On July 4, Shemaroo Vintage (which apparently is a new channel) uploaded a bunch of ’40s and early ’50s movies in full (or close to in-full with some parts coming up a little later in some cases, I suspect).  These include Lal Haveli (1944), Dard (1947), Andaz (1949), Sheesh Mahal (1950), Dilruba (1950), and Dahej (1950).  Unfortunately, there are no English subtitles, so for people who don’t know Hindi, it might be a challenge watching films on this channel here.

Tonight, I watched Lal Haveli.  I thought I might write a little about what I gathered of the plot and story, but I decided not to, because I just did not have an easy time trying to follow it.  (It was easier when I watched Zeenat and Jugnu without subs, but I had seen plot descriptions of those in advance (unlike with Lal Haveli), and I think that Zeenat, especially, was just easier to follow.  Or maybe I was just less tired.)  Also, I’m not really sure if I got to see the whole movie yet.  (It stopped at Part 11, but it did not say “The End.”)  Maybe another part or two will go up in a few days, and it will make everything crystal clear to me.  Though I doubt it!

Still, there were certainly things that I enjoyed about watching this film – though these were things that I knew about already, after having seen so many song clips (and some other scenes that had also gone up on YouTube before).  In fact, I think I’ve praised Lal Haveli enough already, for Noor Jehan, especially, a bit for Surendra, and also for the amazing Baby Meena (who has a substantial role in the beginning, playing Noor Jehan’s character as a child).  This time, I could add that I also found Yakub to be quite amusing (as he often is) and it’s also always interesting to see Ulhas.

In any event, maybe there are some Hindi speakers out there who actually haven’t seen Lal Haveli before who might be able to enjoy it here.  If you don’t mind watching vintage films on YouTube, then this channel in general could be quite a treat.

As for me, maybe some day I will be able to understand these non-subbed films better, too.  As I’ve mentioned to a couple of people, in the past month or two, I have seriously launched into an effort to learn Hindi, and I’ve been checking out some CD sets for the purpose as well as a couple of books.  But I do have a long way to go, obviously…

Though that won’t stop me from watching Dard next!  Maybe I will tomorrow or the next day…  Considering that I am planning to do an Uma Devi birthday post of some kind by Monday, it could come in handy.  And with Dard, as with Lal Haveli, I have already listened to the soundtrack many dozens of times.

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