26 comments on “A Fish Out of Water

  1. I remember watching this years ago, and being mesmerised by Sandhya’s dancing – especially the snake dance. But an awful film otherwise.

  2. Hi, Dustedoff. I am about a third to a half of the way through this movie right now (planning to get back to it after a 24-hour break in viewing), and I also get the impression that it is not a very good film. But I did already see the snake dance, and it is mezmerizing, so I’m going to keep watching it for Sandhya, who is one of my favorite dancers.

  3. A few hours later… I got throiugh this by fast-forwarding it a little. OK, I will finally admit, V. Shantaram, who made some films that I have really enjoyed, obviously could make some duds too. LOL… But Sandhya is still fantastic in this.

  4. As soon as I saw the title, I knew it must be this one!
    The film is totally dumb, but some of the dances, like this one, show Sandhya at her creative best.
    I just love that Ffwd button.

  5. Is this the film where she did that fantastic “thali” dance?
    Thali dance: standing on the edges of the metal Indian plate, the one with a raised edge all round.

  6. WHOA!!!!!!!! I was going to have to snap and go back in time to get that fish back into the water if she didn’t do it. Thankfully she did so I could marginally enjoy her frenzied dancing between the suffering machli scenes. I’ve never seen her and now would love to see more of her. Loved the use of orange in this scene. @ bawa, LOL on the necessity and benefits of the FF button.

  7. Bawa,

    Yes, this has that great “thali” dance too. (A while back, I was somewhat impressed when Hema Malini did that, but I like Sandhya’s much more!)

    This is Sandhya at her creative best! It’s also the second film that I’ve seen lately with Sandhya that was made in the early ’70s which I could say that about. (And the other one, Pinjra, was actually a pretty good film for the most part.) Considering that she had done her most famous, breakthrough roles in the mid ’50s, I think it’s kind of nice that she was actually doing some of her best dancing 20 years later. (I haven’t been able to find an exact birth date for Sandhya, but my guess is she’s a bit older than Vyjayanthimala, probably born around the same year as Padmini. I’m curious, so if anybody else knows, it would be interesting to confirm that…)

  8. Sita-ji,

    I guess you’re saying you played it through again once you were certain that she would return the poor fish?

    Yes, the use of color here is very nice.

    So, you haven’t seen Sandhya before this clip? Wow… :) I’m glad to have introduced you to her. I think the first full Sandhya movie I saw was Navrang (1959), which I watched back in July 2008. Since then, I’ve seen her in about half a dozen movies and tons of clips. :)

    I guess Sandhya’s a bit controversial – I’ve seen widely ranging/differing opinions about her. But I’m definitely one of the Sandhya fans.

  9. Exactly! The fish trauma was so distracting that I did have to see in again, but I still was irked by it, but understood that I was to think of Sandhya as one going through the same discomfort in her situation. No, I have never seen even heard of her. Can you believe it! So I will definitely watch her. I will get on that and report back. Here’s an interesting comment about her in the video link @ youtube:

    durlabhpkolhe (3 months ago) +2 Reply | Spam
    sandhya was a dancer of her style,she developed her style. for this film v. shantaram gave rehersals so difficult that sandhya was sick for 6 months by backpain. another interesting thing, laxmi pyare insisted for anand bakshi as lyracist for this film but shantaram told bharat vyas is final if you are not agree then quit the film and ultimately laxmi pyare agreed for bharat vyas.

  10. Oh you must have seen Sandhya sometime and not realised it was her.
    Navrang and the water pots dance “adha hai chandrma, raat aadhi” and the two-faced “ja re hat natkhat” are two that were often on tv and other compilations.
    Then you must see “Do ankhen barah haath” as well, winner at the Berlin Film Festival and
    Dr. Kotnis ki Amar Kahani, the latter with Jayashree.

  11. Bawa, Don Ankhen Barah Haath is the one I cannot seem to find in the stores – and I have been looking for it a lot! Meanwhile, I’ve very much enjyoed the clips from that that I’ve seen on YouTube.

