KOI AAP SA (2005)

Like most readers might know by now I am not that a big fan of movies which released after the year 2000. Of course there are exceptions like Aamir Khan’s ” DANGAL” , Salman Khan’s  ” BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN” or Rajkumar Hirani movies (who is right up there for me with my 2 other all time favourites – Manmohan Desai and Hrishikesh Mukherjee).

 

Then I have always been a fan of certain actors and actresses who I have adored and liked who have not seen the succes they deserved according to me. In the 70’s for instance I really liked actresses like Kaajal Kiran (Hum Kisise Kum Nahin), Vidya Sinha  (Swayamvar) and Zeherra (Dharmatma).

 

1998 saw the debut of another such actress in the Salman Khan movie ” BANDHAN” . She would went on to appear in the song ” Ishq Bina Kya Jeena Yaara”  in the Anil Kapoor- Aishwariya Bachchan movie  “TAAL” for which Govinda refused the Anil Kapoor role.

It would not before the year 2003 when Natassha would make her debut as a lead actress in the hindi film industry. In an industry where anyone without even an ounce of acting talent can become a craze if they are willing to shed some clothes or have a good marketing team it is a shame that an actress of the caliber of Natassha who was a beautiful lady (and still is -although I prefer het in movies like Koi Aap Sa then  her extra slim avatar now in Naagin season 3) and someone who could actually emote and act.

It is even stranger that most roles she got were in the movies produces by the banner of Jeetendra – Balaji Pictures run perfectly by his daughter Ektaa Kapoor.

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Natassha as she was called during that time appeared in some movies -some good and some bad. But just like Rishi Kapoor – even when the movies were bad Natassha was good in them : Kuch Toh Hai (2003), Yeh Dil  (2003), Krishna Cottage (2004), Silsillay  (2005), Dus Kahaniyan (2007), Ek Se Bute Do (2009), Benny and Babloo (2010), Ragini MMS 2 (2014), Hero (2015) and quite a few hit south movies as well.

KAS Natassha

Natashha changed her name back to her original name – Anita Hassanandani Reddy and resumed working on tv where she became super successful and can been seen in many tv shows. SHE is the reason I tune in to ” NAAGIN”  season 3 every week  (the only hindi tv show I watch).

But Anita (as I will call her from now on) her best movie -according to me-  was a movie that released in 2005. A love story that remains in my all time top 25 love stories list.

KAS02

When this film released I had only 2 reasons to watch this movie: Anita (or Natassha as she is credited in the movie)  and the killer soundtrack by Himesh Reshammiya.

Sometimes it happens that an actor whom you are not that a big fan of makes a movie which you really love and that is a sign of a very well made movie. This happened to me with Anil Kapoor in “LAMHE”  (later on I did became a fan of Anil Kapoor) and Vinod Khanna in ” KUDRAT” (where for me he stole the thunder from Rajesh Khanna and Hema Malini in double roles and from Raajkumar and Priya Rajvansh).

I have never been a fan of Aftab Shivdesani (my favourite Aftab movie still is ” Mr. India”). But in this movie he actually is good. Himanshu Mallick (best known for his role in the first ” TUM BIN”)  was the second hero of the movie but he is nothing to write home about. And the second leading lady of the movie was Dipannita Sharma (best known for her role in  “16 DECEMBER”) who did a commendable job in the movie.

 

But for me the main attraction of this movie – and the reason to watch were Anita and the songs.

Talking about the music of the film. Himesh Reshammiya was the music director of the movie. And for this movie he composed some really good songs and thank God he did not sing any songs for this movie. He lest the singing to some of the best singers of the era: Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sonu Nigam and Shaan.

This was the era when Himesh Reshammiya songs still had some melody in them and some  ” Indianess” as well. Remember the time when Himesh composed songs like ” Tere Naam” !? This is the era I am talking about. A killer soundtrack which sounds as fresh and as romantic as when first released. The best song of the movie according to me is the song which comes during the end credits.

 

 

When I first saw this movie I was astonished in the beginning and thought  ” Oh my God another ” KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI”  ripoff. But then the “haadsaa”  happens in the movie and the movie takes it’s own course.

