Chingari–The Review

73 Comments

Kanti Shah and TLV Prasad, two of the masters of the craft of celluloid, have stiff competition.

There’s a new camera-slinger in town. And she is taking no prisoners.

Say hello to my not-so-leetel friend—Kalpana Lajmi who delivers an M-class (Mithun) movie with “Chingari”.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the whole of India was awaiting “Chingari” with bated breath. After all this was the movie where Mithun-da allegedly inappropriately touched Sushmita’s appendages during a rape scene. This was also the movie where the hero, Anuj Sawhney claimed that Sushmita sexually harassed him by intentionally messing up her love scenes a record 36 times so as to repeat the intimate sequences again and again.

And would you believe that the actual culprit behind the rumours was none other than the movie producer Vikas Sahni who thought he could recover some money by spreading such spicy canards?

Frankly I was a bit apprehensive about the movie—would Kalpana Lajmi, the uber-feminist be able to bring out Mithun-da’s true potential, honed through acting with some of the most noted anti-feminists in world cinema like Kanti Shah ( whose dialogue from “Loha”: ” Chatri hoti hain kholne ke liye, chadar hoti hain udne ke liye aur chokhri hoti hain cherne ke liye” led to worldwide protests from bra-burners)?

But now I can tell you the answer: Yes.

Adapting a story as original as any B. Subhash could think of, stacking it with dialogues Kanti Shah would be proud to sign off on and extracting histrionic performances from the protagonists in the same subtle way patented by TLV Prasad, Kalpana Lajmi has truly entered the pantheon of Gods.

Starting from “Classic Dance of Love”, Mithun-da has gradually cast himself as a “religious villain’ in the process perfecting the art of Sanskritized vulgarity—leching and molesting in Kalidasian style. Throughout his life, Mithun-da has played the hero, bringing much grief to his screen sisters who have never been able to go past the fifth reel alive or unmolested. And so in the twilight years of his reign, Mithun-da has decided to cross over to the dark side—-doing onto others’s sisters what had been done to his through the years.

“Chingari” opens with a sequence Kanti Shah would have wholly endorsed. Cast as Bhuvan Panda, the all-powerful, hyper-fornicating village priest, Mithun-da’s baritone pierces the pregnant silence with a primal “Aiyeee Mahakali”.

A naked virgin sits on the lap of Mithun-da, as his voice, dripping with unbridled lust calls out:

“Nirvastra ladki mere jaang ke upar baithke mere vasna ki aag bujhayegi”.

Amazing. Kanti Shah, for all his genius, may have made Mithun-da say:

“Naam hain mera Bhuvan Panda, Ghumta hoon haath main leke danda”.

But I doubt whether despite meaning roughly the same thing, it would pack the same punch as the one in “Chingari”.

Demonstrating that Ms Lajmi has her finger on the ahem hearts of the male population, the next scene is a catfight between two scantily-clad female extras, their bodies intertwining in a way some lesser souls may find vulgar. (I did not). And Sushmita Sen, playing the role of prostitute Basanti is introduced into the mix dramatically as she cheers the fighters along while shouting “Chinaal”, “Randi” and other assorted terms of endearment.

Truly a “woman of substance”.

The cause of the dispute: the two fighters had engaged in a threesome with a client (yes this is the typical North Indian village) and they were fighting for their share of the revenue (like the Ambani brothers) while Ila Arun, the golden-hearted madam who no longer has to ask “choli ke peeche kya hain” since she knows it is saline solution or sand , derides the customer for “eki ticket mein do do maaja” [Pay for one ticket, enjoying two movies])

In this rather functional world, comes an innocent postman Anuj Sawhney who falls in love with Basanti. This is the cardinal crime in the village because Basanti is Bhuvan Panda’s mistress. But that does not stop the postman who keeps on writing love letters to the prostitute—using the knowledge he gleaned from Pablo Neruda.

Sorry wrong movie—no Neruda here.

But there is an effeminate gay tailor (arent they all?)—Chintoo Darji who has a photographic memory for the vital statistics of all the denizens of the house of ill repute.

Mithun-da and Sushmita’s sex scenes are what hold the movie together. While lesser directors might have tried to make such scenes exploitative of women, feminist director Kalpana Lajmi turns the stereotype on its head. Though she does give into commercial considerations and lovingly follows Panda’s lascivious glances over Sushmita’s sand castles, such aberrations are mercifully brief.

