Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Aan




Nadira as Princess Rajshree at the royal torture chamber.

Aan: Nadira as Princess Rajshree, abducted by Jai Tilak (Dilip Kumar).

Aan: Nadira as Princess Rajshree learns to sow.

आन / آن / [Proud] / Salaperäinen Intia / Mangala – flickan från Indien [title in Sweden, title on print] / Det hemligsfulla Indien [title in announcements] / The Savage Princess / Mangala, fille des Indes / Mangala – indische Liebe und Leidenschaft. IN 1952. PC: Mehboob Productions. EX: V. J. Shah, M. A. Qureshi. P+D: Mehboob Khan. Ass D: Chimankant Gandhi, S. A. Master, Mehrish, S. M. Sarkar, Ahmed Sheikh. SC: R. S. Choudhury, S. Ali Raza (dialogue). CIN: Faredoon A. Irani – negative: 16 mm Gevacolor – released as a 35 mm blow-up in Technicolor. AD: M. R. Achrekar. Art department: D. R. Jadhav. Cost: Fazal Din, Alla Ditta, Chagan Juvan. Makeup: Abdul Kader, Gafoor Miya. Hair: Tony Tehan. M: Naushad. Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni. CH: Surya Kumar. S: J. P. Kaushi. ED: Shamsudin Kadri.
    C: Dilip Kumar (Jai Tilak), Nadira (Princess Rajshree), Nimmi (Mangala), Premnath (Prince Shamsher Singh), Murad (Maharadja), Mukri (Chandan, Jai's friend), Amir Banu (Jai's mother), Cuckoo (guest performance as a dancer), Sheela Naik, Maya, Abdul, Nilambai, Aca Mahraj.
    Studio: Central Studios, Tardeo (Mumbai).
    In Urdu, songs in Hindi. 4435 m / 161 min. International release versions: 88 min, 101 min, 105 min.
    Helsinki premiere: 23.4.1954 Adlon, distributed by: Filmi-Leijona Oy, with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Bror Labart – VET 40167 – K16 – 2855 m / 104 min
    A vintage 104 min print viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (History of the Cinema), 21 Feb 2017

Plot from Wikipedia: "A royal Indian family consists of the Emperor Maharaj (Murad), his brother Shamsher Singh (Premnath) and sister Rajshree (Nadira). A local village leader named Jai Tilak (Dilip Kumar) enters a contest to tame Princess Rajshree's horse and after he is successful Shamsher challenges him to a game of fencing. Jai is declared the winner of the fight after much dispute and Shamsher is enraged at losing to a poor villager. Jai then falls in love with Rajshree and tries numerous times to woo her but the princess's arrogance prevents her from revealing her true feelings."

"Shamsher becomes even more enraged when the Emperor Maharaj reveals that Shamsher is not the heir to his throne after his death and that he plans to free India from monarchy and turn to democracy."

"Shamsher then plans to gain control of the kingdom by killing the Maharajah on the night before he is due to travel to England for a medical procedure. However he is unsuccessful after the Maharajah escapes an attempt on his life by Shamsher's henchmen and disguises himself as a servant in his own palace."

"Shamsher then sets his eyes on Mangala (Nimmi) who is a village girl and childhood friend of Jai but her love is not reciprocated as he is only in love with princess Rajshree. After Mangala is kidnapped by Shamsher Singh who plans to keep her prisoner in his palace and molest her, Mangala takes a bottle of poison and dies. Jai kills Shamsher in revenge and provokes Princess Rajshree to launch an attack on his village to avenge her brother's death. Jai manages to kidnap Rajshree and sets out to gain her love by taking her into his village and forcing her to live as a peasant girl. Just when Rajshree begins to realise her feelings for Jai, Shamsher Singh who was presumed dead returns to get his revenge against Jai." – Plot from Wikipedia (edited from IMDb, gavin@sunny_deol2009@yahoo.com

AA: Aan is a Mumbai blockbuster from the golden decade of Indian popular cinema. It is a fairy-tale, a musical, and a message movie about social justice featuring some of the country's biggest stars. It was one of the first Indian films to have a worldwide release, and it was released also in Finland in the international release version which is almost an hour shorter than the Indian original version. The international version still makes sense plotwise. Perhaps some of the musical production numbers were cut, but there are still at least eight of them in the international version.