I would not like to give away any spoilers about what that “thing”  is that happens in the movie so I won’t spoil your pleasure of watching the movie (for the first time). But believe me when I say that as far as story goes this movie is even better then ” KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI” which boasted of stars like Salman Khan, Kaajol, Rani Mukherjee and Shah Rukh Khan. This movie does not have that big stars but manages to touch your heart nonetheless. And that my friends is the sign of a well produced, well directed and well acted movie which can be seen over and over again.

And again this movie totally belongs to Natassha aka Anita Hassanandani Reddy! For all you NAAGIN (season 3) fans check out this movie for sure and see Anita in action!

KAS Natassha 02

KOI AAP SA (2005)

produced by Ektaa Kapoor  (Balaji)

directed by Partho Mitra

cast   Anita Hassanandani Reddy (Natassha)

Aftab Shivdesani, Dipannita Sharma, Himanshu Mallick and others

music by Himesh Reshammiya

playback by Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Udit Narayan and Shaan

 

If you like those golden oldie songs and song from the 90’s listen to my radioshow  “YAADEIN – A Walk Through Memory Lane”  every Sunday evening on SunriseFM (The Netherlands) at 10PM (Netherlands), 9PM (U.K.), 5PM (Surinam) and Monday 1.30AM (IST). The show can be heard through the SunriseFM app, tunein or online : http://www.sunrisefm.nl

Join our facebookgroup : GEET SANGEET   (https://www.facebook.com/groups/365183506962164/)

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Mr. India (1987)

Pallavi-in-lamhe-sridevi-36959517-1280-720

Some artists are such masters at their craft and leave such a lasting impression that they become part of our lives. Through their work  (songs/films) they comfort us when we feel down and out. Sometimes when you feel all alone and nobody is there anymore to be with you in difficult times, these artists, through their work, comfort you and give you hope. They see you through difficult times and you come to see them as  “your own”. They become like friends. And one of such artists passes away it seems like we have lost one of our best friends, one of our own.

Sridevi was such an actress for me. February 24th 2018 was the day “The Devi” passed away just aged 54 years old leaving avoid in our lives but leaving behind a great legacy -her films. Today I will write about one of my 2 most favourite Sridevi films (the other being “Lamhe”) – Mr. India.

mr india

 

 

 

Boney Kapoor (left) was a producer (son of producer Surinder Kapoor) who had produced the film  “Hum Paanch” (1980 – Mithun Chakrevotry, Sanjeev Kumar, Shabana Azmi, Deepti Naval, Raj Babbar, Nasseerudin Shah, Gulshan Grover and Amrish Puri) which was a moderate hit. He followed that up with “Woh 7 Din” (1983- Anil Kapoor, Nasseerudin Shah and Padmini Kolhapure)  which was a surprise hit and gave little brother Anil Kapoor his first hit as a lead. So when the “Mr. India” project came to him after Amitabh Bachchan could not do the movie, he signed little brother Anil Kapoor for the title role and the nr. 1 actress of that time – Sridevi-  for the role of Seema. The film would be directed by Shekhar Kapur.

 

Shekar Kapur (right) was a unsuccessful actor who became a director who made the succesful film “Masoom” (1983 – Nasseerudin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Jugal Hansraj, Urmila Matondkar). Today Shekhar Kapur is a director from India who has also won an Oscar. But in India he just made 2 films. There were a lot of movies Shekhar Kapur was making but he left all of them incomplete when he left for Hollywood. Films like “Joshilaay” (1989- Sridevi, Anil Kapoor, Sunny Deol and Meenakshi Shehshadri), “Barsaat” (1995- Bobby Deol, Twinkle Khanna), the unreleased and incomplete  “Time Machine” (based on “Back To The Future” with Aamir Khan, Raveena Tandon, Nasseerudin Shah, Rekha and Vijay Anand) and “Dushmani” (1995- Sunny Deol, Jackie Schroff, Manisha Koirala). But today he is remembered for one of the most modern day classics from The Hindi Film Industry- “Mr. India”.

amitabh

The idea for  “Mr. India” was actually for an Amitabh Bachchan film. But for some reasons Amitabh was not able to do the role. I must confess, though I am an Amitabh Bachchan bhakt, Anil Kapoor did a damn good job in the movie and I can not see any other actor  (from that generation or this one)  doing the role except for Anil Kapoor. Though I do wonder if Aby would have done the role how it would have been.

