Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Suraiya -The Top Singing Star of Independent India

There was a time when traffic jams at Marine Drive (Mumbai) were caused not due to a long line of cars, but because of a young charismatic actress - Suraiya..
During the mid-forties the two faces which dominated the film world with their music were Suraiya and Noor Jehan. 
Noorjehan left India after Partition so she became the Top Leading Singing Star of Bollywood.Both of them appeared together in that celebrated Mehboob’s musical Anmol Ghadi. Though overshadowed by Noor Jehan, it goes to her credit that Suraiya, even in a supporting role, was able to hold her own and make her presence felt with her evergreen melodies like “Socha tha kya, kya ho gaya” and “Man leta hai angrahi”.
Suraiya with her distinct individual style, her sweet seasoned voice and direct simple diction succeeded in captivating the listeners and her popularity knew no bounds.She had 3 box-office hits in quick succession were “Pyar ki Jeet” (1948), “Badi Behan” (1949) and “Dillagi” (1949).In her heyday she was known as 'Malika-e-Husn' (queen of beauty), 'Malika-e-Tarannum' (queen of melody) and 'Malika-e-Adakaari' (queen of acting), all rolled into one.
She was born on 15 June 1929.She was the only child of her parents.She received basic training in music when her mother used to take her to a Hindustani music teacher or 'Master ji' for training. She first sang for a children's program for All India Radio in 1937. Later on Naushad gave her on the job 'training', while recording. She went on to become one of the most successful singing film stars of Bollywood.  

She made her debut as a child artist in Madam Fashion in 1936 as Miss Suraiya, along with Nargis as Baby Rani. The film was directed by Jaddan Bai, mother of Nargis, with Jaddan Bai herself as heroine,
As a child artist, she acted and also sang in Tamanna (1942), Station Master (1942), and Hamari Baat (1943). As an adult, Suraiya initially played as a heroine in K. Asif's Phool as Shama, with Prithviraj Kapoor as hero,and as a co-star in Mehboob Khan's Anmol Ghadi (1946), (which was written by Aghajani Kashmeri, also known as Kashmiri) and Dard (1947).
She acted as a heroine in the film Tadbir (1945) on the recommendation of K. L. Saigal, who liked her voice during a rehearsal of a song for Jayant Desai's film Samrat Chandragupt (1945) in which she was acting. He recommended her to Desai, opposite himself in Tadbir (1945). She went on to co-star with K. L. Saigal in Omar Khayyam (1946) and Parwana (1947 film).Suraiya appeared in scores of films, including at least 25 between 1946 and 1950, and at her peak was one of Bollywood’s highest-paid stars. She worked only a few films after 1952 and retired in 1963 at the age of 34.
She played the leading role with almost every famous star of her time and also sang with the leading playback singers like Mohammad Rafi, Talat Mehmood and Mukesh

The most striking and much-publicised episode of Suraiya’s life was her romance with the upcoming young actor Dev Anand in the early 1950s. It was then the ‘talk of the town’, the very stuff legends are made of. She was Dev Anand’s heroine in seven films which had moderate success . During the shooting of a film, a boat capsized and Dev Anand saved Suraiya from drowning. This incident was the beginning of their romance. Suraiya fell in love with him and both of them planned to get married but Suraiya’s grandmother opposed the relationship and persuaded her to turn down Dev’s marriage proposal. She chose to remain unmarried throughout her life and died a lonely woman on 31st January 2004.
Suraiya's Great Songs

The first recorded song of Manna De and Child Suraiya
Song from Tamanna (1942)

Song from Tadbir (1945)

Song from Anmol Ghadi 1946

Song from Dard 1947

Song from Parwana 1947

Song from Pyar Ki Jeet 1948

Song from Vidya 1948

Song from Dillagi 1949

Song from DASTAN 1950

Song from Rajput 1951

Song from Mirza Ghalib (1954)

Song from Waris 1954

Song from Shama (1961)

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Ramesh Sippy- The Golden Director Of cult classic in Bollywood

