Two Manmohan Desai documentaries

thanks to Bachchan 1 to 10..


14 Responses to “Two Manmohan Desai documentaries”

  1. Funny, the first thing in this video from MMD is “I don’t need logic, I don’t believe in logic and I can’t ask my audience to believe in logic if I don’t believe in it”.

    I get goosebumps everytime I hear or see the John Johnny song from naseeb.


    • the thing is the word ‘logic’ was used the same way by both sides. So if some attacked these movies for being ‘illogical’ the other side (in this case Desai) agreed aggressively with that characterization. I won’t repeat everything I’ve said before on this but words like ‘logic’, ‘violence’, ‘action’ et al were actually code for a certain bourgeois response to the iconic cinema of that age. In other words one showed up for them much like everyone else, one was entertained by them but at the end of the day there was something unsettling in those films too (people can intuit what they cannot formulate in a more literal sense). And so the reaction was to then call these films illogical and violent and so on, and sometimes even at the very moment that these films were becoming instant classics. In Hollywood for instance no one uses this sort of terminology to define entire genres. Not that this is otherwise something unique. The British when they were deciding whether to include native Indian texts in the curriculum or not had a hard time because they would start by defining most of these works as ‘obscene’. So once again ‘illogical’ or whatever was always an ideologically overloaded term. Now Desai accepting what was clearly a derogatory term itself isn’t a new move in a historical sense.

      As always though it is about following the ‘inner’ logic of a work or genre. Things certainly can be illogical but not definitionally so. One has to make the case.


    • He may not believe in ‘logic’ in the purest sense of the word, but the scenes of his films do have a very strong current of ’emotional logic’ running through them.

      One of the things which I have noticed about Desai’s films is this running theme of a character first losing his/her eyesight and then getting it restored- in AAA you have the blind Nirupa Roy whose eyes are healed by Sai, in Parvarish we have Bachchan pretending that he has lost his eyesight (and then breaking the fourth wall and winking to the audience) and finally in Suhaag, in a very potent plot strand, Amjad Khan causes Shashi to go blind and then donates his own eyes to him at the end.


      • “He may not believe in ‘logic’ in the purest sense of the word”, this is exactly what I meant.

        all the things you’ve listed about losing and getting eye sights back, they never looked illogical when watching the movies at the time I did, It may loo different if I watch that movie right now but at the time, it was fine.


  2. Would love to see what ever was shot of the film he i sreferencing, I think it’s Dawa?

    He said if that film had released than, he would have been the desai than that he is now.


    • Z

      Maybe he was just blowing hot air. When someone says that he does not believe in logic in as emphatic a manner as he did then we cannot put too much weight in his statements.

      If Anurag Kashyap restored Bollywood (see Utkal below), THEN, he did so from the damage that Desai mercilessly inflicted.

      Today Shetty or Farah is the face of the old Bollywood Masalla but even they don’t make it as stupid as he did. Even Shetty/Farah make attempts to make the “impossible, possible”. Desai just not give a damn fig because he had the SRK/Aamir/Salman of his age in his films. His only effort, it appears, to make the impossible, possible, was to collect the best stars on his times. Now imagine his movie with Vijay Arora or Mahendra Sandhu instead of Bachchan & Co. Worse still, IMAGINE his movie with today’s (i.e. Anurag’s) sensibilities.

      One way to look at Desai is to see how he completely consumed and exhausted Bachchan’s mojo. One way to look at Desai is to blame him for the audience being distant from Bachchan today. Ramesh Sippy, Yash Chopra, Hriskesh Mokerji created that reliable & dependable Bachchan, Desai destroyed that creation.

      Sure Bachchan got success via Desai’s films, but at what cost ? Salim Javed and the directors mentioned above went at great length to part the Red Sea (so to speak), and free him from a life of a unknown, but then thanks to Desai he subsequently had to wander around in the desert for 40 years (may 20/30 years) without success. When people ask when was Bschchan’s last solo success, blame Desai.


      • “Today Shetty or Farah is the face of the old Bollywood Masalla but even they don’t make it as stupid as he did.”

        I salute your IQ .. you deserve standing ovation.


      • Audience is not distant from Bachchan! Amar Akbar Anthony is quite popular on TV till date. Bachchan’s entire career is of 45 years or so. So how did he wander without success for 40 years? Weird comment.
        Farah and Rohit are just spoofs. Desai films at least had proper narrative that made everything believable. They were made with conviction. They were not just a collection of gags sewn together.

        Like some others have said here, at first viewing, none of Desai films seemed illogical. I didn’t think of loopholes. That’s how engaging his stories were.

        Though now I prefer Bachchan films with other directors more.


  3. Shomini Sen in Hindustan Times:

    “From realistic, hard hitting narrative to technique, Kashyap brought a fresh lease of life in the 1990s with his unique style of filmmaking. Some would say his style was similar to Hollywood’s Quentin Tarantino, but the director managed to infuse an Indian element into each of his films.

    On his 42 birthday, we list the four films that Anurag Kashyap was associated with and which changed Indian cinema for the better.”


  4. Saurav Mohapatra: the creator of Mumbai Confidential

    Samit and I started off writing comics for Virgin. He was a big author by then and I was starting out. We kept on talking via email and Skype as I was taking over from him on Devi. We realised we have very similar tastes and share a very similar healthy cynical worldview full of snarky goodness. Samit supported MC from day one.

    Anurag Kashyap! That was a big highlight. I’m a big fan of Mr. Kashyap’s body of work. When MC hardcover edition was coming out in the US, I tweeted to him about the book. To my surprise, he was already aware of the book and was tracking it. He invited me to Sundance film festival and I met him there. We discussed the book, comic books and crime-noir all morning. It was the highpoint of my career as an author. He was kind enough to give us a blurb for the book.


  5. Raja Sen:

    Today, Kashyap turns 42, and while we cut his birthday cake and look forward to Ugly and Bombay Velvet, here’s a look at his work so far.

    For me, what stands out about Kashyap, even more than his remarkable visual flair, is his restless, reckless energy. Thus I remain convinced that his best is yet to come. I guarantee it.


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