(or Part 3, and the Concluding Part, of how I fell in love love love with Dharmendra)
Warning: This post may get very very silly indeed, but please indulge me.
I first saw Garam Dharam in 'Anpadh', an old black-and-white picture. It's not a bad movie, but it's a real downer. I mean, if you aren't struggling with depression, you will be after watching this one... and if you are, you might just end up suicidal. So a bit too sad for me, plus I wasn't really feeling the black and white. I like old movies but... it gets a bit much.
Hema Malini (as Basanti) (plus wig) and Dharmendra (as Veeru) in the Bollywood classic film 'Sholay' (1975). They got married in 1980, but apparently Dhramendra was already in love with Hema by the time 'Sholay' was made (which was why he agreed to play 'Veeru' rather than 'the Thakur' which was his first pick. Thank goodness he went with 'Veeru') . The fact that Dharam had been married for a long time was probably a factor which impeded their romance. Happily for them, their eventual marriage did not create a scandal (which in this chauvinistic world would have spelled doom for Hema's career but probably not affected Dharam's). Anyway, People liked them enough to overlook it.
My next Dharmendra film was the one which made me fall hopelessly in love with him: 'The Burning Train'. 'The Burning Train' is known by most Nigerians because it was very popular here in the '80s. During one of my usual Hindi movie searches here in Lagos, this guy who sells them showed me 'The Burning Train', and was like 'it's very very interesting'. so I bought it and took it home.. but alas, no subtitles. It looked interesting enough for me to try again when another movie-seller offered me the same film and said he was sure it had English subtitles. I wasn't too keen on a movie about a burning train, but I loved it. It's a really exciting thriller, with some nice drama elements to it and a good storyline. The film stars Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Hema Malini (as Dharam's love interest), and Parveen Babi (as Vinod's love interest).
Many (sooo many) things made me love Dharam in this film, but I'm going to mention only a few of them. The first is the song and dance number 'Pehli Nazar Mein Humne' featuring the 4 leads. I've watched that number a gazillion times and could watch it forever. I don't even know why I like it so much. It's just a combo of a great song, great chereography, and the way the actors interpret it. They do exactly what you think their characters would do. It's just so cool. It's a pretty standard love song featuring tandem bikes (is that what those 2-on-1 bikes are called?), boats, trees and stolen kisses, but I just think it's awesome. I honestly can't explain why I love it so much. I just do.
The second thing is Dharam's voice in this film. It's so sexy, when he says (sorry, can't write hindi but) 'Sunnu Seema, I love you', and 'Seema! Kya Hoa? Eh Bhagwan! Kyun Seema?', I just want to melt. There is that husky, throaty, heartfelt element to his voice and men, I just want to be Seema when he talks to her like that! His voice is just so awesome in this film, and the expressions on his face, gosh I can't even write about it anymore!
Third thing is, Dharam was looking pretty Garam for someone who was 45 years old at the time TBT was made. 45!! And still looking major-ly fit, playing a physically demanding action hero role. His character was probably meant to be about 30 at the oldest. Dharam matches Vinod so well here, although Vinod is like 10 years younger (and you can kinda tell, but it's not too obvious). Dharmendra just looks so good, and he does the action hero thing so well and...(swoon)
There are so many things I love about Dharmendra in this movie, the way he smacks the guy's legs off the back of his seat, the way he shatters the glass in his hand (ok, I know it's a stunt, but he looked hella good all angry like that), the way he touches Seema's leg, the way he kisses the policeman's face when he discovers the 2 girls have fallen for him and Vinod, the way he pulls at Seema's arms and goes 'Haan haan haan ji wada', the way he brushes the flower petals off his head at the engagement, the way he tells Vinod that he and Seema will be married with a baby as soon as Daddy come back, the way he rides that bike, ... my goodness, I could go on and on. But I won't - cos I'm starting to feel a bit faint now (LOL). Instead, here are some screenshots from the movie that made me fall in love love love with Dharmendra...Hema's thinking, "I'm so lucky, I got me a mighty fine man!"
This film was released in 1980, and these two got married in the same year. Isn't that just cute? Would be even cuter if that were me on the left...but not in yellow, I don't think!
After TBT, I watched 'Ghazab' (1982), which is quite a nice movie. A bit kitsch, even a bit annoying, but quite nice. Again, Dharmendra, at 47, looks much younger (he's quite buff in this movie... bulging biceps and all) and plays an action hero very nicely... and his voice is still so sexy. Ghazab proved to me that TBT wasn't a fluke. Rekha is also pretty cool in this movie... must add her to my sidebar, she's not only beautiful, she can act.
And here ends my tale of 'how I fell in love love love with Dharmendra'. Don't know what I'll be writing about next time... a regular Bollywood post or a strictly Dharmendra one? Any advice?