The film Sholay is synonymous with the name Ramesh Sippy – its maker. Ramesh Sippy, one of Bollywood’s finest producers and directors.His first film was Andaz in 1971with Stars like Shammi Kapoor, Hema Malini and Rajesh Khanna .  .Although this was only a moderate success, his second film Seeta Aur Geeta (1972) was highly successful.
He was born on 23 Jan 1947 at Karachi. He was just 6 years old when he entered on the set of a Hindi Film, it was shooting of his fathers film "Sazaa" and he was there as a visitor. Soon he started working in film industry as just three years after his first visit to a film set he played role of son of Achla Sachdev in the 1953 film "Shashenshah".
After the Sholay, Ramesh went on to Direct "Shaan" in 1980 and this time also Film was with stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shahi Kapoor, Sunil Datt, Shatrughan Sinha, Bindya Goaswami and Parveen Bobi but like the Sholay's Gabbar Singh highlight of the Film was the "Shakal" a villain role played by Kulbhushan Kharbanda. "Shaan" proved a mile stone film for Mazhar Khan for his role of "Abdul" in the film but this film has also established Ramesh Sippy as the Director of Star.
His next film was Shakti in 1982,he brought two most popular stars and actors in his Film,the veteran actor Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan.The film was moderately successful at the box office.After that  he went on to bring back the teen age silver screen romance of Rishi Kapoor & Dimple Kapadia [Debut Film Bobby] in the Film "Sagar" released in 1985 and looked as the come back Film of Dimple.
He directed few films.after that Bhrashtachar (1989), Akayla (1991), and Zamana Deewana (1995) none of these did well in box office.
Beside the Films Ramesh Sippy also Directed "Buniyad" one of successful Television serial, telecasted in 1987 on Doordarshan. The serial was based on the subject of Partition of India. 
In the year 2003 he returned back to silver screen of bollywood but this time as Producer for the Film "Kuch Naa Kaho" Directed by his son Rohan Sippy. 2008 released film "Chandni Chowk to China" with star cast of Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone and directed by Nikhil Advani is the last Film Produced by Ramesh Sippy which brouht box office glory, though he also produced Film "Dum Maro Dum" again Directed by his son Rohan Sippy but the Film didn't proved notable on box office.
Sippy's father was producer G. P. Sippy. His son Rohan Sippy is a film director.He is a winner of the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 2013.
Song's from Ramesh Sippy Films
Song from Andaz 1971

Song from Seeta Aur Geeta 1973

Song from Sholay 1975

Song from Shaan 1979

Song from Shakti 1982

Song from Sagar 1985

Monday, 22 January 2018

Vijay Anand- A Committed Filmmaker

He was a trusted filmmaker who regaled cine goers with films that were as flawless and priceless as Guide, Tere Mere Sapne, Taxi Driver, Jewel Thief, Teesri Manzil and Johnny Mera Naam, to name a few.The youngest brother of stalwarts Chetan Anand and Dev Anand, was indeed an ace filmmaker, much ahead of his times. 
Born on  22 January 1934 made his directorial debut with Nau Do Gyarah, which he shot in 40 days.In fact  he wrote a screenplay, he hesitatingly showed it to Chetan Anand. The latter, being out of work, accepted it and shot Nau Do Gyarah in 40 days — with ghar ka hero (Dev Anand), ghar kiheroine' (Kalpana Kartik who was to marry Dev Anand), cameraman and music director S.D. Burman. Both Chetan and Dev Anand got a boost from the film, but Goldie, the writer, a small voice in the family, was sidetracked.
His next script was Taxi Driver,he gave it to Dev anand  on the condition that he (Goldie) would direct it. A reluctant Dev relented. Goldie left his studies (he was doing MA) and plunged into Taxi Driver. The film was a silver jubilee hit! Goldie never looked back. He then directed Kala Bazaar (1960) and Tere Ghar Ke Saamne (1963) for Navketan Productions.
It was the masterpiece Guide (1965) wherein lies Vijay Anand's claim to immortality. Interestingly, Vijay Anand had tried his best to dissuade Dev Anand from making the film. Dev was obsessed with the idea of turning R.K. Narayan's novel into a Hindi-English bilingual in collaboration with Pearl S. Buck. Vijay Anand was horrified when he read the script.He agreed to direct the hindi version only writing his own script.He went off to Khandala and after 18 days returned with a new script. The shooting in Udaipur was completed in 80 shifts.
Next Vijay Anand directed Teesri Manzil for Nasir Hussain. Guide had taken its toll on him and he wanted to make a light film which would make for easy viewing. He gave thrillers the kind of varnish job that made them gleam. It was the first time he directed outside Navketan.The film was a hit.After that he directed Navketan's Jewel Thief in 1967 which was also a hit,by this time he was the No 1 director.
Jewel Thief was followed by Johnny Mera Naam (1970), another superhit. It was so slick that the Principal of the FTII, Pune, showed his students this film to give them an example of a perfect mix of art and the commercial. 
In 1971 he directed Tere Mere Sapne for Navketan in which he acted also,before that he acted in  Kala Bazar 1960,Haqeeqat (1964).As an actor, his most memorable roles were in the films  Kora Kagaz (1974), (in which he starred opposite Jaya Bachchan) and Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki(1978). Chor Chor was a songless thriller in which Leena Chandavarkar was his heroine. He acted in Ghoonghroo Ki AawazDouble Cross and Chhupa Rustam.
Vijay Anand was known for his stylish song picturization, such as the numbers; "O Haseena" (Teesri Manzil ), "Kaaton Se Kheech" (Guide ) and "Honthon Mein Aisi Baat" (Jewel Thief )
He served a short stint as the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification, India's censor board, a position from which he resigned, in 2002, after he ran into ideological differences with the government over the introduction of ratings for adult movies.
Goldie, as he was affectionately called, died on 23 February 2004 due to a heart attack. He was aged 70
Song from Nau Do Gyarah 1957

