HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN (1999)

” HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN” (1999) was the third collaboration between actor Salman Khan and producer/director Sooraj Barjatya at that time (Maine Pyar Kiya -1989-  and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun -1994 being the previous two).

Although “HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”  will remain a classic for many cinema lovers and is their biggest hit as of now (2018) my personal favorite Sooraj Barjatya – Salman Khan movie (and to be honest my all time favorite Salman Khan movie ever) is this modern tak on the Ramayana story which was released in 1999.

There have been quite a few hit director/actor Jodi’s in The Hindi Film Industry (Yash Chopra-Amitabh Bachchan, Prakash Mehra-Amitabh Bachchan, Yash Chopra- Shah Rukh Khan, Shakti Samantha – Rajesh Khanna and David Dhawan – Govinda). But if there ever was a Jodi that seemed tailor made for one another it was the director – actor combo of Manmohan Desai – Amitabh Bachchan.

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And if there was a director – actor combo who could fill these enormous shoes it would have to be David Dhawan – Govinda in the 90’s or the Sooraj Barjatya – Salman Khan combo.

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Rajshri films was a banner found by Tarachand Barjatya in the 60’s and their first production was released in 1962 – “AARTI” (Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari and Pradeep Kumar). Rajshri films would go on to produce many movies throughput the decades to come. Some successful, some unsuccessful and some very successful.

Rajshri films would also introduce the Indian Cinema to artists as Raakhee Gulzar (though the first movie Raakhee shot for was Sunil Dutt’s ” RESHMA AUR SHERA”  with amongst others Amitabh Bachchan, ” JEEVAN MRITYU”  would be her first released movie), Anupam Kher and Madhuri Dixit (though Subhash Ghai likes to take the credit for introducing Madhuri Dixit it was Rajshri Films who introduced her with the 1984 film “ABODH” .

The 80’s were a hard decade for Rajshri Films. Although their “SUN SAJNA” (1982 -Mithun Chakrevotry and Ranjeeta Kaur), Saarandh (1984- Anupam Kher and Rohini Hattangadi) and “EK BAAR KAHO” (1980 – Navin Nischal, Shabana Azmi and Anil Kapoor in one of his earliest roles) were (semi-)hits most of their films in this decade did not do all too well…

 

All that would change when Sooraj Barjatya would go on to produce and direct his first directorial. A movie that would change the fate of Rajshri Films, the hero of that film who had one release to his credit in which he was the brother of Farooque Sheikh, the hero of that film, the heroine of this film and the career of a flop hero who was the son of a legendary actress. Even the music directors of that film who till that point gave some brilliant music in films that flopped would have a great boost… ” MAINE PYAAR KIYA ” released in 1989 and Rajshri Films was back! Salman Khan was the new heartthrob, Bhagyashree was the perfect girl next door and Mohnsih Behl whose films as a hero had flopped was THE new villain in tinsel town.

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It was though of as impossible for this director – actor duo to surpass that movie. Imagine the shock in the film industry when they returned with their next offering 5 years later. A film that would forever change the Bollywood (how I hate that word) films were made! 1994 saw the release of the super blockbuster ” HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”. A film with a record number of songs (which became hits), a film with no actual villain in a time when the “action movie wave” was at an all time high, a film with only “good souls”. A film which was a remake of a small Rajshri film released in the 70’s “NADIYA KE PAAR”.  It was in this film that Sooraj gave Mohnish Behl another make-over. Mohnish’s mom – the legendary great actress Nutan- had been a Rajshri heroine way back. When she has seen “MAINE PYAR KIYA’  legend has it that she called the Baryatja’s and expressed her displeasure about the fact that her son was cast as a villain (and to be honest Mohnish did a damn good job!). And her concern came true for all the movies Mohnish got after this release were roles as a villain. So when “HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”  was planned it was a shock that the role of the elder brother was given to Mohnish. But once again he was superb in the movie. But though many loved Madhuri Dixit in the movie for me THE star of the movie was Salman Khan!

