8 comments on “The Main Reason(s) to See Azaad (1955)

  1. horses! or rather, meena kumari on a horse… thats what I remember of azaad..will have to rewatch it now

  2. Hmm, maybe you fell asleep after the first five mintues. :) In the first scene, we see that Meena’s character likes to go horseback riding and considers herself something of an expert at it… And then we never see her on a horse again throughout the entire film!!

    And for some reason, I’m much more convinced when Vyjayanthimala shows her horseback riding skills at the beginning of Ladki/Sangham…

  3. I am not a fan of Dilip Kumar, but I liked him a lot here, and young Meena Kumari is always a treat. I love the songs and find the dances lovely, but some of them could so easily be chopped off without affecting the movie at all – the Appalam chappalam number, for example. So, on re-watches I usually land up forwarding the songs so I can get back to the story! (I do re-watch just the songs as well, since they are all so uniformly lovely.)

  4. Maybe you like Dilip a bit more here because he is less grim than in other places? :)

    Anyway, i agree about the songs/dances not being all that connected to the film. With the obvious comparison, Kohinoor, they are inseparable. Kumkum is the great dancer in Kohinoor, and her great dancing is an important part of the plot (as is the great singing and sitar playing picturized on Dilip). Sai-Subbulaxmi are in the plot here (which was probably unusual for them), but no, they’re not really important to it.

    There are sweet moments with Dilip and Meena here, but generally, I just couldn’t take to this convoluted plot. The movie also seemed to have a lot of pieces that could be dropped out easily, from wild animal fights (which looked to me like stuff lifted from some old nature documentary) to the (far too many) skits with the bumbling policeman. So, if I go for another viewing, I think I’m much more likely to fast-forward through the film to get to the songs and dances.

    By the way, Bollyviewer, the day after I watched this, I watched the 1966 Afsana. I think I liked that a little more than you did, though I would agree that it wasn’t all that deep or memorable.

  5. I have also seen the Apalam Chapalam song many time only for facial expression of Subhlaxmi. The expression are so deep as decorating the words of song. Actually I fell in love of her ( still now ). Her over sensitive heart appears from face and eyes and breathing. There are very rare ladies having such heart and soul. I have drawn her image.

  6. Chandrakant, thank you so much for this unique contribution! I really enjoyed seeing this sketch!

    And now that you have brought me to this post that is almost ten years old, I see that the clips will have to be replaced (no surprise there).

    Actually, I posted about these dancers a little earlier than this, in 2008, and that post contains comments going on continuously for years, in which you will find a good amount of information about them (including comments from Sayee’s son, which tell us quite a bit).

    I also replaced the clips in that one a few years ago.

    I am assuming you haven’t seen the other post(?)… Here’s the link:


  7. Sayee n subhalaxmi ,, i heard this song before so many times n loved it but after watching this video n their dance n their expression ….i m in love with both of them….they should b stars of our film industry. Dont know weather they r alive or not but wow beautiful n lovely dance

  8. Vivek Tyagi, thank you for your nice comment on this old post.

    Sadly, Sai (or Sayee, depending on who’s writing the name) died of breast cancer in January 2010.

    I wrote a post about that in February of 2010, quoting news sent by Sai/Sayee’s brother-in-law:


    Within that post, there is a link to a slightly older and longer post about this great dancing duo. Under that post, there are comments again by Sayee’s brother-in-law and, a little later, her son, who reported the same news – and related a lot of other interesting information, too.

    I haven’t been able to get any recent information in searches for Subbulaxmi (or Subbulakshmi). I don’t know if she is still alive… It would be nice to find out that she is!

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