Super Filmi Week: Madhuri Dixit’s beauty of imperfections

Monday
‘We used to discuss pimple remedies!!!’

With that one candid disclosure film journalist Anupama Chopra breaks Madhuri Dixit’s guard and the monotony of prerelease interviews.

Watching them giggle over the memory like schoolgirls, I begin to recall how the Ek Do Teen star struggled with a problem skin all through her reign as numero uno. And yet acne never got into the way of her incredible success.

Unlike today where there’s insane pressure to look flawless all the time — you have things like high definition makeup and movie stars appear airbrushed in real life too — Madhuri’s blemishes were her constant companions through iconic portrayals like Tezaab, Ram Lakhan, Parinda, Dil, Beta, Saajan and Hum Aapke Hain Koun.

She even agreed to go makeup free in Nana Patekar’s Prahaar.

Perhaps she realised her talent isn’t skin deep and that one glimpse of her dazzling smile, dhak dhak oomph and spellbinding star power will be enough for us to go va va voom.

Tuesday
Rummaging through my journalist dad’s files in our old house, I discover a booklet of FTII student films from circa 1970. Every page bears a title, synopsis, stills and credits.

Three images immediately catch my eye. Simply addressed as Jaya (Bhaduri now Bachchan), (Danny) Denzongpa and S P Sinha (Shatrughan Prasad), it’s exciting to witness the legends at the onset of glorious career paths.

There’s Anil Dhawan too with whom Jaya Bhaduri would go on to star in Basu Chatterjee’s endearing Piya Ka Ghar.

Of all the student movies listed in the leaflet, the one to interest me most is Angry Young Man.

Long before the title became synonymous with her superstar husband Amitabh Bachchan, it was a little known creation H Shamsuddin wrote and filmed with Jaya, Danny and Shatru.

I read somewhere Danny, whose real name Tshering Phintso was proving hard to pronounce, got his famous nickname after Jaya suggested it to him.

Wednesday
Sanju‘s eagerly awaited trailer is out and everybody has something to say about the dramatised account of Sanjay Dutt’s life story.

Some love the pulsating energy and emotional rollercoaster director Rajkumar Hirani and his leading man Ranbir Kapoor are putting out there.

Some are completely put off by how easily it absolves the criminal chapters of the Sanjay Dutt saga.

Some are irritated by Sonam Kapoor’s screechy mangalsutra inquiry.

Some are deeply disturbed by Hirani’s contempt for Anushka Sharma’s natural hair.

Personally, I could live without the sight of floating pee and potty. But I guess it’s necessary to emphasise the extent of Dutt’s ordeal.

There’s so much going on in the trailer that no matter what the verdict on Sanju is, Ranbir emerges triumphant anyhow.

Thursday
Revisiting Mr India for a classics column and it still doesn’t sink that Sridevi is no longer amongst us.

Once again, my feelings about her as the Queen of Expressions are validated. I’ve said it before, if making a face was an art form, Sridevi had mastered it to perfection.

Take a look. 

Friday
This Friday saw girl power at its blasphemous most in Veere Di Wedding.

While I liked the leading ladies and their easy camaraderie, I wasn’t even remotely convinced of its phony empowerment.

Like I wrote in my review, ‘Veere Di Wedding wears its superficiality and sass with such barefaced gusto; you’ll wonder if this is a parody. In a better-written film, it would be and still not conform to the traditions it thinks it so cleverly over-rides.’

Nevertheless, the engineered flak it’s getting from some squeamish sections and their made-up grandmothers over Swara Bhasker’s masturbation scene reveals how female sexuality is viewed in a country that laughs hard when chamatkar is replaced by balatkar.

Saturday
It’ll be three decades of Tridev next year.

Director Rajiv Rai’s pulpy villain falooda is my ultimate masala pleasure. Even now my greatest regret is I didn’t get to watch it on the big screen but on VHS I devoured it to death.

It feels like only yesterday everyone was flipping over Naseeruddin Shah’s unexpected song and dance turn, Jackie Shroff’s bandhini dupatta swag and Sunny Deol’s thundering threats along with a hoard of campy villains led by Amrish Puri and the sight of Madhuri Dixit, Sangeeta Bijlani and Sonam flouncing around them in sparkling harem pants.

The thought of a remake sometimes does cross my mind. But then Sunny’s warning pops up in my ears, ‘Kutte ko izzat di jaye toh use pichli seat pe bithaya jata hai. Par kudey ko bori mein dalkar dikki mein patka jata hai.’

Sunday
Pointless trivia #389

Ajay Devgn and Kajol sporting very similar looks same year, different movies.

Next year they had fallen in love and began dating, pyar toh hona hi tha?

This column was first published on rediff.com

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