After this Sooraj Barjatya and Salman Khan faced the “SHOLAY-curse”. After “SHOLAY”  whatever Ramesh Sippy made (with or without Amitabh Bachchan) his work would be compared with “SHOLAY”  and it was not possible to surpass that movie. That is until…

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For 99% of the movie lovers “HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”  will be the ultimate Salman Khan (or Sooraj Barjatya-Salman Khan) movie. Not for me! The movie which followed their mega succes was not that big a hit as it’s predecessor but according to me if there ever has been made a feel good movie by the Indian film industry which can be watched over and over again (and this is being said by a devotee of Amitabh Bachchan here) it was their next film “HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN”  which was released in 1999.

This modern take on the Ramayana can be seen as Rajshri Films’ magnum opus with the biggest cast in their films so far. Initially when Sooraj went to Salman with the script Salman wanted to play the role of the younger brother (later played by Saif Ali Khan). Sooraj however wanted Salman for the Prem role as this role was based on Sooraj and Salman in the embodiment of that character on screen. And thank god Salman accepted. The casting is this movie is great and in two cases actually daring (and that to for two of the lead roles!).

Let me start with the daring choices: After the stupendous succes of “HUM APPKE HAIN KAUN”  everybody wanted to work with Sooraj Baryatja. So for the role of the elder brother portrayed brilliantly once again by the ever reliable Mohnish Behl Sooraj could have gotten a bigger star like Anil Kapoor or Jackie Schroff (which would have added more star value to the movie). But Sooraj and Salman took Mohnish for this role. And the gamble (if it can be called one) paid of. Mohnish was excellent in the movie. For me he was better in this one then in the previous one.

The second “daring casting”  was not so daring by the producer/director but more daring for the actress who had the guts to accept the role : Tabu. Tabu was cast as the love interest (I hate to describe the role like that since she was much too important just t call her that) of Mohnish Behl. Remember this is nit Tabu in 2018 (when this piece is written) but Tabu in the 90’s when she was also doing movies like “SAAJAN CHALE SASURAL”  with David Dhawan and Govinda. But even though she was doing heroine roles Tabu recognized the potential of the role and played Bhabhi to Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan in a role that had Jaya Pradha written all over it. And Tabu was superb! Now I can’t even imagine anyone else in this role then Tabu.

 

Like I mentioned earlier when Sooraj went to Salman with the script initially Salman wanted to play the youngest brother who is more the filmy hero in the sense that he is seen wooing the girl. Thank god Salman relented and did Prem because can you imagine a film with Salman Khan in which someone else is Prem??? Saif Ali Khan did the role and for once I liked him in the role. Once again these were the 90’s and the roles Saif was doing at the time were more as a sidekick to Akshay Kumar. Under the direction of Sooraj Saif did quite an okay job in the movie.

The elder sister of Saif’s would be wife Kareena Kapoor – Karishma Kapoor- is paired with Saif in this movie. Karishma is excellent in her role and it is due to the story, the script, the direction of Sooraj and the superb turn by Karishma Kapoor that you actually don’t notice that the hit Jodi of Salman Khan – Karishma Kapoor is not cast opposite one another. With all due respect to al the other actors (and I am a big fan of Tabu) commercially in those days Salman Khan and Karishma Kapoor were the biggest stars in this movie).

 

Now for the two other big surprises in the movie: another actress who had been cast as Salman’s leading ladt in the “Overboard” remake “EK LADKA EK LADKI” was in the film as well. Neelam had been way past her prime. After she decided not to work with Govinda anymore (they were one of the hottest Jodi’s in the late 80’s_  her career kind of ended. She was seen in a cameo in “KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI”  as herself. This was her big comeback film as the little sister of Mohnish Behl, Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan. And she nailed it!

Now for my favourite leading lady role in ”HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN” and I mean the character, the way the character was written… And the way the actress performed! My god Sonali Bendre nailed the part! Besides that she looks beautiful she is great in this role that just seems like an extension of Sonali so well did she play her part. She and Salman -in this movie-  seem like a match made in heaven. My all time favorite Sonali movie for sure!

