A pickpocket inadvertently causes the suicide of a man whose pocket he picks. He goes to the dead man’s village to return the stolen money only to fall in love with the deceased’s sister. Not just that, the money itself is part of the loot from a huge bank robbery.
Pocketmaar is a typical urban noirish crime thriller that Bollywood churned out regularly in the 1950s and is supposedly based on director HS Rawail’s struggling days on the streets of Bombay.
The film has an extremely innovative sequence in the beginning that introduces Dev Anand as a pickpocket making some wonderful use of off-screen sound and space, but unfortunately the rest of the film is nowhere nearly as cinematic and thanks to its pedestrian screenplay, Pocketmaar settles into the usual film fare of the time with the customary happy ending, albeit following an unbearingly loooong epilogue to round things off.
Of the cast, Dev Anand effortlessly plays yet again one of his many trademark ‘criminal-who-reforms’ noir shaded role showing once again how well he fitted into these urban crime thrillers of the 1950s, Geeta Bali efficiently sails through the stereotypical role of the extra talkative, vivacious village belle, managing to make her character quite likeable, while Nadira, thankfully, adds the much needed sex appeal to the film, vamping it up beautifully. The rest ofthe supporting cast are adequate.
On the musical side, Madan Mohan’s compositions are just so-so rather than memorable – Geeta Dutt’s seductive Duniya ke Saath Chal Pyare is by far the best number in the film proving yet again that at her best, she had no vocal equal in this type of song. Among the others – Yeh Nayi Nayi Preet Hai and Chhotisi Hai Zindagi are hummable at best and come off better than the other songs in the film.
All in all, strictly average fare.
Hindi, Thriller, Black and White