It's debatable whether the movie holds a bigger place in the history of Bollywood or in my life: this was the only movie that I watched during the three-month vacation (they called it study-leave) before my +2. Mind you, this was the balcony at Priya, valued at Rs 12/-, and I had to pay Rs 20/- to buy it from the black-marketers (his initial value was Rs 30/-, which meant a profit of 150%).
The next three hours remain among the most unforgettable of my life: I can easily bask in a gooey puddle of nostalgia by reliving them, but then, I seem to have picked up a highly contagious variant of acartohygieiophobia of late.
They remain the best-spent twenty rupees of my life. Well, almost, now that I remember my first pack of... well, forget it. Let's not deviate.
Of course Karan Arjun is a pathbreaker. It's a masterpiece. It's a miracle. It's not only the best Salman Khan movie that has ever existed, but it's also the best Mamta Kulkarni movie by a gargantuan margin (I mean, it's better than works of genius like Bhookamp, Aashik Aawara, Waqt Humara Hai and Beqabu, not just individually, but all four of them put together).
It had Amrish Puri. It had
My words, alas, aren't worthy to write a full review of the movie. I shall have to restrict my creative desires to a review of the musical album. If, some day, I turn out to be the blogger I aspire to become, I promise to write a full review on one of the greatest movies anyone has ever dared to make.
Let's get started, then:
Sooraj kab door gagan se (video here):
Move aside, Yaadon ki Baarat: you never had Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik teeing off with ho-o-o-o-o (well, I suppose the 26-letter alphabet isn't good enough to depict Sanu's nasal genius).
What does one start with? The simple brilliance of the lyricist? He needs to elaborate the significance of pyar ka bandhan. How does he do it? With examples, of course. He uses four sets: sooraj-gagan, chanda-kiran, khushboo-pawan and bahaar-chaman. Immediately the audience slips into ease: not only has the poet been elegant enough to use four amazingly rhyming words, but the visual impact of the brothers being in love with each other is also incredibly prominent. It's a wonder that they didn't kiss each other in the process (reincarnation of a gay incest relationship would be too much to handle for an audience of any kind):
And you think it stops there? It would be wrong if I had missed out on Rakesh Roshan's mission to use the movie as a literacy campaign:
|Did I mention that the line says "janmon ki deewaaron par hum pyar apna likh jayen?" Janmon ki - isn't that subtle? Wow.|
|The Mask of Zorro|
Jaati hoon main (video here):
Yet another work of genius, as expected. The song starts off with Shah Rukh and Kajol getting, a tad, er, unstable, inside a, well, stable. Shah Rukh's virtually owns a farm here, and is yet depicted as poor: this is a superb take on world economy - on the fact that the people we usually consider rich are not, well, rich by global standards.
Since he stays in a farm, it's expected of Shah Rukh to often pose as if he's riding a horse. Enlightened people call this innertia of motion.
|Don't laugh, Kajol: read your mechanics books again|
The entire jism?
Of course not.
Which part, then?
Can't you see where Kajol is?
Come on, it can't be that direct.
Can't you see a windmill in the background?
Which country do windmills typically represent?
Yes. So which part of the jism now?
(Just an afterthought: you can find an alternative meaning of jism here.)
Whose lips do you think he mentions here? Kajol's? Think again: this is exactly when he utters those lines:
Ik munda meri umar ka (video here)
Initially this seemed to be a very straightforward song of seduction. Rakesh Roshan was possibly speaking on behalf of all Indian apparel manufacturers: even if the girl concerned is Mamta Kulkarni, even if the voice is that of a 65-year old Lata Mangeshkar, the tune is incredibly monotonous and the lyrics are the flattest ever, you just need to shift to Indian outfits to woo an apparently disinterested man. If that's not patriotism for you, what is?
That's not all, though. For aspiring biology students, Rakesh Roshan has put up a lesson of sorts: what if the poor kids are not aware where the human heart is? The director cleverly uses the song for some basic physiology lessons:
|"dilon ki ye baaten nahin jaanta"... why the plural, though?|
And on a much larger note, who won the 1994 soccer world cup? Now check this scene:
Sooraj kab door gagan se Part II (video here):
I have always loved when a song has multiple versions in a movie. Traditionally the slower version used to appear with the word SAD, inside parentheses, next to it. This, strangely, though slower than its parent version, is also the happier one in the context of the movie.
Not much to say here, other than the obvious reference to Mahabharat: in their previous lives both brothers had earrings: this time only one of them has a kundal on. Guess who?
Bhangra pa le (video here):
Yes, Raakhee, dressed in new attire, puts tilak on the foreheads of her sons.
No, that isn't what the pathbreaking song is all about. This stretches even further, beyond the fact that they had used the synonymous and homophonous jindri instead of zindagi (oh, the genius!).
We get back to Mahabharat again. The brothers get to share a woman (or whatever they get of her), mostly because one of them has his woman abducted. Welcome to the the ancient brothers-on-one-leg-lift-her-lehenga dance:
And then, as things start warming up, both heroes draw swords. I'm shocked: are they going to re-enact that Zorro thing from the sooraj kab door gagan se? Then the lyrics stream in: sachchai ko kaat sake, aisi koi talwaar kahaan? Magical.
Genius. Sheer genius.
Mujhko Rana ji maaf karna (video here):
Bollywood has come a long way over the years. However, the one thing that I really miss in them are court-scenes. This song made me relive those long-lost court-scenes from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. If you do not believe me, just scan through the lyrics here. No objection milord, no order-order, no taaziraat-e-Hind dafa 302 ke tahat, no nothing: just dismissal of a case for adultery through a song.
Who said Bollywood lyrics was on the decline? Morons.
There is also the array of emotions Amrish Puri has displayed throughout the song. The sheer range shows his portrayal as a connoisseur of Rajasthani folk music depicting court-scenes, and in the end he starts participating, first in the gup-chup, then in an eerie lantern dance, and then in an all-out jig. Not only does the great man participate himself, but he gets the rest of the gang to join in as well.
|I'm not sure which one displays ecstasy most accurately, but the emotion is unmistakable: that's how connoisseurs react at Dover Lane every year|
|The gup-chup dance; even Ranjeet cannot resist it|
|The lantern dance: look how the connoisseur and his team form a queue|
|The other Arjun|
Jai Ma Kaali (video here):
This is one of the most informative songs ever.
For example, there are massive (humongous would be a better word) Kaali temples in Rajasthan with waterfalls inside them. Since the village doesn't seem to have electricity, it's very likely that the falls are natural. Thanks for the knowledge on geography, Mr Roshan: it's not everyday that you come across a waterfall in the rugged topography.
|Step 1: Walk past the girl|
|Step 2: She stands up|
|Step 3: She takes a step backwards|
|Step 4: Mission accomplished; now continue with the song|