Baazigar: A Double Date with SRK
I had a pressing deadline in my professor life last week, so it took me longer than I'd planned to watch and react to "Baazigar". If you haven't seen it, you should. it is available on Amazon Prime; if anyone knows another source, please let me know in the comments. Margaret Redlich, Hindi film blogger extraordinaire, has an excellent eight-part re-cap, with dance videos, if you just want the high points and don't mind spoilers. Shah Rukh Khan woos two girls in this film, each in a different character, which is why I consider this a double date. (This will happen again. and again.) Each character has his own song/dance video, and you can see their differences pretty well in them.)
It's hard to summarize the plot without completely spoiling the film for anyone who wants to experience it as a complete newbie, but let's say that Seema comes to a tragic end, and Vicky and Priya's relationship blossoms into romance and engagement.
The audience knows everything Priya doesn't -- that Vicky is not to be trusted. But this stupendous dance scene foreshadows her discovery that he is not what -- or who -- she thought he was. He is sexy and seductive, irresistible to her...and to the audience, even though we know the truth about Vicky! Margaret Redlich notes that Shah Rukh is "a little bit dark and scary. And Kajol is enjoying it a lot, but also has some gut feeling that something is wrong, which she has to keep ignoring in order to enjoy herself."
For me, the contrast between Shah Rukh Khan's chemistry with Juhi Chawla in "Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman", Shilpa Shetty and Kajol in "Baazigar" is striking. I know it is all acting, but it feels more like acting with Shilpa (maybe because Ajay is acting with her?). With Juhi, SRK moved from acquaintance to friendship and beyond in a nicely-paced arc. With Kajol, it was an instant click, and they are so at ease together that their connection is totally believable.
So, to the questions (I am answering only for the Priya/Vicky pairing, since we don't see Ajay and Seema's introduction):
What is your first impression of Vicky? Charming and smooth like a panther, only sweaty and with dimples.
What is Priya's first impression of Vicky? From a normal heart rate to thumpa-thumpa-thumpa in about 20 seconds.
How would you describe their chemistry over the course of the film? A steadily growing flame from the first flicker. No wonder audiences wanted to see more of them!
If you had a first date with Vicky, would you go on a second? Mmmm. Yes. Charming and smooth, with dimples and -- one hopes -- showered and squeaky clean.
Question for you: Does anyone out there want to date Ajay?
Next up: Anjaam (SRK's first date with Madhuri Dixit, 1994) Full schedule here. So far I have only been able to find it on YouTube, and the subtitles are out of sync. If you have another source, please let me know!!
6/13/2016 10:46:38 pm
I remember the first time I saw Baazigar, I was SHOCKED at a certain rooftop scene. I had only seen SRK in romantic roles and not his darker earlier work. I didn't know what was coming and I was so surprised. Hand over my mouth surprised.
6/14/2016 05:52:11 am
My first negative role for SRK was Darr. You can only imagine my reaction! After watching Baazigar, I watched Chalte, Chalte to recover. It would be interesting to hear from someone who saw his films in order, beginning in the 90s. Talk about an interesting arc!
6/15/2016 11:41:53 am
Baazigar was the first "baby Shah Rukh" film I watched--my first 1/2 dozen or so of his films were post-2005 or so. If I feel like watching an SRK movie but I'm not sure what I'm in the mood for, I often opt for Baazigar. Maybe because there are so many great scenes, and I enjoy all the songs--especially Kaali Aankhen--but I can zone in and out of it.
6/15/2016 02:52:49 pm
Also, how much of the different tone in songs and picturizations (sp?) are so that the filmmakers could sort of tick the boxes--a fun silly love song, a fantasy love song, a steamy love song, a pining love song, a sexy/dark love song? The cutesie touches are jarring on subsequent watches when one knows what's coming/what lies underneath Ajay's character.
6/15/2016 03:18:42 pm
That's an interesting thought. Ajay's controlling behavior would have put me off (not to mention the "let's commit suicide---psych!" Gambit). And yes, baby Ajay was a beautiful child, and a pretty good actor as these roles go!
6/16/2016 07:33:57 am
True about Ajay's controlling behavior--but he didn't pull the suicide switch on the first date. :)
6/16/2016 07:52:05 am
Fair enough! Though we don't see them meeting for the first time, which might change our opinion! I am finding these negative roles pretty interesting, but also starting to look forward to a more pleasant SRK! I wonder if that's why DDLJ was just a great career move. All his female fans could say "See! I told you he was good at heart!"
6/16/2016 12:29:40 pm
Quite possibly! What a genius Adi was/is. :)
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