Director: S.U. Sunny; Writer: Azm Bazidpuri; Producer: S.U. Sunny, Naushad; Cinematographer: Fali Mistry; Cast: Nargis, Dilip Kumar, Munawar Sultana, Amar, A. Shah, Jankidass, H. Pahadi, Vinod Ismail, Jugnu, Chandrabala, Seema, Meher, Rajbala, Khurshid Begum
Duration: 02:11:07; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Lightness: 0.248; Volume: 0.152; Cuts per Minute: 6.079
Summary: Major commercial hit recounting a love triangle in a feudal household between the handsome new postman Ashok (Kumar), Bela (Nargis), the old postman’s vivacious daughter and Usha (Sultana), the haughty daughter of the zamindar. Ashok teaches Usha music until Bela warns her to keep away from her man. Usha withdraws and promises to marry a man of her father’s choice. One of the most formally elaborate romance dramas of 50s Hindi film, Babul’s tragic end forms part of the unusual plot departure of the hero falling in love with a woman who is not the heroine and who, indeed, remains out of sympathy with the audience for the better part of the film. When it turns out that both women have been betrayed by the hero and by their fathers, the film shifts into a completely subjective style, locating the man and two women in three distinct spaces, even separated in one shot by a gigantic wall. In the end, Usha’s wedding procession escalates into a whole sequence of tragedies: Bela, in a deranged fit, falls from a tree and is fatally injured, though she insists that Ashok marry her, which he does, minutes before she dies. Her death is shown by a medieval horseman descending from the skies to receive her, as the smoke from her cremation merges with the clouds.