Film Hindi Review

Anmol Ghadi

Strictly average and now badly dated fare by Mehboob Khan, the film, looking at lost and found childhood sweethearts caught up in a quadrangle, was memorable and noted in its time chiefly for its casting coup of getting together 3 top singing stars of the day – Noor Jehan, then India’s numero uno female star, Surendra and Suraiya and proved to be a huge success at the box office. The film also sees Mehboob teaming up with music maestro Naushad for the first time, a partnership that was to go on right till Mehboob’s last film, the extremely lack-lustre follow up to Mother India (1957)Son of India (1962).

Anmol Ghadi sees poor boy Chander and rich girl Lata as childhood sweethearts who are separated when Lata’s family moves to Bombay. Later all grown up, Chander (Surendra) comes to Bombay when his friend Prakash (Zahur Raja) gives  him work in a musical instruments shop. Basanti (Suraiya) falls in love with Chander. But Chander is only interested in finding Lata. Lata (Noor Jehan), meanwhile, has become a famous poetess, Renu. Lata and Chander meet but by the time they recognize each other, it is too late as Lata is already engaged to Prakash…

While viewing the film today, forget the creaky story, poor writing, Surendra’s weak and wimpy character who doesn’t deserve the sympathy he gets from all around him, the corny stagy dialogues and the stilted acting of the 1940s and concentrate instead on the memorable music, which fortunately gives all the three stars more than enough scope to shine. But even amongst them, it is primarily (and expectedly) a Noor Jehan show above all. She has the maximum songs in the film and each of her songs is beautifully composed by Naushad and proved to be extremely popular and these numbers are hummed and remembered by old-timers even today. Noor Jehan, at her vocal best, glides skilfully through some of the best and most popular songs she has ever sung – the solos Mere Bachpan Ke Saathi, Kya Mil Gaya Bhagwan, Aaja Meri Barbad Mohabbat ke Sahare, Jawaan Hai Mohabbat Haseen Hai Zamana as well as the sublime duet with Surendra – Awaaz De Kahan Hai. Suraiya lends her own vocal impress with Socha Tha Kya Kya Ho Gaya, Man Leta Hai Angdai and Main Dil Mein Dard Basa Layi while Surendra makes his presence felt with his solos Ab Kaun Hai Mera and Kyon Yaad Aa Rahen Hain Guzare Hue Zamane. Mohammed Rafi chips in with an early solo, the ambient Tera Khilona Toota Balak while Shamshad Begum and Zohra Ambala render Udan Khatole Pe Ud Jaoon efficiently enough. In fact, my rating for the film is up a notch thanks to the wonderful songs alone!

I don’t know what Vashu Bhagnani saw in the old fashioned tale that he remade the film disastrously in 2002 as Jeena Sirf Merre Liye with Tusshar Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Mallika Sherawat easily giving the worst performances of their careers, not to mention the totally insipid musical score by Nadeem-Shravan.

Score40%

Hindi, Drama, Black & White

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