July 30, 2007

Gratuitous screencaps: Sparsh (1980)

Focusing on the superficial for a moment: What era is Shabana ji's loveliest? My own view is that her appearance has changed so much over the years that it is difficult to compare across the decades. In the 1970s she could be stunning, but could also be a little elfen and awkward; she had not yet grown into her looks, but the potential was there, etched in her high cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes. Today, she is about as gorgeous as a woman can be, strong and poised and real and intense; one's attention is still drawn to those fabulous eyes that archly regard the world. I am personally most drawn to Shabana ji's looks in the 1990s, when that strength came into fullness as her face matured. But if your wish is to see Shabana ji in the avatar of a glamorous movie star, then it is in the 1980s that you must look. By the early 1980s she had grown into her looks; she had lost the adolescent pointiness of her youth, but her face had not yet developed the lines or the complexity that later is so appealing.

With that absurdly self-indulgent treatise out of my system, I turn to the nascence of that movie-star glamorous version of Shabana Azmi, the young widow Kavita of Sparsh (1980). Though plainly dressed and simply made up, Kavita is nonetheless gorgeous; she knows she is considered beautiful, and says so without arrogance.

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