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.

amit-man

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.

sooraj-salman

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.

sooraj

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…

HSSH

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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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

And ofcourse you can participate in the show LIVE by becoming a member of the facebookgroup GEET SANGEET

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