8 comments on “Pinjra (1972)

  1. Had somehow missed out on this post.

    Although the plot in the Blue Angel and Pinjra might be same in the beginning, the major difference is in the handling of the film. In the Blue Angel (I saw the German version), the main theme for me was the hypocrisy of the teacher Professor Unrat. It follows the old theme of downfall of a man because of a ‘loose’ woman just like in the opera Carmen.
    But in the movie ‘the Blue Angel’ the variete singer is never in love with the professor. The professor tries to bring his middle class moralities in his new relationship, which are quite unknown to Lola. The professor dies full of remorse in his classroom clutching his blackboard if I remember right.

    Shantaram’s movie is very moralistic about the situation. The Professor/teacher is seduced by the dancer, but he would never have left his ‘good ways’, if it was not to protect his image in front of the villagers. His main concern remains ‘the welfare of the villagers’. In Pinjra the seducer is the one who gets seduced at the end. And like every whore with a golden heart on the silver screen, she has to pay for it with her life.
    The dancer envies the teacher’s innocence and his morals. It would added a nice angle to the story if the teacher could have admired the dancer’s independence and strong will.

    “it might be a little annoying to keep seeing references to the “dancer” and “teacher”

    A teacher in India would always be adressed as Masterji or something equivalent leaving the translator with no other option than to translate it as teacher.
    And the dancer I think would have been referred to as Bai, an english equivalent would be hard to find for this word, thus the dancer.

    “I would like to hear more from this Marathi music director, Ram Kadam”

    I read somewhere that Ram Kadam had to provide V. Shantaram with nearly 100 tunes from which he choose twelve.
    I love the music from this movie. Wonder how they sound in Hindi though!

  2. The correct citation about Pinjra songs:

    Trivia about Pinjra songs:

    Jagadish Khebudkar, the lyricist informs us that he wrote 110 songs for
    the film, Ram Kadam set up 135 tunes for them. Of these, V.Shantaram
    chose 11 ! ‘Tumhavar keli mee marzi bahaal’ had 49 failed attempts, he
    says, and the 50 th one was approved!

    http://www.esakal.com/esakal/esakal/05082006/rightframe.html

    …Pradeep

  3. And some more trivia form rec.muisc.indian.misc

    Jagadish Khebudkar celebrated his 74 th birthday.
    So he was felicitated in Mumbai and Thane last week end. The link I
    provided was one account of his felicitation at Thane, where he
    reminisced his time as a lyricist. He elaborated a bit on those 49
    attempts to write a laavni, sitting at Rajkamal throughout the day,
    creating a new one only to be rejected by V. Shantaram. ‘Late into the
    night, I felt quite dejected’ he said. ‘Shantaram bapu wanted a laavni
    that would captivate the audience, and all I was presenting him through
    the day didn’t appeal to him. My creativity was at stake and I was
    quite worried’. Then, just as Shantarambapu called up suggesting that I
    retire for the day and make a fresh beginning the next day, this laavni
    ‘Tumhavar keli mee marzi bahaal’ sprung up into my mind out of
    nowhere’. Shantarambapu promptly approved of it’ and the rest is
    history.

    ……..Pradeep

  4. Harvey,

    Thanks for all that interesting information. Regarding comments about how it would have been more interesting if the teacher admired the dancer’s independence and strong will… Well, that’s true, and he doesn’t seem to by any stretch. But he does seem to admire her natural intellgience at some point, thinking of her as being remarkably poetic for someone so unschooled, etc. But I guess that’s kind of a qualified admiration, since it’s based on low expectations based on his class prejudices. It did make for a mildly interesting social comment, though.

    I have noticed that in some Indian films certain people are addressed only by vocation, as though vocation completely replaced names. I would find that very annoying… I am always for less identification of people based on the things they do for a living (since so many other things go into the makeup of our identities), but in India, there often seems to be even more. (I guess old Indian feudalism – castes – contributes to this tendency, in addition to the regular “bourgeois division of labor” described by the writer/philosopher favored by a few old Indian actors and directors. :)

    It’s not too surprising that Shantaram was such a perfectionist with the music, picking so few songs out of so many (one out of ten). We’ve already seen that he was a very demanding perfectionist in terms of dance (causing Sandhya some stays in the hospital, etc.), so naturally he would be for music too. Judging by a few of his films, though, maybe he wasn’t so perfectionist about scripts. (Not that he didn’t also have very good ones – still one of my favorite directors overall – but still…)

    By the way, were you saying that the second site was at http://rec.music.indian.misc ? (Assuming you meant “music” and not “muisc” :) … I had no luck trying to call that up; the “diagnosis” was that there was no site by that name.

  5. You are right about expecting things from filmi characters.
    What I liked about der blaue engel was the fact, which the director showed the different mileus the characters come from. Two worlds clash with each other, each one trying to impose one’s own image of the world on the other.
    In Pinjra, I’d a feeling that the director is taking sides with the teacher. And the fact that the dancer leaves her troupe (does she? As far as I remember, she at least quarrels with her mother or something similar) or the transformation in her is to be attributed to the strong moral character of the teacher.
    rec.music.indian.misc is a newsgroup and not a site.
    Go to http://groups.google.at/group/rec.music.indian.misc/topics and search there for the topic
    ‘Pinjara & Jait re Jait songs & Hridaynath Mangeshkar’

    “I have noticed that in some Indian films certain people are addressed only by vocation”

    Interesting commentary you made on this topic. I had to smile at your last line. 
    That is true. I won’t like to be addressed by my vocation. But in India at times your denial to be addressed so might raise many a eyebrows, because people might misinterpret that you want something more. Like if a girl calls you brother and you express your discomfort at that, people would think that you have ulterior motives. Same thing applies to teacher and so on. They way you are addressed defines the relationship with that person.

  6. WHY YOU PEOPLE TRY TO DRAW PARALLELS WITH BLAU ANGEL… IT IS SOME WHAT LOSELY BASED ON VIPRANARAYANA STORY. SHANTARAM IS KNOWN FOR HIS SOCIALISATION THEMES OF MYTHOLOGICALS AND HISTORICALS. VIPRANARAYAN IS A FERVENT DEVOTEE OF VISHNU. HE NEGLECTS BEAUTY AND ADVANCES OF DEVADEVI, A DANCER. THE ARROGANT DANCER VOWS TO SEDUCE THE BHAKTA AND SUCCEEDS. THE SAME STORY WAS TOLD IN A DIFFERENT MANNER BY THE GREAT CINEMAMASTER.

  7. HE HAS TAKEN THE STORY OF JAKKANACHARYA, THE FAMOUS SCULPTOR OF VIJAYANAGARA EMPIRE AND PRODUCED A MASTERPIECE CALLED GEETH GAYA PATHARONE. THE TIMES ARE DIFFERENT BUT BASICSTORY LINE IS SAME.

  8. Thanks Raghu for the ifo that is quite interesting. For a person not well-read in Indian classic literature, it is difficult to see the parallels.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s