Woh Kaun Thi (1964)
Director: Raj Khosla; Writer: Dhruva Chatterjee; Producer: N.N. Sippy; Cinematographer: K.H. Kapadia; Editor: D.N. Pai; Cast: Sadhana, Manoj Kumar, Pravin Choudhury, K.N. Singh, Raj Mehra, Dhumal, Mohan Choti, Ratnamala, Helen, Prem Chopra, Pal Sharma, Satish, Anwaribai, Prakash, Indira Bansal, Balram, Sudesh Kumar
Duration: 02:22:44; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 224.035; Saturation: 0.013; Lightness: 0.376; Volume: 0.398; Cuts per Minute: 12.372; Words per Minute: 34.881
A rare big-budget excursion into the thriller genre, the story concerns a young doctor, Anand (Kumar), obsessed by a woman (Sadhana) who appears to him with different names and in different guises, making him doubt his senses. Like Vertigo (1958), the story evokes the supernatural and madness but eventually the hero unravels the plot. The villain of the piece is Anand’s friend Dr Ramesh (Chopra) who concocts the plot to drive Anand insane in order to get hold of an inheritance. The enigmatic, sexually repressed figure played by Sadhana ranges from a ghostlike apparition to Anand’s future wife (with a seduction scene where she momentarily turns ‘human’ to the song Lag jaa gale
). In spite of the often woefully inadequate soundtrack and the fact that the suspense hinges mainly on the repeated use of the song Naina barse rimjhim (sung by Lata Mangeshkar), it remains one of director Khosla’s favourites. The film was remade in Tamil as Yar Nee by Sathyam (1966).
A certification of Dr. Anand's mental health: the entwining of mental health and the law.
Song: Chhod-kar tere pyaar kaa daaman
Song: Nainaa barse rimjhim rimjhim
The "possessed woman": religious beliefs supplant medical diagnosis on encountering deviance in female behaviour.
Loneliness/independence in women is co-extensive with vulnerability to evil spirits: "akeli jawan ladki" and invisible "balaayein".
Sandhya's reporting of her own symptoms/her understanding of her illness: "jee ghabrana" - anxiety and "jo apne aap ko nahin pehchaan sake, usey sadhoo kya pehchaanege" - estrangement from self.
Song: Lag jaa gale ke phir yeh haseen raat ho na ho
Dr. Singh and Anand's argument about which is to be trusted - the eyes or the mind - is an old metaphysical: haqueeqat (reality) vs. vehem (illusion). Dr. Singh speaks of Anand's "hallucinations" as hypnotic auto-suggestion which will lead to paagalpan.
Song: Jo humne daastaan apni sunaayi, aap kyon roye?
Song: Shok nazar ki bijaliyaan, dil pe mere giraaye ja
Song: Naina barase rimjhim rimjhim (2)
Anand's auditory hallucinations lead him to the site of trauma.