Monday, September 14, 2009

Anamika: Jaya + Sanjeev = <3

Today's review to be transferred is the wonderful 1970s film Anamika - which not only features Helen doing a rocking item number in "Aaj Ki Raat" but also has some really good chemistry between Sanjeev and Jaya. This is one of my favorite 1970s films!

And on to the review:

It took me about half an hour to sink into the world of Anamika, but I'm glad I stuck it out because I was glued to the screen by the end!

Me?! A woman-hater?! Nahin! Although, if you're speaking about famous author Devendra, played by Sanjeev Kumar, then - YES! He hates women almost as much as Jughead Jones does, which is too bad for the nameless woman who is thrown out of a car right in front of him!! She's bound, gagged, and unconscious! OH NO! Luckily for the nameless woman, Devendra's uncle is with him and they take the woman home and call a doctor. Hilarity then ensues when it turns out that she has lost her memory and thinks that she is Devendra's WIFE!

He's less than pleased to find a WOMAN in his house. He names her after his latest novel - "Anamika" - and then goes about trying not to admit that she's actually really charming.

What red-blooded man could resist peeking in the mirror when she comes into change and doesn't notice him there?

Not even that old misogynist Hemingway can keep his mind from wandering...

After about an hour of flirting and one kidnapping attempt, he decides to take her to Simla to "protect" her from those nasty men who are (for some reason) are after her!!!

At this point, Devendra has loosened up enough to be comfortable playing in the snow! He's like Shammi in Junglee (except with the world's largest snowball!)

Understandably upset at being hit with the world's largest snowball, Anamika tricks a group of guys into thinking that Devendra is trying to be fresh with her. And he (charmingly) can't bring himself to say that she's his wife because she's not. You can tell he really wants to, though, and (I can't emphasize this enough) IT'S SO CUTE.

The guys manage some good zingers before Anamika sets the record straight.

Don't worry, things are going to go all to pieces for our two young lovers, but before they do, Devendra and Anamika share a touching moment. (Also, I really want Jaya's coat!) He tries to get her to remember (or "remember") her past and she brushes it off saying that she just is. He accepts this and tells her that she has brought spring to his life. *swoon*

The second half of the film takes all the little hints of Anamika's past and explodes them. Devendra finds out tidbits and then MORE tidbits - all of which are really, really terrible. But, are they true? As always, in cases like this, all roads lead through Miss Ruby (HELEN), who dances in the hotel.

He takes her to a show - nervous that things will be true but hoping that they're not...

Anamika tries to pretend that she doesn't suspect that he already suspects her.

But Miss Ruby recognizes her!!

And Miss Ruby is pissed off!

Devendra gets the full story from Miss Ruby but when he goes back to Anamika, he finds that she's run off. When Anamika shows up back home, he sends her packing without even hearing her explanation.

I'll leave the finer details of why, how, and when for you to find out as you watch Anamika because you most certainly should if you enjoy any of the following things:

It is very easy to imagine Devendra, world-weary from all his author duties and heart-sick on top of it, falling for this guileless and full-of-life woman. She just bustles in and sweeps out the cobwebs from his household AND his heart. And she really loves him. Anamika is not pretending in that.

* Sanjeev Kumar. Why did it take me so long to fall for Sanjeev's charms? Sure, he's not conventionally handsome, but neither are a lot of heroes from the old days. Well, whatever my mental block was, it's very much gone now. I adore Sanjeev and his particular mix of tragedy, sensativity, and romance is very much on display here.

Not only is his character kind of a sad bastard, but apparently Sanjeev was rejected by Hema Malini during (or before) the filming of Anamika, which makes his sadness all the more real... When he finds out that Anamika isn't who she says she is... he's just SO SAD! Let's see that screen cap again:

* The romance is very Beauty and the Beast (which I love) but also does this thing where Anamika is treated like an actual person and not just a pawn/beauty queen. You see, Anamika manages to tame Devendra's dil, yes, but that happens in a million romances - woman heals man's pain. THE END. Anamika shakes things up a bit.

So, Devendra sends Anamika away after hearing the bad things that she is supposed to have done and refuses to hear her explanation. He regrets it and tracks her down later TO APOLOGIZE! Yes, he apologizes for not listening to her!

And she had been too proud to go back...*sigh of happiness* Ah, the sweet reunion gets better when she tells him that EVERYTHING WAS TRUE! Well, everything was true except that it didn't mean what he thought it meant and, by the way, she's a widow but he'll be ending up with her anyways! Which makes three movies I've seen (Phool aur Pattar and Mangal Pandey being the other two) that feature a widow finding LUV.) How great is that? I love when problems are resolved by the couple acting like grown-ups and listening to one another.

All in all, I really enjoyed Anamika. Jaya and Sanjeev had great chemistry, the soundtrack was fun, and the plot had just a smattering of masala to keep things from getting too heavy - I didn't mention the real masala elements here but I'll just say the words "fire" and "creepy in-law" and "20 minute chase scene in the DARK."


bawa said...

I love the film too! And agree with you about Jaya and Sanjeev totally.

The songs are brilliant and I like the fact that even though the story is "filmy", it mostly is logical so that the masala drama is not too bad.

Anyway only have to read the papers to see that masala elements like fire, creepy relatives are a part of indian life!

simran said...

Wow that seems like a crazy movie! :D I think I might just go and make my mom get it for me now .. ;) And Sanjeev looks so good! He also had the same birthday as me. :)

coddy said...

Lovely movie! One of the ironical things about the more "natural" movies - (eg this movie, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Sai Paranpaje(sic), Basu Chaterjee etc) is that they show a happy way of life where there is no need for movie-watching. :)

memsaab said...

I like this film lots too. Started me on the path to Sanjeev love :)

myrna_nora said...

Looks really good.
Because you are the "Helen expert", I have to ask. What are the best films with Helen in a starring role?

Anonymous said...

A good review of a truly good movie.

Sanjeev Kumar was an awesome actor - not handsome as you rightly point but truly talented.

Watch him in "Koshish", "Trishul", "Seeta aur Geeta" (he is supposed to have fallen in love with Hema Malini during this movie), "Mausam", "Manorajan"

Anonymous said...

Sorry forgot to add - "Aandhi" is one of the best Sanjeev movies. Sanjeev and Suchitra Sen's acting plus its melodious music make it a truly good movie. It is based on the life of the late Mrs Indira Gandhi (ex PM of India)who apparently got massive parts of the movie chopped by the censor board as India was under the infamous Emergency went it released.

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