Wednesday, June 10, 2009

There's Just Something About This Movie...Yeh Vaada Raha (1982)



After having a lovely filmi conversation with Anarchivist (and a few cocktails), I decided it was time to step into the Glorious Kingdom of Rishi Sweaters...

I get the feeling that Yeh Vaada Raha, the 1982 Ramesh Behl film starring Rishi Kapoor, Poonam Dillon, and Tina Munim, was an awesome place to start (despite the fact that my subtitles were pretty sparse and all in CAPS--frustrating). Also, there's a lot of screencaps here, but its just that kind of film!

It's love at first sight for Vikram (Rishi Kapoor), who meets Sunita (Poonam Dillon) in a temple and is instantly besotted.



And who wouldn't be? Sunita is gorgeous!



She rejects him, though, despite his efforts. Left with nothing but a cold shoulder, Vikram turns to his friend, Gogi (Rakesh Bedi), a painter, and sings a colorful song describing her beauty.



And--!Voila!...Before Vikram knows it, Gogi has composed a blind portrait of Sunita based on the words of the song (Which, sadly for me, were not translated)!



Sunita turns out to be a singer. She continues to reject Vikram until one night when she is mocked onstage (ironically, due to Vikram's actions--he has Gogi's paintings on Sunita hung all over town in an effort to locate the poor girl).



Vikram comes to the rescue by singing the song for her (and again, it wasn't translated so I don't know what he said, but it worked because Sunita falls for him after this).



Their romance blooms in no time at all, and is filled with lots of lovey-dovey, sunshiny things. Vikram, thankfully, doesn't stop treating Sunita like a queen just because he's won her over. To the contrary, he's quite the teddy bear boyfriend, sending a marching band over to sing to her on her birthday and gifting her with a promise ring. The two discuss marriage.



Of course, its not so easy. While Sunita appears to live modestly as a lounge singer, Vikram comes from a rich family. When Maa comes to town (Played by a witchy Rakhee), trouble begins to brew.



Maa despises Sunita from the start, and after meeting her, leaves in such a huff that she doesn't notice her saree is hanging out of the car door:



Meddling Maa digs up some damaging information about Sunita in an effort to discourage her son from dating her, but Vikram will have no part of it. He doesn't care about Sunita's past--He loves her and vows to marry her. I really appreciated the fact that Vikram didn't give this a second thought; He didn't even bring it up to Sunita. He gathers his beloved and his pal Gogi and the two race off to the temple to elope.

However, tragedy strikes and the three are in a horrible car accident. Though Vikram's badly injured enough to be confined to a hospital bed, its Sunita who suffered most from the collision. Her face is badly disfigured, and her doctor gives this information to none other than Vikram's mother, of course (Why???!!).



Of course, Maa uses this to her advantage and tells Vikram Sunita is dead.



Crushed, Vikram retreats into a mourning period of doing little but talking to Sunita's painting:



Meanwhile, Sunita is shipped off to a plastic surgeon specialist, a kindly doctor played by...What?! Shammi Kapoor!!I had no idea that was him until just now when I looked it up to write this paragraph. I knew he looked familiar--now I like the Good Doc even more!



Sunita undergoes multiple plastic surgeries, "8-10", according to her doctor. It must have been pretty bad--just check out the looks on the doctor and nurses' faces:




Not the most tactful medical staff, are they?

Meanwhile, Vikram continues to grieve for Sunita...




Anyways, after some time, Sunita's face is repaired. However, the doctor never knew what she looked like prior to the accident, so he had to use his imagination and give her a whole new face (Where's Gogi the Painter when you need him?)



Lovely as it is, its not Sunita's original face, and here's where Tina Munim steps in. Sunita freaks out, understandably, but eventually is calmed by the Good Doctor and starts imagining her new face and new life with Vikram, to the tune of the very catchy title song:



When Sunita goes to tell Vikram she's all better, she's hit with a crushing bomb--Vikram is engaged to somebody else. Unbeknownst to Sunita, all of this was arranged by Vikram's mother, and agreed to by Vikram only because he thought Sunita was dead.




Of course, Sunita leaves without revealing her identity, and Vikram continues to believe she is dead. She assumes a new name, Kusum, and vows to forget her past. Its not until one day Vikram hears her singing that he recognizes her voice as Sunita's.



I'll leave you here, because there's still the chunk of plot left to unravel, and if I go any further I'll start sobbing like I did while watching the rest of this heartbreaking-yet-lovely tearjerker. Will Sunita reveal her true identity to Vikram? Will Vikram accept Sunita's new face? Will Maa's deception be revealed?

As you can see from my screencap enthusiasm, I really enjoyed this film. It was just so touching and sweet, and I found that I warmed easily to sweater-clad Rishi. The songs were catchy and hummable, and I'll probably bounce over to Itunes to download them after posting this.

While both Sunitas were good, I found that Tina Munim brought more life and vitality to the role. I'd love to see more of her!