 

 

One of the many, many highlights of “Mr. India” are the many kids in the movie. Some of them would go on to (try to) make a career in the Hindi Film Industry (I hate the word “Bollywood”) such as Karan Nath (son of Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Shilpa Shirodkar and Ranjeeta Kaur’s manager Rakesh Nath), Ahmed Khan (the kid that dances well in the movie would go on to become a choreographer and director himself), Aftab Shivdesani (who would go on to try to make it as a leading man) and the girl who stole our hearts as Tina- Huzaan Khodaji. I really feel bad that she did not make any more movies!

 

 

The film has a bunch of actors in supporting roles who we already knew or who would go on to make a name for themselves later on in their careers. The villains in the movie were straight out of a comic and each and every member from the supporting cast did well in their roles. My favourite from the supporting cast are Ashok Kumar (for obvious reasons) and Sharat Saxena and Bob Christo for their portrayal.

 

 

“Mr. India” is the last movie which’s script is credited as “written by Salim-Javed” – the best screenplaywriters ever in Hindi Cinema. When they separated the script had not been written yet. The idea of the movie was just what they had. The actual script of the movie was written by Javed Akhtar. Satish Kaushik (who also plays “Calender” in the movie)  was an assistant director on the movie as well. An assistant to Shekhar Kapur. Satish would go on to direct several other movies and would do many comedy roles in movies  (most notably those comedy roles with Govinda).

 

 

Anil Kapoor did a great job as  “Arun bhaiya” and “Mr. India”. Though when the movie was released and declared a super blockbuster he was ridiculed as he was invisible for half of the film and the success was credited to Sridevi. Some people even said the film should have been titles “Miss India” as Sridevi made the film the succes it became. Here i must say that what Anil Kapoor did here takes guts. You know you will be invisible for half the movie and you know Sridevi her role will be talked about and still he gave a sincere performance. Hats off Mr. Kapoor.

“Mogambo Khush Huwa”- who can forget Amrish Puri in the role of Mogambo!  After Gabbar Singh in Sholay I think the best villain ever in Hindi Cinema (and once again credited to Salim-Javed!).

anupam

Legend has it that the role of Mogambo was originally to be done by Anupam Kher (who I think is a bit overrated as an actor). Thank God the role went to Amrish Puri because let’s be honest: Is there anyone who can imagine any other actor then Amrish Puri in this role? Hell NO!!

 

 

The music of “Mr. India” was by Laxmikant-Pyarelal who gave an outstanding soundtrack for this movie. Kishore Kumar sang the songs for Anil Kapoor and Alisha Chinoi and Kavita Krishnamurthy were the voice of Sridevi. Kavit Krishnamurthy would go on to become the screenvoice for Sridevi in many films after this movie including “Chaalbaaz” (1989- Sridevi, Rajnikanth and Sunny Deol). Funny story about how this actually happened. The song  “Hawa Hawaii” was supposed to be sung by Asha Bhonsle. But when the song was to be recorded she was out of town. So the song was recorded in the voice of Kavita Krishnamurthy with the intention of dubbing her lines by Asha Bhonsle when she would return. But Kavita Krishnamurthy sang the song sooo good that the producer and music directors released this version because even Asha Bhonsle would not be able to better her version. And so her song was retained on the soundtrack and it was this song that became the breakthrough for Kavita Krishnamurty!  ps. This song would be recreated and picturised on all of  Vidya Balan  and once again I was livid – another classic f@#^$% up! Nobody can better Sridevi and Kavita Krishnamurthy so why even try? I just don;t get it!

