Sunday, July 6, 2008

Milap (India, 1972)

Milap is another Reena Roy snake lady movie. Only here she doesn't play an actual snake-turned-lady, but rather a lady whose lover from a past life has been reincarnated as a snake. When that snake, upon reaching the age of 100, assumes human form and has sexual congress with her, she will become -- well, I'm not quite clear on that really, but it's something that her current lover, played by Shatrughan Sinha, desperately wants to avoid happening. An alarmingly fresh-faced Danny Dezongpa plays a snake charmer who is competing for Roy's affections, and Sarita plays a heroin-smoking hippy chick who is helping Sinha to circumvent Roy's scaley fate. Directed by Brij Bhooshan, this relatively compact (at two hours) film doesn't have the wild color and weird effects of Rajkumar Kholi's wonderful Nagin, but is mildly interesting for an overall dour and foreboding tone that is reminiscent of American horror films of its era. Sinha's character is presented as a rootless and seeking product of the modern world whose staunchly secular mindset is challenged by his encounter with the supernatural world. An early montage showing his history of vice is well worth seeing, especially for a shot of him smoking as a ten year old boy, which is framed by an iris of lit butts. In other highlights, the potential titillation of a climactic scene in which Roy is forced to disrobe by her snakey lover is amusingly foiled by the fact that she is wearing about 500 layers of clothing. I will say that this is one to avoid if you're at all squeamish of snakes, because there are a lot of them (real ones) on display, and Bhooshan manages to make them look extra slimy.

17 comments:

Beth said...

Ummmm...yehnoooo. Are you getting the sense that many of the snake movies are awfully similar in plot? I feel like even _I_, non-watcher of scary things, have heard this before. Maybe I'll blame it on Jaani Dushman
http://www.army-of-monkeys.com/jd/jaani_dushman.htm

Todd said...

Well, you have to understand that you're talking to a man who has watched hundreds of Mexican wrestling movies. So I've had to learn to look beyond plot and instead to those idiosyncratic little "extras" that each movie has to offer for entertainment value (which, admittedly, Milap has very few of).

That said, if I'm going to watch a movie called Jaani Dushman, it better have some Amrish Puri as a werewolf action in it, or I'm gonna bust up the place!

Beth said...

Hundreds?!? I am SO ignorant.

You should not, under any circumstances, watch Jaani Dushman (at least this newer one). It is truly awful. You should definitely read Army of Monkeys's (one army, but multiple monkey, so I think that must be where the apostrophe goes) review of it.

Todd said...

Okay, maybe my tendency for hyperbole got the better of me; I've seen over a hundred of them. So maybe I should've said that I've seen "hundred" of them.

Based on what little I know about the new Jaani Dushman -- basically that it's widely considered to be the worst Bollywood film ever made -- I'm afraid that if I learn any more I'll feel like I absolutely have to see it. Sad, because it's made by the director of both the original Jaani Dushman -- which I may have already mentioned features Amrish Puri as a werewolf -- and the 1976 version of Nagin that I enjoyed so much.

Beth said...

WELL. I may hipped you to baby Aamir, but you certainly have it all figured out about Rajkumar Kohli!

I may be reconsidering my earlier opinion. You might need to see this just so I can read what you have to say, of which I would have very high (though at this point hypothetical) expectations.

houseinrlyeh said...

And here's another guy who will follow the song of every movie called the worst of anything.
Can it be worse than "Dhoom", the worst Bollywood movie I have ever seen until now?

Todd said...

Ah, I now see what fate has in store for me: A day spent watching Jaani Dushman, Dhoom and Dhund: The Fog back-to-back. Will one of you two at least watch Papi Gudia, so that the pain of that experience can be mitigated by the knowledge that I've contributed just a little bit to your suffering as well?

houseinrlyeh said...

A Bollywood Chucky? What could possibly go wrong? *g*
So, as soon as I can find it on ebay, it's a deal.
I just hope you can take those three in one sitting - I don't want to feel responsible for your future use of Lovecraftian adverbs. Or any gibbering.

Beth said...

I am always up for assignments. That particular one has some AWESOME 90s Karisma Kapoor in it, I believe (isn't there a song in which she looks straight at the camera and says "Do you like music?"), so I am as ready as I will ever be.

Beth said...

PS House, have you seen Dhoom 2? Dhoom's got nothin' on Dhoom 2, even though the villain is a better actor. I blame 1) having Aishwarya's character talk in third person and 2) waaaaay under-utilizing Abhishek.

houseinrlyeh said...

Beth, nope, the first one made me very, very careful about the second. I find the thought of a sequel to the first "Dhoom" kind of...frightening.

Todd said...

"(isn't there a song in which she looks straight at the camera and says "Do you like music?")"

Yes, and during the number that follows, the word "music" is helpfully flashed on screen at regular intervals to let us know the intention behind what would otherwise just seem like formless caterwauling designed solely for the purpose of human suffering.

Okay, so I found and ordered a $5 copy of Jaani Dushman: TNG from Nehaflix, which I pledge to review either here or on Teleport City, depending on how much I have to say about it. Now, looking over my earlier comment, I have to admit that it sure looks like I basically promised to endure about nine solid hours of modern Bollywood badness in return for youse guys -- Beth and House -- watching Papi Gudia, a film which is (1) AWESOME and (2) not all that long.

So, uh, heh heh (mops his brow), y'all know, right, that sometimes people, when commenting on their blogs, say things in the heat of the moment that they don't necessarily mean literally, right? I'm not saying that I won't watch Doom and Dhund in very close proximity to Jaani Dushman. It's just that I'm now contemplating the real life costs of the inevitable debilitating depression that such an undertaking would cause.

So basically I'm asking that you two, in all your wisdom and kindness -- and while keeping up your guaranteed-to-be-much-more-enjoyable end of the bargain -- allow me a wee extension. (I know, I know: "Wuss")

houseinrlyeh said...

Only a very cruel, cruel person wouldn't grant you your extension, and since I am exceedingly kind-hearted, I can't exactly say no. But as someone who once watched "A Night To Dismember", "Manos", "Deathbed - The Bed That Eats" & "Shriek of the Mutilated" in a single sitting, I have to say I'm slightly disappointed. *g*

Todd said...

"But as someone who once watched "A Night To Dismember", "Manos", "Deathbed - The Bed That Eats" & "Shriek of the Mutilated" in a single sitting, I have to say I'm slightly disappointed."

Man, I was trying to come up with an "Oh yeah? Well one time I..." type of response to that, but I just can't. You are the master.

houseinrlyeh said...

Heh.
People usually tell me I have been weird ever since.
Surprisingly, I prefer "The Master".

Rikker said...

Speaking of Death Bed, everyone should hear Patton Oswalt's standup routine about it. :)

Todd said...

Oh yeah. I love that bit! I wonder if he's found backing to make Rape Stove yet.