Changes between Version 3 and Version 4 of Mera Naam Joker

Jul 2, 2012, 6:00:21 PM (11 years ago)



  • Mera Naam Joker

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     1'''Mera Naam Joker''' 
    3 melodramas revolving around the self- sacrificing Neeta (S. Choudhury), a figure analogous to the women in Mizoguchi’s work. A family of refugees from the Partition of Bengal live in a shanty town near Calcutta, surviving on the earnings of the eldest daughter Neeta. Her elder brother Shankar 
    5 [[Image(mizoguchi.jpg)]] 
     4aka I Am a Clown 1970 240’ col Hindi d/p Raj Kapoor pc R.K. Films s K.A. Abbas lyr Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri, Neeraj, Prem Dhawan, Shailey Shailendra c Radhu Karmakar m Shankar-Jaikishen lp Raj Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Rishi Kapoor, Dharmendra, Dara Singh, Rajendra Kumar, Padmini, Ksiena Rabiankina, Simi Garewal, Achala Sachdev, Om Prakash, members of the Soviet State Circus and of the Gemini Circus 
    8 (A. Chatterjee) hopes to become a classical singer, and Neeta postpones her marriage to the scientist Sanat (N. Ray) to support the family and to pay for her younger brother’s and sister’s studies. Eventually, with the tacit encouragement of Neeta’s mother 
    9 (De), Sanat marries her younger sister Geeta (G. Ghatak). The family is beset by misfortunes as the father (B. Bhattacharya) and the younger brother Montu (Bhawal) both suffer accidents, forcing Neeta to remain the sole breadwinner in spite of her worsening tuberculosis. Finally Shankar, having achieved his ambition, takes her to a mountain resort for treatment. There, terminally ill and having sacrificed her best years, she finally cries out into the silence of the mountains her will to live. The story is familiar in Bengali melodrama (cf. Arundhati Devi’s Chhuti, 1967), a link stressed by the casting of Bengali star Supriya Choudhury. However, into this plot Ghatak weaves a parallel narrative evoking the celebrated Bengali legends of Durga who is believed to descend from her mountain retreat every autumn to visit her parents and that of Menaka. This double focus, condensed in the figure of Neeta, is rendered yet  
     7A mammoth film apparently inspired by Chaplin’s Limelight (1951), featuring Raj Kapoor as Raju the circus clown in a sprawling tale often seen as the star’s autobiographical fantasy. Initially conceived as three separate films, the 3-part story abounds with allusions to Kapoor’s own life and work. It starts with the young Raju (Rishi Kapoor), the son of a trapeze artist, falling in love with his schoolteacher Mary (Simi), and dreaming of becoming a famous clown. In Part 2, Raju joins a Russian circus where he falls in love with Marina (Rabiankina). The climax of this part comes when Raju’s mother (Sachdev), seeing him on a trapeze and remembering his father’s fatal fall, collapses, forcing the anguished Raju to finish the routine with a smile. Using the Soviet State Circus and portraying Marina as devoted to the title number of Awara (1951) since childhood, Kapoor intended to signal his gratitude to the USSR for the popularity he had enjoyed there since the 50s. In Part 3, Raju befriends the young Mina (Padmini) who, disguised as a boy, pastes cinema posters while dreaming of becoming a film star. The film’s conclusion shows the three women in his life witnessing, as special guests, Raju’s grand circus finale. Kapoor constantly deploys emphatically symbolic images, like a clown doll abandoned in the hut where Raju and Mina used to meet, a cracked mirror showing a laughing face, etc. If Kapoor’s 50s films projected the attainment of political freedom as a loss of innocence and a yearning for a new world, this film projects an uninhibited infantile narcissism combined with a mother fixation which not only determines his acrobatic demands for affection but also programmes the proliferation of female figures whose approval the leading character craves. Its commercial failure is often cited as the reason for Kapoor’s lapse into a cynical use of sexploitation in his post-70s films, as if the rejection of the film had been translated into a vengeful recourse to demeaning images of women thrown at an unworthy public. 
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