Song from Kala Bazar 1960

Song from Tere Ghar Ke Samne  1963

Song from Guide  1965

Song from Teesri Manzil 1966

Song from Jewel Thief 1967

Song from Johny Mera Naam 1970

Song from Tere Mere Sapne 1971

Song from Black Mail 1973

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Talat Mahmood Was the First Voice of Shammi Kapoor not Mohd Rafi !!!

There was a misconception that it was Mohd Rafi who gave Shammi Kapoor  the hit songs of his career with "YAHOO" etc. But the fact is, that his first hit singer was actually ‘KING OF GHAZALS’ TALAT MAHMOOD throughout the 50's who gave him a host of hit songs in his movies like "THOKAR", "MEMSAHIB", "NAQAAB", "SIPAH SALAR", "MEHBOOBA", "CHOR BAZAAR","LAILA MAJNU" and "MOHAR". Mohd Rafi came into his career much later in the 60 s with YAHOO,this was stated by him in an interview.
Long before Tumsa Nahin Dekha happened and catapulted Shammi Kapoor to fame, he acted in many obscure movies, many of them flops. His career was going nowhere, to the point where he had thought that he would quit the industry and join a tea estate. According to Shammi Kapoor, Thokar was one of his 'super hits' (comparatively, of course). In fact, it was his only hit in three or four years. It was Talat's rendition of Ae gham-e-dil kya karoon that gave Shammi one of the first (and biggest) 'hit' songs of his career. Composed by the oft under-rated Sardar Malik father of Anu Malik.

Talat Mahmood's Songs For Shammi Kapoor
Song from Thokar 1953

Song from Laila Majnu 1953

Song from Laila Majnu 1953

Song from Memsaheb 1954

Song from Naqab 1954

Song from Mehbooba 1954

Song from Memsaheb 1956

Song from Memsaheb 1956

Song from Mohar 1959

Friday, 19 January 2018

The Great Biopics Of Bollywwod

We all love to watch movies of varied genres out of which Biographies play a special role in the hearts and minds of people.In the past few years many Biopics have been made. The success of the films like Dangal,Bhagh Milkha Bhagh,M S Dhoni The Untold Story,Merry Com and others has set a trend in Bollywood to make more such movies.
The initial successful biopics comes in my mind were Sikandar(1941) and Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946) by V Shantaram. In this Blog I am discussing such great films.Let us have a read on some of the greatest biographical movies made of time:

Sikandar -1941  Bollywood film directed by Sohrab Modi and starring Prithviraj Kapoor as Alexander the Great.The battle sequences featuring thousands of extras along with horses, elephants and chariots were picturised in Kolhapur However, its appeal to nationalism was so great and direct, it remained popular for years. It was revived in Delhi in 1961 during the Indian march into Goa. After the movie was a huge box office success.

Tansen - A 1943 Indian Bollywood film directed by Jayant Desai and featuring K. L. Saigal and Khursheed Bano in the lead roles. The film was based on Tansen, the 16th century musician in the court of Mughal emperor, Akbar.The film featured 13 hit songs, performed by the leads, including More Balapan Ke SaathiRum Jhum Rum Jhum Chal TihariKahe Guman Kare GoriBina Pankh Ka PanchhiSapt Suran Teen GramDiya Jalao and Baag Laga Doon Sajni. It was the second highest grossing Indian film of 1943

 Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani- It is a 1946 Indian film in Hindi-Urdu as well as English, written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and directed by V. Shantaram.The film is based on the life of Dwarkanath Kotnis, an Indian doctor who worked in China during the Japanese invasion in World War II.The role was played by v Shantaram and the heroine's role played by Jayshree who latter married him.

