Sunday, May 18, 2014

Madhuri's Magic

I still remember watching my first Hindi film — Hum Aapke Hain Koun — when I was seven years old. I watched it at Anupam Saket, what is now popularly known as PVR Saket. There is a certain kind of obnoxious dismissal and ridicule that is associated with that film by the people today. Just see the Koffee with Karan episode of Zoya Akhtar and Rohit Shetty when Zoya is aghast at Karan's love for that film. I mean who does not know that the dog's name was Tuffy! But I have no shame in admitting that I still love that film unabashedly. Even if the film might be overflowing with saccharine, the nostalgia of the film being associated with my childhood makes it harder to see it with a rational mind. The reason why I am talking about that film is Madhuri Dixit. It was her birthday a few days ago and it then became customary to tweet on my favorite films of Madhuri Dixit. Of course, my thinking got the better of me and I actually realized that so many of the films that I watched at home on TV when I was growing up was in the era of Madhuri-Sridevi-Juhi. Since we all love our childhood and look back with a tinge of sepia, I will always love that era that were the building blocks for my love of Hindi films.

Let me come back from the usual digression, which has become a habit of mine whenever I write, to the topic of Madhuri Dixit. In the annals of Hindi cinema, Madhuri would go down as the one of the few female 'superstars' — a domain generally associated with male actors. She took control of the void left after after Rekha. One of the biggest strengths of Madhuri is her supreme perfection over dance. She is a dream in classical Indian dance forms and is quite excellent in Western as well. A lot of talk is given to expressions but most of the actresses' expressions are theatrical in the sense that one can make out that they are trying to express the particular emotion in the song. But with Madhuri, it all comes across genuinely natural. She does not to have try to too hard. What is also remarkable is that she comes across as sensuous without resorting to skin show. Just watch her in any dance number from Dedh Ishqiya. It is her art that makes her ethereal and that is a supreme achievement that an artist can achieve. And of course, having a million dollar smile is cherry on the top. She carries herself in public with grace. People still love her. 

She started her career with Abodh but she truly arrived with Dayavaan. Her kiss with Vinod Khanna in that film is still one of the hottest kisses ever in Hindi cinema. I am not sure of the exact number, but she might be one of the few very actors to do films with father-son duos. She did Raja and Aaja Nachle with Akshay Khanna. If she had kissed him in these films, she could also use that famous line from Friends, "that's not how your dad used to do it". Apart from Hum Aapke Hain Koun, my first memories of Madhuri's films are Dil and Saajan. I remember when we used to play Antakshari, the first song that had to be sung was Tumse Milne Ki Tamanna Hai from Saajan. She was excellent in both these films. And after that, there was no stopping her. Beta, Zindagi Ek Jua, Khalnayak, Anjaam, Mrityudand, Dil To Paagal Hai, Pukar, Devdas — her filmography of versatility is remarkable. She can play any kind of role with aplomb.  I loved her particularly in Dil To Paagal Hai and Devdas. Notwithstanding the box office performance, I also really liked Aaja Nachle. I am yet to see Dedh Ishqiya and Gulaab Gang

In terms of songs, I can go on about my favorite Madhuri songs, but here are some of the few. Thank you, YouTube :)

1. Que Sera Sera — Pukar
Our Micheal Jacksons in one song — Madhuri and Prabhudeva paying a tribute to him.

2. Dola Re Dola — Devdas
Whenever I watch this song, I just say wow, so wow. Stunning

3. The Dance of Envy — Dil To Pagal Hai

4.  Choli Ke Peeche — Khalnayak
The song became quite a scandal and I love the line, "begam bagair badshah kis kaam ka badshah bagair begam kis kaam ki". And when she says, "shaadi karado meri" :) Saroj Khan's choreography is terrific.

4. O Re Piya — Aaja Nachle
    Whenever I am sad, I watch and listen this song. 

5. Mera Piya Ghar Aaya — Yaarana
I still remember a funny incident related to this song. When I went to my maternal grandmother's house in Bareilly when this song came, one of the local channels played a parody of this song that went by 'Mera Piya Pi Ke Aaya 100 gm Ji' :)

6. Akhiyaan Milaaon Kabhi — Raja
Just how does she roll her eyes, so quickly. 

7. Ek Do Teen — Tezaab
Mohini, Mohini, Mohini..

8. Aaja Nachle — Aaja Nachle

9. Tu Shayar Hai — Saajan
Very contemporary feeling.

10. Makhna — Bade Miyan Chote Miyan
Love, love, love this song. Govinda, Madhuri and Amitabh in one song!

11. O Baby, Don't Break My heart — Mohabbat
Stereo Nation :)

12. Hamari Atariya — Dedh Isqhiya
Ultimate grace, they don't make like her anymore.

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