Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dharam-Veer (India, 1977)

Once you're done with the knowledge-based cherry picking, there are a wide variety of factors that come into play in deciding which are the potential gems among the selection of five dollar Bollywood dvds at your local Indian grocer or favorite online vendor. Familiar names or faces in the cast or crew of a film are always helpful, but there are also certain thematic or conceptual lures that might serve to tip the scales. In the case of Dharam-Veer, for instance, it certainly didn't hurt that the cast included the stunning Zeenat Aman - and while its male lead, Dharmendra, isn't one of my favorite actors, I do harbor a lot of good will toward him thanks to his co-starring role - with Amitabh Bachchan - in the classic Sholay, as well as his appearance in other highly enjoyable films such as Ankhen and Alibaba aur 40 Chor. But what really closed the deal for me with Dharam-Veer was the fact that its action was described as taking place in a vaguely mediaeval "mythical kingdom". This aroused in me fevered hopes that Dharam-Veer would be some kind of mind boggling ahistorical period piece - something, in other words, along the lines of Mard, the 1985 classic whose depiction of hero Amitabh Bachchan's battle against the British Raj managed to include MTV-inspired eighties fashions, gladiator battles, and women in frilly Victorian garb strapped to the front of Sherman tanks...

Read the full review at The Lucha Diaries

4 comments:

Beth said...

Technically, there's a moratorium on movie-buying at the moment at my house, because I have at least 15 things I haven't seen yet, but damnit if the universe isn't telling me to buy this and watch it right this very minute.

Beth said...

Okay, read the review, got halfway through, went to DVD Dhamaka and put movie in cart. Finished review. Felt guilty re: moratorium so did not purchase. YET.

And "You can never have too many back flips" is my status message in g chat.

Todd said...

15? That's all? My "to be watched" pile has reached teetering heights well beyond what any sane person living in earthquake country should tolerate.

In any case, you show remarkable restraint in the face of a concept as alluring as Sheroo the Wonder Bird.

Beth said...

I am nothing if not a pillar of virtue.

My to-be-watched pile has been sneezed at before. But given that I very rarely bought movies of any kind before I got into Bollywood, it's big, relatively. It's probably bigger than the total number of movies I owned on DVD pre-Bolly. But this one will definitely come to me in due time - unless the Indian grocery store has it to rent.... I could call them right now!