Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Much-Needed Indulgence...Maine Pyar Kiya


Oh, what to do when you have five papers due and two exams to study for?

Pop in Maine Pyar Kiya, of course!



After all, what could be a better stress reliever than a babyfaced Salman and a ravishing Bhagyashree surrounded by an '80s infused Bollywood?

The answer is nothing, except maybe some chocolate...But watching Maine Pyar Kiya was similiar to that, too. It was like binge-eating a box of chocolate covered cherries--the bursts of syrupy sweetness just kept coming, and I kept shoveling 'em in with a big ol' smile on my face.


Bhagyashree reenacts the Like A Virgin video.



In what I'm convinced must have been one of Salman Khan's most adorable roles ever, MPK was yet another "forbidden" young love story of its era, one that I to keep wanting to lump together with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. It's interesting that the big breakthrough films of the 3 Khans had similar plots, particularly this one and QSQT. You know the cliche...two young lovers kept apart by their disapproving families...Sound familiar? One would think at least one of these would have been tossed aside as a copycat of the others, yet from someone who's seen all three, I can honestly say each one holds their very own and is well deserving of their individual successes as Hindi cinema classics.


Prem has posters of Micheal Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna!


The film was directed by Sooraj Barjatya, and if you disliked HAHK and hated Vivah (or vice versa), don't let that deter you from watching Maine Pyar Kiya. Unlike those two films, MPK is easy to follow and engaging from the very beginning. Also, its super enjoyable--think all the best elements of an 80s teen love story with Bollywood fairy dust sprinkled on top.


An accent from the 80s I still love--lipstick prints!!




It wouldn't be an 80s film without a party scene...





...Or Seema's bad perm!



Suman (Bhagyashree) and her father, Karan(Alok Nath) live in a modest country home. One day, Karan is offered a job abroad, and sends his daughter to live with his beloved friend, Kishan (Rajeev Verma), whom he has not seen or spoke to in years. Because of the depth of this friendship, however, Karan entrusts Suman's well-being to Kishan and sends her to live with his family without a second thought-he's convinced they will treat her like royalty.

While the family is nice enough to Suman, its Kishan's son Prem (Salman Khan) who goes out of his way to make her feel welcome, and the two become fast friends. Here's the first thing I liked about this movie--I felt like Prem was genuinely interested in being Suman's friend and not just trying to get with her. He was drawn to her because he could tell she was a kindred spirit, respecting her and showing her he cared before the romance began.

Of course, since Suman is a breathtaking beauty with a heart of gold, Prem eventually falls head over heels. And once he does, he's committed to being with her. The sacrifices Prem makes for Suman throughout the film made me love Salman Khan's character!



Sure, one could argue that Prem had his crabby moments--For example, after a fight at a party, Prem tells Suman to fix him a plate rather curtly, which she gladly does in submission. This attitude may be frustrating to some who hate this Hindi film cliche, and while I don't embrace it myself, for some reason I didn't sweat it in this film. You see, it was clear to me that Prem respected Suman so much--and that she treated him with honor because she wanted to, not because she was a woman and he was a man.

Hands down, this performance marked one of my favorites from Salman Khan (the others being HAHK and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam). He was so adorable here!Mostly for the reasons I've listed above. And...wait...in his final scene alone with Alok Nath and Bhagyashree, he proves he can really and truly act! And here I thought he was the worst overacter ever...



Bhagyashree. Do I need to say anymore than that(except maybe COME BACK BHAGYASHREE!!!)? She was awesome! First of all, her name even sounds cool, as most one-part movie star names do. Bhagyashree. Dharmendra. Kajol. Nargis. I've decided that if I ever make it big in Bollywood I'm going to go with a one-part name, and its not going to sound too feminine, either. But getting back to Bhagyashree...how can I describe her? She was something like Nargis--Grace, class, poise, and sensuality all wrapped into one. At times, her facial expressions even reminded me of Marilyn Monroe!


That's a wall covered in Salman Khan photographs, just so you know.