 

Now for the big star of the movie… For me THE hero of the movie is BHAI_ Salman Khan. But don’t get me wrong… this movie is not a showcase for Salman Khan. Actually he is not seen for quite a part in the movie. For at least half a hour when the sht hits the fan Salman in not there. You don’t actually miss him because the on goings are so engaging and you are spellbound. But later you realise Salman wasn’t there then. But when he makes his comeback…

Salman rocks this movie. Just like Raju and Raj Kapoor, Bharat and Manoj Kumar and Vijay and Amitabh Bachchan… Prem IS Salman Khan and Salman Khan IS Prem. No two ways about it. I have no words to describe Salman Khan in this movie. And this is not because I am a fan because there are enough movies of BHAI which I don’t like… But this movie, well… no words to describe it. Most certainly Salman Khan’s best movie ever (till date -July 2018).

 

Sooraj Baryatja movies are all about traditions and values… and big families (and family functions). So the supporting cast is very important in his movies. Uptill ” PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO” (2015) – which I think id AND the least Sooraj Barytja kind of movie he made and the least Sooraj-Salman movie- there were certain actors that used to be in Rajshri Films’ movies… or Sooraj Barytaja movies. And thank god they were in this a=one as well becase they all add something to the movie with their roles and performances (my favorite being Satish Shah).

 

The supporting cast also had some other members like “overacting ki dukaan” Shammi. The fun thing is that in a Rajshri Films movie you had 4 actresses who were known for their ” cabaret-songs”  which in today’s times would be termed as ” item-songs”. Three of them (including my favorite Jayshree-T) were cast in a slightly negative role. While the actress who would later be arrested for running a porn racket was cast in a positive role.

 

Like I mentioned earlier this film about a father, mother, three sons (the eldest son is from the dad’s first marriage) and a daughter is in part a take on the Ramayana. The film is well written en very engaging. Time flies without realizing that 3 hours have passed. You are invited in the family’s home and you laugh with them, cry with them, sing with them and celebrate with them.

HSSH cast 2

 

music - ram laxman

Raam-Laxman were a music composers duo who scored music for many films (including Rajshri Films’ movies) but most of the films they scored music for were not the biggest hits. Though their music produced some evergreen songs…

After one of the duo died the other decided to remain the name and continued scoring music under the name of Raamlaxman. After “MAINE PYAAR KIYA” they did have some hit films to score for but for me ‘HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN”  will remain their magnum opus so to say. Though the songs of  “HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”  were the biggest hits ever and remain the songs they are remembered for and though the songs of “HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN”  are actually purely situational (but let’s be hones…so were the songs of “HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”) in scale this was their biggest soundtrack. Every actor (or character) had a specific singer singing for them. And for once it was Kumar Sanu for Salman Khan and not S.P. Balasubrahmanium.

 

 

As far as favorite songs go if I have to select one song from this movie as my favourite song it would be a romantic song picturized on the 6 leads and sung by 6 (!!!!) singers.

If for whatever reason you have not seen this movie yet DO WATCH it!! I watch it at least once a year (at least!). I promise you that you will have the best feeling ever after watching this one! Thank you Sooraj Baryatja and Salman Khan for this gem!

fun notes:

  • Rishi Kapoor as legend has it was offered the role of Neelam’s husband in the film but turned it down (and was later done by Mahesh Rhakur.
  • After the stupendous succes of “HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN”  Madhuri Dixit WAS offered a role in this film but she turned it down and the role was offered to Tabu (thank god for small mercies)

HUM SAATH SAATH HAI (1999)

produced by Rajshri Films

directed by Sooraj Baryatja

cast Salman Khan, Mohnish Behl, Tabu, Karishma Kapoor, Sonli Bendre, Saif Ali Khan,  Satish Shah, Reema Lgoo, Alok Nath, Neelam, Mahesh Thakur, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Shakti Kapoor, Rajeev Verma, Ajit Vachani, Himani Shivpuri, Dinesh Hingoo, Jayshree T, Kalpana Iyer, Kunika, Huma Khan and Shammi

music by Raamlaxman

singers Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Udit Narayan, Anuradha Paudwal, Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu, Pratima Rao, Ghansham, Santosh Tiwari, Rawinder Rawail, Sonu Nigam, Roopkumar Rathod, Hema Sardesai, Shankar Mahadewan,

