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Friday, 14 May 2010

A hearty tale of love (Dil Deke Dekho)

Shammi Kapoor's called Roop in Nasir Husain's Dil Deke Dekho. An apt name. With that kind of a face, nothing else would do justice. He is a charmer, who slips into multiple roles with utmost dexterity. He is tall, strapping and cool, a loverboy who is hard to stay away from. He is a dutiful son, an passionate lover and a quickwitted comedian. So, Roop, the one with a beautiful face, effortlessly makes your heart skip a beat. He makes you laugh with his Professor Saamri gags, tickles your funny bone as Mirza Changezi and makes mush out of you as the smooth Roop or Raja. In the very words of Prof. Saamri, "Oh, tera kya kehna" or maybe, "Yeh aankhen nahin do teer hain"...

Dil Deke Dekho, set in picturesque Nainital, is a jolly good romantic musical. So, sit back and throw all worries away. Discard reasoning and let Roop play with your senses. He does it with aplomb. You'll soon find yourself laughing with him, crying with him, flirting with him, dancing with him, singing with him and most importantly loving him. He sets the screen on fire with his Elvis Presleyesque gigs, his cocky swagger, his swashbuckling performance and his very, very attractive looks. He is a stylish drummer, replete with great clothes (chequered jackets, belted coats, smart T-shirts and polo necks). The best part is when he lets his wavy hair peek out of the Pahari topi, it's positively teasing!!
Okay, let's focus. Roop was separated from his mother, Jamuna Devi, by his father, Rana Raghuvir, on the grounds of lies, conceit and deception. The Rana's old rival, Harishchandra, plays a nasty trick to plant suspicion in his mind against his wife, Jamuna. The couples part. As per the wicked plans of Harishchandra, Jamuna is forced to bring up Kailash, the former's elder son, while the villain himself flees with his lover, Nagina, who later dies during childbirth. Harishchandra's plotting resurfaces when he sends his younger son, Sohan, to pose as Roop before Jamuna to pocket her property. But, luck shines forth and everyone's united in the end...
Replete with plenty of twists and turns, Dil Deke Dekho is a complete family entertainer. And, weaved in the storyline are a staggering nine songs, all of them mellifluous beauties by Usha Khanna (What a musical debut!!).
The picturisation of the songs makes them stand out. And, Asha Parekh, the female lead plays a prominent part in that. She is Neeta, a charming and fiesty girl. She debuts with incredible confidence. She is spontaneous, energetic and easy. Educated abroad, Neeta's character has the right doses of smartness, style, defiance, insolence, exuberance and shyness. She is appropriately coy before her Aunty and equally flirtatious with Roop in the song Bade hain dil ke kale. She suitably evades Roop's romantic overtures and at the same time minces no words while breaking up her engagement with Kailash. She is an adorable sweetheart, an obedient daughter, a spunky young girl with oodles of charisma. I guess, that's what made her an actress of top billing in the years to come...
The music now...fantastically feet tapping!! Though I don't feel much about the title track, Dil deke dekho apart from the unique usage of straw mats as props, I feel the countdown to the song is funny. The camera slowly moves up to reveal the dandy drummer, Roop/ Raja. He's so supremely handsome. I find great similarties in this and Rocky's introductory scene in Teesri Manzil (another Nasir Husain production). Understandably...
Megha re bole's rustic tune is catchy. It gives ample scope to Kapoor to showcase his dancing skills. But, what follows is even better. Bade hain dil ke kale is a teasing jugalbandi of two wannabe lovers.
The twisty Do ekkum do is passable. But Kapoor's disguise is hilarious and so is the ensuing pandemonium in Jagat Narayan's abode. Who needs the disgusting Rajinder Nath and his stupid buffoonery when you have Prof Saamri's azeez tricks.
The music improves from here. Bolo bolo kuch to bolo is a celebration of Kapoor's flamboyance as a lover. He is completely droolworthy. He sways from one end of the screen to the other and flashes passionate glances towards Neeta. Sigh!! He is tall, thin (all the better) and has a cardigan loosely hung from his broad shoulders!! He tells Neeta, "Acha dost aur acha pati sirf kismat walo ko milat hain." You expect me to think straight after that???
Romance in 1959's Dil Deke Dekho is optimum. For instance, in the Rahi mil gaye sequence, Roop knows that Neeta is attracted to him but is forcing herself to stay away because of her filial obligations. But, with his words, his looks, his love, he relentlessly pursues Neeta and soon she finds his charm too magnetic to shun.
The melodious duet Pyar ki kasam has a kind of resonating quality. As if, the hills and the valleys bear testimony to the innocent love of Roop and Neeta. Kaun ye aya showcases the chutzpah of Kapoor. He is confident of his love and is too defiant to brook warnings from Jamuna Devi to stay away from his sweetheart. Yaar chulbula hain is a playful ditty. If you take Asha Parekh, you'd better make her dance. And, in this song she matches steps with the swashbuckling Kapoor.
The best, and my favourite, is the love ballad, Hum aur tum aur yeh samaa. It's infectiously dreamy and Kapoor makes it all the more alluring. The languid pace of the music, the beautiful poetry and the lilt is oh-so magical. The misty ambience hieghtens the loveliness of the setting. And, when Neeta's and Roop's eyes meet...the sparks turn into fire...What more do you need in this hearty tale of love???


  1. ... "when Neeta's and Roop's eyes meet...the sparks turn into fire..."
    Excellently written; the post is tempting me to watch the movie one Sunday.

  2. I bet you'll love it...Shammi Kapoor rocks and the songs will enthrall you!! Thanks for the comment...

  3. I've seen this movie often enough to know most of the scenes pretty well - and I still don't tire of it! Formula, but so enjoyable. Shammi Kapoor was never better, and he teams up so well with Asha Parekh. And the music, of course, is superb, even though Usha Khanna did fairly faithful 'lifts' from three English songs!

  4. @Dustedoff: Omigosh really???? Which songs did she lift from?? And, which were those songs in this film???

  5. 'Dil deke dekho' was originally 'Sugar in the morning' by the McGuire Sisters; 'Meri Neeta' was Paul Anka's 'Diana' and 'Pyaar ki kasam hai' was originally 'Since I met you baby' by Ivory Joe Hunter.

  6. Gawd!!! Really? Thanks for the trivia :)

  7. Yes, a wonderful film :)

    P.S: BTW... the Rana's old rival is called 'Harichand' and not 'Harishchandra'...

  8. @Roshmi: I stand corrected. But yes, this is absolutely a rollicking film!!