Thursday, November 02, 2006

[1980] RED ROSE: OK--still trying to figure out this whole Bollywood thing. I found a few guides (here, here and here), and while I'm not convinced it's completely worth it (all the Indian cinemas seem really insular to me, without a lot to offer outsiders) I'm committed to watching at least a little Hindi cinema. Which leads me to Red Rose, which is sort of a thriller about a naive shopgirl (Poonam Dhillon) marrying a guy who has a real need to kill women. If you can get past the usual patient Bollywood pace it's actually a pretty good piece of trash. Your deranged killer (Rajesh Khanna--apparently a huge star in the 70s, and taking a huge risk playing an antihero here) has been raised to be his father's instrument of revenge for his wife's infidelities--he lures girls back to his mansion, records himself sleeping with and then killing them, and then passes the film along to his father to watch. And then he buries them underneath a single red rose and we have our title. Of course, he actually falls for his latest victim, which puts him a strange place psychologically, and the rest of the film is consumed with his breakdown. Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" makes a memorable appearance as the background music for a murder in a disco.

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