Thursday, May 31, 2007

Naseeb: Brings back nostalgia for an old masala movie

I was watching a typical masala movie on TV a few days back, and was thinking about Naseeb, which is a good example of a masala movie, the way it should be made. And .. it was running on another channel when I switched. Enough coincidence that I thought about writing a post on it.
Naseeb in my mind has always been the original masala movie, and it has been now 26 years since it was released (in 1981). It combines all the elements that make it a good masala movie, with action, drama, theft, revenge, crime, romance, sacrifice, brotherly love, and so on. It also had a large star cast, starring the popular actors of that time: Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha, Rishi Kapoor, Reena Roy, Hema Malini, Pran, Kader Khan, Amrish Puri, and so on.
It also had the innovation of a revolving restaurant.Plus, it introduced the concept of bringing in a number of other stars for pure guest appearances, with the song 'John Jani Janardhan' where there were short guest appearances by a number of other stars such as Dharmendra, Raj kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Shammi Kapoor, etc. It would have been difficult to refuse Manmohan Desai his requests for a short guest appearance. This sort of short appearances has been utilized in a number of other movies after this movie.
Naseeb was a movie set across 2 generations. 4 friends get a lottery ticket, and when the lottery 'coincidentally' comes out on that ticket, 2 of the friends turn decidely unfriendly, they kill 1, and blame the other. He is convicted and spends quite some time in jail. Now their children grow up. Amitabh and Rishi are the sons of the jailed friend (Pran), while Shatrughan is the son of Amjad Khan. Amitabh and Shatrughan are friends, although Shatrughan is rich because the 2 murdered friends used the lottery money to make it big, while Amitabh is poor and lives in a poor area.
To make it somewhat confusing, Reena Roy has always loved Shatrughan, while Hema and Amitabh love each other; and after seeing Hema, Shatrughan falls in love with her. And there is another love story in the offing where Rishi and Kim are in school/college and are in love with each other. So, there are sacrifices made for friends along with the giving up of one's love; then there is the revenge drama enacted where Pran wants to get revenge once he realizes the truth. In the end, there is the only possible thrilling end to such a masala movie, an escape from a burning hotel.
This was a brilliantly executed masala movie, such that even though there are several flaws in the movie, you still enjoy it. I find it difficult to enjoy current masala movies to the same extent, with the masala movie that I found somewhat brilliantly executed was the Govinda starrer 'Aankhen'.
Songs of the movie are excellent and can be listened to at this link.

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