Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Leer meets The Sneer

International genre cinema would be nothing without its villains, and today I decided to pay tribute to two of the best of them. Despite obvious differences of time and place, Amrish Puri and Sek Kin actually have a lot in common. Though both accumulated massive and varied filmographies over the course of their hardworking careers, they are primarily known for their larger-than-life bad guy roles, and both put in a lot of time serving as sort of in-house Snidely Whiplashes for their respective national film industries. In the case of Puri, that was the Bollywood of the eighties and nineties, while with Sek Kin it was the Cantonese language cinema of Hong Kong during the sixties.

Another thing that both men have in common is that each would be completely unknown to mainstream Western audiences if not for one iconic bad guy role. For Sek Kin that would be the role of Han in 1973's Enter the Dragon, and for Puri that of Mola Ram in 1984's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Whenever one of these gentlemen appeared in a picture, you seldom had to wonder who to root against; it was just a matter of following either the twitching pencil mustache or the ominously furrowing brow.

Recommended viewing:

Amrish Puri: Mr. India
Read my review at Teleport City

Sek Kin: Girl in Red
Read my review at Movie-fan Princess

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