For most of the time it is Mithun-da who exposes more than Sushmita as Kalpana Lajmi uses innovative camera angles to capture Mithun-da’s ample man-breasts. Verily it is Mithunda who shows more skin than Sush and honest to God, it took my breath away.

But what took the cake for sheer eroticism was the almost-conjugal pillow talk between Mithunda and Sushmita –samples of which are provided without translation.

Sample 1. Mithunda :”Tera kaam bistar pe charna, cycle pe charna nahin”

Sample 2. Mithunda: “Manoranjak Kutiya”

Sample 3: Mithunda: “Kitne doorgandh a rahi teri shareer se”

Sample 4: Sushmita: “Noch loon teri aankhen, kaat loon teri jib”

It would have been very tempting to let Mithunda walk away with all the command scenes. But like a true feminist director, Kalpana Lajmi allows Sushmita Sen her time in the sun. This is truly Sushmita’s movie and she elevates herself to M-dom (Mithun-dom) by not only attaining the “top” but by going over it by some distance.

Eyes rolling, lips frothing, hair swinging, hollering and whispering Sushmita does to method acting what the Boston Stangler did to door-to-door salesmen. It is solely due to her histrionic abilities and Kalpana Lajmi’s inspired direction that “Chingari” becomes a horror movie at the very end (kind of like “From Dawn to Dusk”) when Sushmita penetrates Mithun-da (with a trishul—what were you thinking?) after playing the drums and subjecting him to a crazy war dance.

If this movie does not arouse the audience into action, then nothing else will.

Let me conclude by describing a small scene that crystallizes the essence of “Chingari”.

A client comes and offers Sushmita Sen (Basanti) five rupees for service.

While in a by-gone era when men ruled, Gabbar might have said ” So ja beta so ja nahin to Gabbar Singh a jayega” in Kalpana Lajmi’s brave new world it is Basanti who holds the phallic whiphandle.

Hence Basanti says to the stunned client:

Let ja, Basanti a rahee hain

Yes–it’s that kind of movie.

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73 thoughts on “Chingari–The Review

  1. Ab tum ne mujhe dharam sankat mein daal diya … dekhoon ya na dekhoon.

    Sush Sen actually says “Basanti aa rahee hai”? THAT must be why she ALWAYS refers to herself in the third person nowadays.

    J.A.P.

  2. The way you describe it, it must be “Paisa Vasool” stuff. I am going to make sure to either get the bootlegged video/ or make my cable operator relay it during prime time.

    Would surely revert back here once I need to dissect my brains off…

  3. ROTFL, ROTFL…..Geez, GB, did you really sit through the whole movie!!!
    It would be wonderful if Sush/KL/Mithun da and the rest of the world reads your review.
    Hats off to you GB…..

  4. as if Sush looks like the one with the XYY chromosome was not enough !
    is that ‘nirvastra ‘ line real?
    ur SAMPLES r toxic to say the least.

    and SAND CASTLES !!!!!!!
    wish they have a world wide premier on TV
    do u make notes while watching?
    fantastic !might die laughing.

  5. Arnab,
    Fantastic !!! 🙂
    Your movie reviews should be published in all leading dailies !!! 🙂
    Awesome stuff !!!

    And, Sush’s ‘sand castles’……Ohmigawdddddddddddddd………!!!! Just can’t stop laughing…… 🙂

    Unbelievably great GREATBONG stuff yet again 🙂

  6. Too moved by the review to resist the urge to watch the movie. A simple google search generates a link to an interview with Mithun-dada on the movie. Can’t help quoting a couple of lines for your understanding of a true bengali.

    She demanded that her scenes be shot before yours…?
    Look, there was no friction between Sushmita and me. On the last day of my shoot, she came to take my blessings. Like a true Bengali, she touched my feet before 6,000 people.”

  7. “Let ja, Basanti a rahee hain”

    Did she really say that? Wow!!

    I had vowed not to watch any KL movie after being subjected to a 3 hour torture session called Daman. But your review has piqued my interest…hmmmm 🙂

  8. Kalpana Lajmi has a fetish for some dramatic impaling upon trishuls or what? In Daman, another classic feminist film from the Lajmi ouvre which has the distinction of being a film in which Shaan (the singer) displayed impressive histrionic talent, has Raveena Tandon doing the same to her evil, wayward husband to the beat of dhols during a Durga Puja immersion. Must be a leitmotif in her cinema, what? Female Indian Tarantino, this Lajmi.

