Friday, November 10, 2006

'YEH VAADA RAHA' ('The Promise') (or joining the ranks of my fellow Nigerians)


So finally I qualify as a true Naija ‘born, bred and buttered’ pikin. Yep, I recently saw ‘Yeh Vaada Raha’ (also known as ‘The Promise). Perhaps I should explain. ‘Yeh Vaada Raha’ is arguably one of the most well-known Bollywood movies in Nigeria – definitely one of the top 5 anyway (I blogged about this before, here). I’m sure I was in primary school when I first heard the theme song for the movie and saw people doing the ‘clap-slap’ thing that Vikky and Sunita do in the movie. And I kept hearing about the movie right from primary school in the 80’s, through secondary school and university in the ‘90s, and even today. Nigerians love this movie – and a whole LOT of Nigerians have watched it. If there was to be a poll of Indian movies Nigerians like, it’d be in the top 3 – fo’ sho’.



'Ooh, come here, you little oochie coochie coo'. Vikram and Sunita in the theme song.


Anyway, somehow, I never saw ‘Yeh Vaada Raha’ as a kid. I knew the whole story though, I had been ‘gisted’ about it many times by a lot of my friends. I knew the theme song and the other song (which I like to call ‘La la la la la la la la laaa’) from the movie. I knew the clap-slap thing. I knew all about how Vikky and Sunita fall in love, then Sunita loses her face in an accident and gets a totally new one (I’ve blogged about fake-pretend cures before here – wonder if the people that did ‘Yakeen’ – which I reviewed here – saw ‘Yeh Vaada Raha’ and used it for inspiration. Probably not, I have a feeling the ‘new face’ thing’s been done to death).



'Ji, Sunita, not only has the doctor given you a new face, he's tweezed your eyebrows for you while at it'.

So what do I think about ‘Yeh Vaada Raha’? It is good fun, really. Yes, the story sometimes makes no sense and the plot has more holes in it than a king-sized colander, but for all its silliness, it’s a good film. The acting is good: Rakhee gets to terrify me again as the strict mother – saw her in the more recent ‘Dil Ka Rishta’ and ‘Baadshah’, but liked her more in ‘Yeh Vaada Raha’. The man who plays the miracle-working plastic surgeon is deliciously larger-than-life, and Rishi Kapoor does a very decent job as the romantic lead, Vikram (‘Vikky’) – I really liked him here. The music in the film is lovely, really sweet.

Terrifying, nasty and mean, yet somehow likeable - Rakhee in 'Yeh Vaada Raha'.

As for Sunita, I liked ‘old Sunita’ (Poonam Dhillon) much more than ‘new Sunita’ (Tina Munim) because new Sunita sometimes behaved like a diva chick doing fash-pa in secondary school (that statement can only be totally understood by someone who went to a Nigerian boarding house, anyone else, I could tell you that fash-pa is short for ‘fashion parade’ but you still wouldn’t quite get it, sorry). Despite my very marked preference for Sunita 1 over Sunita 2, both ladies did very well. If Sunita 2’s behaviour was a bit stupid (‘I will give up my love for Vicky so he can get loads of money and enjoy it with his new wife’ – very very slightly romantic maybe, but rather daft), that’s noone’s fault but the scriptwriter’s.

Sunita 1 (Poonam Dhillon) - liked her better than Sunita 2

The flaws in ‘Yeh Vaada Raha’ are many (about a gazillion), but that’s not important. Get into the spirit of this and you'll love it. The oh-so-warm feeling you get from the movie makes up for the fact that, for example, Sunita’s speaking voice changes completely after the accident (although her singing voice – provided by Asha Bhosle - remains the same).

Unlike ‘Teri Meherbaniyan’ (which I reviewed a while ago here - also starring Poonam Dhillion, by the way - and as a random addition, she's also in Sanjay Dutt's '80s classsic, 'Naam'); I totally understand why this film is popular in Nigeria. It’s the ‘Love Nwantinti’ in the film – we dig that kinda stuff. I wish I could interpret ‘Love Nwantinti’ properly (for any non-Nig person reading this)… have to think of another way to express that.