Shaheed (1948) A Bollywood  film, directed by Ramesh Saigal and written by Wajahat Mirza. The film depicts India's struggle for independence. It starred Dilip KumarKamini KaushalChandra Mohan, and Leela Chitnis. It had lyrics by Qamar Jalalabadi and music by Ghulam Haider. Songs like "Watan ki Raah Men Watan Ke Naujawan Shaheed Ho" and "Badnaam Na Ho Jaaye Mohabbat Ka Fasana" have not lost their appeal even after 60 years of the film's release.

Another Shaheed in 1965 was made.based on Bhagat Singh's life. One of the most prominent Indian patriotic movies based on the Indian independence movement, it was produced by Kewal Kashyap and directed by S Ram Sharma and stars Manoj KumarKamini KaushalPranIftekharNirupa RoyPrem ChopraMadan Puri and Anwar Hussain in lead roles.

Mirza Ghalib (1954) -Based on the life of well-known poet Mirza Ghalib, the film was acclaimed upon release. It stars Bharat Bhushan as Ghalib and Suraiya as his courtesan lover. The film won (1) the President's Gold Medal for the All India Best Feature Film and (2) the President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Hindi in the 2nd National Film Awards for 1954. Suraiya's singing (of Mirza Ghalib's ghazals) and her acting was specially applauded by the Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru.The film was produced and directed by Sohrab Modi.

Mughal e Azam (1960) -A film directed by K. Asif and produced by Shapoorji Pallonji. Starring Prithviraj KapoorDilip KumarMadhubala, and Durga Khote, it follows the love affair between Mughal Prince Salim (who went on to become Emperor Jahangir) and Anarkali, a court dancer. Salim's father, Emperor Akbar, disapproves of the relationship, which leads to a war between father and son. It broke box office records in India and became the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time, a distinction it held for 15 years. 

Taj Mahal (1963)- The film based on the historical legend of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. As per the legend, Shah Jahan created the Taj Mahal in fond remembrance and as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. It was a commercial hit, but is remembered mostly for its music..Pradeep kumar acted as Shsahjehan and Bina Rai acted as Noorjehan.

Amrapali (1966)- It was based on the life of Amrapali (Ambapali), the nagarvadhu (royal courtesan) of Vaishali in present-day Bihar, the capital of the Licchavi republic in ancient India around 500 BC and Ajatashatru, the Haryanka dynasty king of the Magadha empire, who falls in love with her. Though he destroys Vaishali to get her, she in the meantime has been transformed by her encounter with Gautama Buddha, of whom she becomes a disciple and an Arahant herself.The film was directed by Lekh Tandon, starring Vyjayanthimala and Sunil Dutt as leads. Music of the film was by Shankar-Jaikishan.

Bhumika (1977)-The film is broadly based on the Marathi-language memoirs, Sangtye Aika of the well-known Marathi stage and screen actress of the 1940s 'Hansa Wadkar', who led a flamboyant and unconventional life, and focuses on an individual's search for identity and self-fulfilment. The film stars Smita PatilAmol PalekarAnant NagNaseeruddin Shah and Amrish Puri.Directed by Shyam Benegal.

Meera (1979)-The film is based on the life of Meera, a Hindu saint-poet who renounced princely comforts in pursuit of her love for Lord Krishna. The film portrays the life and times of Meera from a historical perspective rather than a mythological one. Meera role was played by Hema Malini directed by Gulzar.The film did not perform well at the Indian box office, though it received critical acclaim.

 Gandhi (1982)-  based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of India's non-violentnon-cooperative independence movement against the United Kingdom's rule of the country during the 20th century. Gandhi was written by John Briley and produced and directed by Richard Attenborough. It stars Ben Kingsley in the title role.It was nominated for Academy Awards in eleven categories, winning eight, including Best Picture and Best Director for Attenborough, Best Actor for Ben Kingsley, and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Briley
Razia Sultan (1983)-The film is based on the life of Razia Sultan (1205–1240), the only female Sultan of Delhi (1236–1240) and her speculated love affair with the Abyssinian slaveJamal-ud-Din Yakut.written and directed by Kamal Amrohi, and starring Hema MaliniParveen Babi and Dharmendra in lead roles.

