Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kalyanji Anandji: Upkar (1967)

Even though I do not admire Manoj Kumar as an actor, I appreciate the films he has directed. Upkar as a film, is very evident in theme yet it’s experimental in its photo direction. And this is particularly evident in the song sequences with even make the music more notable (and sadly not the other way around).


The story is that of a young man played by Manoj Kumar, who is forced to sacrifice his education for his brother's played by Prem Chopra (looking quite handsome indeed!). Chopra’s character goes away to study and later returns as a young westernized and selfish man. Many of the themes in the film; East vs. West, Country vs. City and Rich vs. Poor are reflected in the brothers’ relationship.


On the side of the Indian simpleton with superior moral values is the patriotic song "Mere Desh Ki Dharati". It reminds me of the “we proudly work our land” type of patriotism found in Mother India (1957). The cover of the album also shows Manoj’s character admiring Nehru while holding a plow as in THE song of the album.

You don't need fancy lounges or glamorous city clubs, just check and see how much "Punjabi style" fun you can have with the village song "Aaye Jhoomke Basant". I dare you not to dance!


The next song "Gulabi Raat Gulabi" is associated with the "EVIL" West! (you know, Wizard of Oz's Wicked Witch of the West type of West or the Pardes (Sharukh Khan version) type of West). But it's one of the best songs on the album, sung by the one and only Vamp Queen Asha Bhosle. The song is divided into two parts. Asha sings to the consumerist westernized party goers and the second part is sung by Mohd. Rafi as images of hungry and miserable street goers are shown as they try and survive in the slums.











No sharabi (alcohol) for you mister!

Also, lend an ear to "Kasme Wade Pyar Wafa" and "Diwano Se Mat Puchho".


It's a classic film and soundtrack, but not one of my personal favourites. I absolutely recommend watching the film, Kamini Kaushal and Pran are amazing!












Take that Slumdog Millionaire!



Tracks:


Side 1

1. Mahendra Kapoor & Chorus: Mere Desh Ki Dharati
2. Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey, Mahendra Kapoor, Shamshad, Sunder & Chorus: Aaye Jhoomke Basant
3. Manna Dey: Kasme Wade Pyar Wafa


Side 2
4. Mukesh: Diwano Se Mat Puchho
5. Lata Mangeshkar: Har Khushi Ho Wahan
6. Asha Bhosle & Mohd. Rafi: Gulabi Raat Gulabi
7. Mahendra Kapoor & Chorus: Mere Desh Ki Dharati


Lyrics: Gulshan Bawra, Prem Dhawan, Qamar Jalalabadi and Indiwar


Stella_1's score: 3/5

Get the music now: Kalyandi Anandji Upkar (link to Music From the Third Floor, because my computer is STILL broken.)

12 comments:

litlgrey said...

And of course, you have a completely different record sleeve than he does! No Nehru in his.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but you missed the main theme of the movie. it is a perfect metaphor for India and pakistan.
I didn't detect any anti-west themes. One brother is pampered other is not.

Gulabi raat is about rich merchant profiting on poor people's misery especially during war.

West's wealth is based on Oil once
that goes away. farming will be only option. but that is not going to be possible in the future. when rivers will run dry in summer and monsoon fails and it is too warm to grow anything in India. I am sure Canada will take all those poor bastards and feed them.

Evil West, what more evil can be that West killed 90% of North American, South American, South Africa and Australia 's native population. You stole our economic engine of Cotton, Sugar and Spices.
On top of that Indian farmers had to compete against slave labor in US. I can give you more expample if you need it.

bollyviewer said...

Manoj Kumar and his west-phobia! I find his brand of "patriotism" awfully nauseating but Upkar is better than some of his later work. And the soundtrack is awesome! I looooove Kasme waade - Manna Dey's soaring voice and the sad/wearily cynical lyrics just tug at the heartstrings. It reminds of another touching Manna Dey number - Aye mere pyaare watan from Kabuliwala. Love Aayi jhoomke basant and Har khushi ho wahan as well.

Niknan said...

Hi Stella...I've been following your blog for quite a while. Thank you for all the great records you provide here.
I've started my own "Bollywood/Arabic pop/random stuff" blog.
Hope you enjoy some of the more recent Bollywood topics I want to cover.

sansaari.blogspot.com/

Banno said...

Even though Manoj Kumar tends to be jingoistic patriotic, the fact is that his music tracks do make you feel all mushy.

I always did love the songs in 'Upkaar' even if the rich vs. poor, etc, etc, theme is really awful.

Mister Naidu said...

thanks for this one and all the others!

JackRamon said...

Hello,

Just a quick word to let you know that you are featured in our blogroll

http://www.radiovideotrad.com/blogroll/

Please check our site. If you like our work, do link back to us.

If you feel like contributing, let us know.

A lot of thanks.

The Radio.Video.Trad Team

PS : you can also check our other website http://www.radiovideojazz.com/

litlgrey said...

Sheila - please take control of this!

Stella_1 said...

who's sheila?

litlgrey said...

Stella, I'm sorry... I am rotten for names. But you see what's been going on your posts all day long?

Stella_1 said...

Yeah, I know... I put up the word pass when someone posts a comment. I hope that will help. :)

litlgrey said...

It should, Stella... they're all 'bots.