SHOLA JO SULGE...
A mix of Hindi and Marathi (with English subtitles) Ek Albela chronicles the life of Bhagwan Dada who gave Bollywood’s megastars like Amitabh Bachchan their dancing style, and many, many hit songs like ‘Shyam dhale kidki tale’ and ‘Shola jo bhadke’... It’s made with not too much finesse, but the likeness of actors of yesteryears is uncanny, and gives cinephiles lots of information.
Cinephiles will love to find out really cool stuff about cinema of Bhagwan Dada who most of us know only as a dancing dude who gave us the ever-so-memorable songs like ‘Shola jo bhadke’.
I was glad to learn that Bhagwan Dada was a star of B-grade action flicks!
There are many more nuggets on the workings of the film industry at that time. You watch the young man struggle with his family and career when a good break he literally falls into helps create a career. But still, the movie feels just uni-dimensional. You see him fall for a nautch girl’s niece who inspires him to work hard. But then she conveniently moves away and it does not seem to break his heart. He seems to imply get married to someone his family finds for him.
Even his struggles with the distributors and financiers seems to be very forced because his ‘never say die’ and belief in himself seems to be too good to be true. We like heroes to fight the good fight. No one believes the hero was always so confidant. We need to see a more human side of him.
Even though all the principal characters look like the originals, the film looks like it has no fine feelings, no class. Everything is just gigantic colorful set. Only a die-hard fan of cinema will be able to sit through this effort. Others will enjoy the song and dance.