Okay, this is a follow up of "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" from Karan Johar, and I've been expecting this. Then, this movie come to theater near me and I watch it. Well, I must say...not bad, not bad at all, but, ironically, almost like the title, this movie "sometimes good but sometimes disappointing".
The plot is good, but it also fill with the thing that 'doesn't need' and it makes me bored (especially for the most scene of Hritik and Kareena). It didn't get to the point of the story.
Karan Johar is full with spirit to revisited the great success of K2H2, and that makes this movie full with the 'color' of that movie. For example, both name of Shahrukh and Kajol's characters are similar by the K2H2's character name, Rahul and Anjali (he even put the main theme on one of the song). Even the character it self is a look like (and many similarity).
But, after all, this movie is not that bad. It's a great movie, and it deserve to watch . Also, please remember the main theme of the movie, "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham", Life is sometimes Happy but it sometimes sad.
30. Kadal (2001)Directed by Shaji N. Karun
Credited cast: ???
(as Jaya Bachchan)
Koi Mere dil Se Puche (2002) – otstoi ?
Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) - Directed by Nikhil Advani – r 7 / 10 (205 VOTWS).
Director Karan Johar has roped in Jaya Bachchan once again. Yes, Jaya Bachchan is to play Preity Zinta's mother in Karan Johar produced Nikhil Advani directed Kal Ho Na Ho. "I'm glad she is a part of my film," said a visibly excited Johar. Kal Ho Na Ho also stars Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan and is reportedly based on the 70s hit Hrishikesh Mukherjee directed Anand that Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan in the lead. Like Rajesh Khanna it is Shahrukh Khan who plays cancer patient and Saif Ali Khan is the famous Babu moshai. Karan Johar however says that his is not similar to Anand in anyway.
1. Finest Movie of the Year.
Believe me what i said above is really true. Kal Ho Naa Ho is really the finest movie of 2003 yet. Before watching this movie there was a thing in my mind that produced by Karan Johar and acted by Shahrukh Khan this movie will really going to rock. And the same thing happened. This movie is without any hole. A perfect direction by Nikhil Adavani. This movie is proof of Shahrukh's emotional acting and that he still rocks. One more thing that this movie is a bit funny too Saif Ali Khan looking great in this field as look in the 2001's movie of the year "Dil Chahta Hai" by large number of critics. However the music of the movie is not so good as Karan Johar's previous movies Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham but the story of the movie is great. A perfect family movie. I give it 10/10.
2. Date: 15 April 2004
Summary: YAY! What a pleasure!
Well, it is always a bit difficult in Western countries to get to see Bollywood movies with English subtitles, and though I have made a bit of an effort to spot them in the last few years I wouldn't call myself a Bollywood expert - and of course I've grown up with Western rather than Indian aesthetic standards ingrained. Although as a fan of Baroque Opera, I don't really have much difficulty with the basic premises of the Bollywood style!
Having said that, this was possibly the most interesting Bollywood movie I've seen to date - especially in its attempt to incorporate elements of Western pop culture, including several blatant references to American movies, from Grease and a spoofed James Bond to Brad Silberling's City of Angels, which evidently contributed a lot to the way Shahruk Khan's character is handled (including him starting to see things in black and white when he is near dying - that one goes back all the way to Wim Wenders!).
The soundtrack is stunning, and again it's great to see the way the New York setting gives opportunity to mix in some Western elements in an intelligent way. The dance and song numbers are a true joy, and it doesn't hurt that they are better integrated into the plot than in most Indian movies I've seen.
Shahruk Khan is nicely parodying himself - at least, I thought he was... maybe I'm wrong??? :-o - I also particularly enjoyed the running joke about Aman and Rohit being a homosexual couple - one could indeed ask oneself who is really in love with who here? And why exactly does Aman prefer to love vicariously rather than going for the girl himself? It's also perhaps significant that it is Rohit rather than Naina who stays with Aman to the last. I am sure the filmmakers are intelligent enough to be aware of these undercurrents, even if perhaps most audiences aren't!
In any case, watching this movie (with a very sympathetic audience at a foreign film showcase here in Wellington, people who actually laughed in most of the *right* places!) was a pure joy and it makes me happy to see how Indian cinema is finally beginning to be perceived as a legitimate part of international film culture even by Western audiences, rather than just an exotic oddity - something that Chinese and Japanese movies, for instance, have already achieved to a much greater degree!
