June 9, 2008

Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon

Title: Year: 1963
Cast: Joh Mukherjee, Asha Parekh, Veena, Pran, Rajendra Nath, Krishna Dhawan, Tabassum.

The movie opens with a doctor making a house visit with his daughter AND her nanny in tow (!!!). His excuse is that his wife is dead, so he must resort to such actions (do you also bring ur kid and nanny to the OT sir?)

The Doc gives a lecture to Major- apparently the Major has thrown out his wife after accusing her of something we never really know about, but what was apparently not true. The Doc urges the Major to get his wife back, and thus save his son's life, who has fallen sick in her memory.

Before the Major can do very much, his wife Jamuna (Veena) has been smarter than he is. She has employed Kapoor (Krishna Dhawan, being all evil) to kidnap her son :D She grabs her kid, and takes off for Kashmir, thinking it is the most unlikely place for the Major to consider looking for her.

The Major and Doc try to follow Kapoor, but get into an accident, in which the Doc dies- of course the major must now take care of his daughter as his own :)

15 years pass. The Doc's kid has grown into a really very pretty Mona (Asha Parekh), and the Major has betrothed her to Dipu (Rajendra Nath), who has just returned from the UK. A photographer clicks their pic at the airport, which photograph will become an important plot accessory. Also note the Pakistan International Airlines advertisements on the wall- those are real advertisemnt posters from the 60s, as confirmed by my google skills :D

Dipu's parents want him to marry Mona for her money, though he really doesnt like her very much. They share quite a few really funny scenes.

Cut to beautiful Kashmir, with an introductory song "Lakhon hain nigah mein, zidagi ki rah mein..." for Mohan (Joy Mukherjee), our hero, the Major's son, etc. Though the screen cap doesnt show you it, he totes a guitar throughout the song, but NEVER ONCE plays it- I love Bollywood. Great song though.

Mohan rushes back home to Jamuna and tells her he has got a job as a taxi driver to drive folks to and from Kashmir-Delhi etc. She has been working all her life sewing clothes so that they could servive (my aunts had the same sewing machine! love it!)- but now she can relax and he'll work. I wondered why she didnt sue the heck out of her hubby and get alimoney- ah well.

While she hasnt sued for alimoney, Jamuna has kept tabs on her husband- cos - (sob!)- she loves him! He is a pretty famous guy, so his pix keep appearing in newspapers, the latest of which is:

For once in cinematic history, the mother has not been keeping all this a secret from her son, and Mohan keeps the clipping with him. He takes off to Delhi on an assignment with Kamaala (the v funny and highly adorable Ram Avtar), and of course by Bolly coincidence, the job is to drive Mona and her friends (including Dipu) to Kashmir from Delhi. He meets his dad the Major, but doesnt ID himself (gotta keep the movie going).

Mohan finds Mona in what is apparently the only coffee shop in all of Delhi, where she is being served coke by a woman who is dressed like a nurse- see the vintage coca-cola poster on the wall...

Mohan is struck by an idea; he stops Dipu from entering the shop (Lakme sign sighting!) saying that Mona is mentally imbalanced, has suffered an attack and has been taken by the Major to the mental hospital in Agra :) Dipu believes him completely, and runs off to Agra, to catch the Major there, and break the engagement :)

Mohan now goes back in and feeds the same lines to Mona- this time saying Dipu is mentally imbalanced. He promises to go with her to Agra to catch Dipu and his family there, if only she would first show him around Delhi for the day. Of course she agrees, but unbeknowest to them, Kapoor and Ramesh (Pran) are hearing the entire conversation...

We are next treated to cool montages of Delhi in the 60s- I love it!

By the end of the day, they have fallen in love- oh dang they look so good together!

Beck in Delhi, there is a bit of a comedy of errors, since Dipu & his family think Mona is crazy, as do she and her dad re: Dipu. Fun fights with chairs ensue...

In the meantime, Ramesh and Kapoor have a plan in mind- they have scoped out the Major and Mona. They do not recognize Mohan, but have decided that Ramesh will pose as the long lost Mohan to the Major, and make off with as much money as possible. By Bolly coincidence again, they are in the same hotel as Mohan himself- their paths however do not cross....

This is a very domesticated group of baddies- they have fruit with their bottle of Johnny Walker :)

Ramesh and Kamaala take Mona, Dipu and the former's friends to Kashmir, and their is some singing and dancing involved- cue in-"Hum dum mere khel na jano- chahat ke iqrar ko-"

The fiance, Dipu feels slighted and wears a matronly pink neglige :)

While Mona's friends, chief among whom is the always delightful Tabassum, prance along :)

While there must be of course more singing, and my fav song shows up- our very own, "banda parvar, tham lo jigar, banke pyar phir aaya hoon. Khidmat mein aapki huzoor, phir wohi dil laya hoon.." So. Very. Romantic!

