This song is from Dil Ek Mandir (1963). Beautiful music by Shankar-Jaikishan, vocals by Lata Mangeshkar.
The man in the hospital room is Raaj Kumar; he plays a cancer patient. Go to Wikipedia if you want to have the entire plot and ending spoiled. On the other hand, having read what happens, I think this looks like a really good film – one that I’m going to search for – about life and death and tragedy and irony.
The film also starred Rajendra Kumar and Mehmood…
RIP to the director and the actors…
And to this great actress, who died on March 31, 1972.
Yes, the title on the YouTube clip should also have credited Nazima, who does such a fine dance. Though Meena remains at the center of the scene… Just look at those marvelous expressions! Music by Madan Mohan. I think Asha and Lata are both singing in this.
The film was directed by Ved Madan. Minoo Mumtaz has a courtesan dance in this also; I might get to that at another time.
This is the title song from the film, made in 1963. The musical director is Madan Mohan, singer Lata Mangeshkar. The film is directed by Nandlal Jaswantlal, and stars Meena Kumari, Rajendra Kumar, Agha, Charlie, Minoo Mumtaz… Of course, Meena Kumari and Rajendra Kumar are the clearly visible ones in this clip. It’s hard to tell who’s playing the little people/dolls, because I can’t see them too well.
This has to be the best dolls-come-to-life kind of scene that I have ever seen.
A nice dance from Teesri Kasam (1966) – which dance, like the scene in my previous post, is from the tragic love story of Laila and Majnu. I think this might be my favorite of the Waheeda Rehman dance scenes in this film.
A while back, I posted a clip from a 1949 Telugu version of Laila Majnu which featured one of the earliest film appearances of Padmini. Unfortunately, that was removed.
There’s a 1976 film of Laila Majnu, but I’m just not as crazy about the clips that I saw from that. (I guess that makes sense, considering my biases. But maybe it will grow on me.)
I think there are a couple more out there – one made in 1953, for instance.
Of course, Teesri Kasam is not Laila Majnu. And considering how Teesri Kasam finally turns out, the inclusion of a scene from that extremely romantic story of inescapable and fatal love might even be considered ironic.
The competition begins at about 1:35, after they’ve had some words. The song is “Aaye Haaye Dilruba.” Geeta Dutt sings for Helen, Asha Bhosle for Vyjayanthimala; music by S.D. Burman.
P.S. Helen is great to watch in this, but she pretty clearly gets clobbered at the end.
Hmm, which one would I choose – Princess Chandramukhi (Meena Kumari) or Rajlakshmi (Kumkum)? That would be a tough one. They’re both in love with Dilip Kumar’s character, Rajkumar (or Prince) Devinder Bahadur. Meanwhile, he is clearly destined to be with Chandramukhi, since he’s a prince and she’s a princess and this is not one of those stories in which people are setting out to abolish class and caste (though there are a couple of good references to those issues, if you can catch them). Plus, she is the more beautiful, considering especially the way she is decked out all through the film. And she is feisty! (Or alternately feisty and weepy – only Meena can do that so well.)
But Rajlakshmi is a terrific, highly spirited dancer with a total devotion to her art (enhanced by many talks with her Shiva statue), and she loves to dance to Devinder’s music (that is, to Naushad’s music – especially when Mohammed Rafi is singing).
Anyway, it might seem at first as though it wouldn’t be bad at all to be in the prince’s place here, but there are a few problems that he needs to solve, because not everybody is happy with his existence, least of all the official in one kingdom who covets the princess and the official in the other kingdom (that is, his own kingdom) who wants to prevent his ascension to the throne. (Part of the reason for that second problem is that said official has been the temporary ruler while the kingdom waited for the prince to reach the right age to take over. And now, if he has to give up that power, he would much rather see his own son occupy that throne. It gets a bit more complicated, but I’ll skip over the details. There are good, detailed plot summaries around, like the one that I found here.)
So, Devinder ends up facing a few big challenges, which keeps the suspense and the sword fighting going for a few hours. In fact, there are a couple of scary moments here when you might think that this light swashbuckling movie will turn tragic, but in the end, it turns out to be much lighter than, say, Yahudi (where one very bad thing did happen that doesn’t really happen here).
And all along the way, the performers are a true delight to watch. I think Dilip is as good here as I’ve seen him anywhere. I find Meena Kumari to be wonderful to watch, when she’s comic and when she’s tragic.
In sum, this is one well done film starring Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari that might actually brighten up your mood for the day.
P.S. Some might recall my posting songs from this film for quite a while. This was one of the first classic Bollywood soundtracks that I got into, and I’ve loved the dances for a long time too. But now I’ve finally seen and heard all that in the context of the movie, and I’m glad I have.
Yes, that’s right! Ajit45555 is suspended, but the YouTube site of Tommydan1 has mysteriously reappeared. I will update my side links accordingly soon, and maybe add some others.
I was thinking that there is some strange game of Musical Chairs going on at YouTube. I also vaguely remembered a scene in a Bollywood or Tamil movie that involved a game of Musical Chairs. It would have been nice to add a clip or cap to fit this post, but I couldn’t find it. If anyone can think of a Bollywood or Kollywood movie in which the characters played Musical Chairs (especially if it’s a song clip that I might find on YouTube), I’d like to hear about it!
