It’s hard not to find a soft spot in your heart for someone who worked as doggedly as Feroz Khan to entertain his audience even if you weren’t totally sure what to do with his work. Sometimes, it felt as though he’d had one hell of an acid trip and wanted the rest of us to experience what he’d seen when he was blitzed out of his mind. At others, it was as if he had an idea and deemed it too mundane to be worthy of his fans – and was thus obliged to amp it up, no matter what, to make it worth our while.
Whatever it was that drove him, his movies (the ones he made anyway) were always full of stuff that he appeared to like a lot. There were horses, cars, beautiful women in itty bitty clothes and outsize boobs, amazing music, and a macho sense of frontier justice. It didn’t matter if the movie was set in Afghanistan or in Bombay, the way FK told it, the world was a dangerous place where an outlaw cowboy was waiting to aid the righteous with nothing but his gun for company.
It was Disco Curry Western – a genre, as howlers like Prem Aggan and Janasheen conclusively proved, that was wholly invented and embodied by Feroz Khan alone. There wasn’t a single other person in Bollywood, past or present, who could step under that five gallon hat. [Well, Rajnikanth could do it, I guess, but then he can do anything.]
But while he’s appeared in a bunch of my favorite Hindi movies over the years (including Nagin and Geeta Mera Naam, two of the all-time greatest Hindi B-movies ever, with Sunil Dutt providing the WTF quotient), it’s the music from the movies he directed that have really left an impact on the Hindi movie-going public.
Not everybody might have seen Dayavan, for example (check out its Tamil original, Nayakan, today!), but chances are they’ve heard this song and been equally confused as to the proper reaction to it:
And maybe you can never bring yourself to sit through Dharmatma at one sitting because it’s so many movies in one long, long, long one, you’ve at least sat through a couple of its songs:
… and wanted a lavender convertible
… or an Afghani gypsy
Then, of course, there’s Jaanbaz, a movie about spoiled rich kids, drugs, boundaries, S&M, teen pregnancy, the law and, um, love? It’s all very 80s fabulous in a way the 80s never actually were except in Feroz Khan’s imagination and thus totally worth the price of admission:
… with Sridevi in chiffon
… with Dimple in Anil Kapoor’s body hair
… with Rekha in a bondage club
But the soundtrack that really left its mark is Qurbani:
… because there’s no one like Zeenat or Nazia
… because Vinod Khanna loves her like two hilariously porny fisherfolk
… because Amjad Khan is awesome and even FK knows not to mess with him
So here’s to Feroz Khan. I hope Heaven’s a top notch ranch that hosts amazing poolside parties.
PS – Has nobody written a review of Nagin? I’m disappointed in you, blogworld! Shame!