Tuesday, April 24, 2007

'SEETA AUR GEETA' - The Hema Malini Show

So… I finally got round to ‘Seeta aur Geeta’, yet another Dharmendra movie - yup, I’m on a roll! ;-). It stars the fabulous Ms. Hema Malini in a challenging ‘double role’ as chalk-and-cheese twins named ‘Seeta’ and ‘Geeta’; twins who were separated at birth. Dharmendra is one of her leading men, and Sanjeev Kumar is the other. ‘Seeta aur Geeta’ is your typical 70s masala flick – there’s something in there for everyone - sadness, laughter, drama... and it’s just a whole lot of fun.

I’ve been looking forward to this particular movie for a long time… and maybe that’s partly why I didn’t love it as much I probably could’ve. I really liked it though, it had some really fun moments, and Hema is so fab in it, so I know I’ll definitely be returning to it time and again. For now though, I thought it might be fun to do a list of pros and cons about my experience with ‘Seeta aur Geeta’ (I love lists of pros and cons, thanks to one of my fave actors, Dustin Hoffman (in ‘Kramer v. Kramer’)). I can’t decide whether to do the pros first or the cons first, so I’ll interchange…

Pro: Hema and Dharam are always a cute couple, and this movie is no exception. Was great to see them onscreen together again.

Con: I so was not feeling Sanjeev Kumar’s performance… it seemed like he was trying too hard, and he came across as a bit of a fancy-pants-Ronald mummy’s boy (it didn’t help that he kept going ‘Mummy Daddy’ either). He really does not look cute on skates – and I was not feeling that hair. Fine, I know he was supposed to be a bit stiff and geeky, but he could have done it better, I think. I usually like geeky, but I didn’t like his geeky. Plus (and most importantly), that slap… what a horrible thing to do. I hate that clichéd ‘I’ll bring this hysterical woman to her senses by slapping her’ rubbish. I still think Sanjeev was a pretty cool actor, but this was definitely not one of his stronger showings.

Pro: Now my Dharam, he was looking good… a little rough around the edges, but good. Loved his little gold earring. And his character was fun as well – I enjoyed his scenes (would’ve liked to see a bit more of him, but hey, I’ll take what I can get).

Con: This was probably my biggest problem – my dvd (by the mighty Eros) is absolutely abysmal in terms of picture quality. Everything is just RED and YELLOW and DIRTY and BLURRY and so so eeuw… I’m definitely getting the Shemaroo version when I go to India. This one stinks big time. (It’s the main reason for the lack of screencaps in this post) I'm beginning to think I may have unknowingly bought a fake DVD 'cos I have quite a few Eros DVDs, and none are this bad.

Pro: Hema is just the bomb in this movie. She is so super-cool, and adorable and fun, and you just fall in love with her (both versions of her). Simply too fab for words.

Con: The subtitles were not good at all. They were really minimal, and they were out of sync with what the characters were saying, and they were just kind of weird.

Pro: There’s always a silver lining…some of the subtitles were hilarious! (They’re the main reason why I have screencaps in this post at all.) Here are my top 5 - I love them. They're a little hard to read, so I'll spell 'em out.

1. No friends. I have none. I was born on the lap of footpath.
2. Why should I tell lie for such a petty thing? Yes she put leg break.
3. Don't worry. Raka will get Geeta freed, even if she is in jail or in den.
4. So, it is your duty to feel shy before my daddy and mummy. Understand?
5. I am your another form. I am your twin sister, Geeta.

Con: This film should’ve been ‘Rama aur Shyama’ (excuse me, I just have to be idiotic and say they should’ve put the ‘ram’ in the ‘ramashyama ding dong’). Or they should've called it ‘Ramita aur Shyamita’… or something… because it’s EXACTLY the same film as Dilip Kumar’s ‘Ram aur Shyam’; it just has a female star instead of a male one, and a female villain instead of a male one. I mean, it’s pretty much exactly the same movie… down to like, everything (all they really added in S&G was the existence of ‘Dadi Ma’). I have to admit that this detracted from my enjoyment of the film – I always knew exactly what was going to come next. Maybe it would’ve helped if I’d known going in that I was going to be watching a ‘Ram aur Shyam’ remake. The fact that I saw ‘Ram aur Shyam’ first (and on a rather good DVD, I might add) made comparisons on my part inevitable… and I honestly have to say that, on the whole, R&S wins it for me – for reasons I can’t go into right now, ’cos I’d end up saying too much about both movies (I still really like S&G though).

