13 comments on “Shemaroo Vintage has uploaded Lal Haveli, Dard, Sheesh Mahal, and other films (and here’s my non-review after trying to watch Lal Haveli without subs)

  1. I just saw that channel yesterday :) You’re right about Lal Haveli not being full. I think some 2 more parts must be uploaded, since I’ve seen this film. Well, really surprised you didn’t enjoy it a lot! I’m sure you will if you watch the end.

  2. Richard, thank you for ‘discovering’ that – I did a cursory glance-through of some of the films they’ve uploaded, and there are some mouth-watering ones there. I just wish I had more time, so I could watch all of them!

    I’m very impressed at the perseverance of people like you, who even without knowing Hindustani, can sit through a film without subs. I just can’t manage that, somehow, with a language I don’t know – I must have subs. (By the way, if you are more keen on watching really old films, from the 40s or 50s, it might be more useful to learn Urdu rather than Hindi. ;-))

  3. Vidur, I enjoyed certain scenes a lot and, in fact, was knocked out by how beautiful Noor Jehan looked in some of those outfits, never mind the incredible voice. :) Plus, as I’ve indicated, it was great seeing the Baby Meena scenes in full. And I liked Surendra a lot here too. For parts of the movie, especially near the beginning, I was saying to myself, “I can’t believe I am finally seeing this – this is great!” But it was difficult to enjoy it in full without understanding most of the words and without getting a plot summary first – which, as I’ve mentioned, was quite a different experience from the other two early Noor Jehan movies that I watched in recent months.

    For Jugnu, your review was actually very helpful in giving me some advance idea of how to follow the plot. (I think I saw summaries elsewhere too, but I distinctly remember yours.) For Zeenat, I was able to get my main plot summary from a couple of other sources. And I think the drama in that film was clearer and more straightforward, while there seemed to be a lot more meandering side stuff in Lal Haveli which depended more on knowing the meaning of the dialogues. That’s my impression, although as I indicated, I was a bit tired when I watched it, so maybe I’ll give some of that another viewing. Plus, looking forward to seeing the last parts – especially if they clarify everything for me. :)

  4. Dustedoff, it is good to hear that you like these offerings too. (Though who could not? :) )

    Regarding your advice about Urdu vs. Hindi, I’m not sure I understand the fine differences at this point. I am really concentrating right now on the spoken language and transliterations, not worrying about Devanagari or anything like that.

    I have sampled two beginner’s Hindi learning products so far, one a CD series that I picked up in the library (and burned), and one a book and CD set (first found in the library, then bought). The CD series has different words for a number of things and I guessed that it was more on the exclusively Hindi side (if only because it insisted on “dhanyavad” instead of “sukriya” :) )… So, I’m paying more attention to the book (with CDs), which also claims outright that it is teaching Urdu at the same time that it is teaching Hindi, as do a couple of small, cheap dictionaries that I picked up. I guess I’ll trust the these sources for now. :) (But in the long run, I actually would be just as happy to know Urdu as distinct from Hindi. I’ve got a few reasons for that – which I started to mention here but edited out, due to overly long comment, and anyway, I’ve said them before.)

    Meanwhile, thank you for your kind words about my watching these films without subtitles… Though I am probably not the best or most patient among the bloggers when it comes to doing that… I think the prize for that would have to go to Madam Memsaab, who has actually written full reviews of a few movies she’s watched without subs, sometimes even inventing her own dialogue in order to “translate.” I’ve gotten a little bit of inspiration from her approach. :)
    P.S. Oh, I was just reminded, one of the films that Memsaab watched without subs was Dard! OK, here I go, off to do the same…

  5. Somehow dustedoff always beats me to it. She always writes what I would have liked to say. But since she is much more eloquent at it, it is better that way.
    I just bow my head before you at your perseverance and passion!

  6. Harvey, I honestly don’t know if I deserve such flattery. :)

    By the way, I watched Dard, and unfortunately, the dialogue and picture are way out of sync in most of the last few parts. Maybe these uploads present more challenges than I even realized. :) On the positive side, it was good to read Memsaab’s review first, because it helped to make the experience a bit more amusing in places…

  7. Well – all the best! Glad to have helped you with Jugnu. But, this is more interesting as a not – so – straightforward story! Hope someone subtitles it, well….happy viewing anyway for this (again?) and other great films. Dard may be easy to understand.

  8. Richard, Urdu and Hindi have almost the same syntax and sentence structure, so once you’ve learnt one of the two languages, you are good to begin picking up the nuances of the other – because their vocabularies can differ (as, for example, you point out about the ‘shukriya’ and the ‘dhanyavaad’). A common example: in Hindi, the cardinal directions are ‘uttar-dakshin-purab-paschim’, whereas in Urdu they are ‘shumaal-janoob-maghrub-mashriq’.

    That’s why, if you compare more recent film censor certificates with older ones, you’ll see that a lot of the older ones specify ‘Hindustani’ (a mix of Urdu and Hindi) as the language, while some of the 40s films are even certified as Urdu. Not necessarily Muslim socials, either. ;-) – I remember, my father saying that he and his siblings learnt Urdu before they learnt English or Hindi.

    But your CDs and book seem to be just the right thing. Thank you, again, for the Shemaroo Vintage heads-up!

  9. Thanks for writing about this channel. I have subscribed to it and will try and watch a few of the films. I normally stick to films from the sixties onwards but would love to watch a couple of older ones for the experience.

    Good luck with the Hindi. With your interest in Hindi films, you’ll get a lot of listening practice :) And you can test your written Hindi with your blog readers..
    Cheers, Suja

  10. All the best for your hindi lessons, Richard. :-)
    And thank you so much for that link.
    Can anyone tell me whether the films are available only after subscribing or is there a link leading to all that treasure – something like khul ja simsim.?
    I can’t seem to get any other film except ‘sheesh mahal’ which comes up directly after clicking on the link provided here.

  11. Suja and Pacifist, thank you both for the good wishes re. my “Hindi lessons.”

    Suja, who knows, maybe once you get enough of “the experience,” you’ll be favoring ’40s films instead. :)

    Pacifist, I haven’t had any such problem with the site, and I tried it both logged in and logged out of YouTube. All the film uploads should be listed on the right side (and then you just click any part of any film that you want to see.) Though, I am thinking that maybe you need to click the fine print “see all” sign under the first video titles that are displayed under “Uploads” (and then just keep scrolling down). Or it might help to display the channel in “Grid Mode” (selection on the upper right). If that doesn’t help, then, sorry, it’s a mystery to me. :)

  12. Thanks Richard.
    I have succeeded, finally. After clicking on ‘grid’ I have to click on ‘load more’ – and continue clicking on ‘load more’ till the end. :)

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