And now I'm off to buy the soundtrack…
3. Summary: Can one make a drama that also works as a parody?
I believe that Karan Johar and Nikhil Advani have tried to do a cross between drama and parody. Mind you, it'd have been a hoot if they lampooned the serious Bollywood tearjerkers that are churned out dime a dozen. But they want the cake and eat it too. They want to parody the Bollywood tearjerker and still cater to the section of audience that wants to believe it to be real. I ended up getting a bit disoriented because at times they were showing serious stuff but were laughing behind the scenes and at other times, they took their own script too seriously. It all seems confusing and disastrous. But the end product is not too bad and that is due to the tremendous talent of the crew and cast.
Too many movies have been shown where the old ones in US adhere to Indian traditions more ritualistically than those in India and the young ones conveniently go between being the ultra modern (whatever that means!) and ultra traditional as the script demands. They also have the poor girl married off and going to India (Some traditional family from India will ask for her hand) which doesn't make much sense because it seems to defeat the very purpose of uprooting the entire family from India. Kal Ho Naa Ho takes every one of these supposedly serious stuff (including Karan Johar's own DDLJ) and pokes fun at them. The uppity Naina (Priety), the confused Rohit (Saif), the serious grandmother and I must make bold to say, the ultimate do-gooder Aman (none other than Shah Rukh) - everyone of them is a caricature. And they have done these roles before. It is hard to take them very seriously because you get the feeling that the director and the writer are chuckling behind the cameras even as they are filming these scenes.
And then there is the pretty funny, long comedy track of a mistaken homosexual relationship between Saif and Shah Rukh. That "O ... Kantaben" just puts it way over the top. I laughed like crazy. Is there an inside joke there Karan and Nikhil?
I don't know if I should say the casting is perfect or the performance is perfect for the parody. Every time I think nobody can ever act more theatrical than Shah Rukh, he out does himself. His performances are so unnatural and stilted that they are actually funny. With all the parodying going on, I am wondering if Karan and Nikhil decided to milk Shah Rukh for all he is worth and make him ham it up even more! Saif Ali Khan acts brilliantly in his repeat performance of Dil Chahta Hai and so does Priety Zinta of a number of her own roles.
Then, the writer-director duo decide to take things seriously and the problem is I still can't stop laughing. That makes it uneasy. They take every dramatic scene, blow it out of proportion - as is the convention of Bollywood standards - and keep showing it long after it has exhausted all its dramatic potential. This makes the second half of the movie a bit uneasy to watch. Particularly when Shah Rukh leaves the hospital to go convince Saif and Priety, I was very uneasy. Then they show Saif Ali Khan in that I'm-20-years-older-so-I-need-gray-hairs wig that is just too much!
Overall, it was an interesting movie. Somehow I feel that the filmmakers had more fun making it than we have watching it. Makes me wish I was involved in the process! 7 out of 10.
PS: The only issue I have with the gay joke is this - India is one of the few countries where men are not as inhibited and uptight as those from Europe or US. After this movie, I am afraid that Indian guys are going to become a lot more self-conscious about non-sexual intimacy between each other. It is a pity!
4. Peter Brandt Nielsen
Date: 6 April 2004
Summary: East meets West
The concept of Indian film is a real challenge for Western film lovers. The huge volume of production of India's film industry and the local popularity of the Bollywood blockbusters have caused festival and cinematheque programmers, film writers and fans throughout the world to try to discover this distant branch of filmmaking, especially in the past five to ten years. Yet the spirit of this interest is often one of amazement at the exotic extremity of Bollywood rather than cinematic enjoyment on equal terms as with Western films. After seeing "Kal Ho Naa Ho" at this year's NatFilm Festival in Denmark thoughts about this particular East-West meeting seem more pressing than usual, particularly because this film seems to approach Westerners by setting its story in New York City and tying into familiar elements of American pop culture, starting with an adapted version of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman".
"Kal Ho Naa Ho" basically deals with the same main topics that most other successful Bollypics do -- love, marriage, friendship, family. It does so in the most high-strung way imaginable, mixing melodrama with comedy and musical, and adds the melancholic but lively plotline of an unselfish man who, as though sent from heaven, helps his fellow beings while having only a short time left to live.
