Director: Hemchandra Chunder; Writer: Binoy Chatterjee; Cinematographer: Sudhin Majumdar; Cast: K.L. Saigal, Sumitra Devi, Nawab, Akhtar Jehan, Chandrabati Devi, Hiralal, Tulsi Chakraborty, Tandon, A.H. Shore, Rajalakshmi
Duration: 01:58:18; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Saturation: 0.002; Lightness: 0.101; Volume: 0.209; Cuts per Minute: 8.858
Summary: Poor but upright schoolteacher Ramesh (Saigal) adores his adolescent sister Bimala (Akhtar Jehan). He falls in love with Krishna (Sumitra Devi), the village zamindar’s daughter, but he declines to marry her when the zamindar insists that they live in the village. Ramesh moves to Calcutta which is under attack by the Japanese (the time is WW2). There he becomes a singer in the Great Metropolitan Theatre company and its female star Miss Rekha (Chandrabati Devi) falls for him. This is one of Saigal’s more technically sophisticated movies at New Theatres and includes some quasi- documentary scenes (e.g. about a blood donation programme) showing life under the bombardment, and the shots showing the theatre devastated by an air raid. Ramesh is injured during the attack and is hospitalised. His beloved sister leaves him. The film intercuts his angst-ridden condition while Rekha dies in the same hospital, unbeknown to Ramesh. The film passes an unusually harsh judgement on Rekha, notwithstanding the convention of damning ‘liberated’ women in the Indian cinema of the time. Like all Saigal films, it relies heavily on his songs, e.g. Do naina matware, Chupo na, o pyari sajaniya (when Saigal serenades Krishna’s father, thinking him to be Krishna) and Ai qatib-e-taqdeer mujhe itna bata de. Composer Mullick later re-recorded these songs in his own voice for an independent album.