Mujrim was very much a delight to see, though I’m not sure if the story itself had much to do with that. In terms of basic plot, it was nothing all that special. It was another of these crime dramas in which an anti-hero is influenced by his love for a woman to become a good man and renounce his bad past. And like quite a few such dramas, there is a social message about society’s role, through neglect, etc., in turning a poor and orphaned boy into a thief. (Which message was conveyed rather well, I should add, though not really well until the very end.) And there is the very familiar theme of someone assuming someone else’s identity and then getting into a love affair based on that identity and wanting terribly not to lose that love in the event that the true identity is discovered. (Though once again, as with other very familiar themes that I’ve noticed, I’m thinking that maybe this wasn’t all that old an idea back in the late ’50s.)
You can also find many of the usual stark elements of Indian film noir right from the beginning of the movie, though some of that is done in a funnier way than in most of these movies.
But then there are some things that are very different…
One, being the anti-hero and the way that he is played. Personally, I may have seen a few too many of those Dev Anand movies in which the anti-hero has some degree of coolness and cockiness and, at least when in the middle of his criminal activities, he’s basically required not to show too much emotion, especially not anxiety.
But Shammi Kapoor plays it entirely differently. First of all, at the very beginning, when he’s on the run from the police, he is obviously a nervous wreck. Then all throughout the movie, when he’s anxious, he shows it to a great extent. When he’s in love, he shows that rather strongly, too. His face is the complete opposite of that cool sort of poker face the the anti-hero is often expected to keep. And that’s very refreshing, often funny, and also moving sometimes. (In fact, sometimes Shammi is emotionally moving while being quite funny at the same time.)
Then there’s the matter of the heroine…and another thing that separates this movie from a lot of the old Hindi crime dramas that I have seen. In many of those dramas, there’s lots of good dancing, but it doesn’t really come from the heroine. The heroine might have some scenes in which she is singing and dancing, and she might be very beautiful in such scenes, but the real, intense dancers are found elsewhere. But here it’s different because this heroine really knows how to dance!
In the scene above, our thief on-the-run, named Shankar, hides out in a theater while the soon-to-be heroine, Uma Devi (played by Ragini, in case you haven’t guessed/noticed by now), is in the middle of one her fabulous performances (with music by O.P. Nayyar, of course). By some stroke of luck, the theater is also expecting a writer by the (curious) name of Anand to show up, and when Shankar discovers this, he assumes the identity of Anand. Fairly soon afterwards, he finds out that the real Anand has been out sick and he goes to the real Anand’s house to find out more. He discovers that the real Anand is very sick, indeed, and also that he and the real Anand look an awful lot alike. Then Anand dies in front of Shankar, and Shankar retains his disguise as Anand while telling the world that Shankar has died. But the plan doesn’t go so smoothly as a few complications follow, such as the aforementioned love affair, not to mention that the police aren’t all that stupid in this film. (They’re not great heroes either; they actually seem quite nasty – but they’re not dummies, and we know pretty soon that Shankar’s days as Anand are going to be numbered because of them.)
That’s the suspense plot in a nutshell…which wasn’t all that suspenseful as far as I was concerned.
I did feel a lot of anticipation at certain points in this film, but it wasn’t anticipation related to wondering what was going to happen to Shankar; it was anticipation about when I might see the next great dance scene, what it would be like, and what surprises it might have in store.
Though sometimes, I couldn’t even see it coming… Such as with this
very lively and also quite funny cabaret number featuring Geeta Dutt on Geeta Bali:
(By the way, it’s funny how this song kind of mimics or parodies “Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu.” That’s a typical example of O.P. Nayyar borrowing from himself. But what’s even funnier, which I realized pretty quickly, is that it borrows a lot from an American rock ‘n’ roll classic from 1956 called “Green Door.” Oh, tell me, O.P. Nayyar, who taught you how to steal?)
And after that, the dances in the movie just keep getting better and better…
eiterating what I said before, I think it’s telling that as the suspense plot approached its climax, I was looking forward more than ever to a great dance. The cops were closing in on Shankar, with lots of police cars rolling out with their sirens were wailing, and I kept thinking, “Pretty soon now we’re going to see a really fine dance!”
And sure enough there was one, the best in the movie, with a bigger surprise than we’d ever get from the suspense scenes, because… There, seemingly coming out of nowhere, dancing with Ragini in this fine Punjabi number, was Padmini wearing a mustache!
(Incidentally, you can also add that to the list of very good Geeta/Asha duets.)
That dance was the real peak of the whole film, at least for me. On the other hand, the parts following it were fairly decent. There’s a good courtroom scene with Shankar/Shammi delivering the aforementioned defense about the ills of society (which was also very reminiscent of a couple of Dev Anand movies) and at the very end, after a nice dramatic reunion between Shankar and Uma, there’s a decent surprise closing comic scene with Johnny Walker and Tun Tun.
Actually, the comedy routines between those two were pretty good throughout… Maybe there were a few too many fat jokes, but otherwise, they amounted to a good deal of fun…
Though the comedians weren’t the only ones who were funny here. This film was good for quite a few laughs along the way. It might even be considered a comedy (even though Ragini got to cry a bunch) in addition to being a dance film and a romance. (As well as…oh yeah, lest we forget…a suspense film.)
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