In case anyone’s been wondering about this, no, I haven’t stopped watching old Indian film clips. In fact, I’ve continued to watch a lot old South Indian films (mainly from the ’50s and ’60s) in order to gaze at the beauty and skill of that great Keralan dancer/actress whom I mentioned before, Padmini.
Padmini isn’t alive today; she died of a heart attack in 2006, at the age of 74. But a lot of Padmini-like qualities can be seen in the performances of her niece, Shobana.
And Shobana, just like her aunt Padmini (as well her other two aunts who comprised the Travancore Sisters), was trained in bharatanatyam, an ancient form of Indian classical dance that’s just fantastic to watch (in my opinion – and many others’).
Also like her aunt(s), Shobana is a very good actress. I think that’s evident in the clip that I’m posting today, which I happen to like as well for its kind-of-funny but slightly disturbing weirdness…
Which is related to an interesting plot, as this film, Manichitrathazhu, is sort of a psychological, split-personality movie and ghost/possession movie rolled into one. (I’m not going to get into that too much here, but it’s summed up nicely at the ever-reliable Wikipedia.) And given that this film won lots of praise and generated at least three remakes in different Indian languages, I’m thinking that it might be more than worthwhile to track down Manichitrathazhu in its entirety (though I don’t know if that will be easy to do in the U.S., even in Jackson Heights).
Meanwhile, I’m going to have to credit Bollywood Food Club (yet again). Although I had seen this film clip once or twice before seeing that post, but it’s that post that finally led me to add the clip right here:
P.S. YouTube has a copy of this clip with English subtitles (which is nice for all us westerners who don’t know Malayalam), but it can’t be posted here because, like some kind of ghost, it just…disappears!