Monday, October 20, 2008

Prem Kahani

I think this is the only film I've seen where I was rooting for the hero to die for most of the movie. The putative hero, Rajesh (Rajesh Khanna), a poet-cum-freedom-fighter, seems to be headed in that direction from pretty early on in, but is apparently determined to spread as much pain and devastation in the lives of others as he can along the way.

Exhibit A: British woman who witnesses Rajesh murder her husband right in front of her.

Exhibit B: Dead niece, killed by her own mother to keep Rajesh safe.

Exhibit C: Widowed sister-in-law, whom he apparently never thinks about again after the extremely traumatic incident with the niece.

Exhibit D: Truck driver (Vinod Khanna) tortured by the police because he knows Rajesh's whereabouts.

Exhibit E: Jilted girlfriend (Mumtaz).

Exhibit F: Best friend (Shashi Kapoor), who just so happens to have married the jilted girlfriend on the day Rajesh arrives seeking help.*

Exhibit G: The audience.
I rest my case.

Also on my list of pet peeves: men who prioritize their male friends over everything else.

That's not to say that the movie is all bad -- I enjoyed some of the songs, Shashi and Mumtaz have some nice scenes together, and I thought Vinod put in a compelling performance in his small role. But, for me, these good things did not outweigh all of the aggravation.

* I watched this movie the night after watching Kabhi Kabhie, and I noticed a common theme here -- in both, a girl who's in love with a poet ends up being married off to Shashi Kapoor instead. I don't think that's such a bad deal. In fact, does anyone know a poet?


bollyviewer said...

You've caught the essence of the movie pretty well. It was such a Rajesh *superstar* Khanna -fest and he was at his annoying best!

And, I dont know any poets, but what surprises me is that none of the girls married off to Shashi seem to realise that they've received an upgrade!!! lol

todorojo said...

"the audience" looks strikingly familiar...

Rebecca said...

Why did they care so much about protecting this jerk? Surely freedom-fighting-poets aren't that valuable.

Cindy said...

Bollyviewer -- Thanks! Yeah, I really don't know why a girl would be sad about getting married to Shashi instead of being stuck with the annoying Rajesh. I certainly know which I'd choose.

Adam -- Hmm, I wonder why. I'd say it's a representative portrayal of the audience of this film. And in a completely unrelated comment, I'd like to point out that you're probably not the top candidate for a calendar of whiteness like you suggested in your blog.

Rebecca -- Yeah, that's pretty much what I was wondering. So far as I can recall, we didn't even see him do much freedom-fighty stuff. Maybe I would have been slightly more sympathetic to his character if he'd ever done something useful. Killing a British officer as an act of personal vengeance does not qualify.

rosie said...

Vinod looks like he's amazing, as usual. Too bad the movie's not about him.

Cindy said...

In my opinion, Vinod was the true hero of the movie. The filmmakers apparently didn't realize this, however.

memsaab said...

LOL! I liked this film a lot better than you did, but I wasn't too sad when Rajesh died either which helped a lot. I mean, Mumu was left with Shashi, as pointed out, not a bad deal overall.

I thought Vinod was just awesome in this.

Your review rocks, though :-)

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