Oh, what a marvelous domestic soap opera! Devraj, played by Balraj Sahni, is a manager at a consturction site, where he falls in love with one of the laborers, Bindiya, also known as Bindu, played by Padmini. Bindu has a younger brother, Ramu, who is a good boy, and Devraj has a younger brother, Raju, who is kind of spoiled. All of them end up in the same house together – and actually get a bigger house at some point - and then they take in their friend Chandan, the former tea seller, as their cook. All of them get a little older. Ramu becomes a very studious young man who is shy of women. Raju is a juvenile delinquent of sorts, who is also rather bold. Ramu and Raju fall in love with the same young woman, Rama, and trouble brews between them. Meanwhile, Devraj is one day approached by his step mother and step sister (whom he didn’t even know before), who beg to be taken into his house. But they don’t have the best of intentions; in fact, their aim is to do everything they can to make a big place for themselves in this household, which means influencing Devraj (who turns out to be remarkably gullible) against Bindu. Devraj’s step sister, Nandini, is especially good at this task. Meanwhile, Bindu is finding reason to doubt Devraj. Both mistakenly suspect each other of infidelity. All sorts of other gross misunderstandings happen, in part because people are urging other people not to talk about things. Bindu also feels compelled to be infuriatingly obedient toward her husband - though she somehow manages to challenge him well enough at certain times, in effective ways. Things get more messy and entangled and, by the way, Bindu has found out that she is pregnant, too. Everybody becomes tormented. People cry a lot. People are falsely accused. People threaten suicide.
And that is only part it… For a short time, I found myself growing a little impatient with all the misunderstandings, with people not talking about what was on their minds while others simply didn’t tell the truth. But when things became really dramatic, the film became irresistible.
The fine acting helps. Padmini does not get enough of a chance to dance in this film; there is only one scene in which she dances around much at all. (For some reason, we get to see more dancing from the actress who plays Rama, Vijaya Choudhury. That’s all right, but she’s not Padmini.) But Padmini does act here – a lot – and she is, of course, great. Balraj Sahni is most convincing too and also very charming much of the time (though not in the scenes where Devraj becomes enraged!).
Not surprisingly, there is also a lot of social content, especially near the end. There are good messages here about how poor people are distrusted because they are poor. A servant briefly gets unjustly accused of a theft, and she makes sure to let people know she is being discrinimated against for being poor. And when Bindu and Ramu get into a conflict with Devraj, suddenly their class origins, which seemed to have been forgotten for so long, become a big issue again. In addition, there is a lot of good commentary about injustices that women must suffer – though the villains in this film are women, too.
Iqubal Qurershi’s music is fine as always. with playback singing by Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Mukesh. The first song in the movie, “Gore Gore Hath,” is the most significant one – it’s the best, and part of it becomes repeated as a theme later on. I’ve already posted that one, though (although I followed the lead on YouTube and called it “Tane Tandane“), so here’s another very sweet number, “Dekhiye Yun” (Mukesh and Asha, I believe)…
The directors, by the way, are R. Kirshnan and S. Panju. (Don’t recall seeing this team’s work before, I’ll have to look for more of their films.) The cast is fairly substantial, with a few familiar names, including Om Prakash and Minoo Mumtaz. (Unfortunately, Minoo Mumtaz doesn’t dance here – unless I missed something. But you can’t ask for everything in one film, I guess.)