October 27, 2008

An Evening In Paris - How Shammi charmed and jumped in Paree!

Suzie the most stylish sassy vamp ever!
Happy DIWALI! I thought I'd better take a break from my nonsensical posts on moustaches and Anil Kapoor, and focus back to another loverboy of mine Shammi Kapoor! In the Masala Pradesh this movie belongs in Genuine masala state and the Funkadelic State, because it is genuinely entertaining for me, and its completely and brilliantly funky and fashionable! I love Shammi Kapoor just like I like chocolate cake: very sweet and multi-layered-cuteness! And this was my second Shammi movie, it's the nicest piece of tourism of Paris in the 60's, and how clean and cool everything was back then!
It starts off with Deepa(Sharmila Tagore) a disillusioned in love heiress who moves to Paris to find a true love, as she thinks Indian guys are all after her money. She gets to do that, I've always wanted to go to the romantic cities and fall in pyar, not fair was my immediate reaction! She is looked after by her father's business partner Damodar(David) and her driver/bodyguard Makhan Singh(Rajendranath) but she makes a plan with her secretary Honey(Sarita) so that she looks like a penniless maid so that she can fall in love and test out the French men. She dresses up in ghagra choli in the middle of Paris, its a silly expensive looking one, but anyway she attracts the eye of Shyam(Shammi, yaayy) and his friend Jacques(Some french guy) the French guy speaks some good Hindi and charms Deepa, but Shyam messes up there meeting by using the great old Shammi device of comicalness and pouting! He persist and pursues her in the usual Shammi way which I just love, and he doesn't disguise but says he's a French guy called Sam and learnt Hindustani when he was in Lucknow! Meanwhile there is Shekhar(Pran) an Indian in the silliest blonde wig, very Parisian now with his bad drinking, smoking, and general bad character who finds out Deepa's truth and wants to marry her to pay off his gambling debts!

Both needed hands warming by the funky lamp!

While running off from the very persistent Shammi, Deepa goes off to Switzerland on a nursing trip? Naturally Shammi follows on the advice of Honey and Makhan who are equally smitten with each other. They also go to Beirut where Shammi does some more Indian caricatures as a Bengali water-skiing instructor Deepak Sen. Sharmila returns the love and rides on the Shammi-persistence-pays-off train till she is kidnapped in AN EVENING IN PARIS after a small jhagda with Shammi when she finds out he wasn't French!Shammi's sleuthing : You can tell she's a vamp

Then enter Suzie, one of my favorite 60's vamps who is actually and Masala ingredient Deepa's long lost sister Roopa, who was kidnapped and given to Jaggu(a very suave KN Singh) who is the loan shark after Shekhar! So he holds Roopa hostage, and demands a ton crore or lakhs I forget which, and her dad comes over to pay it off, and realizes due to Shammi's great sleuthing that this is the very Parisian and western Roopa. Shammi sleuthing includes rejecting her due to her wanting to kiss him, her dancing in a risque dance bar, her smoking, and her generally being in pyar with him in a more forward way than the virginal and good Deepa!
They eventually get the ransom money together and are ordered by Jagga to send it to a man outside Niagara Falls, but also Shekhar turns up, and due to a bit of convolutions the bag of paisa gets mixed up. Deepa and Roopa meet up, and have the usual bahen-bahen cry and realization, but it was very choppy in that scene as both Sharmila's look like they are looking past each other, bad editing but anyway!

Hey who you talking to?

The only pitfall of this movie is that the makers don't tell you what happened to poor old Suzie, did she die, did she stay with Jaggu? AHHHH I hated that they slightly demonized her, because she was western and her horrible dad rejected her coz she was dancing and just being funky!
Shammi was really cute persistent and just generally Shammi-esque, with his pouting lips in serious parts, his funny diguises - here he became a Persian caricature of magician Hukum Pasha and Bengali instructor Deepak Sen, his just general jumping about in foreign countries ability - he swung around a pole, he skipped around in the Eiffel tower, he did dishoom dishoom behind Niagara Falls - and he makes a wonderful jodi with Rajendranath
Rajendranath is great in capturing the Punjabi spirit as Makhan Singh, he has the right diction and must have influenced Akshay in Singh is Kinng with the various pagh colours!
Sharmila made my fashion dream here, with the great eyeliner, gorgeous saris, colouful smocks, and just generally funkadelic, she makes a really sexy duo with Shammi here, she's better as Suzie simply coz Suzie's is soo swinging, soo 60's and sorry again just FUNKY!
Some trivia: This movie was the first time a heroine wore a bikini and actually did some water-skiing, one of the first movies to shoot overseas and to shoot in Beirut.
And every good movie has an iconic image and one of them where Shammi walks with Sharmila a cigarette in hand, or the one below where his arm is round Sharmila's neck and staring off dreamily into space while the Eiffel Tower is in the back!
An Evening In Paris is one of the coolest and most funkadelic movie that Shammi has done overseas- at least for me~

Absolutely Iconic Image! Another poster I have in my room!


Anonymous said...

I was really mad that they just made Suzie a "bad" western girl a la Manoj Kumar, and yes, then didn't even tell us what happened to her!

But the travelogue was fantastic, and Shammi too, natch. Great music!

ajnabi said...

I think I'll have to watch this, it definitely seems like a must-see of the Shammi lexicon. That last image is too gorgeous!

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

I like that Sharmila dared to be bad- though she suffers from 60s/70s bad-girl terminal illness :)
I dont recall Shammi ever being so adorably mad as he was in "Aasman se aaya farishta"- he said in an interview that hanging from the helicopter was his idea, which he had made jokingly to the director. Later when he showed up on set, he was shocked that the director took him seriously, and apparently terrified to hang in mid-air (no stuntman!).

Rum said...

memsaab- i'll have to admit manoj did start the "bad" western girl, it was a great postcard of paris in the 60's

ajnabi- it is part of "shammi danced and jumped in my dil" series on my blog!

shweta- wonderful anecdote of Shammi! He is adorably dancey andjumpy here, a type of guy i love is the Shammi persistent kind!

Siva Parvati said...

They went to Niagara Falls? Near Toronto,Canada from Paris??? Did I read this properly or is there another Niagara Falls?

And a bit off topic but on Shammi movies...in Jaanwar, does he kiss Rajashree in the snow walking together song? I haven't seen this movie but on youtube I saw the song and they cut it just when you think they are going to kiss...