He looks totally hot in a Kahmiri Pathan's outfit, as he drives a tanga (horse cart, throgh the beautiful Kashmir roads...I was SO grinning like a fool here. Would do it again too.

The baddies have contacted the Major, and in yet more Bolly coincidence, have told him that faux-Mohan is in Kashmir waiting for him. The Major rushes over, to find Mona with Mohan- and doesnt approve.

Mona and the Major go to faux-Ramesh's faux-doctor, who informs them Ramesh is attempting suicide at the very moment. They all decide to peek in. Which reminds me- EVERYONE peeks and evesdrops in this movie- I mean it- EVERYONE!

Mona daringly hauls her considerably large-sized behind (I should talk- hah!) and rescues faux-Mohan from faux-suicide. They bring Ramesh and his doc home of course, but Mona doesnt make too much of this....

She figures she wants to go back to the river and boogey down to "ai qibla, mohtarma, kabhi shola kabhi nagma" with Mohan and her friends.

Faux-Mohan gets all hyper upon witnessing said scenario, and attempts faux-suicide by faux-drowning.

His faux-doctor convinces the Major that he must marry Mona to Ramesh, since this is the only antidote to faux-Mohan's illness (?!!!). She accepts, 'cos the Major is an ass and she is a nice obliging girl.

Poor Mohan is beaten up by the Major's goons.

So what will happen? Will the Major recognize faux-Mohan's fakeness? Will faux-Mohan marry Mona? Will Major and Jamuna get back together??? what will happen to poor Dipu?

You need to watch the movie to find out, but I also want to share with you an early, blink-&-miss appearance by MB Shetty as a scoffer in the crowd...

1- As Bollyviewer mentioned in her comment on my last post, this is not an original plot in the least. But who cares- as long as it was a bunch of lovely people having fun? You are entirely entertained for the duration- completely paisa vasool, as they say. The audience didnt mind either- the movie was a huge hit.
2- Joy didnt exhibit the greatest of dramatic skills- but the role really didnt require him to either. He looked handsome and hero-like and good, and that did the job for me well enough :)
3- Amazing, amazing songs- I seem to love the songs in all of Nasir Hussain's (he wrote, directed and produced this) movies. Not mentioned above, but also fabulous, was "Dekho Bijli bole bin badal ki," Asha's introductory song.
4- We get to see Kashmir and Delhi as they were in the 60s, both looking v clean and lovely. So good.
5- Minor quibble- Rajendra Nath started off as having a substantial part to play- but was dropped completely unceremoniously once Pran was established as the potential heir to the Major. Not fair.
6- Veena and the Major have to be the worst couple on the planet- she masterminds her own son's kidnapping! He is an ass who wont apologise, and will later emotionally blackmail his foster daughter into marrying a possibly insane Ramesh! eugh!
7- Joy, Joy, Joy!!! Ah bliss.


Anonymous said...

Hey dont knock the guitar - it was a fashion acessory. Besides, Rafi's voice and Joy's smile can play on your heartstrings so effectively that a guitar is quite redundant! :-D

All of Nasir Hussain's hit movies had this story - substitute Joy for Shashi and you have Pyaar Ka Mausam! Shashi even used the same guitar with similar effect in the song 'Chekhush nazaare' from PKM.

And I do love this story that is a Nasir Hussain staple and repeats through 'Tumsa Nahin Dekha', 'Dil Deke Dekho', and to some extent in 'Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai' as well!

ajnabi said...

I just read this post twice, and I am still totally lost. Yet I'm also totally grinning like a fool. Hooray for Valentine's Day candy opening titles and fashionable guitars! Hooray for stupid parents and bloodied heros!

Anonymous said...

Hooray for familiar stories that you don't have to concentrate on, thus saving your brain cells for more important work like appreciating the gorgeous songs, the gorgeous actors and the gorgeous scenery. Hooray Nasir!

yves said...

Hi Shweta,
I don't want to force you into writing another text with my vocab queries, but what does "paiso vasool" mean? OK, I'll guess: "worth your money"???
Great review, BTW. I love those crazy productions too!

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Bollyviewer: That is true huh- I do recall useless guitar bearing movies from the 60s- only I don't think I've seen enough of them, 'cos I couldn't recall any quite so vividly- I need to watch more 60s- esp more Joy.

Ajnabi: I grin like a fool every time I come back to my blog in the recent couple of days- Joy's pix have a v v dementing effect on me! The story was v convulated, but my writing hasn't been as good for this post- I could barely stop admiring Joy :) I cant seem top be able to regard him objectively quite yet :)

Memsaab: That makes sense- and it also explains my blubbery post- i could barely look away from the movie and screencaps, so was barely coherent- a innovative plot would have me completely sunk :)

Yves: You are so smart- yup, you have the meaning exactly right. Paisa vasool= getting your money's worth= gaining complete satisfaction.

Inane as it may sound, I think I need to watch more of the 60s- I really think it was the best time to be alive, and the movies are dripping cool.