  9. The review was entertaining but I don’t think the movie would satisfy Mithu Bakhts. It is no where near the gold standard a.k.a Gunda. TLV Prasad Bhai need not worry about this Lajmi chokri.

    I mean come on Mithun-da in a regular character role? Where are the chains? Where is the action? Where are the bullets? and why on god’s green earth would Mithun-Da agree to do a movie in which for the majority of time the camera is focussed on others?

    I cannot believe you found the dailogues satisfactory. I mean

    Tera kaam bistar pe charna, cycle pe charna nahin

    You call that a Mithun grade dialogue? compare it with this

    Bheegi hui cigrette , jal nahi sakti aur yeh tay hai ki teri maut ki tarikh tal nahi sakti

    What has happened to your critical faculties? You used to be Roger Ebert when did you become Khalid Mohmmed?

  10. Guru – that was an amazing review – absolutely hysterical. What is also amazing is that if you go to IMDB and do a search for Chingari, the average user rating is a respectable 6.3 stars. The first user review by a gentleman called GLRaj70 is particularly interesting…

  11. hey i always wanted to see this movie. actually all the Kalpana lajmi movies are worth watching and after reading ur review, i think i should go and watch it. thanx!!

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  13. Seeing as you so heavily recommend it, I will definitely give it a miss 😀

    I cant quite put my finger on the whole Bengali connection.. Hero, Heroine, Director!!! Are they planning to make a Bengali version or is the movie itself dubbed from Bengali ??

    jedi

  14. Dada,

    Awesomeness driping from the review. Small question – in the given context, shouldn’t it be “Chinaar” and not “Chinaal”?

  15. @Sunil: And so it is.

    @Pareshaan: Recommended viewing.

    @JAP: Dekho dekho….being a bit drunk might help. Sushmita refers to herself in the third person: oh dear it must be the trauma of acting in “Chingari”.

    @Abhishek: “Chingari” doing primetime—most certainly.

    @yourfan2: Total paisa wasool for me——-these kind of movies make my day.

    @Aditya: Yes I did sit through it all (I have a masochistic trait in me)—Mithun-da reading blogs —that will be the day.

    @ Rahul: Thank you…as to the link back of course not. I am so happy when people link back to me.

    @Varsha: The “nirvastra” line is 100% real and accurate (Just FYI, the girl’s “nirvastraness” was not shown since this is after all a sensitive movie). These dialogues just burned themselves into my demented mind.

    @Dev: Thank you thank you

    @Akash: Suitably enlightened…

    @Nautilus: Yes she did say this. Honest. I too would not have touched this with a 10 feet pole had it not been for the presence of Prabhuji.

    @The Marauder’s Map: So it seems. Sushmita is on record saying that she shares Kalpana Lajmi’s devotion to Ma Durga. Truly she is the QT of Indian cinema and Sushmita is ‘Kiddo’—I hope that she uses the 5 point exploding heart technique instead of a trishul the next time round.

    @Anil: I disagree. I think they are similar in scale—wildly imaginative and throughly unexpected. Calling someone “manoranjak kutiya” is right out of the ‘Loha-Gunda’ filmmaking manual. Calling me Khalid Mohammed is downright insulting—even my ass wont make a movie like Fiza.

    @Prasanth: :-).

    @Bochka: I saw that too…Prabhu Bhakts are everywhere.

    @Mithunda: Namaste Prabhuji

    @Diana: I hope you werent serious when you said that all Kalpana Lajmi’s movies are worth watching

    @Kartik Kannan: Shall mail you.

    @Ritesh, Amit , Vikram, Voice Within: :-)…

    @jEDI: Kalpana Lajmi is Bengali?

    @Dev: It was Chinaal.

  16. Ah, Mithun is back. Say what one will, every avatar has to be seen.. or else one cannot claim to be a real movie buff.
    Chingaari was going to be avoided, for no other reason than Kalpana Lajmi, Mithunda notwiithstanding.. however, now I will see it in 24-48 hours. HIGH priority 🙂

    A friend is reviewing Mithun movies – I don’t remember whether I have mentioned this before – @ Dirtscapes. The religion will always live on.

  17. GreatBong,
    I prostitute…err… make that prostrate myself before thee. Just watched this yesterday…and could not get enough of the whole deal. Garish, loud, psychedelic even..how I wish they had roped in Bappida here (he was the only one missing – a version of ‘Taach mi…taach mi…I want to pheel your bodee’ wouldn’t have been tooo out of place) I especially loved the naked lust in the great One’s licking-away-to-glory copulatory scenes with Ms Sen – against the wall, on the floor, bangin on the bathroom door – everywhere he could have her. This definitely ranks up there with Gunda and Loha – albeit on a slightly (dare we say it) classier plane…

    Aiyeee Mahakali!!!!

