If you’ve ever been to a wilder party you’re under arrest!
‘The Party’ is just one of those brilliant, outright funny movies that came out in 1968 but didn’t really hit the box office then (premiering on the day of Martin Luther King’s assassination sure didn’t help). Since then The Party has just become one of those lesser known movies that are forgotten when reviewing Peter Seller’s film career.
Most of us know Peter Sellers and the first thought that strikes us instantly on his name is the famous ‘Pink Panther’ series that came in the 60’s. But what we all don’t know about him is that even though he got worldwide success with the Pink Panther, many of his other fabulous flicks just weren’t popularized much in India.
Co-Starring Claudine Longet (as Michelle), the movie revolves around Hrundi V Bakshi (Peter Sellers) who is a buffoonish amusing sort of an Indian character at a Hollywood party. The movie is mainly like a comedy of errors in which Hrundi manages to piss his fat cat producer off by over-dramatizing his dying scene, blatting a trumpet incessantly. The producer fires him, but Sellers manages to find out about a party being thrown at his house. He shows up, wackiness ensues; he even catapults the chicken into a lady’s wig. Later on, tripped-out hippie teenagers show up with a painted elephant, the house is trashed, and the owner’s wife faints while Hrundi finds the girl of his dreams in Michelle.
What really interested me about the movie is that it is thoroughly devoid of plot, which is a good thing. It’s perfect as a fun poke at “the establishment” of the 60’s. Peter Sellers is wonderful, as always. He even manages to play an Indian (not American) without any racist overtones. (Could you say that of Ben Kingsley, the imperialist, portraying Gandhi?)
All in all, a sweet natured enjoyable ninety nine minute movie with Henry Marcini providing some groovy background music, including Claudia’s breathy solo number and the sitar based opening theme. During a later scene in the film, the band can be heard playing, ‘It had better be tonight’ which was a song that was composed for the Pink Panther film.
It is also rumoured that a remake is in the works. Don’t know if the new cast will be able to keep up with Seller’s performance, but it’ll sure be worth a watch. Well, we still can’t be sure about this one, but Peter Seller’s ‘The Party’ is sure to lead you into splits of a laughter. A comedy that will really change your opinion about the stereotyped movies of the 60s!
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