My own reaction to the flamboyant style and emotional subject matter is mixed; it's certainly an experience, and there is laughter and entertainment, but I also react negatively to what I comprehend as kitsch and camp, to the plot holes and implausibilities, to acting that I am used to categorizing as over-acting, and to what I think is a dull and overdone final half hour. In addition, I realize that some of the things I laugh about in this and other similar productions are involuntarily funny and not a laughing matter for Hindustan audiences.
Beholding the melodramatic proportions of the plot and the general bombardment of the senses presented here, it is convenient for the Western crowd to conclude that this is simply so bombastic, so unrealistic, so cliché-driven that we should simply dismiss it as anything but a quick laugh. However, that would be a partly incorrect conclusion. While it is true that 'good taste' in a European and American context has to do, to some extent, with moderation in style and social relevance in content, it is apparent that we have our own Western examples of every of those aspects that feel different in a Bollywood blockbuster. Need I mention the classic Hollywood melodramas from "Gone with the Wind" to "Magnificent Obsession", musicals from "Singin' in the Rain" to "Moulin Rouge!", American soap opera like "The Bold and the Beautiful" and a multitude of American and European comedies and romances with more or less implausible plots and reluctance to deal with any social issues whatsoever. The more exact description is perhaps that the Bollywood approach simply seems to try to unite all these aspects into the same multi-hour film, which ultimately, when all the elements are joined together, forms a barrier for the Westerner's enjoyment of the film. Entertainment overload you might call it, or, alternatively, emotional manipulation.
This, however, is not to say that Western audiences necessarily react to the Bollywood experience without regard to the qualities of the individual film. Bollywood and Indian film in general is certainly more diverse than one can sometimes get the impression of, and even among the blockbusters there are notable differences in approaches and qualities. For instance, I personally have greater esteem for "Devdas" and particularly "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" than for "Kal Ho Naa Ho". There are two central reasons for this. First, that they both have an Indian setting, which means that we viewers feel we are learning a story about a place from people who know that place, and which also gives way for a more local, more inspirational choreography and production design. Second, that these two films more effectively tell a story of something that seems to matter, something true, even something social-minded, with the quarrel over arranged marriages in "K3G" as the leading example.
I don't like "Kal Ho Naa Ho" much, but I respect it and its predecessors for their ambition, for their differentness to what I usually know and like, and for their occasional ability to combine their entertainment with something real and poignant.
IV. ARTICLE - Jaya Bachchan says she can also be very cold. Mumbai, Nov 29 (IANS) A sincere hug can win her over for a lifetime, but Jaya Bachchan says she can also be very cold.
Last seen as Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan's mom in "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" (K3G), she now returns in Karan Johar's latest production "Kal Ho Na Ho".
"It's impossible for me to say how satisfied I am with my performance. I'm not an actress who does a lot of homework. As soon as I read a script I form a certain image of my character. That's all the spadework I do," Jaya told IANS.
"I follow my instincts. With age a lot of your acting mechanisms change. All your emotional faculties become exaggerated. A smile looks like a grin and a sniff becomes a sob. I had to be very careful about how the camera caught me."
The acting strategies have changed. But Jaya still reacts to scenes instinctively. "I can be very, very indifferent when I'm turned off."
She refuses to divulge the names of the films where she has given indifferent performances, but it's obvious that she has thoroughly enjoyed working in "Kal Ho...' which stars Preity Zinta, Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan.
"Fortunately I'm in work-friendly set-ups most of the time. That's when I become one with the character.
"I must tell you I was very comfortable with Preity. I loved playing her mother. She's full of fun, a very warm person and totally tension-free. She speaks nineteen to a dozen. Every now and then she'd come and hug me and say, 'You're the best screen mom I've had.'
"I love outward demonstrations of affection. A sincere hug can win me over for a lifetime. But I can't be that way with everyone. I can get very cold with people I don't like."
Playing mom is not new to Jaya.
"It started three years ago with Govind Nihalani's 'Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa', in which I played Joy Sengupta's mother. Then came Khalid Mohamed's 'Fiza' where Karisma Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan were my children.