  18. Arnab,

    This review pushes things over the edge. It forces me to do an “Akashbani Anurodher Ashor” type list for thee. Was wondering why a full dedicated review of our favorite musical export to the former Soviet Union and other unsuspecting, sorry, not expecting African countries, Bhappi Lahiri has not happened.

    Also, I have wondered about Ritu-porno and his mediocre/middle class ‘antelism’ flicks. No one has taken him on! Me thinks, he well deserves a place in your pantheon like valhella of over achieving Indian artists.

    Do these rare gems already exist (I know a partial type thing on Bhappi sir does)?

    Cheers,

    Vasabjit

  19. Guruji,
    As one would say here in Hyderabad…
    kya ki hasko hasko mera peta phul gayi ba…
    kya review hai ba…..itta hasa itta hasa ki kya ki…
    maa ki kirkiri lage raho ji…
    abbi aajich shaam ku dekne ka mereko ye movie…

  20. ROTFL… holy christ dude.. awesome stuff!!..shit, shud have watched the movie when it had come on cable a couple of days ago…boo hoo…

  21. LOL

    I should have seen the movie when it was in theatres itself.. Sigh.. Till then, I lay at the mercy of my cablewala or other channels..

    I am an ardent Mithun fan – absolutely loved him in Elaan – Baba Sikander!! where his takiya kalam was “tu dar gaya, baba khush hua” or something equally enchanting! 😛

    Keep writing! 🙂

    Nirwa

  22. Wonderful review,waiting to get the CD.
    slightly off topic and I know,stones will be hurled at me for saying this,but I watched “Water” (yes,the controversial Deepa Mehta movie)yesterday and found it pretty good.
    Deepa turned out to be a much better director than what I thought about her (which was of course that she is trying to become popular by being controversial). Lisa Ray,however, was pathetic.
    Looking forward to a patent greatbong review of “Water”.

  23. GB,

    Absoultely loved the stuff. Didnt comment on the previous two posts inspite of them being great coz couldnt understand the personal comments being made over there.

    But, Mithun movies are always welcome. Thank You 🙂

    I had requested for a post on Pakistani cricketers. Hopefully we will receive it soon 🙂

    Btw, we are lucky with these movies. If one sees some of the movies/heroes from the south, then surely we are gonna think of Chingari as a classic and Tusshaar Kappoor as a national treasure 🙂

    Keep Rocking!!!!

    Cheers,
    HP

  24. Hi Arnab,

    This may be a little bit off the topic. Anyway I was just thinking…. as you touch almost all the current topics ranging from politics to movies… how come you skipped the Bush visit and the nuclear deal…? I would love to see something on this topic… right now I am quite confused… really dont know whether India is going to be a strong partner of US or they just want us to be just a lapdog…

    cheers

    sounak

  25. I am Dev. Adn I see one more Dev has crept in here, too.
    I didn’t question the aptness of the word ‘chinaal’……the other ‘Dev’ did.
    Arnab, please don’t get confused. I know the meaning of ‘chinaal’. 🙂

    :))

  26. Dude,

    I admire your devotion to your blog. You see such crappy movies just that you can review them here. It would take some patience.

    Loved the photograph of Kalpana Lazmi- took the cake.

    Good read Man, thanks for the smiles.

  27. Manoranjak Kutiya!!! ROTFL!!!

    The best dialog by Mithun ever! Even better than “Naam hai mera Heera, kiton ko hai maine cheera”.

    I surely would see this movie now!

  28. I am Dev. And I can see one more Dev has crept in here, too.
    I didn’t question the aptness of the word ‘chinaal’……the other ‘Dev’ did.
    Arnab, please don’t get confused. I know the meaning of ‘chinaal’. 🙂

    🙂

  29. Hi Arnab,

    I was introduced to your blog recently and have been absolutely fascinated by the fact that someone can sith through so many crappy movies for the benefit of us mere mortals! Thaks and keep up the good work…
    Chingaari – I saw it on cable the other day and couldnt make up my mind asto what is worse – the gory love scenes, prabhujis acting, sushmita’s faux-village-prostitute act or the entire premise of this shit fest! from the first frame to the last – what a torture! the dialogues, as you rightly pointed out – were the worst ever! KL should be signed up by prabhuji for taking up from where TLV prasad has left off!

