15 comments on “Barsaat (1949)

  1. When I re-watched this with my kids a couple of years back, we didn’t like the film part very much (in my memory it was much better than what I saw 25 years on), but as I loved the songs and music I sat through. the rest of them gave up half-way, my daughter because she kept saying “someone give that girl a hanky” and mu husband ‘cos no fastidious city boy is going to fall for a woman who wipes her nose with the back of her hand, bollywood or no bollywood!

    I had to agree, in between singing along to the songs, that it was boring but what glorious music! No wonder Lata/Naushad took the country by storm: this was fine, fine work.

  2. I remember this film more for the songs and i remember loving the Hawa mein udta jaye which you’ve posted at the beginning as one of my favourites but mid way as you’ve pointed out the film left me feeling mediocre and i couldn’t care too much although when i’m watching most of these oldies i try not to question how come this or why this i just watch for what it is but even with that the film just didn’t jar with me, the songs are excellent though

  3. I agree that there was nothing in the story, as I discovered when I sat down with the DVD a couple of years back. I ended up just watching the songs, which were awesome. As far as I can see, most Raj Kapoor movies had great songs, but the story lines were mediocre, at best. Of course, the RK – Nargis movies were worth watching for the chemistry, but that’s all!

  4. Glad to see a few people confirming my opinion about this movie, since I was wondering if I’d simply been missing something. :)

    Lalitha, I don’t know which movies you’re thinking about when you refer to “most Raj Kapoor movies.” There are one or two others that I never got through, but I thnk that two which I saw in particular – Shree 420 and Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai - had fascinating story lines. I also really loved Chori Chori, although it’s a little more difficult to say that the story line there was so fascinating (even if it was based on an American classic); there was just something about that movie that was both compelling and lovable. Additionally, I am very fond of Mera Naam Joker, though I understand why some people might have been annoyed by parts of it. So overall, my opinion of Raj Kapoor movies is pretty good – which is why I was surprised not to be so fond of this one, his first big hit.

    I agree with everyone that Barsaat had a very good soundtrack, possibly the best from Shankar Jaikishan. (Bawa, I loved Naushad’s soundtracks from this era even more – but this wasn’t one of them. :)

    I know that Lata made two major breakthroughs in playback singing back in 1949 – there was this one and the soundtrack to Mahal, by Khemchand Prakash. Much as I do like the Barsaat soundtrack, I find the Mahal score to be much more profoundly moving – in fact, it still could very well be my favorite Hindi movie soundtrack of all time.

  5. I have really nothing to add to what everybody’s said before – I agree that this is one film I’m not in a hurry to rewatch. Nice songs, but pretty enhhh otherwise.

    So here’s the main reason why I had to leave a comment: an uncle of mine was on the sets when the scene where Prem Nath’s character arrives and lies down on the bed, and Nimmi’s character takes off his shoes and sort of touches her face to his feet. They did take after take, and Nimmi just couldn’t get the expression right. Finally, Raj Kapoor figured out what was wrong and told Prem Nath to go wash his feet with lots of soap and water. Next take, they canned it. :-)

  6. I agree with you that the storyline of ‘Barsaat’ have nothing special to write home about.The only notable aspect is the hugely popular music score that catapulted Shankar-Jaikishan to success. The movie has also been hailed as the one to be the turning point in the career of Lata Mangeshkar. But, then 1949 also saw other major releases as ‘Mahal’/’Andaz’/’Dulari’/’Badi Bahen’ which explored Lata’s singing ability in a more profound manner.

    Rather ‘Andaz’ and ‘Mahal’ have far better composition compared to ‘Barsaat’.In fact Lata recounts extensively on her ‘Mahal’ song in her authorised biography by Nasreen Munni Kabir.The co-owner of Bombay Talkies Savik Vacha was in doubt regarding the success of ‘Aaeyaga aanewala’ and there was much discussion whether to re-do or delete the song after its recording.However, the song went on to be a classic.The 78 rpm Disc contained the name of Kamini ,the sreen name of Madhubala as singer.Lata then on has to fight with the producers to credit her name on the Disc and Movie in future. ‘Barsaat’ was the first movie to give her credit as a singer both on the Disc and the Movie.