 

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JAANI DUSHMAN (1979)

The horror genre in the hindi film industry is a genre that has been so-called blooming since the 2000’s. Films like “Darna Mana Hai” (2003), “Bhoot” (2003) and “Pari” (2018) are good examples. The thing is in the hindi film industry a movie is quickly called a “horror”  film even when it is a supernatural thriller and not exactly a horror film.

Also since the 2000’s bigger stars were being seen in these horror films. Before that is were either wannebe starlets or actors and actresses who were past their prime who were seen in this genre as it was looked down upon. Horror films from the 70’s and 80’s were more often B grade (or sometimes even C-grade) movies with the above mentioned kind of stars in them.

In this period (the 70’s and the 80’s) there was one production house who actually specialized in horror movies. Like ” The Hammer House Of Horror”  in the west, India had the first family of horror… THE RAMSAY BROTHERS

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I will not go into the Ramsay brothers in this article. But if you would like to read some more about the Ramsay Brothers please visit a blog of my “partner in horror-crime” Rocking Bhootni her blog through this link :

Sunday the 22nd of July a special edition of our radioshow ” YAADEIN- A Walk Through Memory Lane”  will be dedicated to The Ramsay Brothers and their movies. This show will be broadcast on SunriseFM (The Netherlands) at 10PM (NL), 9PM (U.K.), 5PM (SUR) and Monday 1.30AM (IST). This show can be heard through the cable in The Netherlands, 100.1FM in Surinam and worldwide through tunein, the sunrisefm app and online : http://www.sunrisefm.nl

In addition to this radioshow a documentary will be made about The Ramsay Brothers and their horror movies and uploaded on youtube on Monday July 23rd. Come back to this page for a link to this unique documentary.

Rajkumar Kohli (father of flopactor Armaan Kohli -Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo)was a producer/director who specialized in multi starrers in the 70s and 80s. In the last stages of his career he lost his golden touch when he didn’t focus on his films but focused on launching his son Armaan Kohli as the hero of these (flop) films. The biggest flop film of his career came in 2002 when he remade one of his biggest blockbusters and gave the movie the tilte of the second of his greatest hits. With a cast consisting of Sunny Deol, Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Sonu Nigam, Manisha Koirala, Arshad Warsi, Sharad Kapoor, Aftab Sjivdesani, Aditya Pancholi, Amrish Puri and Rambha still the movie focused on Armaan Kohli making his comeback. That was one of the prior reasons for the film being one of the worst movies from India right up there with Ram Gopal Verma Ke Aag (his remake of “SHOLAY”).

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But the films Rajkumar Kohli (married to one time small actress Nishi) made in the earlier part of his career were (almost) all big hits with ensemble casts that were humongous in those times…

 

(fun side note: The 1988 Rajkumar Kohli film ” SAAZISH” which had a huge starcast is the only movie which had Dimple Kapadia and Anita Advani in it. Dimple being the ex-wife of Rajesh Khanna and Anita claiming to be his last live in girlfriend which turned out to be a hoax.)

Rajkumar Kohli hit the big time with a concept that was rare in those days. A film which had 7 heroes in it out of **SPOILER ALERT** which 6 heroes would be killed by he heroines who were actually a snake **END OF SPOILER**

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(fun side note: The male snake who is killed in the beginning of the movie -and the reason for the “NAAGIN”  to take revenge – was played by none other then Jeetendra. His daughter Ektaa Kapoor is the producer of the hit series NAAGIN which has season 3 rehashing the story of this film and even using the song that was picturized on her dad).

 

After this movie turned out to be a succes like nobody could have ever imagined Rajkumar Kohli went even further with another experiment.

rajkumar kohli

He decided to make a movie with an even bigger starcast. And when you watch the movie today the cast seems even bigger then at the time when the movie was released. The reason being that when the movie was made some “unknown”  actors were cast in some minor roles who would go on to become established actors and stars in their own right. And the experiment part…? Rajkumar Kohli decided to take A-listers and make a kind of a horror movie with them. Something which was unheard of in those days. The result is one of the best “masala-horrors”  ever to come out of India and my favourite Rajkumar Kohli film : JAANI DUSHMAN!

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The main story in short is : In a remote village everyone is shocked when brides (who marry wearing the clour red) get abducted from their doli by a monster and get killed on their wedding day. There is a Thakur whom everybody adores as he is upright and honest (Sanjeev Kumar), his wayward and spoiled son (Shatrughan Sinha) who lusts for a village belle (Reena Roy) who actually is in love with the hero of the village (Sunil Dutt). This hero (Sunil Dutt)  has a sister whom he adores (Neetu Singh)  who is in love with her brother’s best friend (Jeetendra). The Tahkur’s daughter (Bindiya Goswami) is in love with the hero (Sunil Dutt). Everyone gets spooked AND becomes a suspect when the brides get started being abducted and killed and everyone is a supect.

Now for the main cast : Sanjeev Kumar is great in his role as the father. In the film he is of the age of Sunil Dutt’s fater while in real life Sunil Dutt was 8 years older then Sanjeev. Shatru plays his son while in real life Sanjeev Kumar was Shatru’s best friend and only 9 years older then him. But that were the hindi films of the 70’s… and it worked. Sanjeev Kumar has always been good in his ” elderly”  roles be it in “SHOLAY”, “TRISHUL” , “KHUDDAAR” or in this movie.

Sunil Dutt is good as the hero and does his job well, Jeetndra **SPOILER ALERT** had bad luck in Rajkumar Kholi movies. After being killed off in the beginning of the classic “NAAGIN” again his fate in this movie is sad. ** END OF SPOILERS** But the Jeentendra-Neetu Singh track is my favorite love story track in this movie. Rekha has a smaller role then the others and is even credited as having a guest appearance. But as far as the heroines go, I like her role the most in this movie. And she has done a good job. This was a time before she was a so-called diva with tons of make-up etc. She really looks nice here. Neetu Singh is once again paired opposite Jeetendra and she does her role well (fun fact : when she was a kid and worked under the name Baby Sonia she essayed the role of Jeetendra’s so called sister in the all time classic  “WAARIS” in which Hema Malini was Jeetu’s leading lady). Though Neetu has a thankless role she does she does wonders with it. The main leading lady of the film who has the biggest role (as far as screen time goes) is Rajkumar Kohli favourite Reena Roy. She does justice to her role and was always a pleasure to look at (and she COULD act as well). But to be honest I liked her more in the negative role as and in ” NAAGIN” .

 

Every movie with a big cast to boast of has the big heroes and heroines and then the heroes and heroines of the “second category”. With that I don’t mean that they are any lessor actors. Take Vinod Mehra for instance. Vinod Mehra acoording to me was an superb actor who could do justice to difficult roles as well (watch him in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s movies – especially ‘BEMISAAL”  which had him along with Raakhee and Amitabh Bachchan in a double role). What I mean to say is that though these actors were heroes and heroines in smaller movies as well in these movies they were relegaded to secondary roles. But important for the story to continue as well. But because these movies had many storylines not all roles could be filled with A-list stars (not using the word “actors” here) coz that could financially not be possible. JAANI DUSHMAN had this second category as well :

 

And then there were the character actors who were important to the story. Without them the story could not move forward. But they were no heroes or heroines. Some (like Shakti Kapoor and Amrish Puri) were unknown at the time  (don’t forget in those times it took 3 years to complete a film) but who would later on become respected (in some cases) and established stars themselves. JAANI DUSHMAN had a steller supporting cast of known and (at that time) unknown names:

 

With a cast like this and a maker like Rajkumar Kolhi AND a concept that had never been tried before with big stars there was big interest in how the movie would fare at the box office. The special effects in the movie are laughable by today standards. But remember in those days it was new and the Indian audience was not privy to foreign films. There was no internet! The movie was a major hit and people flocked to the theaters!