The film is NOT just sugarpie romance scenes like Vivah was, for the most part. There's a twist to this happy tale--You see, Kishan is a very sucessful businessman. In a quest to gain a part of Kishan's empire, his business partner devises a plan to get Prem to marry his daughter Seema. Along with Seema's brother, Jeevan (played by Mohnish Behl), the three make up a trio of scheming villains that bring out every trick in the book to try and keep Prem and Suman apart.

Though all three are far from nice, Mohnish Behl surprised me with his sleaziness as Jeevan. This guy played one of the nicest characters in HAHK and here he was, picking on poor Bhagyashree? But alas, he was perfect for the part, deliciously good at being bad. His dashing handsomeness made him seem all the more dangerous!



Other key players are Alok Nath as the loving father he can portray so well and Reema Lagoo (yay!) as Prem's mother. Rajeev Verma plays Kishan and Laximikant Berde has a small but non-irritating comedic supporting role. AND...

In true Barjatya fashion, there's a crucial animal in the film--a white pigeon that also wants Prem and Suman to be together. And let me tell you, HAHK's little dog Tuffy is no patch on this butt-kicking bird. He even plays a critical role in the climax that will have you LAUGHING OUT LOUD(I sure did!).



As far as the music is concerned, let's just put it this way--My favorite song in the film revolves around a pigeon and a love letter.Doesn't that just sound like a fairy tale? The pigeon carries the letter away to the handsome prince while the princess sings a melody in her nightgown. And the tune was super catchy, too! I've included the Youtube Video for those who want to reminisce BUT if you haven't seen the film, please, please wait! Its the surprising little details like these in MPK that won my heart because I didn't know they were coming.



Don't you just love the climax of this song with Bhagyashree's thick shiny black hair blowing in the wind and the city lights in the background?
There's nothing more I can say about this film except that I loved every minute of it. After my recent viewing of Aa Gale Lag Ja, I seem to be on a streak of guilty pleasures in Indian cinema that have me overusing my exclamation point key. But I'm not complaining, and I apologize if I sound like I'm overdoing it. I just can't help it--I really get that excited about this stuff (hence the blog)!



Would I be a glutton for punishment if I said I loved Maine Pyar Kiya more than Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge? Because guess what...I sure did!

25 comments:

JJC April 22, 2009 at 9:31 PM  

III loveeeeeeeeeee MPK..and i'm wiht you on loving it more than ddlj and qsqt. it introduced me to SK and it was love at first sight and my fav song as a kid was also 'kabutar ja'. They were just so young and cute and you cant take your eyes off of him(them).
and that 'wall of hotness' in Prem's bedroom? totally sexy.
the 'jao mere liye khana lekar ao' part' was more than prem being a sexist. it showed his bratty spoiled side from being a rich kid and a momma's boy which she is aware of. I think it added to his character to make it slightly realistic.
When SK wants to, he can be a good actor, sometimes i think the man chooses not to. I wont add too much because i know i have tons to say since its my no.1 fav movie of all time!

Nida April 22, 2009 at 9:44 PM  

JJC--Thanks for stopping by! I lovvved it--and wish I had my own Wall of Prem in MY room!

I get your point about Prem's "bratty" side and you're right--it made his sacrifices for Suman all the more appreciated.

I was really pleasantly surprised with SK's acting ability. I've only seen a small handful of his films, but I'd chalked him up to a nonactor. Apparently I was wrong!

theBollywoodFan April 22, 2009 at 10:17 PM  

Really glad you enjoyed it, Nida!

There's this scene at the very beginning with Prem and his dad involved in a car race. I always wanted to grow up so I could do that with my dad, who (thankfully!) did not disappoint :)

I think its humongous success was all very, very well deserved. I had that cap that said 'Friend' (accompanied by a sailor cap from Dil Hai Ke Maanta Nahin a couple years later)!

