Thursday, February 25, 2010

70s Week Recaps: Victoria No. 203

Because I ran out of time to write anything new, enjoy some old reviews of 70s films with bahut, bahut colorful screencaps! And those of you who know me, know I love cross-dressing ladies and PRAN which makes this film pretty much one of the best things I've ever seen.

There were three very good things about this movie - the Pran/Ashok jodi, Saira Banu, and the part of the plot where Pran and Ashok find a key in a dead guy's wig and then become obsessed with baldies.

See, what happens is that some thugs double cross each other and Saira Banu's father gets caught up in their inter-gang wars and is sentenced to jail for a murder he didn't commit. She swears revenge!

Part of her revenge involves dressing up as a man to drive her father's old victoria
because ladies are not able to get licenses. (I certainly hope that has changed. Ladies are perfectly capable of driving victorias, as Saira Banu proves.) While driving the victoria, she meets the world's dullest rich playboy - played by Navin Nischol, who was utterly forgetable in the role. He's kind of wet blanket and enjoys dangling the prospect of marriage in front of ladies and then ditching them when they agree to have pre-marital relations with him. Also, his father never gives him any spending money. *sigh*

To the benefit of the film, Naveen gets very little screen time despite his 'hero' role. What we get instead is 3 hours of the Pran and Ashok Kumar show!! I cannot emphasize enough how hilarious these two are. Here they are finding a key in a dead guy's wig.

Trying to get Helen to tell them what the key opens....

And captured in the gang's lair, the zings are still flying! Factory of turning people bald, indeed!

And in one of the best scenes in the film - the tied up in a boat and need something to cut the ropes with scene!

Saira Banu always impresses me and through the first part of the film, she gets to do some fun stuff taking revenge on the men who put her father in jail! Things like show up pretending to be chased by rapists and then seduce Ranjeet - who is always guilty - into giving you information about the real criminal! Good stuff!

Because Saira is a smart cookie, she figures that along with revenge, she can rope the dopey rich guy into marriage. Why more heroines don't do this is beyond me - she figures that the best way to hook a hero is to show up dressed to the nines at a party, make a point of ignoring the guy she is trying to hook, and then race off while he chases her! Heroes love to chase!! It's their M.O.! Of course any hero worth his salt is going to fall for this!

This rich guy didn't stand a chance! Of course, he still needs that pocket money....

Here we get to the subplot that always warms my heart. Forget sappy romance - this is the "Money is evil and all spoils should be turned over to the government" subplot! It features prominently in such classic Soviet comedies as
Brilliantovaya Ruka, which I highly recommend to everyone.

Naveen needs pocket money - Pran and Ashok need cash to pay an informant to give over the name of the real criminal behind the crime Saira's father was imprisoned for. They hatch a scheme to 'kidnap' Naveen and get the cash from his father.

Despite his
solid gold telephone (!), he refuses to pay!! In fact, he says he'll pay them double to just kill Naveen!!!

Hilarious plot things happen which lead to the big reveal - the real criminal was Naveen's fake father!! OH NO!! You'll never keep those jewels! They belong to the government!

Pran shows off his fathering skills just in time to be revealed as....

the hero's father!!!

Of course things work out well for the protagonists, who show up at the jail - Pran and Ashok wearing medals - to both mock Naveen's fake father being taken in and to welcome Saira's father getting out.

The film ends with a great gag of Ashok chasing after a 'lady.'

So, yes, a highly entertaining film. The one thing that I really didn't like was how Saira Banu's character disappears after she falls in love about halfway through the film. All of sudden she goes from knife-wielding detective to baggage - and it's all Naveen's fault! *wields knife in direction of Naveen* I do appreciate that Saira Banu's interest in him extended as far as "he has money - I need money", which says about all that needs to be said about his personality.

In short, a must watch for people like me who can think of nothing better than to combine Pran, Ashok Kumar, and a cross-dressing Saira Banu in a jewel heist movie with a
bumping soundtrack. (Seriously! Kalyanji-Anandji did an amazing job with the score. I need to find this somewhere...)

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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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