    Coming to the ‘Mahal’ classic,here is the link to the beatiful remix done by Paul Riordan discovered via the Blog by Vinayak which I liked immensely.

  7. Veda, it’s good to hear that you agree regarding the superiority of the Mahal soundtrack to Barsaat. You’re probably also right about Andaz and Dulari. I praised Shankar Jaikishan a while back and I still think they did good music, but I like Naushad much more now.

    It’s nice to see that you like the Paul Riordan remix too. I discovered that one a few months ago on YouTube, and I put it in the “Favorites” list in my YouTube user site. :)

  8. No doubt Shankar-Jaikishan were successful composers, but then Naushad is a genius.The compositions of S-J are like fast food while Naushad offered the full course.The compositions of Naushad grows on the listeners and sounds fresh on its hearing and re-hearing.Throughout my school days I adored S D Burman/S-J for their catchy tunes,until I heard ‘Amar’ and ‘Deedar’.From then on, it was my journey discovering the compositions of Naushad and they have been my favorites.

  9. I came to this film after having seen the Raj Kapoor masterpieces and not surprisingly it disappointed a little. I love the music of Shankar Jaikishan in all the RK films, however. And I was thinking that the great man was able to get the very best music directors available. But reading all the comments above I think I shall have to explore Mahal and and the work of Naushad. If it is your favourite Hindi soundtrack of all time, Richard, it surely is worth looking for! Am enjoying that Paul Riordan remix right now.

  10. Oh and that cutey in the first song, who was she? Both innocent and intelligent, hugely preferable to that little minx Cuckoo!

  11. Hi, Joss. The actress in the “Hawa Mein Udta Jaye” scene is Bimla Kumari. She wasn’t in whole lot of things. My YouTube friend Tom (Tommydan1) pointed out her presence in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (of all places :) …

  12. Richard, stand corrected. However, as my Dad remembers it, this soundtrack did take the country by storm. Especially “hawa mein udta jaye”, although all the songs are lovely.
    Mahal is one of my favourite tracks. But in all these movies I find that comparing all my favourite songs is a bit like “oranges vs apples” question: there is simply no way I can make up my mind.

  13. I saw this film long time ago wen I was a kid. I don’t remember much about the film or storyline meaning the film was boring. I fast forwarded most of the film just to see how some of the films songs including my favorite Patli Qamar hai were picturized. Excluding the songs, the film isnt much to see or write about. I found Shree 420 boring too till it dragged to its conclusion, but again the music was exception. Maybe it is because I am more of a “music person”. There are lots of instances where I rented some old Indian or Pakistani movie to record songs from it or see how they were picturized.

    Among Raj Kapoor films, I think Awara was his finest work.

  14. Mr. Jinx, I actually loved Shree 420. But I think it had special appeal to me because I saw it early on in my own recession-induced long period of unemployment and underemployment. (As I’ve said before, I could take out my college degree and show it to people, and it wouldn’t do me much good either. :) But I also think this was an excellent film. I really enjoy it when a highly entertaining movie that has real popular appeal also has meaningful social content. That is a combination that is probably very lacking in today’s cinema, whether it’s Hollywood or Bollywood.

    From what I’ve seen, most people who loved Awara also loved Shree 420. I’ve seen all the songs from Awara and I saw a little of the film on YouTube without subtitles (before I concluded that I would miss an awful lot from a film like this if I didn’t know what the characters were saying), but strangely enough, I never had a chance to watch the entire movie. But I always assumed it would be kind of like a repeat of Shree 420 (or vice versa if you watch them according to the real chronology). If there’s a big difference between these two films, I’d be interested to know what it is. But maybe it’s time I just found the movie and watched the whole thing.

    Anyway, yes, it’s true that the music is a major part of the appeal in old Indian or Pakistani movies, and sometimes there is a discrepancy between the quality of the music and of the movie itself. I guess the most recent example for me was another early Nargis starrer, Mela (1948). That movie has one of the finest soundtracks I’ve heard anywhere (not surprising, since it is Naushad), but the movie itself was kind of a mixed bag, I thought, and I would have been just as happy, if not more so, sticking to the song clips. (By the way, “just as happy” is a funny way to put it, since it was awfully grim also.)

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