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3 Films To See For Eid To Get The Festive Feeling



Okay, so this is not quite the  mood  that we would  have liked for Eid. Social distancing when  the order of the day is embracing even the  enemy. Never  mind. Enjoy a   new feeling this Eid and stay indoors and  get the  Eid feeling from watching these festive films a.k.a  Muslim Socials.Please note, we  are  not recommending  Pakeezah  and  Umrao Jaan here. They are  beyond recommendation.

  1. Mere Mehboob(1963) :  Set  in the  city  of the Nawabs and  kebabs  Lucknow   Mere Mehboob   with its recreation  of  the  pseudo-Mughal era  was  like  the syrupy rich  mal-puas  served  for Eid.Over-saturated  colourful  frames leaping up flamboyant  flames  as the cast played a  quaint romantic  game of musical  chairs. The  songs by Naushad added  an extra dimension of allure .The  film swirls and twirls in  its own  bubble  of  shayari and adaakaari with no sense  of continuity. One  of  the hit songs Jaan-e-mann ek nazar dekh le  has  the  actress Amita  singing in both the  voices of  Lata and Asha!!! But the film conveys an oldworld charm well-preserved over the years. Interestingly  all the main  actors  barring  Nimmi were Hindus playing Muslims  so  convincingly . Even the  director H S Rawail, who excelled  in  the Muslim Social genre,  was  a Hindu.Secular Bollywood  at its  best.
  2. Benazir(1964):  Moving away from the  splashy colours of Mere Mehboob , this  Bimal  Roy production  directed  by  S Khalil  is a portrait  of  sobriety.Shot in  black-and-white it tell the  story of the  Fallen Woman Benazir, played with  muted magnificence  by the  magical Meena Kumari , and the two brothers  Nawab(Ashok Kumar) and Anwar(Shashi Kapoor) who come under her spell. Besides  its  proclivity to  rein in the melodrama and avoid the pitfalls of overt cultural stereotyping Benazir boasts  of  an incredibly  layered  music score by Sachin Dev Burman. Though Meena  K was no dancer  Lata Mangeskar’s Husn ki baharen  liye, Baharon ki mehfil suhani  rahegi and Alvida jaan-e-wafa  still have  the power  to make our hearts dance. On release  Benazir was a flop,probably  because the ardent fans of the Muslim Social  did not subscribe to  its love for sobriety.Time to rediscover this gem.
  3. Tawaif(1985):  So okay,  everyone swears  by  the reformist tone of   B R Chopra’s Nikaah which took on the Triple Talaaq. But to me  Chopra’s Tawaif is more florid fun and  frisky,  hence a  delectable Eid confection.  Rati Agnihotri, in  the best role of her career,  plays  the  eponymous title role of the  courtesan Sultana. But it is Rishi Kapoor who steals  the show as Dawood(!!) the  handsome well-to-do Muslim  who  is compelled  to  bring the tawaif home to his scandalized  family and  fiancée(Poonam Dhillon)  as his  Biwi. Corny and kitschy as hell, the film showed  how Rishi could steal a film from right under the centrally cast heroine’s nose.
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