"Preity and I make a most natural daughter-mother pair. We didn't have to fake our feelings. I've seldom met anyone so frank, and yet she keeps her distance. It was like sitting and talking to my own daughter. Like my Shweta, Preity is so young and yet like my friend. But Shweta is not as talkative as Preity."
Jaya also confesses "a tremendous fondness" for Shah Rukh Khan.
"When you see the film you'll see a peculiar rapport between Shah Rukh and me. I think he's wonderful with mothers."
Jaya's face lights up when she talks about the New York stint of "Kal Ho...'
"Such close association for such a long period, and that too so far away from home, could get on one's nerves. But I had great fun in New York.
"Yash and Karan Johar really look after their crew. There was absolutely no tension on the sets. After working with the unit in 'K3G' I know them so well. It's really important for me to feel at home. I can only work with people who I know won't let me down."
Throughout the making of both "K3G" and "Kal Ho Na Ho", Jaya kept grumbling good-naturedly that she was a junior artiste!
A dreamy look seeps into Jaya's eyes.
"I think this film will be a bigger hit than 'K3G'. It's got great entertainment value. I hope I'm not wrong. Like 'Dil Chahta Hai', 'Kal Ho...' uses a great deal of fresh technique, never applied to our cinema before."
Mention of "Dil Chahta Hai" reminds Jaya of Saif Ali Khan. "Oh he's too good in 'Kal Ho...' In his last sequence with Shah Rukh he's fantastic. Saif's sense of timing is amazing."
Coming from an actress who has worked with all the stalwarts, from Hrishikesh Mukherjee to Govind Nihalani, this is high praise indeed.
Mention of Mukherjee brings a smile to Jaya's face.
"You know, almost every filmmaker I meet today says he wants to make a film like Hrishida. Maybe there's a bit of him in 'Kal Ho...' As in Hrishida's films you can't say which actor is better than the rest.
"We all worked towards the same goal. And that sense of togetherness shows in 'Kal Ho..."
His personal life was the subject of discussion in the country. The image of a family man, son of Teji and Harivansh Rai Bachchan (a noted Hindi poet), husband of a superlative actress Jaya, father of Abhishek and Shweta - cracked a little as the love story of the decade unfolded. The gorgeous intelligence of Rekha had been a perfect foil to his intense performances and the on screen chemistry between the two provided enough grist to the gossip sections of the media.
Bachchan the superhero held the public imagination till the late 80s when a few bad decisions, bad films and political naОvetИ scarred his stainless steel image. After the highly misjudged and hasty entry into politics and the Bofors scandal, Bachchan returned to movies but by then the downfall had begun. Though his charisma and magic would always give the films a good initial, they would eventually fizzle out. With the break-up of Javed-Salim team there was no one who could create characters that were just right for him.
In 1992 Amitabh Bachchan turned corporate and established Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL). Under its banner, the 'Miss World' contest and a few other films were produced. The organization turned out to be a white elephant with huge losses turning Bachchan into one of the most sought after celebrity by his creditors.
Dimunitive she may be, but Jaya Bhaduri has managed to cast a long shadow over the world of Hindi films
When Jaya entered films with Guddi in the early 1970s, chic but torturously coiffed and elaborately made-up heroines (Sharmila, Mumtaz et al) ruled the roost. Jaya, with her unpretentious looks but palpable talent, was a gale of fresh air and proved immensely popular.
Audiences fell for her extremely endearing personality, a gurgly, effervescent laugh and the ability to illuminate the inner lives of her many complex characters.
Despite an abbreviated-by-marriage career span initially, Jaya became a major star, acted in a string of hits. She hacked a path for deglamourised heroines like the contemperaneous Archana (in Jaya's mentor Hrishikesh Mukherji's Buddha Mil Gaya) followed by Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil and Deepti Naval.
Even after Jaya married long-time boyfriend Amitabh Bachchan and became Mrs Superstar, she has time and again bagged awards for acting in the ocassional film, produced successful television serials (Dekh Bhai Dekh), and determinedly carved out her own identity.
The often briskly outspoken actress was born to noted author-journalist Taroon Kumar. Acting opportunites came Jaya's way early. She was still in her teens when she acted in Satyajit Ray's Kolkata classic Mahanagar . Another Bengali film, Dhanni Meye, fetched her a share of the spotlight. After a stint at the Film and Television Insitute of India, Pune, Jaya was offered several Hindi movies.