As for MPK v QSQT...we know which came first :P I'm only kidding. I think they're both outstanding (you know which I like more...sshhh), and well beyond anything else of their kind.

bollyviewer April 22, 2009 at 10:31 PM  

Ooooo this brings back so many memories! Bhagyashree had played the role of Meg in Amol Palekar's Hindi adaptation of Little Women for TV, and I couldnt wait to see her in a big screen romance! I had to wait a long time to see it too (about 6-7 months but it felt like FOREVER!) and was completely bowled over by the movie - it had all the required masala allowance and I even loved Bhagyashree's ridiculous dresses (she can make them look good!). :-D

I still love her in the film, but for me QSQT has to score over this - Aamir wins hands down against Salman! ;-)

JJC April 22, 2009 at 11:00 PM  

tbf- his brown jacket with the patches was hugely popular..every guy wanted to own it..
did you really own that cap ? i think you need to upload a pic of thatt

Darshit April 23, 2009 at 6:54 AM  

This is 'the' first movie EVER- that I can remember of watching in a hall. I was 5 yr old and can still remember-having potato chips while watching pigeon pulling that rope ;-). And there it is-at 1st position of my 'Movies I've Seen List'. [Very next one are 'Tridev' & 'Dil']
[okay, I had seen many alongwith my mom/dad, but that was at age that I can't remember any of them].

That 'one part name' observation is excellent. Havn't given a thought to that, ever. Agree with everything you said. MPK is absolutely suitable for re-re-re-re-re watch. And I think your dislike-ness for Vivah and HAHK might be because of overdone Indian-ness in them. But I love both of them for that. Also just couldn't resist the Prem-trilogy and gorgeous pairings.

Well...I take this risk of saying [though AK is my god] I love MPK more, over QSQT !!
[Nahiiinnnnn....yeh bolne se pehle meri zuban kat kyun nahi gai..............]Really, may be it is because of personal nostalgia attached to it, or whatever. [QSQT, first I had seen on video] But that's it. I love MPK !!!! Even DDLJ can never come closer to both of them. [though it has Kajol]

@tBF it was great time for such movies which spots certain collectible thing, like caps u've mentioned. And though they were not selling them as 'official merchandise', it became like mania. Even I had those caps but lost by the time :(

@JJC : Gosh, I was so desparate for that jacket. But was too small to fit in :(

Nicki April 23, 2009 at 11:13 AM  

MPK over QSQT for me! Loooove it. One of my all time faves. Great music too!

memsaab April 23, 2009 at 2:30 PM  

IMHO Bhagyashree's greatest achievement was looking beautiful despite the era :-D

She still looks good, too. Maybe she will come back! (and I'm with you on liking MPK more than those other two)...

Joss,  April 24, 2009 at 3:29 AM  

I've just looked up the date this film was made and sure enough it was released shortly before I visited India, in 1989. I feel sure I must have heard those exact same soaring strings during one of the 24 hour bus journeys I made! Kabutar Sa Ja sounds soooo familiar. Hindi film songs, which I was surprised to find they played non-stop everywhere you went, must have really got under my skin, because here I am 20 years later still listening to them! Great stuff!

Shivanna,  April 24, 2009 at 10:50 PM  

Bhagyashree was in Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, she played Akshay Kumar's character sister. After Maine Pyar Kiya she got married and insisted that she was only paired with her husband.

JJC April 24, 2009 at 11:16 PM  

Not to burst anyone's bubble..but she kind of ruined her image of herself for me recently. She participated in a reality dance show 'jhalak dikhla jha' and had a attittude problem and was quite mean. slightly conceited also.

Nida April 27, 2009 at 6:08 PM  

Bollywood Fan--You had a "Friend" Cap? LOL--Yes, please upload a pic! Wish I had one! Too adorable about racing with your dad--sounds like alot of fun.Which one did come first? I'm kidding. ;)

Bollyviewer--Oooh,there was a Hindi adaptation of Little Women? Was it any good? And Aamir wins for me, too, despite my feelings on this film ;)

JJC-Agreed!:) I wasn't wild about the brown suit, but I suppose in that era it fit...

Darshit--Lol, I'm still cracking up about the pigeon on the rope! Wow, so this was one of your first fond memories of Hindi films? I can see why-it was awesome! And yaay! I love movies that are suitable for "re-re-re-re-re watch"! As for HAHK and "Vivah", I actually did love both of them...I just meant that a lot of ppl don't seem to get those films. And it DID take me a second viewing to warm up to HAHK.