    It seems pretty eassy to find Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, and to find the dances from that on YouTube. They are pretty great – and those classical dances with Sandhya and Gopi Kirshna are always up for viewing. Meanwhile, last October, Sandhya managed to beat both Vyjayanthimala and Padmini in the compentiton in my mind for the greatest Peacock dance:

    http://roughinhere.wordpress.com/2009/10/24/sandhya-you-may-have-won-a-very-tough-competition/

  12. What movie is this from? Sandhya is a good dancer, her facial expressions are a bit hard. Her and Gopi Krishna make a great team.

  13. Bawa, I looked at that copy of Do Ankhen Barah Haath that you linked to, then I went to the pricier of the Bollywood DVD stores today, and I bought it for $8. Well, I’m not thrilled with paying $8 for a Moserbaer DVD(even if it is “platinum series”), but it’s better than $12. :) Very much looking forward to this one…

  14. O God, I hate to say this but I am really not a big fan of Sandhya’s dancing. It reminds of somebody having a fit. I’m sorry Richard.
    As a child I was a big fan of her, but after sometime I just grew out of it. Now when I watch it I just can’t understand what fascinated me about it at that time. The jhatkas are too edgy and hardly any fluidity in the moves.
    V. Shantaram made some good movies, but Jal bin macchli cured me of my fascination for him. I hope it doesn’t do that to you.
    The idea behind his movies till Pinjra are really great. He made good social movies. I think Ashutosh Gowarikar’s films are inspired by him.
    Do Aankhen Barah Haath is good, do watch it and if you like Sandhya, then more the good for you. Pinjra is also a good movie, I think a Hindi version should be floating around as well.
    And there was this other marathi film with her “Chandachi choli majhi ang ang jhali” where she plays a tamasha bai, a train accident leads her getting her married into a farmer family, who don’t know her true identity.

  15. Harvey, it’s all right, you don’t have to agree with me about Sandhya’s dancing. But I do like her dancing. I know she never had the skills of, say, Padmini or Vyjayanthimala, but she had a lot of creativity and originality as a dancer, and she had boundless energy. I’ve also realized that she could be a great actress at least sometimes. I just watched Do Ankhen Bara Haath (last night), and I think Sandhya’s performance in that is excellent. Her acting also is very good in Pinjra. (I will look for that Marathi film that you mentioned, thanks…)

    Oddly, in the films where Sandhya got the greatest reputation for her dancing – Navrang and Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje – we don’t get to see how good an actress she is. (The fault, I’m pretty sure, lies in the scripts.) But now that I’ve seen her in a bunch of movies, I can definitely say that as an actress-dancer overall, Sandhya has become one of my favorites. I know some people would strongly agree with me on that and some would strongly disagree. It’s interesting how controversial she is. :)

    P.S. I think this is the complete list of V. Shantaram films I’ve seen so far that had major roles for Sandhya: Do Ankhen Barah Haath, Navrang, Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, Pinjra, Teen Batti Char Rasta, Parchhaiyan, Jalbin Machhli Nritya bin Bijli.

  16. Hey, Richard! You are a sport!
    Sorry about my comment about her dancing and fits. I think it was very mean of me.
    You are right, she had originality and lots of energy. And her twirl with the thali dance was good.
    The movie Stree, where she portrays Shakuntala is also quite nice. And if I remember right, she doesn`t dance much there, but since I saw it as a kid, I might be mistaken. We used to makes jokes of it since Istree means the iron for ironing clothes in Hindi. And many pronounce it that way.
    And there is this movie of hers with Mumtaz, but haven’t seen it myself

  17. I just looke dup in imdb, which I maybe should have done earlier, I noticed that there are films in the 90s under her name. It can’t possibly be the same Sandhya!

  18. Harvey, you weren’t that mean (you’re not Baburao Patel!)… Thanks for recommending Stree. I saw it sometime in the past in the little store near me in Jackson Heights that I have dubbed the “Three Shantaram Films for Ten Dollars Store” (because I’ve managed to buy six Shantaram films there at that price so far, and two for $10 – that’s how I’ve seen so many in such a short amount of time :) … I haven’t seen it there lately, but I will go and look for it next time.

