“My” ‘Chori Chori’ was better! Far better! by Ms. Zarine Jandosova


Let me tell my few words about my Chori Chori experience. Being a Russian, I depend on Russian releases of Indian films. In my formative years Indian cinema (mainly Hindi films) was everywhere in the USSR – on big screens in every big and small cinema theatre, in big cities and in a very remote places such as a mountain village in Tajikistan or a Summer camp for the schoolchildren. But after the collapse of the USSR Indian films totally disappeared from our big screens. Then there was one and a half decade comprising the era of VHS. And “Chori Chori” (which was never released on a big screen in the USSR, probably because it was very light and contained less social comment they needed) emerged on our small screens during this short VHS era (the first pic is the cover of the VHS version). And a very different “Raj Kapoor” arrived, very different from “Awaara” and “Shree 420” we used to love so much. This “Raj Kapoor” won the girl’s heart not by his usual charm and his weakness and vulnerability appealing to maternal feelings in a woman, but by his wit and his inner strength, his noble behaviour and his pride. When I saw this film for the first time I was not so young (not a schoolgirl more), and the film gave me a love story I really wanted to see, a road movie evoking a desire to start a trip in a hope of meeting a man of my life, on road. Everything was good in this film – plot, acting, dialogues, humour – and music.This magical music! The songs! The duets! The puppets! The dances! I watched and rewatched the film many times before I knew that it was a remake of a very old Hollywood film. The Frank Capra version was totally unknown in my country. And finally, finally I saw it, Clark Gable and all. And what could I say? “My” ‘Chori Chori’ was better! Far better! Yes, plot was the same. And some scenes were repeated. The haystacks and pajamas were copied. Yes. But the music! The songs and dances have added so much a charm to the movie. The American version lacks this charm, it is very “dry”, for my taste. And the leading pair. With all respect for Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert and their fans))) “Our” leading pair is exceptional. Simply exceptional. The film remains one of my favourites in the genre of romantic comedies, romantic musicals. I use to show it to all my Russian friends who are not the fans of Hindi cinema. And this film wins the hearts, melting the “Russian snow”.

Zarine Jandosova's photo.
Zarine Jandosova's photo.

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