Episode 014 - Do You Wanna Partner? Shola Aur Shabnam and Aankhen (audio file format: 192 Kbps mp3 - duration: 09:44 [mm:ss] - size: 13.5 MB)
Yes, the podcast is back! Govinda Week was the perfect opportunity to try and revive it, though I must admit, this episode is pretty much rubbish because I'm really out of practice doing audio stuff and need a lot more work. Also, because I say precious little about the films, mispronounce stuff, and give some spoilers. So here's a little value added stuff here on the blog to try to round it all out. Warning: spoilers in the audio, and likely spoilers here on the blog, so don't listen/read if you really haven't watched the films yet.
First up, Shola Aur Shabnam from 1992. David Dhawan directs, and Govinda and Divya Bharati star. Essentially, my feelings about this film are that the first half is a lot of fun, and the second half is very dark and takes a long time to get where it's going, not to mention making me a little troubled about Divya's character. I'm not being coy, I'm just not sure what to say about the film, especially since my version has no subtitles. But compare this first half number, with this one from the second half (which in the context of the film I find a little troubling, not to mention the fact that the poor woman is dancing barefoot on what looks like dry scrub).
And then, Aankhen from 1993, a film I have now seen four times, all without subtitles, and I am now desperate to find a copy of it with them, because I cannot believe how much this film has grown on me through four viewings of it.
Essentially, it's the story of brothers Bunnu (Govinda) and Munnu (Chunky Pandey), a couple of good-hearted ne'er-do-wells and practical jokers who are the bane of their father's (Kader Khan) existence. The first half of the film takes rather a lot of time establishing Bunnu and Munnu's characters and following their endless hijinks, until finally they stumble across the plot of a bunch of baddies (led by Shakti Kapoor, who I actually might not mind in this negative role if it were not for too many shots of him wandering around shirtless in leather bondage outfits, and I will spare you any screencaps of that) to substitute a look-alike for a Chief Minister for nefarious purposes the subtleties of which escape me due to lack of subtitles.
Bunnu and Munnu spend a lot of time in the first half getting up to hijinks in identical outfits:
We're a couple of swells...
We stop at the best hotels...
In June, July, and August, we look cute when we dress in shorts! (Not to mention, kinda hot when we wear navy shirts and pants):
Did I mention the monkey? The monkey plays a key role in all their hijinks, not to mention the film's ending, and he's always dressed like them, too:
(Awww...is that not a face only a masala film-maker could love?)
I have to say, Govinda just shines in this film, and poor Chunky, well -- he does an admirable job keeping up with him, but the second half of the film just belongs to Govinda, probably right from the moment he's captured by the gang and tortured:
And most especially when he turns up as his second avatar, Gauri Shankar:
...and then just rips through the rest of the film in a terrific dual performance:
(Okay, yes, even more wet Govinda. I take back what I said.)
Any wonder why this was the biggest hit of 1993? No longer any doubt in my mind, at all.
Attributions:"Tablas-Very Sharp" recorded by hammerklavier and uploaded to The Freesound Project