Thursday, April 03, 2008

Mughal-e-Azam review

There are very few things that I have willingly reviewed. My reaction to most things is monosyllabic so I don't go much further than saying something rocks or sucks. But this movie was so simply awesome that I can't stop raving about it. My first brush with this movie was in the good old days of Chitrahar. प्यार किया तो डरना क्या was a very popular song on this program. At that time, I had no clue why the Akbar dude was getting super angry by the dancing lady. The शीश महल was permanently etched in my memory. Well that was the end of that.

Cut to 2004, when this movie was colourized and re-released. Ever since then, for 3 long years, I had been planning to watch the movie but never actual got down to doing it. So finally last week I put an end to this procrastination and got down to viewing. Needless to say I was blown away. K Asif got the idea of making this movie in 1944, but the movie was finally released only in 1961. It was definitely worth the wait.

This movie is about Prince Salim and his love for the courtesan Anarkali; which is frowned upon by his royal parents. The beauty of the movie lies in its dialogues and songs. Unfortunately, the heavy Urdu made a lot of dialogues go above my head, but whatever I could understand was amazing. And I can keep going on and on about the songs. These songs are actually meant to be viewed, not just listened.

प्यार किया तो डरना क्या is probably the most famous song of this movie and rightly so. This was the first colour sequence in Indian cinema and coupled with beautiful Madhubala ... The song needs to be watched in the context of the movie, and everything begins to make sense. Why the king is super angry. Or like why Salim, who is initially disinterested at the beginning begins to perk up later. The cinematography of this song is simply amazing.

छुप ना सकेगा इश्क हमारा
चारों तरफ़ है उनका नज़ारा

And on cue, the camera pans to glass ceiling above to show many images of the dancing Madhubala. Waah waah ...

Another of my favourite songs is the मोहे पनघट पर which marks the entry of Madhubala in the movie. She was extremely beautiful and I don't anyone in Bollywood can hold a candle to her. The last song of the movie, यह दिल की लगी है क्या होगी , which is a part of the climax is extremely moving, depicting the last meeting of the two lovers.

Looks like what started off as a movie review ended up as a music review, I guess that was always going to happen, since I have been listening to these songs non-stop for the past few days. So coming back to usual review stuff, Prithviraj Kapoor was impressive as Akbar, Durga Khote excellent as Jodha (the perpetually suffering Indian maa of the Nirupa Roy kind). I was not too impressed by Dilip Kumar as Salim. Probably that had something to do with the character of Salim who doesn't do much studappa ( I mean he gets defeated by his aged father in hand to hand combat).

Which bring us to Madhubala. I have not watched any other movie featuring her, but going by stuff floating around the Internet, this was probably her best role. So to conclude, I'll shut my trap leave you to feast your eyes on these: