Okay... I've decided to take a likkle break from the story of how I became enamoured with my dear Dharmendra. I figure that the suspense created by this delay will be a good thing for this blog. Instead, I'm doing a brief review of 'Teri Meherbaniyan' (released in 1985), the last Bollywood movie I saw.
I was interested in seeing TM (forgive me, but I'm not about to write that long thing everytime I refer to it) for the following reasons:
- It's regarded as one of the most popular Bollywood movies in Naija.
- It looked mildly interesting on the cover.
- I figured it had to be good to make up for a long name like that.
However, I did have my misgivings about seeing the movie as well... the tagline is 'the tale of a loyal dog' or something like that... and I'm not a big of animals in movies. I just think it's corny and kinda razz. That's not to say I've never enjoyed a movie with a dog in it - I did like 'Hum Aapke Hain Koun' and those Hollywood family movies - 'Beethoven', 'Benji' etc, but I can't say it's a big draw for me.
Anyway, back to TM. This movie starred:
Jackie Shroff: Ever since I saw this guy's extremely cringeworthy dance-moves in a Speedo, on the beach in 'Rangeela' (am I the only one who can't understand all the fuss about 'Rangeela'?), I've been like, what is wrong with this dude? He seems slightly... shall we say... eccentric (no offence to anyone who knows him, I'm just talking perception here). And watching 'Devdas' only added to my perception of Jackie - what a razz character with all the 'P for Pyaar, Ch is for Chand' stuff. BollyBob has a HILARIOUS Jackie Shroff expose here: http://dangermuff.com/bollybob/n_jackie.html. I promise you it is so worth a read. Now I feel kinda bad for bashing Jackie, though. I'm sure he's a nice guy...
So what did I think of our dear Jackie in TM? Well, let's start with the positives, Jackie was kinda cute way back in 1985 when this movie was made. Facially, he don't look bad at all. Actually quite hot. He had a nice trim physique too. Can't say he's aged well, though (again, no offence). And the 'hero' thing he did in TM was quite cool - though I can't say the same for the love scenes with him running after 'Bilji' as if to say na Olympics he dey train for. However, his hotness was kinda detracted from by the extra-tight jeans he wore throughout the movie - is it just me or were those jeans designed to make his package look HUGE? If so, they succeeded. And he also wore a T-shirt at some point that was emlazoned with the words 'Single Man'. Oh, the 80s!!
Poonam Dhillon in TMPoonam Dhillon: Quite a pretty girl, she does an ok job in TM. There's a scene where she's singing in the rain fantasizing about Jackie's character and she's like totally drenched and rolling on the ground and... you get the picture. What is it with these Indian directors and putting girls in the rain with their saris soaking wet and highlighting every contour of their bodies? I think it's a bit much, all for the sake of cheap thrills... I will soon suspect that a lot of them are total pervs. I have to say my dear Kajol did her 'rain scenes' well in 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' and 'Kabhi Khushie Kabhie Gham' - she kept it subtle and did not go over-the-top with the sexiness. Way to go, Kajol.
Well, Poonam was ok in this movie and did her 'so sexy' thing competently, although I think they could've chilled out a bit. The chemistry between her character and Jackie's character was actually quite nice.Another photo of Poonam... in the middle of a staring contest with Jackie
Moti the 'Wonder Dog': Ok, first I have to say that I don't believe this dog was not harmed in the making of TM. Is there anything Moti does not do? He worked harder than any of the actors on this film, I'm sure. He runs, he growls, he bites, he carries messages, he saves lives, he delivers messages, he bears funeral garlands, he makes his master fall in love, he cries (wonder what they put in the poor dog's eyes), he lights a funeral pyre, he 'kobalises' the bad guys, he watches a half-naked girl bathing and steals her clothes (a bit icky, I thought)... phew! This dog im suffer no be small... I guess Moti was ok in TM, since the movie was kinda all about him, but men, it was a bit too much. And near the end of the movie, a 'holy' cobra comes to help Moti out... men, dunno what to say about that.
The rest of TM's cast is quite good. The late Amrish Puri (just found out today that he died last year) does his trademark evil villain (his 'Babuji' in DDLJ and 'Sahib' in 'Koyla' were terrifying, in very different ways). Although Amrish Puri played mostly villains during his distinguished Bollywood career, I hear he was actually a very nice guy. Anyway, the rest of the cast is good, especially the guy who plays the mute character.
TM also has very nice music, put together by the talented Laxmikant Pyarelal. The music is lovely even if the sequences are a bit much. One of the songs with Poonam and Jackie is actually nicely done, until they start rolling around on the ground...
However, TM has a poor script and the movie does not flow well. Because of this, you don't really get to empathise with the characters. The most striking example of this, to me, was when Jackie's character (Ram) comes into town to see that something terrible has happened to his beloved Bilji (Poonam Dhillon's character), who was supposed to have been protected by Moti, the dog (Bilji locked Moti out when she noticed he was watching her bathe - again, icky).
So, anyway, Ram gets mad at Moti and thrashes him, until he realises there was nothing Moti could've done. He then apologises to Moti, gives him a nice stroke, sings him the title song, and then, with a smile (albeit a sad smile), has a nice meal of naan and rice (apparently prepared by Moti, cos I don't know who else could've cooked it) with his dear wonder dog... what? If I was Bilji eh! After what happened to her, it was a bit silly for him to sit down with his dog and wack bread and rice. Haba! He could have waited small, at least to get over the shock. Poor scripting!
To sum it all up, TM is a WACK movie, and I can't for the life of me understand why it's popular in Nigeria. Maybe it's another case of Koko dumping! Whatever it is sha, I would not recommend this film to anyone.