Monday, September 10, 2007
'Chitchor' is a sweet tale that tells the story of Geeta (Zarina Wahab) who is the daughter of the headmaster of the village that she and her family live in. One day her father gets a letter from Geeta's older sister (who lives in Bombay) telling him about an engineer that she thinks will be a perfect match for Geeta. They arrange for the engineer to come to their village and when Vinod (Amol Palekar) comes to visit there is an instant attraction to Geeta. She reciprocates his feelings and falls in love with him as does the rest of the family. What happens next? Well dear reader, you have to watch the film to find out but know this is Bollywood so all is not what it seems but a happy ending is inevitable! The director of the movie, Basu Chaterjee, had much acclaim in the 70's and was often compared to Hrishikesh Mukherjee as both of their films explored social issues affecting the middle class with humor, grace and dignity.
The songs from 'Chitchor' remain favorites of mine to this day since the day I first heard them from my parent's music collection. But I did notice that the singer was someone who I wasn't used to hearing but whose voice was nonetheless soothing and melodic. That singer was Yesudas, a well known South Indian singer who has won the prestigious National Film Award seven times and has recorded over 40,000 songs in almost every Indian language. He won the Filmfare Award for the classically inspired duet he sang with Hemlata for the song 'Tu Jo Mere Sur Mein' seen here. But my favorite song by him (as well as one of my favorite songs of all time) is the other famous one from the film, Gori Tere Gaon, seen here. The stars, songs, direction and locale make this film truly special, 'Chitchor' - Stealer of Hearts.