational status, Subhash Ghai's KARZ and its unique features, Unknown facts about Karz, Did You Know facts about Karz (1980), Most Resued film in Bollywood, Karz inspired music, Karz Inspired Theme, Unknown facts about Bollywood, Rare unknown facts about Hindi Films.
22 July 2014 / bobbysing /
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