Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kaajal - I can't make this stuff up!

Seriously. I cannot make this stuff up. I don't often recommend a movie for pure camp value but Kaajal has me beat. It takes literally every element necessary for a mid-60's Meena Kumari weepie (minus Ashok Kumar) and adds some really fun direction and about a million good songs, including one dance each from Padmini, Mumtaz, and Helen, and fabulous set design and then hangs it all off of a story that is over-the-top and preposterous that even I couldn't take it seriously.

I highly recommend that you view the whole thing for yourself - preferably with some like minded friends and a big bowl of popcorn - so I won't spoil the whole thing for you. But the plot includes secret siblings, jealous scheming over who loves Dharmendra more, death by whirlpool, Helen being doused in alcohol, accidental shotgun deaths, and a book titled "How to Win a Husband."

Allow me to share some screencaps with you - so you can see what you are missing by going by Netflix's 2 star rating of Kaajal.

Meena Kumari is the daughter of Dharmendra's family's old clerk and has been adopted by the family. They are total BFFs.

He wears outfits like this!!

Padmini - lovely Padmini - won a Filmfare award for best actress for her role as "Bitchy Girl Who Traps Dharmendra Into Marriage."

Seriously. There is a hilarious sequence involving this book.

There are lots of pretty shots of Padmini and Dharmendra falling in love...

Meena Kumari doesn't have time for romance because she is too busy doting on her brother...

...who dies promptly after she sings a song about how much she loves him AND TIEING A RAKHI. (This will be important later.)

Despite her grief, Meena is always thinking about others before herself and encourages Dharam to get married. Here, he explains that he loves TWO ladies. Padmini is extremely unhappy with this.

Also, there is a comedy track with Mumtaz and Mehmood.

So, Padmini and Mumtaz start spreading rumors that Meena is a witch and then break her by giving her a "special" rakhi to tie on Dharam.


Padmini taunts her, saying that she must be in love with Dharam.

And then I did this.

Suicide attempt foiled by Raj Kumar.

Another chandelier for the collection!

Padmini dance number!

Helen dance number!

Meena refuses to drink the "wine" - knowing full well there is no actual alcohol in it.

And in case I didn't emphasize this enough before - Dharmendra is looking HOT.

The highlight of the film for me, though, had to be Meena Kumari being dragged across the floor by Raj Kumar while she held onto the barrel of his shotgun.

Also, Raj Kumar's mystical transformation through the magic of pond scum was pretty classy.

All in all, a highly satisfying film in an entirely unintentional way. I didn't start off watching this for camp value but about 50 minutes in - the whirlpool - I gave up on taking it seriously. You can read my "livetweets" to see for yourself!

