Marathi cinema saw its most glorious days in the 60s and 70s, with some great films like Shyamchi Ayi and Tukaram being made. Some of these are difficult to procure on You Tube, so I’m offering a small glimpse of what this regional cinema entails starting with the 70s.
The 70s saw a profusion of good, meaningful yet entertaining films with soul stirring melodies. This was a time when Marathi cinema probably had the same prestige as one associates with Malayalam or Bengali films.
1) Mumbaicha Jawai (Mumbai son-in-law)1970 Continue reading
Outright fun, not to mention silliness, has long been a casualty of A.R. Rahman’s recent Hindi oeuvre. Unlike in Tamil, Rahman simply hasn’t done very many soundtracks for “ordinary” Hindi films of late. That is, the typical Rahman Hindi album this decade has been a Swades or a Jodha-Akbar, or a Delhi-6 — not a Rangeela or a Daud. The last year might well be the beginning of a shift, with Ghajini, and now Blue. No song in either album will ever make a list of Rahman’s best, but equally, no-one can doubt that at their best, these albums feature a more playful Rahman, the sort of souffle-lover one missed in the likes of Jodha-Akbar. On the down-side, at its worst, the likes of Blue do give the impression of a composer who hasn’t lavished much care on his work. Luckily for us, the balance comes down on the side of buying the album.
Read the complete review HERE.
There was tonnes of nostalgia in the media on Kishore Kumarâ€™s 80th birth anniversary (August 4). There have always been plenty of stories about Kishoreda â€” from his genius to his eccentricities. But the one person whose incisive comments on Kishore wouldâ€™ve livened up all the TV programmes was himself missing. And that was his elder brother, Ashok Kumar, known to all of us as Dadamoni. Out of all the colourful Kishore Kumar stories that the film industry rolled out, Ashok Kumarâ€™s were the most intimate and interesting ones. Of course, there was always that touch of almost parental affection that Ashok Kumar brought to his narrations because there was a two-decade gap between the two brothers. When he spoke about Kishoreâ€™s singing, Dadamoniâ€™s one constant observation was, â€œKishoreâ€™s biggest quality as a singer is that he hits the right note bang on spot, he is never besur, never goes off-key.â€
While Dadamoni touched 90, Kishore died in his fifties. Strangely, so did Mohammed Rafi and Mukesh with whom Kishore had formed some sort of triumvirate in the recording rooms. All three had distinct voices and singing styles, all three ruled the world of playback singing, all three died suddenly of a heart attack while still in their fifties. â€œIsnâ€™t that a strange coincidence,â€ Nitin Mukesh remarked when Kishore passed away. â€œIt just shows how intensely passionate they were, how much strain they put on their hearts while singing.â€
Everybody had an anecdote or two to narrate about Kishoreâ€™s many eccentricities, one of which was to put off unwanted visitors by pretending not to be at home. Ashok Kumar himself told me that he was once in the vicinity of Kishoreâ€™s bungalow in Juhu, so he drove up impromptu to meet his brother. At the gate, he was met by Kishoredaâ€™s Man Friday who told Ashok Kumar that dada had gone out. Ashok Kumar accepted that and was about to drive away when a thought struck him and he asked the Man Friday, â€œIf Kishore is out, what are you doing here?â€ Thatâ€™s when the loyal batman told Ashok Kumar that Kishoreda was very much at home but had instructed him to tell everyone that he was out. The Man Friday had applied the rule even to Dadamoni who was like a father to Kishoreda!
The magic the two Ganguly brothers brought to Hindi cinema, individually, has not been replicated by anyone to this day. Continue reading