Aan is a naive film in the full sense of the word, made in a period in a newly independent country when real naivete – not naivism – was still possible. The fairy-tale has affinities with A Thousand and One Nights and The Thief of Bagdad, and also with the adventures of Robin Hood and Zorro. Its visual influences range from the Hollywood musical (especially the bucolic ones produced by Twentieth Century Fox) to the Pyriev-Alexandrov school of the Soviet kolkhoz musical. The message of the film: "power to the people".

Mangala (Nimmi) commits suicide when she is kidnapped by the evil prince Shamsher (Premnath), and Mangala's best friend Jai Tilak (Dilip Kumar) kidnaps Princess Rajshree (Nadira). Mangala loved Jai but her love remained unreciprocated. Mangala and Rajshree are untamed heroines. Their spirit is strong and independent.

The main love story is about Jai and Rajshree. In the beginning Jai tames Rajshree's wild, dangerous, and crochety horse. When Rai has abducted Rajshree she has to work for the first time in her life: grind corn, and put a thread into a needle (see image above). She hates it but she loves Jai. When Shamsher conquers Rai and Rajshree insists in defending him he orders his sister to be burned at the stake. There is an enormous bonfire in front of which Rai and Shamsher fight a final duel to death. In a last minute rescue Rai saves Rajshree, and they fall into a passionate embrace.

The physical production is impressive, the crowd scenes and the epic sequences are magnificent. With its abundant passages of wild nature scenery Aan satisfies a travelogue appetite. The fairy-tale approach is balanced by moments of realism, starting with the credit sequence's footage of earth being plowed. There is a kind of a balance between earthy physicality and a fairy-tale dream-world; there is even a long dream sequence set up as a musical production number. The action adventure includes thrilling rides on horseback, duels, teasing heroines by letting them hang above a deep well or chasm, and having a horde of camels attack the royal army.

The performances of the actors are stylized and exaggerated with wide open stares and gleaming white-toothed grins. There is little room for psychology. There is a lot of farcical comedy, starting with the pranks between Rai and the blacksmith who should forge a sword for him.

The music by Naushad is excellent and compelling. Indian and Pakistani friends who visited our screening confirmed that these songs with lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni are still beloved across generations.

A high point in the film is the "festival of colours" like in Bharat mata / Mother India, and indeed the entire film, the first full Indian Technicolor feature, can be called a "festival of colours". The use of Technicolor is uninhibited. Ardent and blazing warm colours rule.

Although the vintage print has predictably a look that betrays the 16 mm origins of the cinematography, the full Technicolor impact remains, unlike in the screening of Bharat mata I visited in Bologna three years ago. Aan is a film of passion – for love and justice – and the glowing, burning, flaming colour conveys the message gloriously.

BEYOND THE JUMP BREAK: OUR PROGRAM NOTE BY JARI SEDERGREN:
BEYOND THE JUMP BREAK: OUR PROGRAM NOTE BY JARI SEDERGREN:

Mehboob Khanin vuonna 1952 ohjaama Aan on Intian ensimmäinen techinocolor-näytelmäelokuva. Ohjaaja ei jättänyt hyödyntämättä näitä mahdollisuuksia luodessaan lähes surrealistisen näkymän kuvitteellisesta kuningaskunnasta. Epäilemättä luodut kuvat ja elokuvallinen arkkitehtuuri ovat fantasioita Intian maharadzojen elinympäristöstä ennen Intian itsenäisyyttä. Sen vastapainoksi ohjaaja nostaa esille teemoja, jotka tuovat esille vastarinnan ja sosiaalisen tasa-arvon. Näissä sadunomaisissa puitteissa Khan ei epäröi hyödyntää katsojien eroottista mielenkiintoa, joka viedään erityisen pitkälle käytetyn puvuston ja jalkineiden suhteen.
    Jos länsimaiselle katsojalle tutumpia vertauskohtia haluaa etsiä, voidaan niitä löytää Bagdadin varkaasta – vuoden 1940 versio, jonka pääosassa oli Sabu oli erityisen suosittu Intiassa – sekä keisarillista Roomaa kuvaavista spektaakkeleista. Orientalismi-kritiikkiin perehtyneet voivat epäile-mättä löytää monia länsimaisen itäkuvitelmien teemoja lähes sellaisenaan toteutettuna myös Khanin elokuvasta.
   Mutta Aanin visuaalisuus tai elokuvallisuus ei tyhjene tähän vertailuun: ohjaajan mieliteemat kuten auringonlaskut, Deccan maisemat, neuvostovaikutteinen populismi (joka ulottuu jopa naisten eroottisiin silhuettikuviin), urdunkieliset runolliset dialogit ja intialaiselle elokuvalle tyypillinen musiikin korostus on oleellista. Laulut on esitetty hindiksi.
   Musiikkia täyspitkässä elokuvassa on kerrakseen. Kuuluisa kaksikko Badayuni ja Naushad ovat saaneet elokuvaan peräti kaksitoista laulua, elokuvan mitasta lähes puolet on musiikkiesityksiä.
   Pääosan esittäjät Dilip Kumar, joka tunnetaan Mumbaissa "tragedian kuninkaana" on Aanissa parhaimmillaan romanttisena ja charmikkaana henkilönä. Tämä oli ilmeisesti tarpeen myös näytte-lijän hyvinvoinnin kannalta, sillä hänen sanotaan hyväksyneen roolin, koska hänen lääkärinsä suo-sitteli näyttelijälle "kepeämpiä rooleja". Vahva on myös talonpoikaisjohtajana esiintyvän Jai Tilakin roolisuoritus. Mumbain juutalainen näyttelijätär Nadira, joka tunnetaan paremmin modernien noitien rooleissaan, on tässä elokuvassa ylpeä prinsessa, jonka asusteet vievät eroottisen viettelyn huippuunsa, mitä kulmakarvojen kieli väsymättä lisää. Asusteet ovat tärkeitä – kun Nadira pukeutuu sariin, katsojat tietävät, että pitkään seurattu kuvio alkaa toimia.
  Aanista ei puutu poliittista ulottuvaisuutta. Vaikka elokuva ei ole historiallinen, katsoja tunnistaa helposti jo alkukohtauksesta idealisoidun kansakunnan, minkä symbolina aurat vaihtuvat sodan uhatessa miekkaan. Hara-yhteisö, johon tällä viitataan, liittyy historiallisesti puolisotilaalliseen maanomistuskastiin, joita ovat esimerkiksi marathat ja gujaarit. Näillä kasteilla on aika ajoin histori-assa ollut omia kuningaskuntia ja jopa imperiumeja. Elokuvassa tällainen historiallinen yhteys on kuitenkin kaikkea muuta kuin selvä.

– Jari Sedergren eri lähteiden mukaan 20.9.2006

WIKIPEDIA: THE SOUNDTRACK OF AAN
The film features an acclaimed soundtrack composed by Naushad.
Hindi lyrics were by Shakeel Badayuni

No.     Song     Singers     Lyrics     Length (m:ss)
1     Maan Mera Ehsan / Mohammed Rafi / 02:48
2     Dil Mein Chhupake Pyar Ka / Mohammed Rafi / 02:55
3     Tujhe Kho Diya Hamne / Lata Mangeshkar / 03:14
4     Aaj Mere Man Mein Sakhi / Lata Mangeshkar / 03:55
5     Mohabbat Choome Jinke Haath / Mohammed Rafi / 03:36
6     Gao Tarane Man Ke / Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar & Shamshad Begum / 04:41
7     Takra Gaya Tumse / Mohammed Rafi / 03:44
8     Khelo Raang Hamare Sang / Lata Mangeshkar & Shamshad Begum / 04:18
9     Aag Lagi Tan Man Mein / Shamshad Begum / 03:32
10     Mein Raani Hoon Raja Ki / Shamshad Begum / 03:10

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