Saturday, July 31, 2010

Enough with the retro look already!

Once upon a time in Mumbai, no self-respecting woman left home without the dramatic sweep of eyeliner in place. Or so our recent movies want us to believe. So to all you retro lovers, here's my special treat:
Don't you just love the 70s look?
Now for a small detail: the picture above is from a 1966 film. The one below is from a 2007 film pretending to be set in the late 70s, given that the opening shot finds our hero on the sets of a film that released in 1980.

Now, I am not underestimating our talented art directors and costume designers, seeing that a period film requires a lot of research before rounding up on the right costumes and hairstyles.

A lot of research indeed, which can be busted with a few minutes of Wikipedia and Google Images. FYI, few of the prominent films of the 70s (prominent, more so because of the way they redefined style for that decade):

Bobby: 1971

Notice: no eyeliner, no colorful headband, just the sizzling mix of wide-eyed teen innocence and understated sexuality.

Yaadon ki Baarat: 1973

Notice the hair simply let lose, no jeweled pins holding up an elaborate bun. Fashion and class personified.

Khel Khel Mein: 1975
Notice the bubbly girl next door look and total lack of the now obsolete filmi glamour.

In fact, another, completely contrasting celluloid image from the same year...
Choti si Baat - 1975:

Well OK, there's the eyeliner again, but this is Vidya Sinha. When eyes are the only thing you really dress up, you have to make the most of it.

But THIS style of draping a sari (dunno what its called): 
died with the 60s. Yes, Mumtaz looked sexy when she did this. But she looked sexy in 1968. In the 70s, Mumtaz made it a point to demurely cover up her ever expanding midriff.

The point being, the dramatic eyeliner, the tightly draped saree, the bejeweled hairdo, the body hugging hip-length kurti with churidar was as fashionable in mid-70s as a loose long kurta with "parellel" salwar aka Madhuri in Dil to Pagal Hai would be in 2010. The period look is fine, but please don't go overboard. And an eye-linered face in every single frame of the movie is definitely not done. Heck, there was a girl with the 'look' completely with thick headband in a scene where this politician is making a speech in a volatile all-Muslim locality! Because you know, that's what lower middle class Muslim women in Mumbai dress up like.

So all of you appreciating Om Shanti Om and Once Upon A Time In Mumbai for the 'authentic' 70s look, have fun watching Action Replay, the upcoming assault on the senses. I'm done with the retro look. In fact, I'm going to hibernate in my room and bury my head under a pillow till the retro winds have blown over. Wake me up after every period film with the fake 70s look is gone from public memory forever.
By the way, this scene was created out of
footage from the 1966 film Amrapali. 70s indeed.

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