2 comments on “A Scene in Missama (1955) vs. Same in Miss Mary (1957)

  1. Interesting comparison. I think I like the Hindi version better. The light-hearted singing and dancing seems more in keeping with an impromptu performance for family and friends while the Telugu version is a bit oppressively formal. But then I prefer filmi classical to the true-blue version – so I dont think I can really be accused of good taste!

  2. I didn’t see it as formal vs. informal as much as South Indian verus Bollywood. The dress and music in the Telugu version remind me of more than a few old Tamil or Telugu films and clips I’ve seen (often with Padmini in them), though I don’t think Jamuna’s actually doing a good bharatanatyam or any other good classical dance by most standards. (I could be wrong about that, but that’s my impression.) Still, the scene and dance are done in that visual style, with that kind of costume, and that kind of music, which I’m fond of.

    Also, the Telugu clip does have its humorous aspects. I like the closeup on her feet. They’re not decorated feet like what I usually seen on bharatanatyam dancers, and they look a bit big and goofy to me, too. (Though we also see the best dance moves in this closeup. Who knows, maybe that’s someone elses feet. Notice how the shot is strangely separated…)

    There are other aspects of Jamuna humor in this, too – the way she’s playing with her hair, and a couple of funny expressions (though she does bharatanatyam expressions and hand gestures too).

    I don’t know if the nature of the dance is more implausbile in the context, either. Considering the character that Jamuna plays… Why wouldn’t this spoiled girl in a privileged (South Indian) family want to show off what she learned in dance school? (And being spoiled is a big part of this character and what makes her funny, I think.)

    P. Susheela’s singing fits Jamuna well, too. Plus, she’s got a great voice for this music (though, of course, no one tops Lata).

    Anyway, didn’t mean to go on with such a lenghty defense, but that’s my take.

    The other songs and dances in the Telugu version are actually much more similar to those in the Hindi version. (There must be about half a dozen clips to compare from each over on YouTube. And I’ve also discovered that somebody posted a few from the Malayalam version – which looks even more different – and very Malayalam!)

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