Aging Lotharios, PYTs And Visualising Melody

Lately I have taken to viewing old Hindi film songs on youtube. Last night I came across the song 'Jaane bhi de sanam mujhe' from the film Around The World in 8 Dollars. Made in 1967, the movie stars Raj Kapoor and Rajeshwari and is shot in some exotic locales - for that period - all over the world. I saw this movie many years ago. Cannot remember what the story was about. But I do remember the songs and they are wonderful. The songs feature the voice of Sharda Rajan Iyengar, a lesser known singer. Even though she had a lilting voice, sang beautifully and won a Filmfare Award. But this post is not about her.

Ever wondered, how some songs are lovely to listen to-but when seen in the movie, the visual impact is less than what you expected, leaving you disappointed. For instance, the chemistry could be absent between the actors on whom the song is picturised and would make an otherwise excellent melody fall flat on its face. Classic example - the song 'Roz Roz Aankhon Taley' from an obscure movie called Jeeva starring Sanjay Dutt and Mandakini. Superb melody from R.D.Burman and sensuous lyrics from Gulzar . Picturisation? Pits! Take a look:

Watching the song 'jaane bhi de sanam mujhe'I was disenchanted. It is an enchanting song. Its the sort of song where the gentleman ought to be tall, dark (or fair as is your taste) and impossibly handsome and be conducting himself in a manner where the girl breaks out in sweat!

So does ole' Raju Awaara Kapoor do that? NOT! He's chubby and looks distinctly avuncular. Poor Rajeshwari can barely get her arms around his portly person. To give him his due, he tries. He's not a bad actor and has done the yearning lover perfectly in the past. Remember Barsaat when he plays the violin and Nargis flings herself into his arms, driven by helpless passion? In this song, he attempts the intense yearning look, holding hands and titling his girl's chin to gaze into her eyes. But his age defeats him and he ends up looking like a fond parent instead of a lover. Add to this a black leather jacket rolled up at the sleeves and its a recipe for disaster.

Watching him struggle, one barely notices Rajeshwari. A PYT and the object of the hero's desire, one doesn't expect much from her. Though I must point out that her styling in this movie is reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn complete with the bangs and doe eyed look.

Not everybody can be Cary Grant, romancing women with panache at age 60. What do you think? Watch the song and tell me if I'm being too harsh and judgmental.

P.S.: Apologies for the video quality. I got it from youtube.

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4 Responses to Aging Lotharios, PYTs And Visualising Melody

  1. Kasturi says:

    I thought the word lothario has a negative connotation, and was expecting something from the streets or the kind you see in Kolkata buses. Nicelu surprised.
    Well, can not imagine the old movies heroes, especially the 1 you mentioned was the kind. Love is blind and portly or not, everything is condoned while the going is good!!!

  2. RGB says:

    Did you really mean "Lotharios"? Aging or not, they'd be bad for any romantic song, wouldn't they?

    Understand the point you're driving home. But wonder what our children and our children's children will have to say about the movies, song & dance sequences of our times!

  3. Deepa says:

    You don't think Raj Kapoor was a Lothario? Wikipedia says "a lothario is a handsome, seductive ladies' man." Considering his extra marital activities with Nargis, Padmini and Vaijayanthi Mala, I'd say he fits the description rather nicely. :)) Besides, it seems good girls are attracted to the bad boy image. Or thats the stereotype. And Hindi movies are all about stereotypes no?

  4. Cary Grant and Raj Kapoor are denigens from two different planets...