Hrishikesh Mukherji came down to Pune to meet Jaya at her pricipal's recommendation and signed her on for the titular role in Guddi . Jaya was a huge success as the filmstar-crazy teen tornado who reluctantly gives up her obsession for matinee idol Dharmendra as she finds herself drawn to the man next door. Jaya's art held little artifice and she could project wide-eyed innocence without a false note. Guddi's giggly, girlish character became closely identified with Jaya. Though it sometimes constricted the range of roles she was offered, it made her a star.
Within three months of Guddi's release, Jaya shone once again in her second Hindi film Uphaar , another tale of a mischievous girl caught in the troubled cusp between childhood and adulthood. The film did well and Jaya was gifted with box-office muscle.
Jaya could illuminate even Anil Dhawan movies like Piya Ka Ghar and Annadaata [both 1972]. Her early films opposite the love of her life, newcomer Amitabh Bachchan, rode largely on her popular appeal.
Though Jaya did her share of commercial films subsequently (eminently successful ones like the 1972 frothy musical Jawani Diwani), she seemed more at home with middle of-the-road cinema of Hrishikesh Mukherji and Gulzar. Playing a peripheral role as Dharmendra's dolled-up girlfriend in the hit Samadhi was not her forte.
In Gulzar's Parichay , she could have been satisfied with portraying yet another extension of her popular Guddi persona, but Jaya worked hard on deciding the mannersims of an obstinate but insecure motherless girl. She struck a great working relationship with Gulzar, whom she called Bhai [brother]. He gifted her with an extremely challenging role in his next Koshish , as part of a deaf and mute couple (opposite Sanjeev Kumar), bravely trying to overcome their disadvantage.
Jaya Bhaduri's Landmark Films
Dharmendra, Samit Bhanja
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
Jaya's initial films with Amitabh (Ek Nazar and Bansi Birju), made few ripples at the box-office. But May 11, 1973 saw the release of Zanjeer, whose immense success would change their lives forever. Jaya had a largely unremarkable 'girlfriend' role in the film, but playing the angry young man of Zanjeer transformed Amitabh into a mega star.
Jaya and Amitabh could now afford to get married. They did on June 2, 1973 taking off for a long honeymoon to London. Unfortunately, it also put Jaya's career in question, especially when she soon became pregnant.
Jaya's career was at its peak then. Hrishikesh Mukherji's Abhimaan , which starred the Bachchans and was released soon after their marriage, was a success. Moreover, Jaya had drawn raves for her performance as the talented singer-wife of an insecurity-ridden crooner and won Filmfare's Best Actress award, too.
The next year, Jaya won another Best Actress Award for her performance in the marital strife drama, Kora Kagaz . That year, she also gave birth to daughter Shweta and her priorities changed. She wrapped up her last few assignments, like Mukherji's Mili and Chupke Chupke and the Ramesh Sippy blockbuster Sholay [all released in 1975]. Son Abhishek was born soon after and Jaya concentrated on bringing up her children.
Jaya did make a comeback with Yash Chopra's relationship saga, Silsila , giving rise to much speculation. But the film did not make too many waves. Jaya was next seen onscreen only when her children were grown up. Noted avante garde filmmaker Govind Nihalani gave her an author-backed role in Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa , and Jaya adeptly picked up the threads of her acting career once again.
Since then, Jaya has won awards for her stylised but finely-tuned performances in Fiza  and Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham . Both on and off screen, the one-time guddi (doll) is now a graceful grandmother.
Studied artificiality was at its height where heroines were concerned in the late 1960s. Beehive bouffants and out-there eyeliner were the norm of the day.
Fresh-faced, scrubbed-clean Jaya Bhaduri was a gale of fresh air when she appeared on the scene in the 1970s. Her first film Guddi (1971) was courageously built around this persona. And as a film, refreshingly reflected her endearing unpretentiousness.
Small-scale but dexterously crafted, Guddi is a gentle coming-of-age fable about a young, full-of-beans girl's rites of passage to mellow adulthood. It encompasses its starstruck protagonist's startling realisation that even glamorous male movie stars are but hard working human beings leading rather banal, mundane lives.