  30. Let me conclude by describing a small scene that crystallizes the essence of “Chingari”.

    A client comes and offers Sushmita Sen (Basanti) five rupees for service.

    While in a by-gone era when men ruled, Gabbar might have said ” So ja beta so ja nahin to Gabbar Singh a jayega” in Kalpana Lajmi’s brave new world it is Basanti who holds the phallic whiphandle.

    Hence Basanti says to the stunned client:

    “Let ja, Basanti a rahee hain”

    Yes–it’s that kind of movie.

    (Sigh)…I wish I understood.

  31. @ Michael H.

    With due respect to your willingness to understand this….I can’t help but give you a friendly suggestion – IF YOU REALLY HAVEN’T UNDERSTOOD THIS…THEN PLEASE DON’T EVEN TRY TO….YOU WON’T UNDERSTAND.

    No offence meant.

  32. @Prabhuji: Pranaam

    @SEV: Yes I am a great fan of the reviews at Dirtscapes.

    @Tapan: :-)….”Lovers ….Night Lovers” who have been an amazing addition to the Chingari soundtrack.

    @OS: Oh yes you do.

    @Anon: You tell me..

    @Vasabjit: The thing I dont know that much about Bhappi-da to make a post on him alone—maybe as a part of a larger post on music directors.

    @Soham: 🙂

    @JK: You should have.

    @Nirwa: Unfortunately he was not given much footage in Elaan…serves that Bhatt guy right that it became a flop.

    @Sourav: I have a problem with this Deepa Mehta lady—though I shall definitely see Water when I get the chance.

    @Hariprasad: I kind of did a post on what I admired about Pakistani cricket….and that was based on your idea…Tushar Kapoor deserves to be buried in the ground like a true national treasure.

    @Tony: Thank you

    @Sounak: Good point. However there is so much I can cover…maybe on a slow news month..

    @Dev: Maybe that was Dev Anand….

    @Confused: It does….

    @Keshav: Yes Kalpana Lajmi is really taking on TLV Prasad on his turf.

    @Sophocles: Worst is the intellectual pretensions Sushmita and Kalpana have—check out their interviews.

    @Michael: Okay explaining this takes away its charm. But there was this legendary Hindi movie called Sholay (legendary as it is truly a very good movie) where the heroine was named Basanti and the villian was a guy called Gabbar whose reputation was so horrible that mothers would tell their sons: “Lie down else Gabbar will come”—-however here in another day and age a lady who ironically has the name Basanti tells her “client”—Lie down and Basanti will come”.

    Dont think that explained it very well. But I tried.

    @Gawker: 🙂

  33. Hi Greatbong
    I really appreciate it.
    I actually saw and liked Sholay and know about Gabbar reasonably well – a perfect movie villain. The connection between Gabbar coming for the child and Basanti coming for the client is quite inventive.

  34. What sort of blasphemy is this? Prabhuji ki kasam,you infidels will not survive the mrityu-tandav of the great one.Still there is some time.Repent,repent and maybe the benevolent one shall forgive you.

  35. LOL , falls of the chair “religious villain’ in the process perfecting the art of Sanskritized vulgarity—leching and molesting in Kalidasian style.” only bangabandhu comes up with such gems hahahaa

  36. Thanks a ton for putting the film into perspective. Although your notes ruined the pleasant surprise I would’ve had to discover that Lajmi’s artistic[sic] flick was an unofficial sequel to Classic Dance of Love (and badly done at that), they’ve still given me a great bellyache.

  37. @Michael: Mann…what movies havent you seen?

    @Dwaipayan: Of course I shall never change….

    @Anon: 🙂

    @Nandini: So she does…

    @George Thomas: Saved a few hours of your life.

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  43. While your posts in general are awesome, Mithun-da brings out the best I suppose. Comparing quotes like the one on ‘danda’ might have forced Wodehouse, if he could, to say, “…passes out of the realms of mere humor, and soars into the boundless empyrean of Divine”

  44. I had scratched this movie out of my list simply because it was not by Kanti Shah or TLV, I had no clue this could be so good. I should have been more open about Lajmi.

  45. Ila Arun, the golden-hearted madam who no longer has to ask “choli ke peeche kya hain” since she knows it is saline solution or sand——-“Priceless”

  46. the kanti shah dialogue is from gunda not loha as mentioned,it is uttered by lambu atta when he is confrented by bulla and co. after the “munni meri behen munni” scene

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