If there is one point of criticism on my part with Rajkumar Kohli movies it’s the music. None of his films had a killer soundtrack like say, Shakti Samantha movies, Yash Chopra movies, Feroz Khan movies, Manoj Kumar movies and so on. The Rajkumar Kohli movies had maybe one song that would become a hit or even a rage but that was it.

Like the movie NAAGIN had this one (ALL YOU NAAGIN SEASON 3 FANS AND ANITA HASSANANDANI FANS CHECK THIS OUT!)

The music in the movie was once again scored by Laxmikant-Pyarelal who were Rajkumar Kohli regulars.

LP

 

 

 

Although the movie had to hit songs at the time of release the Kishore Kumar-Anuradha Paudwal duet “O Meri Jaan”  is almost forgotten today. What still is remembered today and what is played on the radio even today for any wedding is the song made immortal by Mohd. Rafi…

On July 22nd a YAADEIN SPECIAL saluting the RAMSAY BROTHERS and their horror films will be broadcast on SunriseFM (The Netherlands) at 10PM (NL), 9PM (U.K), 5PM (SUR) and Monday 1.30AM (IST). You can listen to the show through the cable (Netherlands), 100.1FM (Surinam) and worldwide through tunein, the SunriseFM app and http://www.sunrisefm.nl  ( a link to the show will be provided IF it will be uploaded on youtube).

Monday July 23rd a documentary about THE RAMSAY BROTHERS AND THEIR HORROR FILMS will be online (youtube) for you to enjoy. A link will be posted here as soon as it is available.

Do you want to know more about The Ransay Brothers in advance so you can enjoy the show even more? Check out the blog of my “partner in horror-crime” Rocking Bhootni her blog here :

Do you like horror stories? Check out this post :

If you like hindi films ongs, ghazals, hindi pop, private album songs, songs from Pakistani films or just golden oldies in general become a member of our facebookgroup GEET SANGEET and by doing so participate in our radioshow LIVE during the show:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/365183506962164/

If you like fun, games, food, Bollywood, jokes, make up, fashion and a good time? Become a member of our facebookgroup DESI PORTAL

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DesiPortal/

 

JAANI DUSHMAN (1979)

produced and directed by Rajkumar Kohli

cast     Sunil Dutt, Jeetendra, Reena Roy, Sanjeev Kumar, Neetu Singh, Shatrughan Sinha, Rekha, Vinod Mehra, Vikram, Yogita Bali, Bindiya Goswami, Sheetal, Aruna Irani, Neeta Mehta, Sarika, Jayshree T, Prem Nath, Shakti Kapoor, Amrish Puri, Madan Puri, Roopesh Kumar, Sulochna, Anwar Hussain, Raza Murad, Jagdeep, Paintal, MacMohan and many others

music Laxmikant Pyarelal

singers Kishore Kumar

Mohd. Rafi, Asha Bhonsle, Lata Mangeshkar, Mahendra Kapoor and Anuradha                   Paudwal

Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991)

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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

 

 

Saajan (1991)

Saajan was a love story released in 1991 that went on to become the biggest hit of that year. The music sales of the soundtrack of this movie broke all records and after “Aashiqui” Nadeem-Shravan established themselves as THE music directors if the new era with this movie.