Guddi is that rare film on the film world. And a thumping box office success. In the film the Mumbai film world seems to have an inexhaustible lode of intrinsically decent and eccentrically delightful characters. There seems to be practically no seamy side to Bollywood in this Alice In Wonderland parable.
Perhaps that's where its appeal partly lies. This sunny, deeply humane family film still manages to deliver a mighty emotional wallop.
The teacup-sized Kusum aka Guddi (Jaya Bahduri) is a sparkly-eyed schoolgirl on the cusp of childhood and adulthood. A prankster, she is seeped in film culture (Mala Sinha bhi pehenti hai [Mala Sinha also wears this], she says when she wants to wear a frock) and wears constellations in her eyes about her favourite actor, Dharmendra.
Born in a well-to-do family, Guddi has a benign bhabhi [sister-in-law] (Sumita Sanyal) as a mother figure. Guddi is shown to be sensitive enough to want to study hard in school so that her bhabhi is not blamed for not taking care of her.
Bhabhi takes Guddi to Mumbai for the holidays to stay with her mamaji [mother's brother], (Utpal Dutt) a Professor Of Experimental Psychology. When bhabhi fixes up Guddi's match with her engineer brother Navin (newcomer Samit), Guddi grimaces.
Hrishikesh Mukherji and co-writer Gulzar take care to underline the cultural imperialism of films by making Guddi mouth some delightfully filmi lines. When her bhabhi's matchmaking comes to light she runs to the terrace and tells Navin Yeh shaadi nahin ho sakti. When he asks for an explanation she pleads Mujhe majboor mat karo. Finally, she reveals that she is in love with film star Dharmendra.
Here, the professor decides to take matters in hand. Through his connections, he meets Dharmendra, puts forward his case and asks the reluctant actor to help his starstruck bhaanji [niece]. The twosome now plot and plan to get Guddi to see the behind-the-scenes sweat and grime of a whole lot of people that go into forming the make-believe world of films.
After a series of visits to the studios with Navin in tow, Guddi is shorn of her illusions as she gets a reality check on films and film people. A villain in films (Pran) may be a nice guy in real life; an onscreen miser (Om Prakash) may be totally different in person. Meanwhile, Dharmendra too sportingly does his bit to build up Navin in her eyes --- including losing to him in tennis and taking a beating from Navin to prove his chivalry.
In her own sweet way, Guddi finally wakes up to the fact that she is in love with Navin, after all.
It may sometimes feel sugary, but this tale is so winning because Guddi's character is an everygirl whose dilemmas are accessible to most. As an insider, Mukherhji also handles with pathos the depiction of the wasted lives of a struggler chasing a mirage. Asrani plays Guddi's friend's brother who runs away to be a hero but ends up an extra. Dharmendra's speech about the impermanence of film while standing in front of a burnt shell of a studio is also potent.
Mukherji got several stars like Dilip Kumar, Mala Sinha, Biswajeet, Navin Nischol, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and Vimmi to put in special appearances, showing them hard at work in the studios.
Dharmendra in a fair-sized role is a true sport --- the kind of star you believe would take so much trouble over a fan.
Despite the big names, the film's main character is more than capable of shouldering the film. Jaya fits right into the rhythms of her character. When she fires up that smile, she looks every inch a wet-behind-the-ears schoolgirl. It is hard to think of any other actress in this part.
* Amitabh Bachchan was to play Jaya's first hero originally but Hrishikesh Mukherji wanted a totally new face to play Navin's role. After Amitabh became famous in Mukherji's own Anand, the director decided against casting him.
* Jaya Bhaduri was studying at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, when Hrishikesh Mukherji saw her diploma films. He called her to the principal's office and offered her the title role. Jaya had done a role in Satyajit Ray's Mahanagar. On Jaya's first day of shooting with Dharmendra, he came up to her and asked, "You are the heroine of the film? Tumhari umar kya hai [How old are you?]"
* This was veteran Rajkamal composer Vasant Desai's last major hit. In keeping with the backdrop, some old fiilm songs were used like Tujhe jeevan ki dor se from Mukherji's Asli Naqli and Aa ja re from Madhumati which was made by Mukherji's mentor Bimal Roy. They added a piquant flavour to the film.
