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Upperstall Review

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Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi

 

Hindi, Drama, 1966, B/W



Cast And Crew



Amita (Mala Sinha) the editor of a newspaper Jagriti fires her young reporter, Jiten (Dharmendra), for his expose on some corrupt but influential builders, only to discover that his report is true when a mine belonging of them collapses. Convinced of his integrity, Amita hires him back, promotes him to News Editor and secretly falls in love with him. However, Jiten has met and has fallen in love with Amita's younger sister, Sunita (Tanuja). Meanwhile the pressure from the board of directors to fire Jiten mounts as his stories get too uncomfortably close to the truth and Sunita finds out Amita too loves Jiten...



Advertised as Guru Dutt's last offering (he passed away during its making), it is near certain that the final version released two years after his death is nothing like the version Guru Dutt set out to make. In fact, there is very little in the film that bears any 'Guru Dutt touch' at all and several portions of the film must have had him turning in his grave!

Having shot the film for about eleven unedited reels, it is well-known Guru Dutt had picturized the song Aapke Haseen Rukh Pe which was then re-shot with Dharmendra who replaced him as hero and it is also likely looking at the film, that he also picturised the Asha Bhosle sad solo Woh Hanske Mile Humse Hum Pyar Samajh Baithe. The long takes, well-worked out camera movements and beautiful play of light and shade through the song suggest Guru Dutt's familiar style of filming.

The film, inspired from the old KL Saigal landmark film President (1937), is a tale of two sisters in love with the same man and set in a newspaper office as against a textile mill of the earlier film. Rather than a conventional triangale (actually the film is a quadrangle with the elder sister's colleague silently in love with her), a strong focus of the film is in fact on the relationship of the two sisters.

While the basic idea is interesting and has great potential, the film suffers from a plodding screenplay that gets more and more derailed as the film progresses. In fact, after a fairly interesting title sequence, the film takes time to take off as much time is wasted on inanne comic scenes of Johnny Walker. While the scenes of the clash between Jiten and Anita and their subsequent scenes in office after his reinstatement and promotion as well as Anita's falling in love with him are reasonably well worked out (again it is said Guru Dutt had filmed a reasonable chunk of these office sequences), the subsequent sacrifice saga of the two sisters with each trying to give up her love for the other looks ridiculous. That the climax with Amita going insane and dying is absurd is an understatement.

Among the performances it is really only Tanuja as the younger sister, Sunita, who stands out. A natural spontaneous performer she is the life of the film - bubbly and vivacious as she feels the first flush of love and serious when she has to be. Dharmendra seems to be merely going through the motions, clearly not too interested with the focus being on the two sisters as it is while Mala Sinha gives one of her typically unbearable melodramatic acts in the central role of the older sister. As she goes insane and simultaneously has a heart attack in the film's climax, Mala has enough elements to play with to go totally haywire thus resulting in some of the worst overacting ever seen in Indian cinema. Yet, there are other scenes in the early parts of the film particularly in her editorial office where she is quite restrained and effectively reined in as also in the above mentioned Woh Hanske Mile Humse song. It is likely that these were shot when Guru Dutt was alive. Those involved with the film recall Guru Dutt worked especially hard with her to 'tone down' her performance! Rehman and Johnny Walker do whatever they have to, which isn't much, adequately enough.

As in many older Hindi films, it's the music by OP Nayyar that lifts the film a notch. Initially SD Burman was hired to compose music for the film and even recorded a tune for the title track. But things didn't work out and OP Nayyar, another Guru Dutt regular, stepped in. Hearing Nayyar's compositions for the film, Guru Dutt had commented that OP Nayyar composed feelings, not just music. The film sees some of Nayyar's finest compositions - Badal Jaye Agar Maali (picturzed pretty dully inside a train), Aapke Haseen Rukh Pe, Woh Hanske Mile Humse Hum Pyar Samajh Baithe - one of the finest Asha Bhosle sad songs, Koi Kehde, Dil To Pehle se Madhosh Hai and the lighthearted Johnny Walker ditty - Suno Suno Miss Chatterjee.

And what of the tune SD Burman had composed? He re-used it as Yeh Dil Na Hota Bechara in Jewel Thief (1967)!


Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan


Aapke Haseen Rukh Pe- Mohammed Rafi
Koi Kehde - Asha Bhosle
Dil To Pehle se Madhosh Hai - Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle
Badal Jaaye Agar Maali - Mahendra Kapoor
Woh Hanske Mile Humse Hum Pyar Samajh Baithe - Asha Bhosle
Suno Suno Miss Chatterjee - Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle


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