Aman Duttawrote on Jul 8 2009 5:34PM
This film was released in Black-and-White and is widely considered to be a classic. The film became particularly popular for its qawwali songs and was one of the biggest hits at the box-office in 1960. The film was also one of the last to star celebrated actress Madhubala.
The story features a number of innovative themes while maintaining the basic form of a love story. It has particularly strong female characters who are independent minded and choose their own loves and destiny. The conflicts are not so much between the wishes of the parents and children about whom to marry, as is a common theme in Indian movies, but it is on the more complex level of the conflicts among the main characters themselves and the duplicitous signals men and women send each other. The movie glorifies the lives of "singing girls" not often regarded highly in Indian society. Although it is set with muslim characters, the movie seamlessly shows the universality of sensual love.
The songs are beautiful and the qawwali sequences sublime. The song and dance does not occur randomly as is so often the case in Indian movies filling a formula; instead it is an integral part of the story itself which involves a poet and singer as well as poetry competitions that were once common. This integral component of the movie may make it difficult for non-urdu or hindi speaking audiences to appreciate the movie, as it is clearly not designed for non-indian consumption.
Although Madhubla gets top billing, and she is always good, she does not have a major performing role. The main character is played by the highly underrated Shayama who delivers an excellent performance.
About the Music on this film:
Female Singers: Asha Bhonsle, Kamal Barot, Lata Mangeshkar, Sudha Malhotra, Suman Kalyanpur Male Singer: S. D. Batish, Balbeer, Bande Hasan, Manna Dey, Mohammad Rafi Music Director: Roshan Lyricist: Sahir Ludiyanvi