Bollywood comes to the Hollywood Theatre in Portland tomorrow night, March 15, with the screening of "Qurbani" (1980) (India) . It seems that following the 2001 films "Monsoon Wedding" and "Moulin Rouge" (with Bollywood influences), Bollywood has grown in popularity in the United States. The Hollywood Theatre is presenting a classic from the 1980s filled with dance, music, melodramatic story lines, and bright luminous colors.
In "Qurbani," nightclub singer Sheela (Zeenat Amman) is admired by Rajesh (played by director Feroz Khan) and soon they fall in love. Since Rajesh is a thief, he is eventually captured and incarcerated. While Rajesh is locked up, Sheela at one point is confronted by a gang. She is saved by Amar (Vinod Khanna), who also happens to be from the criminal world. Sheela and Amar's daughter Tina (Natasha Chopra) become friends, and as Amar sees more of Sheela, he begins to love her as well. Sheela's heart is with Rajesh. Eventually Rajesh and Amar's paths cross once Rajesh is released from prison. Rajesh and Amar become best of friends and are aligned on the same side against other criminal forces. The convoluted plot has many twists and turns as love and friendship are tested and the results of a life of crime are explored.
This entertaining film includes a number of upbeat dance scenes, disco-style, with elaborate sets and costuming. "Qurbani" was the top Bollywood film when it was released in 1980 and one of the tunes used in a dance song, "Aaap jaisa koi," became extremely popular. In 1981, the singer of that song, a 15-year-old Pakastani named Nazia Haasan, won a Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer. It is performed in the trailer below (lip-synched by Zeenat Amman).
"Qurbani" is screening one night only at the Hollywood Theatre, Friday, March 15 at 7 pm. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online or at the Hollywood Theatre. It is presented by DJ Anjali, Portland's chief promoter of dance music from the South Asia/desi diaspora.