I’ve had some fun taking screen caps from the song “Aa Chuva Chu,” the Kabaddi song in Anjaan (1956)…
And I can’t help thinking: Poor Helen, always losing competitions to Vyjayanthimala, even at such a young age! But I’ll grant her this, I think she is actually a better attraction than Vyjayanthimala here – even if she loses the game, she wins the style contest within it. (And she also seems to be much more in focus in this scene. I apologize for the fact that at least one of the blurred stills below makes Vyjayanthimala’s face look a bit grotesque.)
And this is the best song clip out of a few found in this film, all of which have marvelous music by Hemant Kumar. Unfortunately, there are no copies of the song available (although there had been one a while back, which I did post).
Anjaan also includes other great moments, such as an early Minoo Mumtaz mujra and a pretty good Vyjayanthimala swings song. It also should provide some good amusement for any Johnny Walker fan, since he has a bigger role here than in any other film that I’ve seen him in. And Pradeep Kumar is pretty good in this movie too. But overall, plotwise and so forth, it’s a wholly unoriginal and forgettable piece of fluff. (So, something else that is a must-have strictly for the songs.)
I hope people like at least some of these screen caps… I’m not usually one to say that the great actresses were their most beautiful when they were still teenagers (really, I am not that type!), but I do think Helen here is at the prettiest I’ve seen her and can understand now why certain people were baffled that I hadn’t found room for her on the Bollywood Beauties list. A lot of it, again, has to do with style. I’m afraid “OTT” Helen of the late ’60s and ’70s is just not as attractive to me, though she was funny, a good dancer, and a good actress in many films stretching a span of 20+ years. (And as a couple of other guys have agreed in off-blog conversation, she was unusually sexy in Sholay.) I also feel that she was much more attractive with her regular, dark hair.
There was at least some potential wasted with Helen when she began to get so typecast… And it is refreshing to see Helen out of the cabaret and/or out of the brothel (they let Minoo Mumtaz take care of that angle in this film) and on the Kabaddi field instead! (Though maybe this early on, it’s just that they hadn’t started putting her in the brothel or the cabaret yet?) This is also the best Kabaddi scene of any that I can remember. Actually, I can remember just one other, with Dilip Kumar playing and Vyjayanthimala acting as a spectator… That was five years later, in Gunga Jumna, and this scene is much better!