For this edition of Bollywood time, we take a look at a classic. But the word "classic" here only refers to the fact the film is old, not its status as a film. In fact, Yaarana (1981) was not a very good movie! Even as much leeway as I give my beloved Bollywood, this film made very little sense. Yaarana tells the story of two boyhood friends who are as close as brothers, until one of them (Bishan) is sent away to go to school in the big city while the other (Kishan) stays a poor country bumpkin. Bishan is all, "I'll totally stay in touch and we'll see each other soon!" But then the next scene is all "several years later" and now they're adults. Bishan shows up and basically says, "I missed you so much long lost friend! Then they go hang gliding, and Bishan tries to convince Kishan to come live in the big city with him which leaves Kishan torn.
Then a little later on in the film, the rich kid's uncle is like, "Hey, remember when 18 years ago I begged the family's forgiveness when I got out of prison so you'd let me live here? Well, I've been robbing you blind slowly this whole time and now the family has no money! You've been financially punk'd!" So what do you do when you realize that your family has been swindled by an evil ex con relative? Well, if you're Bishan, you literally mortgage everything your family has left in order to... pay to send your best friend Kishan to music school so he can become an international star! What? You had a better idea? The movie ends with... a boat full of children being hijacked and Bishan in the loony bin! As it should right? Logical progression!
On the plus side, this film stars Amitabh Bachchan, who's one of the biggest movie stars of all time. Do you remember in Slumdog Millionaire, when the little boy jumps into the human waste pit just to have the chance to get his favorite actor's autograph? That actor was Amitabh Bachchan. And even though this movie wasn't awesome, I have to give the man a break. Bachchan starred in 11 films in the year 1981 alone. Chances are good a few of those are not great, right? For comparison, Burt Reynolds was only in three movies that year and Harrison Ford was only in one. American actors are wimps! But there are sometimes diamonds in the rough, and watching Yaarana was worth it for one big reason.
This video clip is of Kishan's first major public performance, which for some reason a huge enough deal to fill some sort of arena and require the participation of upwards of two dozen dancers. Though I highly encourage you to watch the whole clip (I sat through all 138 minutes of this movie, the least you can do is watch 4 and a half of 'em) it's at 2:38 that the magic truly happens. The Lite-Brite suit:
Is your day totally made? Aren't you happy that I'm nuts enough to watch these movies and find you these things? You are welcome.
Songs: C Not that great. But because of the Lite-Brite suit, I'll give 'em a C.
Dance Numbers: B- This score is also very skewed by the Lite-Brite Suit factor
Wardrobe: B But basically just because of the Lite-Brite suit
Overall Plot: D- Not even the Lite-Brite suit can save the plot of this film
Yaarana: D (saved from an F by... the Lite-Brite suit)
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