Famous songs from Guddi:
Humko man ki shakti dena
Bol re paphihara
* Desai's compositions like Hum ko man ki shakti dena and Bole re papihara was much appreciated. They brought singer Vani Jairam to the fore.
You might also want to read: Revisiting Pakeezah
She couldn't care less if most people think that her flourishing career in films was aborted abruptly after her marriage with Amitabh Bachchan. And now, as she plays the lead role in Govind Nihalani's Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa, an adaptation of a Bengali novel of the same name by Mahashweta Devi, she is irked at the media branding it as her grand comeback.
Apart from playing an extremely sensitive character``something that all women will identify with, for despite the progress of mankind the woman's lot hasn't changed at all''Jaya Bachchan is also glad that she is playing her age. After a traumatic sequenceplaying the mother who is called upon to identify her dead sonshe takes a break from the sets to talk to Sudipta Basu about her life under and away from the arc lights. Excerpts:
Can you recall a similar, tense sequence in your career?
There have been a few. Abhaghi was one, where such a strain prevailed right through the film. Abhimaan was another, when I lose the child and then in Silsila, after my fiancee dies in the plane crash.
Why do you resist from referring to Hazar Chaurasi ki Maa as your comeback?That's because I've never really been away from the industry. Silsila might have been my last major film, but I also played a character in Tapan Sinha's series, Women of the Century, last year. Then, I was also supposed to have done a film directed by Shafi Inamdar. The project was stalled after his death.
The gaps in my career have been due to the fact that people stopped making the films that I was comfortable doing. I have not been much of a dancer and couldn't wriggle and jiggle at all. Then the characters that were being made for me were a rehash of Kora Kagaz and Abhimaan. I would have simply ended up repeating myself.
Consider the characters that are being carved out for women in the industry today. Playing run-of-the-mill roles, they (the actresses) end up being overexposed and over-hyped and are branded has-beens very young. Madhuri Dixit is an example. She is being considered jaded when she is actually still very young.
What were your priorities when you stepped into the industry?
Not to make money. (It was to) express yourself sensitively and get appreciated for it.
And the character closest to your heart?
Guddi. Apart from that being my first film, it was also one which I could identify with completely. The entire household there drawn by Hrishikesh Mukherjee was very tangible for its Indianness. There is no gap between the audience and the characters on screen. This was a complete Indian film.
How much of the child-like and bubbly Guddi and Mili were you?They were second nature to me. I am a very restless person. I am a complete extrovert and I enjoy good fun. I hope I am fun to be with as well. n As one who has been the chairperson of the Children's Film Society, do you think today's urban Indian teenager would identify with the child-Guddi and child-Mili?
Children today fall into two categories. The pre-teens and those between 13 and 16. When the mantle of the head of the children's film society fell on me, I immediately sought to build a platform for the two groups by re-naming the society as the National Society for Children and Young People (NSCYP).I realised that children needed to look beyond parks and swimming pools for intelligent entertainment. Overburdened with school bags and regimented academics, they needed the space to express themselves. n As soon as you took over, you invited a few children's filmmakers' wrath by rejecting their films which were otherwise considered good. Bhimsen went on to win the national award.
I would not like to comment on Bhimsen's film, since the case is being heard in the courts. However, it is important for Bhimsen to sit down and do some introspection.
At the NSCYP I tried to change the attitude that bachchon ke liye film saste mein ban jaati hai. Making a children's film is not easy. I improved the budget of the films that would earlier remain on the fringes of Rs 3 lakh. Technical qualities and the treatment of the films were improved. Out of 30 subjects that were submitted, only one would qualify for being scripted, which again would turn out to be very sub-standard. I must confess here that all our films were not of great quality.
Most people feel you have not acted out your potential.
Well, I have had separate roles to play. Being a wife and mother became completely important to me soon after. Even now, when I am on sets I am feeling guilty about the fact that I will not be around to receive my daughter who is coming home today. She is an adult and I wonder if I should feel this way, but then it also means love and concern of a mother. After all, life is not made of one's self.
Your husband once said in a radio interview that Abhimaan was very close to your lives together.
He must have meant about that bit of us being in the same profession.
Otherwise, there has never been any ego hassle between us.
The Bachchan household has always been dogged by controversy spinning around your private lives, as also now... .
One learns to shut one's ears to them.
