Wednesday, April 9, 2014

In short: C.I.D. Raju (1971????)

This film can and should be watched on YouTube right now. I don’t know about the legality of the whole affair, but then if some company subtitled this and brought it out on DVD or BluRay (one can dream, right?), I’d buy the hell out of it.

I only write up films I watched in a language I don’t speak without the help of subtitles in very special cases, but a thing as inspired as this Telugu effort by K.S.R. Doss does deserve a mention as well as a YouTube link, so I’ll drop a few words that’ll hopefully entice some of you to give the film a shot. Even though I didn’t have a clue about what was going on in C.I.D. Raju for most of its running time (and neither did my watchalong partner, the ever inspiring Beth of Beth Loves Bollywood), Doss’s hyperkinetic direction that at times reminded me of Eisenstein or Universal horror (or perhaps their over-enthusiastic Indian brother) and sure loves swirling more than sainted Andy Milligan, keeps things decidedly exciting even if you don’t speak the language. The film’s series of serial-like but even more hectic and pleasantly ridiculous fight scenes, copious moments of bug eyes, all-around pleasant insanity and bizarre stuff that certainly wouldn’t be any less bizarre once I understood why it’s happening, speak the international language of Awesome anyhow. Or really, in the case of a film this enthusiastic and unafraid to be loud, shrill, and melodramatic, I should probably speak of shouting rather than speaking.

If you enter Doss’s wondrous world, you will – hopefully - be delighted by things like the film’s ass kicking heroine (where’s Die Danger Die Die Kill’s Todd to tell me what her name is when I need him?) kicking ass in improbable yet inspiring ways (which are always the best ways), turning into a ghost with not one, but two, musical numbers, many guys with huge pompadours, a main bad guy who dresses like a cowboy (for reasons I hope the film never explains), a monster looking through very large holes in a way Alfred Vohrer would highly approve of (and mauling people in also improbable yet inspiring ways), national stereotyping only the most po-faced could be outraged by, a soundtrack that of course includes a bit that sounds a lot like the James Bond theme but also includes surf guitar and a farfisa organ, and only very few seconds in which the camera holds still, leading to two-and-a-half-hour movie that just blasts by while you’re having fun.

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