Monday, August 22, 2011

From the Vaults: Jalte Badan...

I wrote this up a long time ago but I saw that Memsaab was going to tip her toes into the CRAZY WORLD of Jalte Badan and thought I would add my cray-cray screencaps to the mix. This movie was insane but delightfully so. ENJOY!

Do you enjoy the following things – blindness that can only be cured by true love, over-exaggerated depictions of drug use, snake cults, and Padma Khanna with a gun? If the answer is “yes”, then why haven’t you seen Jalte Badan yet?!

I don’t even remember why I purchased this. I have a list of titles that I’d like to see and every once in a while I buy a bunch from Nehaflix. I think I may have seen one of the song picturizations on youtube and went from there. My instincts did not lead me wrong - Jalte Badan is an amazing masala film that has almost everything I love crammed into its reels.

Jalte Badan is the story of this guy – Kiran Kumar, son of Filmi Girl favorite Jeevan – a handsome young man on his way to Bombay to go to college. Of course nothing bad will happen to this country boy in the big city, right? RIGHT?

It turns out that Kiran is a big country bumpkin and does embarrassing stuff like stand up when the professor walks into the classroom. His school mates find him unbearable – and to be fair, he’s really annoying in his dorkiness – and take it upon themselves to “loosen him up.”

This leads to a variety of hilarious stunts – the best culminating in Kiran being chased by a crocodile… while totally NUDE! He steals a lady’s skirt and ends up being taken in by kindly cabaret dancer Padma Khanna.

(I’m not making this stuff up!)

Well, as in any good drug movie, Kiran spirals downward and downward in a series of more and more entertaining episodes until he hits rock bottom.

But guess what?! Kiran has a heroine!

Whoa! Hold up! Not that kind of “heroine” – although he has that, too. Kiran’s ace in the sleeve is Ganga, played with earnest panache by Kum Kum.

Ganga is the kind of simple, modest village girl who never be caught without her head covered and her teeny-tiny bikini top on. She provided me endless amusement as her “traditional” outfits were often far more revealing and sexualized than the Westernized hussies she was supposed to be the antidote to. “Oh, look at that Western hussy in… slacks. And a t-shirt with a cute jacket! Why doesn’t she have her head covered?!”

Not only is Ganga Kiran’s one true love, she’s also his moral compass. Her affinity with animals is the reason they met! True story!

She speaks to him through this stuffed deer head to get him to give up hunting! He goes to find her and they declare their love FOREVER!

Will Ganga travel to Bombay to save her lover?! Will his family accept her?! Who goes blind and how?! You’ll just have to watch!

Other things of note –

Padma Khanna is fantastic as always! I love how her trademark character is the vamp with the heart of gold – she doesn’t steal the guy, she’s just a nice girl mixed up in the cabaret scene.

Plus, I love when she gets to shoot a gun! I need to do a “Masala Chicks with Guns” picture post at some point.

(Look how modest she is – her head is totally covered!)

Kum Kum does this “authentic” snake charmer dance at one point in her “authentic” and “traditional” outfit! What’s so amazing about the picturization is not her charisma or dance moves or the music – it’s the CROWD! You see this sea of men pulsating with desire. I kept waiting for the tide to turn and for them to rush into the circle and try to get at her. It’s really quite something…


Now that I know about Sagar Enterprises, I’m never going to forget! In fact, I’m going to order a whole bunch more Sagar Enterprises Presentations because I enjoyed this one so much.

Okay, skip past this part if you don’t want to be spoiled....

Still here?

What about now?

Okay – one of the most interesting things about Jalte Badan was how it used the traditional masala conventions. The hero of the film – Kiran Kumar – becomes essentially helpless by the end. He’s devastated by drugs and needs to be saved by not just Kum Kum but by Padma Khanna, too. He’s the male lead, but the real heroes are the two ladies.

(See, that’s Kiran hiding behind the chair during the final confrontation while Padma Khanna – in a rocking outfit, BTW – kicks some butt! He’s totally useless!)


avdi said...

Hilarious.. haha!

memsaabstory said...

Have you seen other Sagar movies since them? Usually they are unbearably sanctimonious, partially why I think I never considered this one. I run screaming when I see "Ramanand Sagar" :)

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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