Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Neetu Singh-Along: The "Misseries" of "Ksiehn" - Parvarish (1977)

Because it is too, too hilarious, I have to post here EXACTLY what is written as the summary of this movie on the back of my DVD of Parvarish (1977), grammar, punctuation (or lack therof) and all. I will highlight the particularly good parts:

An encounter between the banit Mangal Singh Police Officer Shamsher Singh ended with arrest of Mangal Singh. Mangal Singh's wife delivered a baby boy and breathed her last. Police Officer Shamsher Singh brougth the new born home. A suggestion of handing the new born to an orphanage distributed his emotion as he had gone through the misseries of being brought up there. Shamsher Singh wife decided to take over the upbringing of the child alongwith her own son Kishen, the new arrival was named Amit. Mangal Singh was informed to take over the upbringing as per the wish of his late wife that both she andfree his brohter Devsingh informed him that his son was alive for fourteen long years in the prison walls, as he was set his wishes to Kishen whom he thought was his son. Kishen and Mangal Singh decided upon the downfall of Shamsher's family.

Time lapsed and Mangal Singh and Ksiehn jointed the under Supremo. Amit grew upto be a promising Police Officer of he ciountry. Neetu and her sister Shabbu lived on witts. their entanglement with Amit and Kishen led to happy romance. Then one day Neetu discovered that Mangal Singh was the Killer of her father, he planned to murder Mangal Singh with Shabbu's help. Amit one day learnt that he was only an adopted boy in the house, the real son was to rteturn his file incomplete. Shamsher Singh was a duty bound officer,everything in the world came next to his duty. He refused to accept Amit's file. At the risk of their lives Amit and Shamsher Singh decided to expose the Supreme and bring could hold back Amit, Kishen realised his misunderstanding that he was the son of Mangal Singh, he jointed hands with Amit and thus put an end to the world of Supreme.

WHAT? Oh my god. I was laughing SO HARD reading the back of my DVD. My 2.5-year-old son thought I was having an attack or something.

If you have any idea what this movie is about based on that then you deserve a prize or something. But this movie, which came out the year I was born FYI, is one of my absolute favorite Bollywood movies. It is such a nonsense masala film. The star cast is absolutely perfect, and though Vinod Khanna is not one of my favorite heroes (*ducks from thrown chappals*) this is probably my favorite film of his (besides Chandni, which really can't be called HIS film now can it?). Of course I'm a die-hard Amitabh Bachchan fan, and the added bonus of Neetu Singh and Shabana Azmi? Awesomesauce! (Incidentally, has anyone ever done a list of actual commercial/masala films that Shabana Azmi starred in? I am curious)

It's an AME - Amitabh Masala Entertainer!
But it's HPK FTW with his angsty, conflicted performance!
Since this movie has been recapped so fabulously by other BollyBloggers such as Beth Loves Bollywood, Filmi Geek, Post-Punk Cinema Club, The Bollywood Fan, Filmi Girl and I'm sure many more, I won't go through the entire storyline (which is masala-fabulous, btw). I'll just highlight my favorite things about the movie.

1. Double Hero and Heroine
If you read my post about Jaani Dost, you know that my sister and I used to play a game we brilliantly called "Nothing" so we could honestly answer when our grandfather asked us what we were playing. And this game almost exclusively required the soundtrack of a movie that had multiple heroes and heroines, so that we could each choose a character to be. Though our double heroine movies usually involved Parveen Babi, who my sister liked to be, occasionally we'd have random characters (for example she was Aradhana and I was Rajni from Satte Pe Satta). Anyway, movies like Parvarish were perfect for our game. I believe that she got to be Neetu and I was Shabbu for this one.

Group Hug!!!

But the multi-starrer Bollywood movie is something I generally look forward to ... there's just something more FUN about it, especially when the chemistry between the heroes is really good (not TOO good though, like not so good that you think the heroines are unnecessary ... I'm looking at YOU Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan!). The more the merrier, you know?

2. The Fashion
Why can't it still be the 70s? I absolutely love the bell-bottomy, print/patterned blousey goodness this movie provides. There's also a good assortment of costumes or disguises in this one! Vinod as the stuffy schoolteacher for the blind, Neetu as the Euro-Maid, Amitabh as the Strawberry-Blonde Gentleman, The girls going from street urchin to sari-clad and then mujra dancers to nagins ... there's some craziness going on here!

Patchwork chic!

Full tan suit, or full denim?
Check out that collar!
VK's partial to the all denim ensembles
Bellbottomy Goodness!
Cleans up pretty well!
Pretty in Pink!
Fancy dress competition, Bearded Man Amitabh vs. Swiss Miss Neetu
3. My two favorite cuddly Uncles - Shammi and Amjad
I think I've already professed my love for young Shammi, but dare I say he's one of my favorite "Uncles" of Hindi Cinema? He's adorable and still has those bright, sparkling eyes. He'd make one hell of a Santa Claus. And as for Amjad, I have a deep-seated love for Amjad that sparked somewhere around the time I first saw Yaarana. Even when he's the bad guy, he always manages to make me feel sorry for him. I wish there were more movies of him in good guy roles, I really do.