In anticipation of the 90s special “YAADEIN -90S EDITION” that will be broadcast on SunriseFM on February 4th 2018 let’s go down memory lane to 1991…

 

Sudhakar Bokade was a producer who made his debut as a producer in 1990 with the movies  “Nyay Anyay” ( Jeetendra, Jaya Pradha, Shilpa Shirodkar and Sumeet Saigal) and “Izzatdaar” (Govinda, Madhuri Dixit, Dilip Kumar and Swapna). Though “Nyay Anyay” had a nice soundtrack the film did not do too well. Izzatdaar which was nothing special did fairly okay business. In 1991 Sudhakar Bokade hit the jackpot with the movie  “Saajan” which went on to become the biggest hit of the year and went on to inspire quite a few love triangles again and also about a dozen movies which had the word  “Saajan” in the title. The subsequent movies Sudhakar Bokade produced almost all flopped at the box office. Some where good movies like  “Prahaar” (1991 – nana Patekar, Madhuri Dixit and Dimple Kapadia)  which was directed by Nana Patekar himself. Other movies were crap like  “Sapne Saajan Ke” (1992 – Jackie Scroff, Dimple Kapadia, Karishma Kapoor and Rahul Roy). The final nail in his professional coffin was the film “Kalinga” ( Dilip Kumar, Sunny Deol, Meenakshi Shehshadri, Raj Kiran, Shilpa Shirodkar and others) which got shelved after being in the making for over 7 years and got stuck at 70%. This film was to be directed and scripted by Dilip Kumar who did start the film but never finished it. A story that happened before with the film “Master” which was to be produced and directed by Chandra Barot  (the director of the Bachchan classic  “Don”).

Lawrence D’Souza was a cinematographer and had shot movies like Tajurba (1981 – Smita Patil, Nasseerudin Shah, Raj Babbar), Hatya (1988 – Govinda, Neelam) and Gair Kanooni (1989 – Govinda, Sridevi, Rajnikant, Kimmi Katkar and Shashi Kapoor). He made his directing debut in 1990 with the film  “Nyay Anyay” and would go on to make 16 films in a span of 13 years. Most of his films would eventually flop though some of his movies weren’t that bad. My personal movie directed by Lawrence is the 1993 love story Sangram which had Ajay Devgan, Karishma Kapoor, Danny Denzonpa and Amrish Puri in the leading roles. This would also be the film that would finally bring director D’Souza and 90s actress Ayesha Jhulka together. But more on that later…

Lawrence claim to fame and his biggest hit in his entire career would be this 1991 love story from whom nobody expected anything. This film titled  “Saajan”.

Due to some circumstances which we will talk about later “Saajan” would star Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt in their first movie as co-stars. Madhuri Dixit would become the heroine of the movie. The supporting cast would compromise of Ektaa (who would go on to marry Nutan’s son Mohnish Behl), Kadar Khan and Reema Lagoo.

Sanjay Dutt at that time was known for his action roles and it would be with this film that Sanju would be stepping in the “love story” territory. For Salman Khan “Saajan” would continue his initial golden run at the box office after “Maine Pyaar Kiya” (1989 – Bhagyashree, Mohnish Behl, Alok Nath), Baaghi (1990 – Naghma, Mohnish Behl) and  “Sanam Bewaffa” (1991 – Chandni, Danny Denzonpa and Pran). This movie would consolidate Bhai as the next superstar of the Indian Cinema. Madhuri Dixit was at a high already at the time of the release of the movie.

The Reema Rakeshnath written movie (daughter of yesteryear character actor Sapru and wife of Rikku Rakeshnath -the secretary of Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Shilpa Shirodkar and Ranjeeta Kaur) was loosely based on the yesteryear classic “Aarzoo” (1965- Sadhana, Rajendra Kumar, Feroz Khan, Mahmood and Naaz).

The ’90s were still the times when it took 2 years at the least to complete a film and get it released. In such an environment  “Saajan” was shot in a mere 36 Days!

The star cast of the movie which we eventually saw was not the original intended cast of the movie.

The role eventually played by Sanju in the movie was first offered to Aamir Khan. In true Aamir fashion he turned the role down. And to be quite honest I agree with Aamir’s reasoning. It is said that Aamir turned the role down because he did not understand the reasoning of Madhuri Dixit’s character. So okay, she is in love with the poet she has never seen. then she meets Salman Khan en thinking that he is that poet she falls in love with him. But when she finds out that Salman in an imposter and Sanju -whom she met on several occasions and whom she considers to be her friend is the real poet, she without batting an eyelid dumps our Bhai and is in love with Sanju for whom she had no romantic feelings before that whatsoever. So I do get Aamir’s point of view.

