(A follow up to this post)
I had a memory of seeing the 1986 film Jaal in a movie hall, probably Green Park's Uphaar: it was a standard-issue potboiler starring Rekha, Mithun Chakraborty and (surprise surprise) Jeetendra in yet another Special Appearance. But what I didn’t remember – until reader Ahmad Tookhi brought it to my attention – were the opening credits of that film. I won't go so far as to say this sequence represents the acme of creativity and artistic ambition in 1980s Bollywood, but it comes close enough. Watch for yourself (it goes on till the 3.40 mark).
Vinod Mehra was a dependable actor at most times, but I think he deserved a special Filmfare Award just for keeping a straight face during these scenes. What must it feel like to see “Colour Consultant”, “Dress Designers” and “Makeup” neatly printed on a door that’s just been slammed in your face? I also enjoy the way he subtly draws the curtain aside so that “Anand Bakshi” is fully visible, and how he appears to have a breakdown on seeing “Annu Malik” written on the wall. (And I wonder how Tanuja felt about having her name written on the road and then coolly stomped on.)
But here’s another inventive title sequence, from Vijay Anand’s 1973 film Chhupa Rustam. (The “money shot” begins a little after the 5-minute mark.)
Have to admit, this is a one-note concept compared to Jaal. Besides, watching it made me dizzy. (It also made me think of Dev Anand’s train reminiscences, as described here.)
Finally, on a less corny note, here's the video of one of my favourite title sequences ever – the beautiful opening of Merchant-Ivory’s Bombay Talkie. Do keep the volume turned up; Shanker-Jaikishan’s music is ethereal.
(I wrote about the sequence, and the film, in this old post, but the video wasn’t online back then.)