Painter Babu is a Bollywood film I grew up watching. I used to own the film on VHS for the VCR -- yes, I know, that sounds ancient! It's been a while since I've seen it -- probably over a decade. Now I own it on VCD (Video Compact Disk). Thanks to a friend (don't want to point her out) for sending me a handful of Bollywood movies to bring me back nostalgia moments.
I posted here about still looking for Painter Babu on dvd with English subs. (I still have a looong list of Bollywood films I've been dying to get on dvd with English subs, who do I send my list to?) I don't mind not owning it without English subs because I've seen this movie soooo many times when I was younger that I basically know what's going on.
If you like the Devdas-type of movie, you'll love Painter Babu. What do I mean by that? It's a movie about self-destruction. A guy who doesn't end up with the woman that he loves and destroys his life though alcoholism. Unlike Devdas, Painter Babu isn't a coward and fights for his woman. However, there are many obstacles in the way: betrayal, blackmail, frame, etc, you name it! The story of Painter Babu is quite unique.
Rajiv Goswami is Shyam aka Painter Babu. The nickname is given to him by a childhood friend, Meera. He is a wonderful painter. Unlike most Bollywood films who shows off the stars' profession, you see Shyam actually use his talent and paint. He expresses his emotions in drawing or captures others emotions on paper for them. Although he's born to a rich father, Shyam's heart is much richer than anyone else's. Shyam is quite the stud since three women are in love with him but he has eyes only for one - Renu. Move over Devdas, the character of Shyam is much more detailed and don't cowardly fold when sticking up for himself.
Painter Babu is the only film I've seen of Rajiv's. He has a short filmography. Wait a minute, he was in Border? I probably didn't recognize him in the movie. Does anyone know what happened to him?
Renu is Shyam's love interest. She and him both love each other but can not be together. Shyam gets framed and blackmailed in a murder he didn't commit. In order to save his life, Renu has to agree to marry a doctor. I loved her transformation of a sassy college girl to an obedient, loyal, lonely wife. Her love and heart for Shyam still shines through brightly after her deceptive marriage.
Painter Babu also introduces one of Bollywood's most gorgeous and underrated actress, Meenakshi Sheshadri. Most of the movies I've seen of hers I've saw when I was younger. I need to re-watch them again. Hero and Damini come to mind right now. I might add that she's quite underrated as a dancer, as well as an actress.
Meera (Neelima) is Shyam's childhood friend. Although he only sees her as a younger sister, she is in love with him. She gave him the nickname of "Painter Babu." Shyam has a soft spot for Meera because her only family member is her drunk uncle who mistreats her.
She works hard paying the bills while her drunk uncle spends it all. In additon, he hangs around with goons. One of the goons is in love with her.
The leader of the goon who is in love with Meera. He frames and sets Shyam up for the fake murder of Meera.
Menka is in love with Shyam. She is the daughter of the rich businessman, Mr. Rai. Whatever she wants, Daddy must oblige.
Mr. Rai (Pinchoo Kapoor) is Menka's father. He deceitfully sets Renu up to marry Dr. Prakash in order for Shyam to marry his spoil daughter.
Saajan (Rakesh Bedi) is Shyam's loyal friend who frees Meera and is there for Shyam through his break-down crisis after Renu marries Dr. Prakash.
Dr. Prakash (Veerandar Sharma) is caught in the middle of a love story that he was unaware of.
Shyam's selfish father. He worries about his income more than his son's happiness. He later disown his son, Shyam, for disobeying him.
I absolutely love the music. Just watching it again made me realize how much I love Bollywood oldies. I know, I know. This movie is only 1983. The songs were just lovely and didn't focus on any choreographed dance moves. Or random people jumping in the song just to dance. Since I only had the VCD version, there was no menus. I found a few of the songs listed on Smashits, but two songs were missing. Below the songs in order of appearance with screencaps, and with YouTube videos if applicable.
I couldn't find the title of the following song below. Shyam and Renu sing and dance at a school function.
Hanging out together on the school trip in Kashmir, Shyam and Renu fall in love.
"Hum Ka Lai Chal"
Renu seduces Shyam. She is wearing Meera's outfits since Meera stole Renu's outfits and pretended to be Renu.
Renu pleads to Shyam that she can not let him rot in jail for a crime he didn't commit. She has to marry the doctor in order to save him.
"O Mere Sajan Badli"
Renu prays for Shyam since he's on the death row for committing a crime he didn't do - killing Meera. She wishes he was with her instead.
"Kab Talak Shama Jali"
A friend takes the heart-broken Shyam to see a tawaif (Aruna Irani).
"Hum Kuch Bhi"
Meera and Saajan raise money to save Shyam's life. He is dying due to excess consumption of alcohol.
"Jab Yaad Ki Badli"
Shyam doesn't care about his life anymore. Everyone watches. How do you help someone who has no desire to live anymore?
The following is one of my fave kick-ass scene. Go girl power! Meera fights with the goon who is in love with her.