Swayamvar, 1980

Directed by: P. Sambasiva Rao

For about 2/3 of this movie I was in Snoozeland, USA. I just couldn’t get into it, odd considering it has everything I ever require in a film: Shashi, pyaar, rebellion against parents in the name of pyaar, sweet songs, going undercover for pyaar, and the ever perfect, “Hey look, I know you thought I was a poor dirtbag when we got married, but I’m actually a millionaire’s son!”

With about an hour to go in the film I was really starting to get into it, and as would be common in my life, Netflix Watch Instantly decided to stop working. Granted it was 8p.m. when my internet gets really bogged down so instead of taking 2 hours for it to buffer again (usually it takes like 3 minutes, but in Idaho where internet is about the same as it was in 2003 for the rest of the world DSL is considered “new technology” and during peak hours stops working all together. Digression: over). I just turned it off and promised to come back to it around midnight.

I did come back to it, and for that last hour-or-so I was GLUED to the screen. I don’t know why I was so enthusiastic suddenly because it stared getting really Husband Preachy, which I just roll my eyes at, but I was glued. I guess I’m a sucker for Arson, detainment, and Shashi treating his wife like Kate in The Taming of the Shrew

I’m feeling very list-y, so I’m just going to bang through all the things I thought about:

1. Shashi’s voice. Wow, how does he do that? It’s like gravely, whispery seduction just oozing from his vocal chords. He speaks like he is the most attractive man in the entire universe… and he is. His voice was going full-on seduction mode and I kept noticing my knees giving out but here’s the rub: I was laying down! Talk about power!

2. My songs were un-subtitled. Again. I hate that, I always feel as if I’m missing about 1/4 of the story and about 1/3 of all the overall cuteness. Also, these songs sounded really sweet! I guess I’ll just have to do some digging on my own.

3. Lakshman and Ram (Shashi Kapoor and Sanjeev Kumar, respectively) just went after Roopa and Shanti (Moushumi Chatterjee and Vidya Sinha) just because their father told them too?! Wild! But apparently that’s the tradition of swayamvar so I’ll just go with it.

4. Durga Devi (Nadira), the mother of the two girls irked me. She seemed either completely unfocused or very amateur whenever she was on screen. I hope she isn’t some famous actress that I’m supposed to be impressed with, because I’m not.

5. Durga Devi’s neighbors almost drove me to smashing my laptop in anger. I hated them with a passion that cannot be named. Did they have to shout ALL of their lines? And what delusion were the operating under to assume that rich and snooty Durga Devi would let her Roopa marry their son*, who was still in prison for goodness’ sake? And then they took over DD’s house and were just so crass that I wanted to puke. They actually locked up the DD and Roopa, set DD on fire and their pig of a son tried to rape Roopa (while wearing a maroon corduroy suit, I might mention). Those three characters might be the sole reason I hated this movie at first. Yes, I’m placing the blame on them.

Every mother wants and ex-con for a son-in-law! 
nom nom nom
Not in that suit you won’t.

6. On a nicer note, the saris in this film were drool-worthy. I need them.

7. There were a lot of fight scenes… girl-on-girl, mom-on-mom, girl-on-mom, man-on-man, man-on-drunk…etc. It was awesome. I especially enjoyed Ram’s fight with the drunken-ex-con, it was light and funny. He outwitted him and let the drunk beat himself up, essentially.

8. Shashi pouting. It melted my heart.

9. The dynamic of the Ram-Lakshman brotherhood. They were so adorable! They were what I imagine brothers to be like, playful, funny, supportive…etc. (Obviously I have no brothers…) And the conversation they have simply by whistling? Cho chweet!



11. The picture quality on this was just awful, if I were in any rush to see it again I would totally get the DVD and not rely on Netflix Watch Instantly, which has failed me time and time again in older movie sound and picture quality.

This is Shashi coming to the rescue if you can’t tell.
I couldn’t.

12. I thought the layout of these scenes were pretty:

Matching ceiling and floors! Marvelous!
Peaking through the roses! 
Her sari matches the chairs! I LOVE stuff like that!

And this part just made my dil very happy and lovey:


*While prepping for arson/murder the devil-child DID sing the Paan song from Don. I was happy, until I remembered that I hated him.

2 thoughts on “Swayamvar, 1980

  1. Please to be capitalizing "The Voice" to give it proper due, especially because it might be secretly controlling the universe. :)I love watching you go through the initial stages of Shashi pyaar. Ah, memories. The Voice may be one of the earliest symptoms, but I have yet to shake it.

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