Sunita and Vikky in 'Love Nwantinti'

15 comments:

Uzo said...

You just saw this movie? Wow...I just bought the DVD a few months ago. This one is a classic and compared to Bollywood today, its chuck full of holes. But hey that La La La song is the stuff and Vikram is sooo adorable.

Daddy's Girl said...

I know, Vikram is so cute, I just wanted to tickle him when he was on stage dancing gaily in that funny outfit to make money - just so he could build an orphanage in honour of his dear Sunita. How sweet! This whole film is just 'the cuteness' - I think I might watch it again soon.

Aparna said...

'Love Nwantinti'

Now, please please tell me what that means...it sounds quite interesting.
I love almost all the songs, most of them were hits in India.

Daddy's Girl said...

You know, Aparna, I have been thinking of how to translate this term into english...
Best I can do is 'sweet love', 'blissful love', 'thrilling love'. The kind of love that just makes you feel good and tingly inside. And usually the kind of love that's reserved for the young.
Funny thing is, 'nwantinti' means 'small' in igbo, one of our many languages. But 'love nwantinti' doesn't mean 'small love'. There's a classic igbo song of the same name, which I guess is where the term (and its colloquial meaning) comes from.
How's your novel coming? I hope you're enjoying every step of the process!!

Biodun said...

I loved this movie!

Daddy's Girl said...

hey biodun, me too! So cute...

Anonymous said...

i am a big fan of india movies. where can i get 2 buy india movies pls! the promise was the bomb i wont mind having a personal copy as well...
1

Daddy's Girl said...

Hey Anon, are you in Nigeria? Lagos in particular? Let me know where you are so I can let you know where I get my supply. Thanks for stopping by.

Jones said...

Love your comments on Sunita. I was a big gfan of that golden era of both indian and hollywood musical. How can one get a copy of sunita, the promise. IO need it very urgently please. Keep it up.

Nicki said...

Hey. I just found your blog. I wrote about Yeh Vaada Raha too on my blog. I'm Hmong and this movie has to be the most loved by Hmong people. Just wanted to share that.

Daddy's Girl said...

@jones, sorry I've only just seen this message. Let me know where you are and I'll try to hook you up.

@nicki, thanks for sharing that... it seems there's something about this film that audiences worldwide love... I've been to your blog several times, it's a great read, please keep it up.

Tokugawa said...

Mehn Daddy's girl, U don vex me well well! Im here strugling to find some info I need on Indian movies for some kain nonsense essay I have to write...and then ur blog comes up. 3hrs later Im stuck reading all sorts from ur bleeding blogs, completely unrelated to my original research!!!

Anyway, I hate to admit it...but I think ur doing a gooooood job. Well done. Keep doin wat u do, gurl :-)

And also...Im super surprised u up'ed and went to see bollywood filmstars in Mumbai. How many Nigerians can lay claim to dat?!!

daddy's girl said...

Tokugawa, thanks so much for the kind words, and for stopping by. I know I am a bit crazy when it comes to Bollywood and things I am prepared to do for it LOL!

bollywooddeewana said...

Your review was hilarious, i absolutely love this movie as well, i grew up on this movie when i was back in Naij . I watched it recently again and i didn't even notice the plot holes the size of a colander dish..Lol. This movie is absolute perfection to me, i can't criticise it, i guess i'm prejudiced about it since its a movie i grew up on.

I just started my bolly blog as well, so do drop by sometime
http://bollywooddeewana.blogspot.com/

Daddy's Girl said...

I know exactly what you mean, bollywooddeewana - the way you feel about Yeh Vaada Raha is the way I feel about 'Dus Numbri' - the first Hindi film I remember watching as a kid - people like to slag off Manoj Kumar these days, but in my eyes, my Dus Numbri hero can do no wrong! As far as I'm concerned, 'Dus Numbri' is perfection! Welcome to the wonderful world of Bollyblogging!