Tom Vater

Tom Vater

Irreverent, informed and downright eclectic crime fiction and reportage from Southeast Asia and beyond

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The Beatles in Bollywood?

janwar-beatles-1

Talk about the rapid dispersal of pop culture around the globe in the digital age. Today David Beckham and Paris Hilton are household names in India. I know it´s not right. But in the 1960s…

The Fab Four might have stormed Mumbai (Bombay in their day) long before they made it to the ashrams of Rishikesh. If they had, would it have looked and sounded like this?

This subtle reworking of I Want To Hold Your Hand works on every level and is more farcical than the Beatles at their most farcical: the entire Swinging 60s have been re-arranged and condensed into a five minute slapstick piece. And yet it looks as stylish as Satan´s tail.

Dekho Ab To, a clip from Janwar (1965), bears all the classic hallmarks of a great Bollywood Masala Movie clip: the leading man is a larger than life character, the leading lady is voluptuous, the dance moves are demented, there are wigs involved, and large numbers of extras crowd the stunningly designed and beautifully lit sets that probably cost next to nothing to construct.

It´s wild stuff, baba.

Here´s the original, equally beautiful film poster.

janwar

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