A thing that left me baffled was that the sad version of the Kishore Kumar song  “Zindagi Ki Yehi Reet Hai” was sung By Mohd. Aziz. I just could not understand why when the master himself was still alive…

Better judgment prevailed when I saw the movie because the sad version was also sung by Kishore Kumar  (which was not on the first released cassette but was on the released lp of the movie)  and that version sung by Kishore Kumar was used in the final print of the movie.

After her song in Jaanbaaz  (1986- Sridevi in a special appearance, Feroz Khan, Anil Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Rekha and Mukesh Khanna) “Har Kisiko Nahin Milta” “Mr. India” had another song that would become a benchmark in “classy seduction songs” this one sung by Kishore Kumar and Alisha Chinoi.

The are movies you like when you see them but when you see them after a couple of years it’s a different movie because the film doesn’t age well. It does not hold up. “Mr. India” is not one of those. This film still holds up and can be watched by every generation over and over again!

To pay my humble tribute to Sridevi I dedicated my radioshow “YAADEIN- A walk Through Memory Lane” (which is broadcast on SunriseFM every Sunday 10PM Netherlands, 6PM Surinam, and every Mondaymorning 2.30AM IST) of Sunday 4th March to my all time favourite actress.

For those who are interested in the show (which was in Hindi) here is the link to the show. If you listen feel free to leave all your feedback and remarks in the comments section:

 

I aslo made a list of my Top 10 SRIDEVI films on IMDB. Here is the link to that list.

http://www.imdb.com/list/ls023787233/

Don’t forget to join our facebook group “GEET SANGEET”.

 

hawa hawaii

You will be missed Sridevi. Thank you for all the movies and the great memories associated with these movies.

When Jhanvi’s movie “Dhadak” will be released I will watch it first day, first show pure out of love and respect for Sridevi!

 

Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991)

DHKMN02

In the year 1991 director Mahesh Bhatt achieved something that is rarely achieved. Something that is even more rare in The Hindi Film Industry. But let’s start at the beginning…

Gulshan Kumar, the founder of T-Series and the man who saw to it that melody came back in hindi films in the ’90s, started his career as a producer with the tv movie Mirza Ghalib in 1988. He went on to produce the movies “Abhi Toh Main Jawaan Hoon” (1989 directed by the late Amjad Khan featuring Sachin) and “Bahaar Aane Tak” (1990 – Sumeet Saigal and Rupa Ganguly). The latter had a soundtrack by Rajesh Roshan that would be a big hit especially the song  “Kaali Teri Chotti Hai”.

Then came the year 1990 and this would be the year that changed everything. This would be the year that Gulshan Kumar would collaborate with Mahesh Bhatt for the first time and that for a movie which would have music by Nadeem Shravan. A Nadeem Shravan soundtrack for a T-Series produced film for the first time. The story about the making and behind the scenes stories of “Aashiqui” are food for another blog so I will not go into that here. Just one thing I would like to mention since that will bring us back to our movie… Nadeem-Shravan recorded some songs for this movie and gave it to Gulshan Kumar and Mahesh Bhatt. They selected the songs for “Aashiqui” and rejected some songs…

Mahesh Bhatt was a director who had not been too succesful in the initial phase of his career. Movies like “Manzilein Aur Bhi Hai” (1974 – Kabir Bedi), “Vishwaasghaat” (1977 – Sanjeev Kumar, Shabana Azmi) and “Naya Daur” ( 1978- Rishi Kapoor) were nothing really special. Then in 1982 came the semi-autobiographical  “Arth” (Smita Patil, Raj Kiran, Shabana Azmi and Kulbhushan Karbanda) which changed it all. The film was a hit and a new hit director was born. Films like  “Saaransh” (1984 – Anupam Kher), “Naam” (1986 – Sanju, Kumar Gaurav, Amrita Singh, Poonam Dhillon and Nutan) followed. Some of these films would work big time and some would not work. My favourite Mahesh Bhatt movie from this era was the film “Thikaana” (1987 – Anil Kapoor, Smita Patil, Amrita Singh and Suresh Oberoi). According to me this film had glimpses of a Hitchcockian thriller. I think this movie is one of Mahesh Bhatt’s most underrated films which is a shame.

