Director: Kidar Sharma; Writer: Kidar Sharma, Akhtar Mirza; Cinematographer: Pandurang K. Shinde; Cast: Raj Kapoor, Geeta Bali, Vijayalakshmi, Pesi Patel, Nazira, Cuckoo, Sharada, Banke, Siraj, Prakash, Darpan, Kanta
Duration: 02:10:43; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Lightness: 0.173; Volume: 0.318; Cuts per Minute: 7.267
Summary: Extraordinary melodrama distinguished by Geeta Bali’s innovative acting. Disinherited Chand (Kapoor) falls in love with village girl Tara (Bali). He leaves for the city promising to return and marry her. Her sister Gangu dies as does her blind mother. She goes to the city to join Chand but Rajani, the woman who was supposed to marry Chand, manages to discredit her and she is mercilessly ejected. Chand marries Rajani while Tara is relegated to join the brass band at the wedding. Rajani dies a horrible death shortly afterwards, confessing to her deceitful action. Chand then goes in search of Tara but he is too late: she is dead. The elaborate plot is perfunctorily wrapped up in the last 15’ but the film remains notable for its remarkable camerawork, e.g. in the song Sun bairi balam, Sharma and Shinde extend the use of filters pioneered in Barua’s Devdas (1935) to create black skies over a white earth. There is an unrestrained use of the pathetic fallacy with repeated rain and fire motifs, esp. in the song Teri duniya mein dil lagta nahin, allowing Sharma to merge a romanticised socialist realism with a mawkish presentation of patriarchy at times slipping into cosmic fantasy (e.g. the dead Tara comes alive to help Chand to enter her world). All the registers are ably sustained in Bali’s skilful performance. Sharma later claimed to have written all the lyrics himself.