Nicki--THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for recommending this!! I couldn't wait to tell you I finally got to see it--Now I have to get going on the Bips films, hey?

Memsaab--Maybe her beauty just enchanted me so much I didn't care about anything else! lol--though for this film and era I thought she ws perfect!

Joss--Very Cool! I'm sure its quite possible that it was played when you visted India, I heard the songs from HAHK were played frequently too...

Shivanna-Interesting. I looked up the film you mentioned and it doesn't seem to spark any immediate interest on me. Do you recommend it? Perhaps that would change my mind!

JJC--That does burst my bubble! Just kidding. Aww, thats too bad, though. Humble pie, Bhagyashree!

Sohyle April 28, 2009 at 6:20 PM  

Hi. Im exploring Bollywood, I think its so original to its roots..but somehow now a days its loosing its magic.

Nice blog.

bollywooddeewana May 2, 2009 at 6:33 AM  

I love this film too, what a great review,i don't believe in the idea of Guilty pleasure though, if i like something, i like it, hence perhaps why i get so much stick for my Music Tastes, Nsync, Britney,Spice Girls ...lol. I loved THE WAY THEY HAD ALL THE POP SATR POSTERS in the film i.e Micheal Jackson, Madonna Posters etc. I never really made a correlation between Bhagyashree and Madonna's like a virgin dress but i definitely see it, well spotted Nida :0)

Scandalous_Diva May 12, 2009 at 3:52 PM  

totally love this movie....nice post...visit my blog http://scandulousdiva.blogspot.com/

IIFA Awards 2009 June 3, 2009 at 4:54 AM  

i too liked this movie a lot. SK n Bhagyashree made a sizzling couple wish they would have continued pairing opposite each other but...............

Nida June 9, 2009 at 2:15 PM  

Sohyle--Thank you, please come again! I am definitely having a good time exploring some of the older stuff :)

Bollywooddeewana--Thank you! I call it a "guilty pleasure" since I was really supposed to be doing my homework--lol-but instead was basking in Salman and Bhagyashree! As for the "Like A Virgin" bit, I actually caught it when taking my screencaps, and went a-ha!

Scandalous Diva--Thanks for stopping by! I will definitely stop by your blog, as I welcome new readers and friends :)

IIFA Awards-Yes, that would have been nice, wouldn't it? If they had gone on like Shahrukh and Kajol had...oh well. We can dream, can't we?

bollywoodfoodclub June 16, 2009 at 11:48 PM  

Fantastic post Nida!
I'm catching up on reading blogs tonight and I didn't see this great post and your excellent screen caps until now. I LOVE this movie. "I love WHAT!?" I did a mini (lame) write up a while back on it, which you may enjoy:

http://bollywoodfoodclub.wordpress.com/2007/10/20/video-of-the-day-maine-pyar-kiya-intro-theme-or-is-it-really-i-just-called-to-say-i-love-you/

All the best!
Sita-ji

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dyana August 12, 2009 at 10:06 PM  

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hans February 14, 2010 at 1:27 AM  

You wrote:

"After all, what could be a better stress reliever than a babyfaced Salman and a ravishing Bhagyashree surrounded by an '80s infused Bollywood?

The answer is nothing, except maybe some chocolate...But watching Maine Pyar Kiya was similiar to that, too. It was like binge-eating a box of chocolate covered cherries--the bursts of syrupy sweetness just kept coming"

Wow! I love your descriptions. Always good fun to read, "talkative" in a sympathetic way. Please don't abandon this blog :)

hans February 17, 2010 at 12:04 AM  

I don't know many bollies pre 96, but i do know DDLJ and Bobby and see quite some similarities to MPK, including objecting parents/peers and a violent almost-ending. While i liked MPK, esp the dreamy heroine, i think it is rather long (192 mins, jeeez) and i could have done with a little less song&dance (even though some scenes were most charming, including B in the kitchen and SK outside). I'd take SRK over AK or SK any time, and DDLJ or Bobby over MPK, but still i had a good time here. Would rate it 6,9/10.

And thanks again for your very entertaining blog.

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