Naache Mayuri (1986)-dance biographical Hindi film directed by T. Rama Rao. It is a remake of the Telugu film, Mayuri (1984), about classical dancer-actress Sudha Chandran who stars as herself in both films.This film was based on Sudha Chandran herself.She lost her leg in an accident on her way to Trichy to Chennai on June 1981. The story depicts how she received an artificial Jaipur Foot and eventually learned to dance again, triumphing over her fate, and ultimately becoming very successful in her life.

Bandit Queen (1994)- Based on the life of Phoolan Devi  the decoit. It was directed by Shekhar Kapur and starred Seema Biswas as the title character. The music was composed by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie and Best Direction for that year.

Mangal Pandey (2005)-based on the life of Mangal Pandey, an Indian soldier known for helping to spark the Indian rebellion of 1857(also known as "The First War of Indian Independence"The role was played by Aamir Khan.It is directed by Ketan Mehta, produced by Bobby Bedi, and with a screenplay by Farrukh Dhondy.It was the fourth highest-grossing film of 2005.
Guru (2007)- the film is loosely based on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani, a business magnate who founded Reliance Industries. The film was co-written and directed by Mani Ratnam. It stars Abhishek BachchanAishwarya RaiR. MadhavanVidya BalanArya Babbar, and Mithun Chakraborty in the leading roles. 

The Dirty Picture (2011)-film inspired by the life of Silk Smitha, a South Indian actress noted for her erotic roles. The filmmakers have clarified that the story is not officially or literally based on Smitha alone, but on many of her southern contemporaries such as Disco Shanti.The film was directed by Milan Luthria and co-produced by Shobha Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor,The heroine was Vidya Balan  It won three National Film Awards including Best Actress, three Filmfare Awards and six Screen Awardsincluding Best Picture and Best DirectorBox Office India declared the film Super Hit. 

Paan singh Tomar (2012)-based on the true story of the athlete of the same name. A soldier in the Indian Army, he won a gold medal at the Indian National Games, but was forced to become a bandit. The film is directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and produced by UTV Motion PicturesIrrfan Khan plays the title role, with Mahie Gill,

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)-The story is based on the life of Milkha Singh, an Indian athlete who was a national champion runner and an Olympian. It stars Farhan Akhtar in the lead role with Pavan Malhotra and Art Malik in supporting roles. Sonam Kapoor makes a cameo appearance. Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra from a script written by Prasoon Joshi. It performed very well at the box office, eventually being declared a "super hit".

Mary Com (2014)-The film stars Priyanka Chopra in the lead role of the eponymous boxer, with Darshan Kumar and Sunil Thapa in supporting roles of her husband and mentor, respectively. Mary Kom depicts Kom's journey of becoming a boxer to her victory at the 2008 World Boxing Championships in NingboThe film won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Film and Best Actress for Chopra.

M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story is a 2016 Indian biographical sports film written and directed by Neeraj Pandey. It is based on the life of former TestODI and T20I captain of the Indian national cricket teamMahendra Singh Dhoni. The film stars Sushant Singh Rajput as Dhoni.The film was released on 30 September 2016 by Fox Star Studios and received the widest release ever for a Bollywood film across 61 countries..It was the fifth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2016 in India.

Neerja (2016)- The story centers on the Libyan-backed Abu Nidal Organization's hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in KarachiPakistan, on 5 September 1986. The film is shown from the point of view of the flight's head purserNeerja Bhanot, who thwarted the hijack attempt by alerting the pilots, thus grounding the plane; Bhanot died trying to help save 359 of the 379 passengers and crew on board. The film features Sonam Kapoor as the title character, with Shabana AzmiYogendra Tiku and Shekhar Ravjiani in supporting roles.

Dangal (2016)- The film is loosely based on the Phogat family, telling the story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, an amateur wrestler, who trains his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari to become India's first world-class female wrestlers. Aamir Khan stars as Mahavir Singh Phogat, while Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra portray the adult versions of the two Phogat sistersZaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar their younger versions, Sakshi Tanwar their mother, and Aparshakti Khurana their cousin.The film was a record-breaking commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing Indian film ever, the fifth highest grossing non-English film ever,