The role done in the film by Ektaa (Behl) was initially offered to Neeta Puri ( Khuli Khidki, Awwal Number, Lashkar and Satyamev jayete)  who was one of the so called  “hottest” actresses of those times. For reasons unknown she turned down the role and the role went to Ektaa.

Okay that was a small role which only had a limited screen time. But the role that was done by Madhuri Dixit was bot offered to her at the beginning. The producer and the director of the movie wanted to cast one of the most beautiful and talented leading ladies of the ’90s _ Ayesha Jhulka- in the leading role opposite Bhai and Sanju. Ayesha was even signed and had started shooting.But on the first day of shooting she had a very high fever and the producer decided he could not wait for Ayesha, signed Madhuri and continued shooting. Now everyone knows what Madhuri Dixit ended up doing with the role and she did do a fantastc job. But I -being a die hard Ayesha Jhulka fan- keep wondering how the movie would have been if Ayesha had done the role of the leading lady in this movie.

Saajan- mera dil bhi

Another aspect that helped make the movie the blockbuster it became were the rumours about the Sanju – Madhuri Dixit affair at that time. It was said that the two fell in love during the making of this movie and that eventually Madhuri Dixit dumped Sanju when his court troubles started. In an interview published in 2017, Madhuri Dixit her former secretary Rikku Rakeshnath said that the entire affair was just a publicity stunt to make the people want to watch them together on-screen as they had signed a couple of films together.

When we think about “Saajan” today more than the movie, more then Bhai, sanju or even Madhuri Dixit what comes to mind is the soundtrack of the movie. initially the producer and director wanted to sign Laxmikant-Pyarelal for the movie. According to an interview with director Lawrence D’Souza since neither the producer nor he, the director,  were known or succesful at the time Laxmikamt-Pyarelal even refused to meet them. In a fix since shooting of the movie had to commence they approached Nadeem-Shravan and the rest is -as they say- history.  History was created by Nadeem-Shravan with a great contribution of the lyricist Sameer (son of the legendary lyricist Anjaan).

This was still the time when after  “Maine Pyaar Kiya” and most of the subsequent movies featuring Bhai, S.P. Balasubrahmanium was his screenvoice. Kumar Sanu was the voice of Sanju inthis movie and would go on to win his second Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer male for his part in the song “Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Paagal Hai” which would become a solution for many youngsters in those days to try to express their feelings. And since the music of  “Saajan” was released by Venus and not by Gulshan Kumar’s T-Series there was no pressure to let all female songs be sung by only Anuradha Paudwal. Thank God for small blessings because this enabled Nadeem-Shravan to rope in Alka Yagnik as well as the voice of Madhuri Dixit besides having two songs sung bt Anuraha Paudwal.

And what can be considered as a masterstroke Nadeem Shravan roped in famous ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas -who by that time had started singing for a select few films as well- to render the second edition of the song that would be remembered for ages…

If you grew up in the ’90s you must have some memories attached to at least one of the songs of this film. Or maybe to the movie itself.

If you love those ’90s movies and/or songs from those ’90s movies do not forget to tune in on SunriseFM Sunday February 4th 2018 for a “YAADEIN-’90s EDITION”

The show will be broadcast at 10PM (Netherlands), 5PM  (Surinam), 4PM (New York), 9PM (London) and Monday 2.30AM (IST).  The show can be followed through Tunein, The SunriseFM app and also online : http://www.sunrisefm.nl

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Saajan  (1991)

produced by Sudhakar Bokade

directed by Lawrence D’Souza

lyrics by Sameer

singers Alka yagnik, Kumar Sanu, S.P. Balasubrahmanium, Pankaj Udhas and Anuradha Paudwal

cast Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, Kadar Khan, Reema Lagoo and Ektaa