5 comments on “Vyjayanthimala in Ladki (1953)

  1. Hi Richard: Beautiful, beautiful song! And a fitting name ‘Rani’ to go with it! I saw Jewel Thief recently, and Vyjayanthimala was spectacular in it. Any more of her films you’d recommend?

  2. Hi, Bollywood Fan. Strangely enough, I haven’t seen the later, color movies with Vyjayanthimala. I’ve mainly watched the black-and-white films, before 1960. I’ve seen plenty of clips of the color films going right up through Amrapali and Prince, and I think she’s maybe even more beautiful in those and at least as great a dancer. But I like these black-and-whites, and they’re also what I found most often in the bargain bins. :) So, this is the list – I’d recommend any of them, for different reasons (which I’ll try to state briefly):

    Bahar (1951) – Well, I just wrote that up, so you can see already what I like about that. To me, Vyjayanthimala does look like just a kid in this, though, not the full-grown Vyjayanthimala that I appreciate the most. But she’s cute and already a very good dancer. The stuff in the plot around her is kind of light (there’s much more interesting stuff going on with the “other Padmini”), but that’s OK…

    Nagin (1954) – GREAT music and some very good dancing in this one, and very interesting sets, especially in the fantasy scenes near the end. Vyjayanthimala still looks a bit childish to me in parts of this (but you’re younger than me, maybe you’d have a different perspective :), but I think she’s already a much greater star of a dancer here than in Bahar. The plot here is nothing much to speak of – Romeo and Juliet with snakes. But it’s more than worthwhile for the other things…

    New Delhi (1956) – I haven’t watched through this one yet, I had some trouble with the quirky scenes with Kishore Kumar; the movie didn’t really grab me, but I’ll give it another try. I did watch the dancing scenes and they’re pretty good. The bharatanatyam dance scene is the best (though it’s not even listed as a song, so if you’re not watching the whole movie, you have to sort of look through stuff to find it).

    Aasha (1957) – The music is very good in this one, and she does some very versatile dancing here – there’s even a rockabilly number. It’s actually not anywhere near my favorite of her films in retrospect, but I enjoyed it well enough when I saw it.

    Naya Daur (1957) – This is probably the finest of the ’50s movies that she was in. The spotlight isn’t really on her enough if you’re watching it as a Vyjayanthimala fan (it’s more a Dilip Kumar film, really, and a whole bunch of other actors get some attention in this), but she’s very good in this and she is one of the stars in it.

    Sadhna (1958) – I’d say this isn’t quite as great a movie as Naya Daur but it could be the best film to watch for Vyjayanthimala. She has two terrific dances here, and does some of her best acting in this. As Memsaab just said in her review (and a few others have said, in one way or another), this is Vyjayanthimala’s film all the way. And the music is really good too.

    Vanjikottai Valiban (1958) – Well, I watched this Tamil movie without subs, so I’m not sure how much I could follow it, but it’s got that great dance competition between Vyjayanthimala and Padmini. It’s worth a watch just for the dancing.

    Amar Deep (1958) – Vyjayanthimala does some very nice dancing in this, although for me, this is more of a Padmini film, and Padmini upstages her. It’s also a Dev Anand film. Actually, it’s a really interesting film for watching all three stars, and though it’s kind of flawed in spots, I found it rewarding. Would definitely recommend this.

    I’m hoping sometime in the future to pick up Madhumati (1958), another black-and-white Vyjayanthimala film, directed by Bimal Roy, and I would bet that it’s really good, but I can’t recommend it as one of the black-and-whites that I’ve watched. :) Oh, yeah, and I’d love to find Kath Putli

    And I’m going to get into the color films too, soon…

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