I let my husband pick a movie from my nice little stack of unwatched DVDs and he zoomed straight in on this film. No surprise there, he is a fan of both Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz! This is the second movie of the very successful pair I was seeing within one month and I sat down to watch it with great expectations. They have such good on-screen chemistry, its a pleasure to see! The story based on a novel by Chandrakant Kakodkar had also won an award.
My first comment would be that it should be called a Balraj Sahni film, not a Rajesh Khanna one. Yes, Rajesh is the young fellow who gets the girl but he is not the protagonist by a long shot. The story is oft seen in the hallowed corridors of Bollywood studios – self-sacrificing older members of the family, one ‘good’ and one ‘bad’ younger member of family and the ensuing drama. An example is Baghban, where the oldies are the parents. Here it is an older step-brother. Prem Chopra with his scheming wife Bindu is the bad one, Rajesh Khanna is the good one.
I must say that I have much objection to stories of this kind. Why is it right to risk the well-being of all for the success of one? Here the house is mortgaged to send a boy to London to study. Not that it doesn’t happen in India. It does. My question is, is it as saintly as they make it out to be? If its like an investment – we’ll put in the money and expect good returns at a later date – its not out of familial affection, but a business. In that case, a contract should be drawn out, surely? There is no place for emotion in business yet these stories are all about emotion.
I object to self-sacrifice in principle. To say that one’s own self is not worth the same as everyone else shows some deep psychological defect, not an entry to sainthood!
That said, the movie is not bad for its genre, only poor editing lets it down. Things are all too drawn out. The ending had me drop my jaw in amazement. HOW could they magically solve all problems in the space of 5 mins? Flawed people don’t become angels at the drop of a hat! It was a very weak ending.
All the actors do a good job, Balraj Sahni in particular. Mumtaz’s role is minor really but she does a good job of providing oomph. For those interested, there is a better review here.
The music, which is my primary focus, is wonderful. Laxmikant-Pyarelal have given us some lovely solos as well as duets and the lyrics penned by Anand Bakshi are very good indeed.
Yeh Reshmi Zulfen – Mohammad Rafi. Beautiful song, truly lovely. I am caressed by Rafi’s voice and his pronunciation of some Urdu words feel ooooh so sensuous!
Chchup Gaye Tare – Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi. A lovely duet, full of fun and romance. I know it’s Kishore’s voice that works best with Rajesh but this is an example how Rafi’s voice does a great job too! Lata sounds magnificent. Mumu does her jhatka dance very nicely and looks luscious. The lyrics are not bad..
इक वोह दिन था मिलाती ना थी तू अखियाँ |
इक यह दिन है तू जागे सारी सारी रतियाँ ||
बन गयी गोरी चकोरी यह क्या बात हो गयी |
जिस का डर था बेदर्दी वही बात हो गयी ||
Not exactly earth shattering poetry but cute, no? And when Rajesh does his crinkly smile, I can’t help but smile back at him!
Bindiya Chamkegi – Lata Mangeshkar. Mumu makes a great little temptress in this song of seduction. A playful song which Lata manages with elan.
Do Rang Duniya Ke – Mukesh. So this was the title song of the film! I had never heard it before, and won’t again.
Khizan Ke Phool – Kishore Kumar. Lovely sad song by Kishore, he sure knows how to pull at one’s heart strings! Listen to his voice at the lower registers, there is this little kharrash which I just adore! The lyrics are well written and suitable for a depressive.. Take this for example (unpoetic bad translation by me, the original sounds lovely) :
खिज़ां के फूल पे आती बहार नहीं | मेरे नसीब में ऐ दोस्त तेरा प्यार नहीं ||
(Spring never comes to autumn flowers, your love is not in my destiny)
किसी को अपने मुक़द्दर पे इख़्तियार नहीं (No one has control over their destiny) or this
किसी ख़ुशी का मेरे दिल को इंतज़ार नहीं (my heart has no hope for any happiness). Sad. Lovely.
Apni Apni Biwi – Usha Mangeshkar. Never knew of this song before! A similar theme has been sung by Amitabh Bachchan which is much better known.
Click here to listen to the whole album. I have to choose Chup Gaye Tare for its happy mood – and also because I love rain songs!