A Dhallywood classic
When I returned to Bangladesh after nearly a decade in the late 1990s, it used to bug me that everytime I opened my mouth people guessed my ‘outsiderness’. To improve my ‘insiderhood’, I turned to Dhallywood. Imagine my surprise when I found that the characters in classic Dhakai films would speak in the ‘promito’ language of the other Bengal, eschewing what the ever-eclectic blogger Fugstar calls the ‘spirit of the ganj’. Okay, I discussed the language issue here. I’ll avoid any serious stuff in this post, and talk about a Dhallywood classic.
I am talking about Bondini. To be honest, I am not sure if it is a classic, but since this song is available in youtube and was a regular in Chhayachhondo, I am calling the movie classic.
Quick summary then. Sonia’s father is a rich businessman. Her mother has passed away, and her evil maternal uncle and aunt are after the wealth. They have the father killed, and make it look like a hunting accident. Sonia grows up in boarding school. The evil uncle-aunt trick her into signing a white sheet to make it look like she has married their son. Sonia runs away to her friend’s place. There she meets Danish, who has come from Afghanistan to look for his father and sister who got kidnapped by tribesemen in the jungles some years earlier while looking for some kind of rare gem. Sonia, Danish, and Uncle Tarzan (who is an adventurer of sorts) go into the tribal territory and rescue Danish’s sister. But upon return to civilisation, Sonia is taken away by the evil uncle. Then Danish and Uncle Tarzan hatch some funky plots to rescue the bondini Sonia. Oh, it also turns out her father is not dead. Of course it has a happy ending. And somewhere in the mix there is a rendition of shadher lau with some odd lyrics.
Overall, a very cool movie, kind of the way Charlie’s Angels, Qurbani or Enter the Dragon are cool. Considering that the pirated vcds of this 1970s Dhallywood sold pretty well in my local Deshi store, I am going to make a bold call and say that a market exists for a big budget remake of this movie. In the new version, the leading character should run away to some exotic location like Kenya or Indonesia. And the excursion into the wild should borrow heavily from Indiana Jones movies. And the ‘item number’ – yes, there is one, sung at the paan-chini, oh it’s too complicated to explain, just watch the damn thing – should match the best of Bollywood.
The question is, who will play Danish and Sonia? The hero in the original is one Wahid. I haven’t seen him in any other movie, and suspect he is from Pakistan (I’m not sure if it is a pre-liberation movie). The original damsell in distress is Bobita. Now Bobita I always found to be hot (I’m sorry, there is no other adjective to describe her). Here she looks to be in her teens, but she set the screen on fire as an adult woman in Lathiyal and Shujon Shokhi with Faruq – that Chul dhoirona khopa khule jabe je nagor song is a subject of a different post. Then there is the kick arse action of Teen Konna. Anyway, I digress. Bobita was hot. The question then is, who can replace her?
Dear reader, watch the song above, and tell me who would you have play Danish and Sonia?