Do you then see yourself cast opposite your husband in a film?
Certainly. But I will not play second fiddle to him. I never have. Not in reel life and never in real life.
I might have had a small role in Sholay opposite him. But it was very significant and perhaps one of the meatiest roles that I have ever done in my career. Actually, even he wouldn't be happy to see me do any less either.
Jaya Bhaduri, a short, dusky and bubbly actress with looks like the girl next door is one of the greatest gifts to the film world by Satyajit Rai. She is an actress in her own right, who has not only created a niche for herself in the Bollywood but has also not allowed the superstar status and the tall frame of her husband Amitabh Bachchan, to overshadow her both literally and figuratively.
She was born in 1948 in Kolkata to Taroon Kumar, an author-journalist. It is here that she got her first break in Mahanagar, 1963, a Satyajit Ray film, while she was still in her teens. After doing a couple of more films and a stint at the Film and Television Institute of India at Pune, where she first met Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya landed in Mumbai with a role in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s film Guddi in 1971.
Though without a background in Bollywood, she carved a niche for herself within no time. Little did she know that this debut shall herald an era of stardom for her and catapult her to the virtual status of being the First Lady of Bollywood, one day. In Guddi she played a girlish, coquettish character that leaves her matinee idol husband for the man next door. Uphaar, that shortly followed Guddi was also an amazing success at the box-office. Her unpretentious demeanor, immense talent, endearing attitude and ability to enliven the characters she played brought her in the forefront of the film world.
She received greater acceptance in Mili with Amitabh, which was a woman-oriented role. In this movie Jaya’s role was of a young and chubby girl, suffering from cancer. She created a furore in the film industry by her scintillating performance.
She could illuminate otherwise dull films of Anil Dhawan like Anndata and Piya ka Ghar, opposite her love, Amitabh Bachchan, who was then a fresher. She co-starred with him in movies like Zanjeer, Ek Nazar, Bansi-Birju and Abhiman. Zanjeer and Abhiman not only proved a boon for Amitabh’s professional life but for his personal life as well.
On June 2, 1973 Jaya and Amitabh tied the nuptial knot. After getting married, Amitabh achieved great heights in his career. There was no looking back for him either.
She bagged her first Best Actress award for her outstanding performance in Kora Kagaz, 1974, in which she portrayed a woman caught in the tussle between her parents and husband. She was also blessed with a daughter, named Shweta in the same year. Abhishek, the second star kid was born on Feb 5, 1976.
This versatile actress played different roles in Jawani Deewani, Uphaar, Naya Din Nayi Raat followed by Koshish. Koshish was a unique experiment in the history of Bollywood. Both the leading characters performed the characters of a deaf and dumb couple superbly, exhibiting immense talent through their expressions and emotions. She earned great fame by acting in movies like Naya Din Nayi raat, Anamika and Naukar with Sanjeev Kumar as a co-star. She stood tall against him in Naya Din Nayi Raat, in which the Nau-Ras, the nine facets of life have been exuberantly portrayed. The movie Naukar, 1980, proved to be another turning point in her career when she bagged the best actress award.
Jaya also played small but significant character roles in few films like Chupke-Chupke and Sholay before saying goodbye to Bollywood, as she decided to focus on her family life. Thereafter, Yash Chopra convinced her for a short comeback in Silsila, with Amitabh, Rekha and Sanjeev Kumar as her co-stars. The storyline of this movie was close to Jaya and Amitabh’s real life story.
At 53, in 1998, she came back as an actress in Govind Nihalani’s Hazar Chuarasi Ki Ma playing roles of her age. Fans were also elated by her performance as a mother of Hrithik and Karishma in Fiza. She has also been appreciated for her role as Nandini in Karan Johar’s Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gam. Besides character roles, Jaya also joined her husband’s entertainment company Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited, ABCL, and produced a serial, Dekh Bhai Dekh and a movie Tere Mere Sapne.
Jaya Bachchan, known for superb dialogue delivery and timing, is an actress endowed with a potential to enact both comic and serious roles with ease. She has worked with the best directors of the Hindi cinema from Yash Chopra, Ramesh Sippy, Govind Nihalani to Karan Johar. Live, energetic and versatile Jaya is not a mere name on the vast tinsel horizon but is a living legend.