Friday, July 13, 2012

The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha (1969) - Bengali

Satyajit Ray’s version of Dumb & Dumber – we saw it today and it turns out to be a total laugh riot. This movie he actually made for his son, who was behind him to make a movie for kids like him and I was delighted to see – what he made, too good. Even the story of Goopy and Bagha was written by his own father. This became one of his most known films in Bengal and in India but was the least seen or known around the world. I was discussing with a friend of mine yesterday on Hollywood’s “Dumb and Dumber” and an upcoming movie from the same genre “Three Stooges” and end up seeing this one. The story is quite simple, two guys discarded by society – one for his lousy voice – who wakes up his own king thinking he is going to get a reward and another one is a bad drummer – both of them were exiled to forest where they play the drum and sing to scare a tiger away and in the process attract some ghosts. The ghost king gets fascinated to their out of the world music and gives them three boons – what they chose and how their life changes after those boons is a roller coaster ride with some damn good Bengali songs thrown in – superb entertainer. It actually made me and my wife laugh out loud multiple times with their on-screen histrionics. 

The Movie: The three boons that they pick are: One that they can order food or cloths whenever and whatever. Two they get one pair of magic shoes each with which they can actually teleport anywhere with the blink of an eye and third they can mesmerize anyone with their singing and drum so much so that everything comes to a complete halt when they sing and play. The only condition for all those three boons is that they need to clap together once they wish anything in such a way that they should be using one hand each together. It's a laugh riot right from the very start – the encounter with the king followed by their meeting in forest followed by the tiger and finally the meeting with Ghosts and their king is totally hilarious. It becomes better once they get those powers as their quality of singing goes up they visit the kingdom of Shundi where a singing competition is going on. They do end up winning it and the king accepts them as his courtesans. Soon, the twist comes in the form of kings own brother attacking their state and these two guys take up the job of stopping the war. King promises them that if they do it successfully – he will marry his daughter with one of them. What happens next is again a damn good journey of both the guys on an adventure trip to the next kingdom, save their king, marry the princess but which one is going to get her? You really need to see the movie – if you want answers to those questions. We totally loved it – the comic timing of these guys is totally rocking, even in black and white this one was too good.

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