Then in 1990 Mahesh Bhatt, the director, would make a turn and start making films of a totally other genre. His collaboration with Gulshan Kumar would produce the first film of the new Mahesh Bhatt and the film “Aashiqui” (1990 – Rahul Roy, Anu Agarwal and Deepak Tijori)  would become the biggest hit of the year. Not only would this film give the Hindi Cinema some new actors but this film would single-handedly change the filmi music scene. This film gifted us all music directors Nadeem-Shravan, lyricist Sameer and singers Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal.

After the big success of “Aashiqui” producer Gulshan Kumar and director Mahesh Bhatt would team up again. This time they would work with a bigger cast. No newcomers but an established hero and heroine. Remember what I told you about the rejected songs for “Aashiqui”? Well one of the songs that was recorded and was rejected for that film was a song which would become an anthem for young lovers. That song was  “Dil Hai Ke Maanta Nahin” (Anuradha Paudwal, Kumar Sanu).

DHKMN01

The film “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” which was released in 1991 was a remake of the Frank Capra film  “It Happened One Night” (1934- Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert). This Hollywood film itself would be remembered for eternity as the first film ever to win the big 4 Oscars. The first film to win Oscars for best film, best director, best actor and best actress. But like I said in the beginning of this article what Mahesh Bhatt achieved with this film is something that is very rarely achieved. And that is to remake a movie in such a way that the remake is actually better than the original. And that is exactly what Mahesh Bhatt did with this movie. Though some scenes are literally lifted from the black and white classic and some dialogues are also literally translated from english to hindi it somehow works… and works big time!

“Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” featured Aamir Khan, Pooja Bhatt, Anupam Kher, Tiku Talsania, Avtar Gill, Rakesh Bedi, Mushtaq Khan and many others who would become regulars in Mahesh Bhatt films during the 90’s. The cast of “Aashiqui” was not repeated except for a special appearance right at the beginning by Deepak Tijori during the song  “Galyat Sankali Sonyanchi”. But the cast that did appear in the movie was top-notch. Aamir Khan as Raghu Jetley (the Clark Gable role) was bang on. You can’t visualise anyone else in this role. That’s why it is so damn difficult to think of anybody in this role for a remake (which I will get to later on). Anupam Kher was quite funny in his role as Pooja her dad. It is said that the character portrayed by Anupam Kher was based on the real life father of  “actor” Chunky Panday. I say “actor” because according to me Chunky Panday can’t act to save his life. The character actors like Tiku Talsania (who was known for his washing powder Nirma commercial), Mushtaq Khan and the others all did well and were all good in their respective roles.

That brings me to the leading lady of the film -Pooja Bhatt. I fell in love with Pooja Bhatt when I saw her 1989 tv movie “Daddy” in which she debuted. This movie was not your usual debut love story for a hero or heroine. Pooja had a though role and she did fully justice to it. I would come to love Pooja for her  “Pooja roles”. To be honest most of her early films had her in the same role- at least the same character of Pooja. But let’s be honest: this were the 90’s and a lot of actors and actresses were faced with type casting. At least Pooja excelled in her role. I would come to love all her roles even if the film might be bad. And she surprised me with her comic timing. Especially in the Subhash Ghai produced, Sachin directed  “Prem Deewaane” (1992 – Jackie Schroff, Madhuri Dizit and Vivek Mushran). Though Madhuri Dixit was the no. 1 actress at the time of this film’s release Pooja Bhatt stole the entire movie.

Pooja accepted this role after turning down  “Aashiqui” for reasons best known to her. I personally think this is a shame because according to me  “Aashiqui” would have gotten that something extra if Pooja would have accepted the role after her fantastic turn in  “Daddy”.

Pooja Bhatt in “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” is just perfect and her pairing with Aamir Khan worked wonders. Though I loved Pooja in this movie there is 1 actress whom I can easily see in her role if this movie would be remade today. And that would be my favourite actress of the new generation…

“Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” though a well-directed film with only good performances by the entire cast would not have become the classic it has become if the soundtrack of the film would not have been as perfect as it was…

The making of the soundtrack of “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” could actually be an entire blog of its own. Let’s try to incorporate a few facts and stories regarding the evergreen soundtrack of this movie. Like I mentioned earlier the title track of this movie was written by Sameer , composed by Nadeem-Shravan and sung by Kumar Sanu and recorded for the film  “Aashiqui”. But the track did not make it to final soundtrack of that movie. But when this film was being made it became the title track of this movie. Thank god for small mercies.

All songs which needed a female singer were sung by Anuradha Paudwal since T-Series was heavily promoting her at that time and did not record any songs in other female singers’ voices. Anuradha did a great job and even won a Filmfare Award for the solo version of the title track. In addition to the songs featured in the movie 3 songs were not shown in the movie. “Kaise Mizaaz Aap ke Hain”, “Hum Toh Mashhoor Huwe Hain” and  “O Mere Sapnon Ke Saudagar”. The latter song was included in the movie after the movies release. However the 2 earlier mentioned songs were not which is a shame because they are true gems.

There are a couple of versions of the soundtrack available though it is not easy to find all the versions of the songs today. I bought the cassettes of the movie when it was released and have all versions of the songs. For instance before the movie was released I bought the soundtrack of the movie which had  “Tu Pyaar Hai Kisi Aur Ka” sung by Anuradha Paudwal and Babla Mehta. But when I finally saw the movie the male voice was that of Kumar Sanu. So it took me a while to find that version. Now after 30 years of making my radio show and collecting songs I have some versions of songs which were only in trailers or in the movie. Of the songs “Kaise Mizaaz Aap Ke Hain”, “Adaiyen Bhi Hai” and  “Galiyat Sankali Sonyanchi” I have the versions sung by Anuradha Paudwal and Babla Mehta but also the released versions of Anuradha Paudwal and Kumar Sanu. On some platforms like YouTube a 1 minute version is uploaded of the song  “Dil Tujhpe Aagaya” sung by Kumar Sanu with the caption that it is a very rare version which was recorded. This is not true. I have an album which has singers like Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik et all singing an approximately 60 minute medley of Nadeem_Shravan songs. On that album Kumar Sanu renders an 1 minute version of the song which is uploaded on the net.

Now I am not that a big fan of remaking classics. But I am wondering that if Mahesh Bhatt achieved the feat of remaking a Hollywood classic in such a way that it was much much better then the original Frank Capra movie what could happen if  “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” would be remade for today’s generation?

Like I said earlier on I can not think of anyone else in Aamir Khan’s role. It would be damn difficult to visualise anyone else in that role. Maybe the best option would be a newcomer. But in the role of Pooja Bhatt I do have a suggestion. And that is my favourite actress of the new generation. An actress who is pleasing to the eye, just like Pooja Bhatt, but also an actress who can really act, just like Pooja Bhatt. And above all an actress I wouldn’t mind taking on the  “Pooja role” that Pooja Bhatt perfected in the 90’s. Who else then Alia Bhatt whom I do see glimpses of Pooja sometimes.

Wouldn’t that be great? “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin 2” with Alia Bhatt!

 

Do you like behind the scene stories about movies, movies till those from the 90’s or those film songs when hindi film songs were actually any good? Then tune in to SunriseFM every Sunday 10PM (Netherlands), 5PM (Suriname), 4PM (New York), 9PM (London) and Monday 2.30AM (IST) for my radioshow  “YAADEIN- A Walk Through Memory Lane). You can tune in to the show on SunriseFM through the cable (if you live in The Netherlands). Otherwise you can listen to the show through Tunein, The Sunrisefm app or online : http://www.sunrisefm.nl

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Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin  (1991)\

produced by Gulshan Kumar (T-Series)

directed by Mahesh Bhatt

music by Nadeem-Shravan

lyrics by  Sameer and Faaiz Anwar

singers  Anuradha Paudwal, Kumar Sanu, Babla Mehta, Abhijeet, Debashish DasGupta

cast Aamir Khan, Pooja Bhatt and Anupam Kher