That's not to take too much away from Poonam Dhillon, the first Sunita. She was delicately beautiful, reminding me physically of a cross between Bhagyashree and Rekha. But, though I enjoyed her, I found her Sunita to be a little less thrilling than Tina's.

On a final note, I thought it was very considerate of the filmmaker to use the same voice to dub both actresses playing Sunita (since plastic surgery on the face wouldn't change one's voice). And, as I discovered while looking up the year of this film, that voice belonged to none other than Jaya Bachchan!!

Though not very realistic otherwise, this film was so touching that its a new favorite. I'd recommend it wholeheartedly, but warn to keep a box of tissues on hand--I was crying like a baby!

82 comments:

Nicki June 10, 2009 at 2:49 PM  

Yah! You liked the movie! One of my all time faves. Not sure if you ever saw my review for it but here it is

JJC June 10, 2009 at 4:50 PM  

i really liek this movie too. the songs are awesome and rishi kapoor romances are the cutest

lapetitediva June 10, 2009 at 5:13 PM  

I haven't seen this movie, but I liked Tina Munim in Man Pasand and Souten. In the latter film, she plays a negative character--very spoiled and snooty and over-the-top, but still fun to watch in a soap opera-ish way, I think.

Nida June 10, 2009 at 6:43 PM  

Nicki--I lurrvved it!! :) Will go to check your review now...

JJC--The songs were adorable! I've downloaded the soundtrack and can't stop listening. I bought some more Rishi romances, too ;)

Lapetitediva--I'll have to check Tina out in that one. I've never heard of it but from what you've described I'm thinking she'd be really good at a role like that. Loved her! Thanks for stopping by!

bawa June 10, 2009 at 11:34 PM  

That bit about being dubbed by Jaya brought this movie back!
Poonam Dhillon was beautiful but always rather wooden as an actress, whereas Tina Munim became the first of the new generation of more Western looking heroines.ç

Back to the dubbing, I think at the time the gossip was that it was obvious that one voice would have to be used and neither of the two would give up this privilege!

So the director solved his dilemma by side-stepping both and bringing in Jaya. A lot of comments at the time said that this was an improvement on Poonam's usual delivery (aren't people cruel?)

gebruss June 11, 2009 at 12:17 AM  

This does sound nice. It will go on my ever growing list of movies to watch.

Is that Iftekhar in the first screencap with Shammi?

bollywooddeewana June 11, 2009 at 7:57 AM  

Oh thanks for reviewing this lovely film, this movie is the biggest, right up there with Sholay when i was growing up in Nigeria and as Nicki would affirm its well loved by Thai people as well. The soundtrack was well received by we africans who don't even speak hindi, its a firm favourite of mine and i spoke about it a bit in this post of mine regarding Poonam, whom i see you love as well

http://bollywooddeewana.blogspot.com/2009/04/happy-birthday-to-you-poonam-dhillon.html

Pankaj June 11, 2009 at 9:06 AM  

That sure tops on my fav romantic flick of Rishi Kapoor. Great Rd Burman songs and Rishi Kapoor in his element. maine tujhe kabhi kuch kahaa tha, tu -tu hain wahi, ishq mera bandagi hain..nice !

I too have a 3 yr old and I just started a small blog on blogspot: pankajonebc.blogspot.com

memsaab June 11, 2009 at 12:48 PM  

This is based on a Danielle Steele novel called "The Promise" (!)

AND IT FEELS LIKE THEY ARE ALL SHOUTING AT YOU AS YOU WATCH, DOESN'T IT???

I love this movie but I hate those all-cap subtitles :)

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat June 11, 2009 at 12:50 PM  

oh god- I love to hate this movie- and yet- its SUCH a secret indulgence! aghs! the main problem is of course that i rather like Poonam, and rather dislike Tina- so seeing the latter in the 2nd half does irk a fair bit. Great post, honestly.

Anarchivist June 11, 2009 at 2:14 PM  

I haven't seen this one yet!!

However, in a conversation about Danielle Steel, it came up that "The Promise" is the only one of her books I've ever read. Because I'm such a literary snob, my co-workers were shocked that I'd admit to reading any! But then I added, "Yes, and there's a Bollywood version of it!" and they breathed a sigh of relief that I hadn't been replaced by a replica, and all was right with the world.

It's hard to pick a favorite screenshot, but I'm going with Rishi Bangs His Head Against a Post. I cannot WAIT to watch this.

Nida June 11, 2009 at 2:22 PM  

Bawa--Yes!!"Wooden"--that's a good way to describe Poonam. Though I still liked her, in her own way she was still good for the first part of the role. Thanks for the trivia--v. interesting!

Gebruss--It is very nice :) Can't wait to hear what you think of it! I wouldn't know that guy's name you are referring to, but he did look familiar to me as well...

Bollywooddeewana--Thanks for the link! I will check it out soon, as I am on my way to work now. Yes, its very interesting, after reading Nicki's post, that this film was so big in other countries yet apparently not so in India? I loved it, and I did like Poonam, too.

