Thursday, February 21, 2008


I have a confession to make.

It was probably the real-life rumors surrounding Silsila that peaked my curiosity over the actual movie itself. Whether there is any truth to them or not remains unknown(and quite irrelevant when judging the film), but it certainly made things a bit more interesting to watch.

I promise not to go on a tangent about the real life drama, because I want to give a productive review on this film (and I'm sure everyone's tired of hearing about it already), but there is just one thing I'm insanely curious about...If Amitabh and Rekha's alleged real life affair was such a hot rumor in Bollywood at this time, why on earth would Jaya agree to do this film? Was she proving to everybody that she was confident in her husband's faithfulness? Or did the rumors start going around after the release of the film? And for that matter, why would Amitabh agree to it? Almost makes the rumors seem ridiculous, doesn't it? If those of you who grew up on Bollywood can shed some light on this, I'd really like to know!

But let's talk about Silsila. I'm trying to branch out and slowly roll back into the Bollywood films from decades past, so I really haven't seen many, and I'm still not sure Silsila was a very good place to start. It wasn't an amazing story, but it was still likeable due to the performances, some of the music, and the way the script seemed to flow (I probably don't know much about what constitutes a tight script, but if I had to guess, I would say this one delivers since it stuck to the point and was easy to follow).

As Carla's post states in much more accurate detail, Rekha was the one disappointment in the group. I was surprised because I had been so impressed with her in Umrao Jaan and was expecting another memorable performance. Instead we get Chandni, which she still played with her classic sensuality, but who came across as doing little more than clinging desperately to Amitabh Bachchan. Don't get me wrong, though...I still find the woman's allure to be absolutely fascinating. There's just something bewitching about her, and I can imagine she was the fantasy of many a men in her day.

On the other hand, one of my favorite performances of the film came from Jaya Bachchan, in the scene where her husband tells her about the affair. She did this twisty thing with her mouth like she was going to cry, and I thought it was very believable.

The songs in Silsila were entertaining, especially since I found Amitabh and Rekha to be almost picturesque onscreen together. They looked like the Barbie and Ken of 80's Bollywood.

However, the shining point in the film was its ending. Kudos to the writers for trying to make the point about affairs that I feel is so often the glaring truth: Everything is exciting when its forbidden, but once you actually get what you think you want, you realize its not as perfect as you thought it would be (as opposed to a movie like KANK, which got that part all wrong).

And, last but not least, here comes the makeup artist in me (because I just couldn't hold it in any longer). If you want to duplicate Rekha's to-die-for lips in Silsila, try Desire lipglass from MAC with Vino or Currant lipliner.

You can thank me later.

Text © Copyright 2008 Nida Nazir

Bitten By Bollywood


Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat February 26, 2008 at 3:14 PM  

Ah- but much as I may ape her look, I doubt I can hold a candle to the Witchy Woman herself. :D

Thank you for the review- it puts in perpective the movie and its characters really well. On my part, I think I liked Sanjeev the most- he seemed to be the only one dealing sensibly with matters at hand. :)

bollywoodfoodclub February 26, 2008 at 8:12 PM  

Nice pictures. I really liked the whole bummer feel of the movie in that I thought they captured the futility of the affair and how it ultimately hurts so many. I also remember really liking how Rekha's character got so spooked when meeting Amitabh's character at the hotel. She played that well. I too was driven to watch the movie after hearing of the alleged real life affair.

All the best,

Sanket Vyas March 9, 2008 at 10:26 PM  

Hi Nida - that last pic of Rekha really looks like one of the models from the Robert Palmer video 'Addicted to Love' :)

This movie was a commercial disaster when it was first released in India most likely because the story was just too close to (supposedly) real life. But the songs were hits the day they were released and remain evergreen classics to this day. The composer team of Shiv-Hari (who are incidentally very respected classical musicians) wrote the music and this was one of only 5 films they penned.

The first half of this movie (until Shashi dies) is something I can watch over and over - the second half is a bit of a downer though. The dialogue is amazing though and the fact that the stars all agreed to be in this (mainly to stave off all the infidelity rumors) make this a classic by any sense of the word.

Jaya looks absolutely stunning in this movie even though Rekha got all the accolades and the graceful yet powerful performance she gives is not easily forgotten. The song 'Dekha Ek Khwab' was filmed in Holland and supposedly the only cast members that made the trip were Amitabh & Rekha, hmmmm...

Nida March 11, 2008 at 2:50 PM  

Shweta, I agree, Sanjeev also did an excellent job:) I've never seen any of his work before, but will never forget his face after his strong performance.

Sita-ji--Definately agree with you about the hotel meeting scene...Really allowed you as the viewer to get into the characters heads and think about how ackward they felt and why...

Sanket-She really does look like a Robert Palmer Girl! That's so funny, I knew she looked familiar in that pic but just couldn't place it...Until now! And that last tidbit of info is certainly very interesting...

Payal June 3, 2008 at 12:54 PM  

Gosh.. I remember being in Holland(Michigan) during tulip season.. and just reminiscing about "Dekha ek khwab"..The soundtrack of this movie was also so good.."Neela aasman" and "yeh kahan aa gaye hum"..loved those numbers..

Just stumbled on to this blog.. I love that you have clear pics of the movies..unlike other sites..

Nida June 8, 2008 at 1:20 PM  


Thank you for stopping by and I'm glad you found us(me)! And thank you, I'm happy you are enjoying the images. You'll never believe how long it took me to figure out how to take a screenshot, though!

I never look at tulips quite the same way, either!:)

Beth February 3, 2009 at 7:06 AM  

I've just watched this and am working through what to write...and I keep returning to how annoying I found the whole thing. Bah. It's good for me to read other opinions of people who have more nuanced things to say.

I didn't like Chandni at all - I don't know if that's Rekha's doing or if the character herself was such an undeveloped wet noodle that there was nothing for her to work with.

Nida February 3, 2009 at 11:46 AM  

Beth--I wish I would have had more productive things to say about it, but when I wrote this I was only just getting my feet wet in Bollywood. Now, I think I've discovered that I'm really not much of a Yash Chopra fan (With the exception of Veer Zaara).

The more I see of Rekha, the more she annoys me in general. I'm beginning to think her role in "Umrao Jaan" was the exception instead of the rule--But I could be wrong!

Nida February 3, 2009 at 11:48 AM  

P.S. Can't wait to read your review, Beth!

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