Some matches are definitely NOT made in heaven

I have always wondered about the process behind casting decisions in Bollywood. Casting misadventures are the bane of movies. There was a 2 decade long period in Bollywood when the Industry was infested by a large number of men who couldn’t act to save their lives. The unworthies who the moguls sought to palm off are too numerous and repeatedly pop up in too many movies to make me wonder as to how did these guys survive for so long. Perhaps the worth of good actresses and of great composers was enhanced by the inclusion of such non entities. The ladies didn’t mind such ghouls at all, as the great cinegoing Indian public thought so much more of them as a result.

Take a look at this movie, Naujawan. Made in the early 50s, I just don’t fathom the idea behind the lead pair. Premnath (Malhotra) who is as immobile as they come, and who later was credited with the (rather dubious) achievement of raising the class of villainy (albeit unwittingly) to the ludicrously laughable, was an utter loss to the genre of acting. Being rather emotionally challenged, he only managed a few grunts that he had picked up from the head of the Kapoor clan (his sister Krishna was married to the blue eyed boy – pun intended- of the clan), & had a facial expression more appropriate for movies like Rustom Sohrab rather than romantic ones like Naujawan. Imagine poor Nalini Jaywant’s plight and the daunting task of emoting she was in love with what looks like an animated sweet potato. As a result this immortal ballad to love, easily one of Lata’s all time best, is picturized largely bereft of the guy. The few times that he does appear on camera, he busies himself with peanuts. Proving the old adage, “If you give peanuts, you will get Monkeys

The incredulous look on the faces of her lorgnette flaunting rich dad and the rest of the entourage is priceless. None of this had any impact on the director or producer. The movie’s fate was sealed despite the fantastic composition by Sachindev Burmanda and sublime lyrics by Sahir Ludhiyanvi.

Incidentally the movie marks the Bollywood debut of the legendary music director Ravi. Before you start losing hair considering I just credited Burmanda, let me tell you he figures in the chorus of the Rafi-Geeta Dutt-Shamshad song “Panghat pe dekho aayee milan ki bela”

A humble beginning for a great man.

Stay safe, folks, stay healthy, see you a little over 3 hours from now. I will enjoy the song before getting on air.

By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

4 replies on “Some matches are definitely NOT made in heaven”

Animated sweet potato 😅👍👍👍
You are genius at choosing words especially so for the Bollywood characters 👌👌👌🙏🏾
Yesss the song is Immortal one and will always stay with us 👌👌👌👌👍
Ravi’s info. Finally I got👍👍🙏🏾🙏🏾✅

Liked by 1 person

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