145 Min | Comedy – Family – Romance | April 1981
IMDB Rating: 7.9
Director: Sai Paranjape
Starring: Farooq Shaikh, Deepti Naval, Saeed Jaffrey
Chashme Buddoor Review: Chashme Buddoor is entirely charming. A simple and amusing romantic comedy story provides the structure for a lovely movie about the conventions, tropes, whatever you would like to call them, of the Bollywood movie (i.e. popular Hindi language movies made in Bombay). The story’s fun on its own, but the real anticipatory pleasure has to do with getting the jokes and looking forward to the next one. Two of three guys sharing a room in university days have their eye on a pretty neighbor girl – the third is too serious a student to bother. You can guess which one gets the girl. Each of the first two makes a try at getting to know her by visiting her house on some ruse. Neither succeeds – one runs away, one is beaten up by her brother – but both tell tales of their success which are picturized entirely in Bollywod “love story” conventions.
In the first guy’s story, he takes her on a romantic boatride (singing, of course), which is filmed with every Hindi movie boy-girl-boat-on-river cliche you can think of, including flights of birds, light glistening on water, cows going for a dip and also a non-cliched real bite, done by the pretty teeth of Deepti Naval – and Chashme Buddoor lets you see the actors having fun doing it. I wonder if it was even in the script – in any event it’s “actually” sexual, and so not Bollywood-y at all! In the second guy’s story, which culminates in a filmi-style fight of hero and random guys, at least eight very very well-known film songs are picturized, among them the main song from Mughul-E-Azam, with our guy as Dilip Kumar (costume included), and Aap Jaise Koi, with Deepti in a delirious disco setting.
In Chashme Buddoor, when the true couple gets together in a park in Delhi, they comment that in a movie, they’d be singing and swinging around trees – and then they do, in a third supremely terrific loving parody song. Oh, and look out for the (real) trained bear. The two jerk roommates wreck the relationship and then have to help their friend repair it, so they contrive a situation in which he can “rescue” her the way our heroes rescue their movie heroines.