Prisoner of Jhind
Good thing you skipped Salman Khan’s new movie. They made the movie around 14 songs collected over many years. Waste of time!
That’s my brother on the recent Bollywood adaptation of The Prisoner of Zenda. The lookalike-as-a-plant has been used as a plot device many times, including those starring Bollywood bigshots. My favourite retelling on pages is the Flashman caper involving the Schleswig-Holstein Question — note to self, must blog about Flashman sometime.
But for the screen, let me recommend the 1961 Bangla adaptation. Adapted to the Indian settings by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay of Byomkesh fame, the movie contains great visuals of the rugged Central and Western Indian terrain, decade-and-half before Sholay. Uttam Kumar in the title role is solid, but Soumitra Chatterjee as a villain is sublime — an early cut of his performance in Ghare Baire two decades later. Oh, there is also a Bengali nationalist twist in the mix.
The best thing about the movie, however, is its music. Ali Akbar Khan matches the likes of Ennio Morricone. They just don’t do tunes like that any more.