Continuing with my look at film from all over the world, today I discussed the subject with a colleague, and he recommended the clip we are about to see here.
It’s apparently a depiction of things in a typical Maharaja’s palace, and shows a “mehfil” in progress (mehfil being a gathering of musicians, dancers, poets etc).
The setting is hugely dramatic, with deep shadows, close up portrait shots, stirring music and sensuous dancing, exactly as would have happened in royal palaces at the time in India.
However, what makes this excerpt so interesting, is that the mehfil is hijacked by a local dacoit (pronounced “dakoo”, meaning hoodlum or gangster), and all within the Maharaja’s palace of all places, with the Maharaja in attendance.
The hoodlum himself is shown as very obtuse and unfazed by entering the palace, fully armed and with his cohorts.
He is obviously excited by the dancer, and the dancer by him, as can be seen by her gestures and both their changing expressions. This was the way sexual meanings were expressed in those days, without appearing overtly obscene. The dancer’s gestures, eye and facial movements all reveal her feelings.
A very nice example of film noir from the Eastern world, I think. We will feature such posts from time to time, to keep you all enchanted hopefully!
See the clip here….