  1. I don't often recommend a film for pure camp value - but#kaajal is pretty unintentionally funny.
  2. Redemption by POND SCUM! Also, Meena might pull through!#kaajal
  3. DEATH BY POND SCUM! no - redemption by pond scum? I have no idea what is going to happen. #kaajal
  4. But where is he going? Also, does this mean that all of Padmini's plotting worked?! #kaajal
  5. Yeah, you better run, Raj Kumar! And don't think those bug eyes will make me like you now #kaajal
  6. Now Meena Kumari is being literally dragged across the floor by the barrel of a shotgun. Guess who is dead? #kaajal
  7. Worst. Dishoom. Ever. Pran would kick both your butts so fast, Dharam and RK. He should have totally played the evil son. #kaajal
  8. Ha ha ha!!! Padmini just called it "fate" - yes it has been "fated" that you are a meddling b*tch. #kaajal
  9. ...when it turns out that the jerk is the real heir switched at birth with the son of some servant and raised by a drunkard.#kaajal
  10. See, Padmini this is what happens when you meddle by trying to to marry off sweet Meena to a jerk - YOU get banished from the palace...
  11. Now RK is all responsible and wearing a suit and TAKING REVENGE on Garam Dharam! Movie, stop messing with me!#kaajal
  12. Oh, ok it's "30" years - STILL, WHAT? Now Meena and Dharam are siblings?! #kaajal
  13. Wait - WHAT? RK IS HER REAL SON?! #kaajal
  14. WHAT?! RK's father is the EVIL Gardener that Dharam-ji's mother FIRED "20" YEARS AGO!??? GET OUT! #kaajal
  15. Here we go - Padmini is plotting with Raj Kumar. And RK doesn't even have the Husband Manual to warn him about her plots!!! #kaajal
  16. Also, the fact that she is wearing mourning colors ONE DAY into your marriage should be a bad sign. #kaajal
  17. Dude, Rajkumar! Trying to get real-life lush Meena Kumari to drink "wine" while she sobs is not endearing you to me.#kaajal
  18. Oh Helen - of course you show up in the bottom of a glass filled with "wine" (aka watered down cola.) #kaajal
  19. @HPunster The worst part was - he RETURNED it to her!! And then married her!! No wonder their marriage is doomed.#kaajal
  20. Tun Tun is here!!!! She improves every film by about 200%.#kaajal
  21. OH NO HE DIDN'T! Raj Kumar is scamming on my Dharam! Poor Meena! Not that she can ever escape a film happy - no.#kaajal
  22. Song of ominous foreshadowing seems to be hinting at a Padmini/Rajkumar liason - eeeeenteresting! Also Padmini is an awesome dancer.
  23. EWWWW! RAJKUMAR! I HATE HIM! Hook up with Dharam instead, Meena! #kaajal
  24. Okay, Dharam-ji, never marry a girl who reads books titled "How to Trap A Husband." It will be BAD NEWS!!! EEEEE Meena is running away!
  25. Nahin!!! Jealousy strings made Dharam's mother fall for Padmini's trap to marry off Meeeeena to some JERK!!!!! #kaajal
  26. Ominous strings of JEALOUSY! It's going to be adultery, I think... Will Padmini fall from grace then? Meena is pretty sainted in #Kaajal
  27. Okay there had better be a good fall from grace or at least some adultery here - I sense Meena/Dharam sparks... plus Helen was promised.
  28. And it's RAKHI!!!!! TRAGEDY! #Kaajal
  29. Now things are getting good - 50 minutes in #Kaajal
  30. TRAGIC DEATH BY BOAT RACE!!!!! Nahiiiiiiiin! #Kaajal
  31. I'm so pathetic - give me a couple of giant closeups of Meena Kumari's eyes and I'm all set. ;D
  32. perfect end to a perfect weekend :) watching a Meena Kumari film...


martoufmarty said...

Meena Kumari and Raj Kumar and Helen and lots of campiness?

... I may have to see this one...


Gauri Radha said...

I haven't seen this but it looks really cool, especially the dance costumes.

Thanks for the screen-caps FilmiGirl!!

Banno said...

Sounds amazing. I've only ever watched it in 5-minute bits. Seems like I must get into the whirlpool. And be submerged.

ajnabi said...

Redemption by pondscum! YES! Clearly this movie is perfect.

Filmi Girl said...

@martoufmarty YES! It is hilarious!

@Gauri The dances were really lovely - Padmini, Helen, and Mumtaz were all in top form. :)

@Banno You will not regret it - it's a bit slow to start, but once the whirlpool hits, the OTT really kicks it up!

@ajnabi Hee!! The cap does not convey the full ridiculousness of that scene - RK jumps on a horse and gallops away only to fall off and CRAWL over to the pond, where we are treated to like 5 minutes of INTENSE reflection while the camera lingers on his eyes and he helpfully voiceovers for us.

After KKKG, this film would be perfect for your snark blog!!

Anarchivist said...

I loved "Kaajal"! One of my favorite things was how it all went on happily for, like, an hour. The family's great, everyone's marrying the person they love. I was enjoying all their escapades, and suddenly realized, hey, no plot has really kicked in yet. At almost that exact moment, tragedy struck! And then the fabulous Parade of Trauma. Wow!

Filmi Girl said...

@anarchivist I'm right there with you! I was like - "oh, are they going to do a love triangle with Meena and Padmini" and then I got a feeling of something ominous coming when she started that song about her brother... "Meena couldn't possibly make a film this cheerful..." Enter WHIRLPOOL OF DOOM!

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
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