Director: Gyan Mukherjee; Writer: Gyan Mukherjee, P.L. Santoshi, Shaheed Latif; Producer: S. Mukherjee; Cinematographer: R.D. Pareenja; Editor: Dattaram N. Pai; Cast: Ashok Kumar, Mumtaz Shanti, Shah Nawaz, Moti, P.F. Pithawala, Chandraprabha, V.H. Desai, Kanu Roy, Jagannath Aurora, Prahlad, Haroon, Mubarak, David Abraham, Kamala Kumari
Duration: 02:13:05; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Lightness: 0.226; Volume: 0.171; Cuts per Minute: 7.927
The supreme hit, the fifth success in a row for
producer Mukherjee (Kangan, 1939.
and Naya Sansar
1941). made by the people who were to launch
the Filmistan studio. Pickpocket Shekhar
(A. Kumar) befriends an old man (Pithawala)
who once owned a theatre and is the father of
its star singer, Rani (Shanti).
In a fit of greed he made his daughter dance to exhaustion,
making her a cripple. Now she is employed by,
and indebted to, the theatre's new owner, the
villain Indrajit. Shekhar steals Indrajit's wife's
valuable necklace and Rani rescues him from
the cops. Shekhar and Rani fall in love and he
wants to raise the money to cure her disability.
The crisis is precipitated when Rani unwittingly
wears the stolen necklace and is caught by the
police. Shekhar owns up, is arrested, escapes
from the police and raids Indrajit's house to
pay for Rani's operation. Caught again. Shekhar
is saved from a long jail sentence by the
revelation that he is lndrajit's long-lost son.
Shekhar's newly found brother Mohan is
permitted to marry Rani's sister Lila (whom he had made pregnant) and the happy ending
sees all protagonists united in the family of the patriarch Indrajit. Known for its musical hits, Kumar's ebullient performance and Shanti's voice, the film assimilates the Warner Bros. realist style with 'expressionist' overtones, esp. in some of its classic, often anthologised sequences, e,g, Shekhar's escape from the cops in a puff of cigarette smoke or the final robbery scene. A contemporary review in FilmIndia (Feb. 1943) condemned the film for imitating John Cromwell's Algiers (1938) while glorifying crime, making it a bad influence on the younger generation. It includes the patriotic song Aaj himalay ki choti se phir humne lalkara hai
. The film, which ran for 3 consecutive years in the same cinema in Calcutta, is an early example of a pre-Partition 'lost and found' movie rehearsing the familiar pre-capitalist fairytale motif of members of a family who are separated by fate or villainy and eventually are 'recognised' and reunited.
Song: Dhire Dhire Aa Re Badal, Mera Bulbul Sau Raha Hai
Vocals: Ashok Kumar, Amibai Karnataki