Oh how the tables have turned!
And no, bad cannot be 'good', no matter how one looks at it ;) The tales of good versus evil are the focal point once again, this time in a film produced and directed by Nasir Hussain, written by Salim-Javed, and with music by R. D. Burman. Yaadon Ki Baaraat is perhaps best described as a fun and entertaining film, despite its use of tried and tested themes.
Brothers Shankar (Dharmendra), Vijay (Vijay Arora), and Ratan (Tariq), are separated in their childhood when their parents are killed by a stranger (the audience knows the killer as Shakaal (Ajit Khan)). Each brother follows a different path with a support system that is unique to his upbringing. Dharmendra grows up to be a thief, and is closest to discovering who the killers are of his parents. Vijay is unemployed after having obtained some level of education; he actively searches for a job (and for love; fair, given we're talking of Sunita, Zeenat Aman, here). And Ratan is lead singer for a rock band which performs at a hotel. The brothers cross paths as adults and are unaware of their relationship. But they do have a common enemy (Shakaal), and they are the only ones who know the lines to the title song, which Ratan hopes will unite them some day.
Will they unite? Will Shakaal's identity be revealed, and will he be brought to justice? And what price must Shankar pay for his attempts at revenge? Watch Yaadon Ki Baarat for all the answers, and much more. It's not one of the more unpredictable films, but it sure is a lot of fun. And that is what makes it well, well worth the ride.
Not that it is completely relevant here, but I have been thinking of the awareness quotient of those who ask to be excused as they are being excused. I'm not sure it warrants much thought, but it is something that I find funny, and was reminded of here.
There sure are a lot of people seeking revenge.
But that's okay, because it is a rather complete film. The cinematography, art direction, music, background score, screenplay and dialogue are as important here as are the cast. Perhaps this is also why Vijay Arora and Tariq fit in extremely well with the likes of Dharmendra? I really liked the wardrobe, and if pictures and video footage from the 1960s and 1970s I've seen of family and friends offer any indication, they are a fair reflection of the popular attire (in Bombay, at least) at the time. A specific example that I find easy to relate to is this:
There's never a shortage of style. Its combination with substance works effortlessly.
The villain's got some style too! Ajit Khan gives Kader Khan of Parvarish (1977) a run for his money.
Of course, I was looking forward to seeing Zeenat Aman in this all along, and the wait was definitely worth it, because she is every bit as fabulous as one expects. There have been lots of comparisons of current actresses to Ms. Aman. I think none comes close!
By the time this brilliant exchange less than half-way through the film appeared, I knew I had a new-found crush on the woman who owns the distinction of being the first filmy crush of my life (for the record, she shares this with Parveen Babi)!
Comic relief is extremely effective, and loaded with visual delights as well, as is much of the film. I think this holds up really well with the other Nasir Hussain film I saw from the era, Teesri Manzil (1966).
Like Teesri Manzil, it employs some fun and funky angles.
The other ladies, Neetu Singh and Anamika, have much smaller roles. The latter had a significant role in the plot. I couldn't figure out what the former was trying to do here, but that doesn't mean it was even remotely a waste. The song Le Kar Hum Deewaana Dil (link below) is one for the ages, and more than makes up for it.
This is also Aamir Khan's debut film!
The opening credits yield to the title song (mentioned in the kid songs post, also see below), after which there are but a couple scenes with the children.
Aamir's character (Ratan) grows up to be this:
Interestingly, in his debut film in a lead role, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), Aamir's character is introduced as this. How fitting!
Which brings us to what seems to be what the film is most well known for -- its music. R. D. Burman and Lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri deliver some extraordinarily delightful tracks. The integration of the songs is magnificent, and that's all that needs to be said. Here are links to the videos. Check out the wealth of talent in this list!
- Yaadon Ki Baaraat; Lata Mangeshkar, Padmini and Shivangi Kolhapure
- Aap Ke Kamre Mein Koi (below); Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle
- Chura Liya Hai Tum Ne; Asha Bhosle, Mohammad Rafi
- Le Kar Hum Deewana Dil; Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle
- O Meri Soni; Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle
- MAJOR spoiler here; Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar
It's certainly one of those films in which I found myself smiling with each song (it was really more a reminder of how little I know), which definitely enhances the film by a lot. #s 3 and 4 are amazing, and so is the title song. Asha Bhosle, in a concert last year, sang #3 (of course). My favorite picturization involves #2. Here it is, and I absolutely *love* it (if this video doesn't work, please visit this YouTube link)!
An easy one here -- nothing less than four stars for a fine overall effort. Consider Yaadon Ki Baaraat a must-see, ye lovers of masala film. This one has all the ingredients of a pleasant and indeed memorable entertainer! If you've seen this, do you agree?
Movie rating: 4/5 (Excellent!)
Music rating: 4.75/5 (Loveleh!)
My Classification: PG/PG-13 (for violence, (infrequent) scenes with gunshot wounds)
Also see: Director Ashutosh Gowariker's tribute to Aamir and the film in Swades (2004); see #7 here.