    There is a newer Sandhya, maybe more than one new Sandhyas; I think that’s probably who you listed for a film in the ’90s. (IMDb is very sloppy and inaccurate sometimes; they often don’t distinguish between different actors with the same name, and there are typos in the years for a lot of the films in their lists.)

  19. Thanks for the compliment, Richard!

    Had to laugh at your “Three Shantaram Films for Ten Dollars Store”. Good luck with your search there.

    Sandhya is not an uncommon name in India, so most probably there are many actresses named Sandhya out there. Just for comparison I would have liked to see Sandhya’s acting under a different director or choreographer. But as far as I know she worked only under V. Shantaram. And If I am not mistaken she is Shantaram’s second (or third ?) wife. In IMDB they cite Jayshree as his second wife and not mentioning Sandhya.

    I found two of her songs from Chandanachi choli majhi ang ang jhali:

    maybe you like them!

  20. harvey, yes she was his wife, think the 2nd one.
    Bit like the Chetan Anand- Priya Rajvansh tie-in, only Sandhya had far more talent than priya, although the latter was beautiful: as a still photo!
    I am being cruel, because to all accounts Priya was a very cultured and highly intelligent person, just that she was such a bad actor, that she came across as dumb on the screen.
    Sandhya was not that good-looking and I guess that was a handicap in the hey-deys of Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Nargis, Nutan, Nimmi, Nalini Jaywant, etc. etc.

  21. Sandhya was his third wife, Jayashree his second. (I’ve seen that mentioned in a number of sources in the past.)

    Some people have made very mean comments to me about her looks, off the blog. (No, Harvey, you aren’t the only one who’s said mean things about Sandhya. Oh, well.)

    I’ve heard lack of beauty being mentioned as one of the reasons that Kamala Lakshman/Kumari Kamala never became a star, though she was the first and best bharatanatyam dancer in Indian cinema. It’s really too bad if that’s the case. (Some people can debate with me about Sandhya, but I think very few would claim that Kamala wasn’t a great dancer.)

    Bawa, regarding the list you gave, I know a good number of people don’t consider Nargis to be that good looking. I happen to be one of them. I admire her a lot as an actress, but I just don’t find her to be very good looking in anything.

    Of course, opinions will vary a lot on this issue sometimes. Madhubala was cute, but I don’t understand why so many people consider her the reigning queen of beauty, so far above everyone else. In the list above, I’d probably give the prize to Meena, at least in the ’50s and early ’60s. Though Padmini was even more beautifful in her heyday. (I would also say Noor Jehan at one point, but in that case, as I’ve said before, the effect on my ears might influence the impression on my eyes.)

    Maybe I’ll do my own “greatest beauties” list sometime…

  22. Oh thanks for the 3rd wife info. The guy certainly choose exceptional women.

    I don’t think Nargis is particularly beautiful either, it is not my beauty list..rather I put her in because she was beautiful to my parent’s generation, who were the ones watching those films; Nutan would be in that category for me as well. There are a host of others that I didn’t include. Just to highlight the fact that there is a lot of competition and so many times one cannot tell why some become popular and others not so much. I think the Spanish concept “simpatico = congenial + pleasant + nice” has as much to do with it. Some people come across as more simpatico than others, even if they may not be so in real life.

    I do love Madhubala and she would be on the top of my list, but that is so subjective and personal. Bina Rai is very high on my list as is Nimmi, although the latter more when she is not acting as sheis a bit too weepy. Loved earlier Meena Kumari without the heavy make-up and also Noor Jehan. Do make that list one day, will be fun.

  23. Sandhya is a common name. My middle name is Sandhya and my relatives call me that.

    I wish MoserBaer would go out of business because they have a tendency to not know what is important in a film when they make the dvd. They cut scenes which are important and have lousy subtitles.

  24. Hema, going through some recent DVD purchases, I can understand how you feel. However, I also understand that there is a company much, much worse than Moserbaer, and it’s called fRIENDS!

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