Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How I Fell In Love With the Bollywood 70's (Kabhi Kabhie Review)

Confused by the wide range of opinions on "Action Replayy" (this happened about a lot of other 2010 fillms, too), which was a film I thought would freshen up my curiosity for the world of the Bollywood 70's, I decided to jump into the cold water for real. I watched the two classics "Don" and "Sholay", an experience you can read about here... And as I found out, that I actually liked them, I watched "Kabhi Kabhie". You are the first ones to hear about this experience, too. Okay, I don't know anyone Bollywood-interested personally, so it's obvious, that you're the first ones.


Director: Yash Chopra
Authors: Pamela Chopra, Sagar Sarhadi
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman, Raakhee Gulzar, Shashi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Rishi Kapoor

Plot: The young poet Amit is in love with Pooja, but Pooja's parents arrange her marriage with architect Vijay. About 20 years after, the two meet again, and the next generation has to fight for their love.

Written the 15th of January 2011
This DVD has been laying around in my cupboard for almost one year now, courting for my favour with many other films. As I've mentioned previously, I've been quite lazy concerning old films. I could never pull myself together and watch those old classics, apart from "Mughal-E-Azam". Why, I don't even know the answer to that myself. Maybe because... old films are just something else, you need to yourself in the postition of the time and can't except a film that would have been made the same way today. However, I've already seen two old films since the beginning of the year, including this one. I do like it. It's not like I never watch old films (I've especially seen many Danish ones), but the list of Indian ones still leaves room for improvement (okay, the English and German ones too). Per contra to the other two films I've seen (remind: Sholay and Don), "Kabhi Kabhie" is no born-and-bred cult film idolized by everyone, but it is definitely a special film. Firstly, it starts quite unusual, very calm and quiet. We are introduced to the love story of Amit and Pooja, peppered with sweet dialogues and lots of poetry. Then we see a wedding song, in which, at the beginning, only Pooja appears - by the way, it is very well-filmed. The bridegoom arrives, he pulls up his veil, and... shock: It's not Amit! Amit(abh), who has put a spell on us from the very beginning, with all his poetry. Something, that not many actors succeed in, during the first few minutes of a film. Even less actors would succeed in actually allegorizing the, now on principle hated, bridegoom in a sympathetic way. Kudos to Shashi Kapoor, who I experienced for the first time (though his laugh reminded me of the bad guy in Sholay). I also liked Raakhee from the very first moment I saw her, she looks very healthy and beams down a motherly warmth. The chemistry is right, between her and Amitabh, as well as between her and Shashi... Effectively, in the second half, Shashi and Raakhee seem to be the couple having most fun together. Vicky and Pinky, played by Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, are also a cute couple, while I instantly liked Rishi, but had to get used to Neetu at the beginning. Talking about getting used to something: I'm shocked by realizing, how much I've gotten used to the ideals of beauty we have nowadays, though I never thought about it this way. I realized it, when I thought, that Neetu and Raakhee were kind of... chubby. But then my alarm bells rang, thank god! My mind is so manipulated by all those human clothes rails, which are dominating our media.
Amit and Pooja
Talking about clothes rails: Amitabh wears some really cute, cuddly sweaters, that I absolutely want to own... (Beth wrote a post on this, but I can't find it right now). Back to the review. I really liked the camera setting of this film, it was whether too brash, nor too boring. Just at two moments, it seemed unprofessional too me, because they used the "shifting-between-to-faces-1000-times" technique. Otherwise, the scene changes were quite good, mostly rather subtle, but sometimes also with the good old impact.
Funny was, that Amit didn't look like his father at all, in contrast to Vicky, whose father was played by his real-life uncle. In addition, I liked the scene, where Vicky's father tries to catch Pinky's mother, and the two fiancés look at each other and vanish silently. Yes, the film has humor, why else should Vicky ask his horse: "Eritéz mon ami, yaar?"?
Actually, there was just one thing annoying me: Sweety, alias Naseem. She was just disruptive and beyond all bearing. By the way, I just IMDB-ed her, and this was the only film she acted in. Good decision!
"Kabhi Kabhie" is indeed quite long, but I've gotten used to that now, that's just how it is with old films. Though also many new films suffer from this - if they're poor. Because this is the secret advise for a long film, that's able to entertain: It has to be interesting. To the makers of "Shakti", "Sehar" etc. - remember this.

Rating: 7.2

Thank you for reading,
Mette M. K.


  1. there are some really great 70s Bollywood movies, but I totally understand - you have to want to watch them and sometimes, you just want to watch something new! I LOVE Rishi in Kabhi Kabhie and you really can't deny that Amitabh Bachchan in his heyday had a magnetism onscreen. So excited you are discovering all the awesomeness of Bollywood!!

  2. Yes, I'm really excited too, though I've been a BW-fan for five years or something now... You're absolutely right about Amitabh!


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