Pro: I very much liked the cute duets with all the la la la-ing (I have a soft spot for la la las), and I liked all the other songs too. So the music (by RD Burman) gets a big thumbs-up.

Con: The whole bit with Dharam’s character being an alcoholic and Hema trying to dissuade him from drinking… hmmm… I didn’t like it… let’s just say it hit a little too close to home for me. I just couldn’t help but wonder if that scene has been replicated in real life… but I’m veering into gossip territory… and I really shouldn’t.

Pro: There was some great comedy in this flick. My three favourite scenes for laughs – when Chachu drags Seeta down the stairs dressed in that crazy outfit with crazy make-up – I love the way Hema stumbles down in horror; when Dharam goes ‘wow, great dive’ (can’t say more than that, or I’ll spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie – I just thought that bit was hilarious); and when Chachu and Chacha walk into the police station and all the policemen are just sitting around looking shell-shocked. There were plenty of other funny moments (most of the ones with Sanjeev and Hema, as well as the ones at the mansion, I found pretty funny), but those three are my faves.

Con: The pointless thing by the pool with Sanjeev and the bikini-clad chick… like, so very yawwnn…

Pro: I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s the best thing about this movie – so here it is again – Hema ROCKS!! I dare anyone not to love her after watching this film!

So, I think the pros just about outnumbered the cons… I’m glad ’cos I really liked this movie and I’m looking forward to getting a better DVD so I can enjoy it properly!


Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite movies - I love just about everything about it. So I am glad you enjoyed it, on balance.

Sanjeev Kumar grew on me with repeat viewings (I think I've seen this one 3 times all the way through), I think in part because he's one of my favorite actors, and so I started to develop a feel for what he was trying to do with the character and it just worked for me. I love the idea of a firecracker like Geeta being utterly smitten with such a dork, and they both play it so adorably that it just works for me even though he's far from typical romantic hero material. Who knows, maybe that's why it works for me.

Finally, I love the film's naughty final sequence!

Beth Loves Bollywood said...

I've only seen it once, but I didn't like Sanjeev Kumar's character much either. And yeah, no slapping. Bad. Now having seen Sharmeelee, I have a slightly higher standard for the more pathetic of twins - sad-sack Rakhee was more interesting than sad-sack Hema, and that's saying a lot, because that character was a total drip. But overall, it's impossible not to love Hema here. Especially on the fan and on the skates. Someone shold make a song DVD of roller-skating scenes.

Daddy's Girl said...

@carla: While I didn't particularly care for Sanjeev in this film, I agree with you about his chemistry with Hema - they were rather cute together. I love the final scene too!

@beth: Ah, Hema on the fan! Thanks for reminding me of that, Beth - I love that scene!

Maja said...

I've been recommended both Ram & Shyam and Seeta & Geeta as classic twins comedies but I had no idea they were practically the same movie. Still wanna see both, though!

How is the planning for your trip to India going, btw? :)

Daddy's Girl said...

@maja: It's going ok, thanks so much for asking! Things are slowly coming together and we are getting a better sense of everything. Hopefully it will be in late September.

You should definitely see both, despite the similarities in storyline, their stars are each unique in what they bring to the roles. And I think I made them sound too similar (probably because I just wasn't expecting to find any similarities at all) - there are some differences. But they're both a lot of fun!

Uzo said...

You so have it on me...Havent seen this one either. How about we help each other draw up lists of movies we need to buy on this trip to both countries? My bollywood library needs serious updating

Daddy's Girl said...

Hmmm Uzo... I don't know about you but I'm gonna have to be very severe with myself when it comes to dvds. I will have to place myself on a strict budget or else I will act like a kid in a candy store (and when my mother asks what I got from India I'll show her a mammoth stack of dvds LOL!! I can picture the look of horror on her face now LOL!!). So the list idea is a great one - another thing we definitely need to do.