Two unemployed musicians who just happen to witness murder must flee for their lives. They dress up as girls and join a female band en route to a resort. Female impersonation is excellent cinematic material and with a dash of crime it always pays. The Nadiadwalas realised this early and made "Rafoo Chakkar". The idea spread around and Billy Wilder, borrowing liberally from the above Indian original, made "Some Like It Hot."
The original ("Rafoo Chakkar") is an uproarious comedy, where director Narendra Bedi sharpens his comic genius to the point of burlesque, giving the film an outrageous and hectic tone. But since the highly intelligent Indian filmgoer may not be content with mere comedy, we have, at the end, the entire cast bashing up each other.
But since the highly intelligent Indian filmgoer may not be content with mere comedy, we have, at the end, the entire cast bashing up each other.
The gags progress with smoothness that masks the iron discipline Bedi wields over the film. Leading the orderly group is Rishi Kapoor
(whose role was poorly imitated by Tony Curtis
) - the only actor in the industry who arrived even before he stated. Paintal
has a lot of talent, yet to be acquired by the Oscar-winning Jack Lemmon
. Marilyn Monroe
as the dumb blonde listening to an impossible cockney accent of the playboy yachtsman, was not a dumb and wide-eyed as Neetu Singh
Without slaying a smuggler no Hindi film today is complete, and so the needful is done in the film. While the Ministry makes up its mind on import of Hollywood films, Narendra Bedi can relied upon for many more award-winning and memorable comedies.
This article was published in Filmfare magazine’s 21 February, 1975 edition as a part of 'Filmfare Reviews'.
Image courtesy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpoyIrPPcg8