Film, Hindi, India, Review

Sunehre Din

Sunehre Din is yet another creaky, old film that has not held up well at all. A stupid, insufferable story with an equally unimaginative screenplay, it makes for extremely tedious viewing today.

The film, written and directed by Satish Nigam, was made at a time when Rehana, the original jhatka queen and darling of the ‘chavani class’ (as the front benchers were called), had become a star but Raj Kapoor was still finding his bearings, both as actor and filmmaker. Thus, the film sees him in strictly supporting mode to Rehana.

The story, for what it’s worth, looks at three close friends, Renu (Rehana), Asha (Roop Kamal) and Lata (Nigar Sultana), who are all big fans of singer Premendra (Raj Kapoor). When they go to the Radio Station to meet him, as a joke, he passes off an old tabalchi as himself. Meanwhile love starts to brew between him and Renu, whom he meets outside the Radio Staiton. To complicate matters, Asha finds out who the real Premendra is and she too falls for him…

Sunehre Din has little going for it. If there is anything to talk about at all, the solitary note of interest is to see that at least the women here have a mind of their own unlike stereotypical Bollywood bimbettes. When the love triangle develops, it is they who initiate events and go through the I-sacrifice-for-you routine to try and resolve the triangle, while the man merely impotently (and conveniently) pleads how helpless he is caught between the women and that he cannot do anything.

The acting is stagey, unintentionally funny and often even unbearable. Rehana’s eye-rolling antics and funny faces in the name of acting and Nigar Sultana’s so-loud-till-it-hurts tomboyish routine often make one cringe. Raj Kapoor is easily the most bearable actor in the film. Defeated by the inane script and his wimp of a character, he still shows some early glimpses of his brand of Chaplinesque humour, later fully developed in films like Awara (1951)Shree 420 (1955) and of course, Jagte Raho (1956).

Gyan Dutt’s music is decent enough but fails to lift the film any higher. About the only really hummable number is the light-hearted picnic song, Hum Mast Dilon Ko while the Mukesh-Shamshad Begum duet Maine Dekhi Jag Ki Reet is melodious enough. The last named tune was rehashed and used in the Tamil film Parasakthi (1952) as Puthu Pennin.

All in all, Sunehre Din is avoidable, unless you’re one of those old Bollywood film admirers who must see every old black and white Hindi film and even then, Sunehre Din is not a very good viewing experience.


Hindi, Drama, Black & White

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