Pankaj--I loved the film, as well as the soundtrack, have been listenting to it nonstop since I downloaded it! And thanks for stopping by, I will check your blog out soon... And you have a 3 year old, too? Aren't they so much fun! But can be exhausting :)

Memsaab--IT TOTALLY DOES--lol. I was taken aback in the first 10 mins by this, in addition my subtitles were few and far between. Though I'm really glad I stuck with it! I didn't know that about "The Promise", thank you for sharing. Have you read it? And if so, is it any good?

Shweta--Hi!:) I liked both, but preferred Tina, and therefore think that made me love the film any more. I asked myself, if Poonam had played the second part, would I like the movie as much, and I think I would have been missing Tina. So, in other words, I can understand what you mean (since you prefer Poonam)..And this movie has been an indulgence for me, I've been listening to the soundtrack all week. My daughter was even crying last night because she wanted to watch it again (though I refused since I have such a huuge pile of unwatched films!)...

bollywoodfoodclub June 11, 2009 at 8:02 PM  

Nida-ji,
Great post and screen caps. I remember when I saw this I was taken aback by the snotty rich fiancee and how she ended up being typical Bollywood selfless in the end. I thought she was really great, and looked stunning, but her part was so small. SO I looked her up and afterwards and realized it was Sarika (Kamal Hassan's ex wife) in her younger years. I really liked her and it's often in the smaller character roles in these films where we get to see more acting range.

All the best!
Sita-ji

memsaab June 12, 2009 at 9:24 AM  

I liked The Promise, but I haven't read it since I was a teenager :) And back then I liked all the schmaltzy trashy romances I could get my grubby little hands on. Okay...I still do.

Pankaj June 12, 2009 at 12:54 PM  

OMG the 3 yr olds are just non-stop blabber-mouths. Daddy-maami, daddy-maami..can I watch TV, can I get this to eat, can we play, can we go to the beach..Stop it would you :) But if they stop, then we are like hey..why are so quiet today? :):)

Nida June 14, 2009 at 7:01 PM  

Sita-ji--Yes, Sarika was stunning and her part way to small. Reminded me of something Rani Mukerjee would have done in her earlier days. And that scene with Kusum and Rita after Kusum's song was heart-shattering...tears were rolling down my cheeks like crazy! Thank you, glad you liked the post, and so nice to hear from you again. :)

Memsaab--Lol. Ok, thanks for the info, I'll have to check it out (because I love that stuff, too!).

Pankaj--Exactly, the joys of parenting! This is why I need my nightly dose of Bollywood--to chill out and escape. Though my daughter's right there with me, too!

Nida June 15, 2009 at 6:26 PM  

Anarchavist-Oops, somehow I missed your comment! I can't WAIT for you to watch it either--another cocktail and conversation, perhaps? :)
And wait until you see the significance of said "post" he is banging his head against. Heartwrenching!

bollyviewer June 15, 2009 at 8:44 PM  

You havent seen Rishi Sweaters till you've seen Chandni! In '82 he was still the handsome hero and not the "evergreen" looking star he became shortly afterwards.

I love the songs from this film and love Poonam, too, but remember feeling rather lukewarm about the film when I saw it years ago. I should re-visit, now that I've discovered how much I like Rishi and Poonam!

Anarchivist June 17, 2009 at 8:12 PM  

We're developing a whole Rishi Sweater Club!

Since the heroine of Chandni was torn between Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna, I found myself singing: "Amar....Akbar...Chandni!"

Hopefully that's the silliest thought I'll have today.

Sujoy June 21, 2009 at 7:04 AM  

Confession time: This is one of my secret indulgence. I love every single movie of Poonam Dhillon, and to see her replaced by Tina Munim was heart breaking. But Panchamda's music is absolutely brilliant.

Thanks a lot for this review.

Nida June 30, 2009 at 6:26 PM  

Bollyviewer--I really did like this, and lovvved Rishi in it! After "Amar Akbar Anthony" and now this, I may be..yikes.. becoming a Rishi Kapoor fan? Ahh, perhaps its still too early to tell but I do plan on popping in Chandni tonight!

Anarchavist--Funny, the little singsong sayings that pop into our heads after 3+ hours of Bollywood?

Thankful Paul--Hi!:)

Sujoy--A secret indulgence indeed! It was just that type of film. Though its interesting that half of you guys love Poonam and the other half prefer Tina!

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Anonymous,  July 20, 2012 at 9:35 PM  

So happy to stumble unto your eview. I am Nigerian and grew up watching Indian movies. this was my favorite movie. happy to finally get the title of the movie. thanks for a lovely review

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I'm so happy I finally found this movie . I watched it growing up . I wouldn't say Miss Poonam was wooden so much as aloof in her acting. She is a very beautiful woman so it's a joy just to watch. This movie has always been in the back of my mind but being of eastern Asian descent I never knew how to find it .

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