4. Neetu Singh
Obviously. I mean, I AM participating in a whole blogging week dedicated to her.

5. Awesome Chicas
 Neetu and Shabbu are really fun, interesting heroines. They do far more than just sparkle and shine. They go after what they want, even going for the guy and then approaching his parents to take it to the next level. They have a storyline of their own really ... Mangal Singh is the bad dude that murdered their parents, so they have a score to settle with him. They don't just sit back and wait for the heroes to avenge their parents, they create an entire stage show, hire sidey dancers, create giant gun sets and choreograph a whole dance routine to try and off him (oh, and when I saw Zoolander, the ending scene with the Prime Minister of Malaysia TOTALLY reminded me of this song!). They're also clever and sneaky - not your typical sharmili ladkis. Though they DID need to get men to go see it, so of course the guys have to save the girls at the end of the day. BOOOOO!

6. Crazy Villains and Wacky Lairs
Let me just say that I love when villains in movies have crazy names. Does it get any better than "Supremo"??? I think not! And this is one hell of a lair ... Beth can tell you all about it! But not only is there a fabulous lair, there's a SUBMARINE. And a Submarine Chase Scene!!! Let Beth tell you about that one too. 

Stalactites! Buffet table draping! Stick on leaves! Random statues! Railings for the lines waiting to get on the rides?
Danger around every corner!
For realsies, you could get hurt here. It's the Quicksand Pit of Doooooom!

7. The Songs, Arre Wah, the songs
So many fabulous songs on this soundtrack by Laxmikant Pyarelal I don't know which one is my true favorite! The first one that comes to mind when I think of this movie is the scandalous number with Neetu dressed as Heidi and Amitabh as Sir Redbeard:

And then of course the AWESOME Sab Janta Ka Hai number where we are introduced to Neetu and Shabbu's wily ways:

And the Double-Hero/Heroine number posted before, Jaate Ho Jaane Jaana, which I think of as a pre-cursor to my favorite song of this type (two heroes chasing after the two heroines, that are mad at them), Jaanu Meri Jaan from Shaan.

But the two that make me laugh the most are what I consider lasting memories from this movie ...

8. Memories
Clearly I was not the only one taken with this movie. Two songs from this movie proved to be especially popular with the Indian population of Metro Detroit. We used to have a 3-day India Festival every summer in downtown Detroit, and people would come from all over to participate in the dance competitions. Sometimes we had some "special items" (like the guy named Dimple that used to dress up every night to dance to Disco Dancer. I'm still scarred from his lusty dance moves).

One year two girls managed to either find or create the EXACT pink and green costumes that Neetu and Shabbu wear in this number, and performed it on stage carrying little WATER PISTOLS. It was awesome. Awesome as in hilariously bad. That's taking your inspiration from the film a little beyond the necessary.

But even MORE memorable were the two guys that decided they wanted to perform to Hum Premi Prem Karna Chahe. What they ended up doing was pretty much walking around the stage through the whole song, except for the part where the Amit character (wearing a white suit) KICKED the Kishen character (wearing a black suit)'s injured leg JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE. On stage. While walking around in circles. They also got some of their friends to come in to be Shammi Kapoor and the Maa's characters. They just walked on for a little while, arm in arm. There was absolutely no context for anyone who hadn't seen the movie. We had by then, many times, so when the guy got kicked in the knee, we were CRACKING UP. I don't think anyone else in the audience was. But I will never, ever forget these two guys and their "performance".

My sister and I still enact the kick in the leg part every time we hear this song.

Ohhhh I love this movie so much. Seriously, it is action-packed, fun, exciting and the entire ending fight scene has this really happy, peppy music in the background that is totally incongruous. There's angsty Vinod, honest policeman with something to prove Amitabh, and a Matryoshka Doll of Villains (is it Mangal Singh? Nooo it's Supremo!). What's not to love??? Don't you want to see Vinod Khanna "jointed his hands" with Amitabh Bachchan to "put an end to the world of Supreme"?

Highly Highly Highly Recommend for some excellent dishoom-dishoom and fun, unique heroines.


  1. Some of the gun poses in Mere Dil Jhoom Jara remind me of the way a the gun was worked into the choreography in Namak Ishq Ka. Wonder if MDJJ served as inspiration for any of that?

    Or maybe I'm just overreaching... :)

  2. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! That is all I can articulate at the moment, such is my love for this movie and so perfectly have you evoked it! :D Each time I watch it or read about it, I notice something else amazing or crafty or thoughtful in it. You should definitely read Sanni's week of Parvarish posts back when we did 70s Week. That's how great this film is - you can blog about just it for a whole week! http://sotheydance.blogspot.com/2010/02/70s-week-lost-and-found-maa-ka-pyaar.html

    So glad you added your thoughts to the growing stash! I'm such an evangelist for this film that when people tell me they don't particularly like it I actually think they're WRONG. Not just "Oh, I wonder why it didn't grab them" or "ah well, to each their own" like I would for almost anything else. JOIN US. JOOOOOOIN UUUUUUUUUUUS.

  3. I. Love. This. Film.
    So. Stinking. Much.

    I can't type without being emphatic and absurd!
    I listen to the OST ALLL The time on the train because it's just so WONDERFUL! :D

    And Neetu in the Pink Sari! LUV LUV LUVVVVRRRBEEE

    Amitabh. Enough said, right?