Blogadda Who are you reading today?

Visit to discover Indian blogs

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Memory loss (Dulha Dulhan)

In the hullabaloo surrounding Sangam, the first coloured blockbuster produced under the Raj Kapoor banner, one small film got entirely lost. Dulha Dulhan, an obscure film, or rather a not very celebrated venture, is another 1964 romance starring Raj Kapoor that not many of us have heard about. At least, that was the case with me.
A random Raj Kapoor search on Youtube  introduced me to this one. The pairing of Raj Kapoor and Sadhana sounded quite intriguing and I was hooked.
Wouldn't Kapoor look way too old for the pretty, young Sadhana? I wanted to check that out for myself. And the story sounded likeable. Though, a tad patchy in some portions, Ravindra Dave's Dulha Dulhan unfolded as a pleasant tale. And, Agha made the venture more entertaining.
Raj Kumar (Kapoor) shares a room in a Bombay chawl with his friend, Bansi (Agha). While Bansi works as a music assistant in movie studios, Kumar makes ends meet as a singer in All India Radio. One day, Kumar gets a letter from his friend Ramesh that the latter's boss's daughter, Rekha, will be visiting Bombay and that Kumar should take care to receive her and put her up in a good hotel. When Kumar goes to the station to receive Rekha (who he thinks would have the appropriate airs that a rich girl should have) he meets a girl who looks lost and can barely answer Kumar's queries. She just mumbles in agreement that she is Rekha when Kumar is too insistent. Thus, Rekha (Sadhana) is taken to a good hotel. But, she follows Kumar home because she does not want to stay amidst strangers. Now Kumar is in a fix as his friend Bansi is very protective of his image and will have no woman staying in his room. So, he has to fool his friend adequately so that Rekha can stay with them. When Bensi finds out he is angry but Sadhana' angelic face is enough to melt him.
The three individuals become fast friends. Kumar and Bansi are happy that Rekha is feeding them with lipsmacking kachoris. She takes ample care of the house and is a pleasing (and harmless) guest to have. But soon, Bansi's neighbours shower the three with slights as they are two bachelors living with an unmarried young woman. The caustic words shame Rekha. Humiliated she runs to commit suicide. Kumar rescues her and as a solution to all the problems, decides to marry her. This scene is quite funny. While Rekha is hanging from an overbridge, Kumar is holding on to her. And at this juncture he proposes marriage!
This is perhaps the only Hindi film where I saw the groom dressing up the bride himself. It is a sensitive scene. Well, Kumar and Rekha get married and are very happy together. Then suddenly on Diwali, Rekha disappears. She meets with an accident and is rescued by an old man (K N Singh), who is later revealed to be her father. This takes us to Rekha's past where she is being forced to marry a philanderer by her rich father. He slaps her so hard when she is adamantly against the marriage that she hits her forehead against the wall and loses her memory! The script here goes a bit haywire. According to Rekha's father, she was lost for three months from Jaipur (where her original home was). I'm yet to gauge how she reached Bombay. How come a girl, who is rich and cared for, came to Bombay from Jaipur so easily? Mr Dave, details please...
Anyway so Rekha, who is now called Chanda, regains her memory and goes off to Jaipur with her father. Distraught at losing his charming wife, Kumar loses his sleep and sense. Then one day, Bansi brings news that Rekha is actually Chanda and is a rich girl living in Jaipur. Not willing to bite dust about social differences (that a pauper like him won't be accepted by the landlord as his son-in-law), Kumar rushes off to Jaipur to bring home his darling wife. The rest of the film is about how Kumar and Rekha reunite.
There are some questions. When Kumar realises that the girl he brought home is not Rekha, why doesn't he go to the police station? Why does he keep believing this mysterious girl who has no sane answers to his questions? Why does he jeopardise his reputation for a girl who does not even know her own name? This seems wierd. Or maybe, Sadhana'a innocent disposition is too much for Kumar to handle. He loses his power of reasoning. And, also isn't it quite obvious for such unreasonable things to happen in Hindi films?
The ending of the film is incredible. No accident, no slaps, Chanda recalls everything that happened in the three months with a little egging by Kumar's neighbours. That is something hard to swallow!
Despite all these fauxpas, I found Dulha Dulhan enjoyable. Raj Kapoor played the middle-class struggler convincingly and Sadhana was gorgeous. Her transition from a simpleton to a glamorous woman was smooth. She looked like a million bucks in the song Pia khichey hue bandhey hue  (Lata Mangeshkar) and emoted very well. Though she looked a bit too young beside Raj Kapoor (who is way past his prime here), the two make up with their good acting.
Yes, Raj Kapoor hardly looks as delicious as he did in Awara, Chori Chori or say Barsaat! But, he was convincing as Raj Kumar, and sweet. Initially leading a typical bachelor life with his friend, he learns to be responsible when this woman storms into his life. And then, he is quite confident to win over her love for the second time again when fate has already taken her away from him. Though his characteristic Chaplinesque gait is back, his back is endearing and warm. It was a very different Raj Kapoor here.
Kalyanji-Anandji's score was tolerably good. You had some pleasing numbers such as Mujhey kehtey hain Kallu kawal, Bane to bane zamana dushman, Jo pyar tune mukhjo diya tha, Jumme ke raat ho and Humne tumse pyar kiya hain jitna (there are two versions by both Mangeshkar and Mukesh).
The comedy is done marvellously by Agha and it was quite pleasing to see him get so much screen space in the film. Everytime the plot became somewhat tedious (and predictable) Agha came to the rescue with his witty dialogues and street smart attitude...


  1. I tried watching this once, since the plot looked interesting and I love Sadhana, but gave up in the first half hour itself. RK's Chaplinesque antics put me off rather badly, and it looked like Agha and he had more chemistry than Sadhana and he!

    I think this amnesia-after-marriage premise was put to much better use in Door Ki Awaaz, though that was not exactly a great film, either.

  2. Sadhana was the reason I watched this film - RK's Chaplinesque antics were too pronounced in Dulha Dulhan for me to like him in it! That said, I did like him in the male version of Humne tujhko pyaar kiya hai jitna - there's something very gentle and loving about that song, and in the situation of its picturisation, when he's trying to help her recall her past, and she's completely oblivious... sweet.

  3. @Bollyviewer: I just wanted to know what happens in the end so I kept at it. Yes, Kapoor's Chaplinesque gait was back and that irked me. Agha was funny. And Kapoor looked way older than Sadhana. She was the only one who was really pretty and good. Will try Door Ki Awaz.

  4. @Dustedoff: Yes, Sadhana is always compelling. I also liked Pia khichey hue bandhey hue. Sadhana danced so spontaneously. Otherwise a very so-so film.

  5. I have been looking for this film ever since I saw Humne tujhko pyaar kiya hai jitna . It's such a beautiful song! And Sadhna is one of my all time fav actresses. Raj does look past his prime here but I wound;t mind putting up with his Chaplinesque gait for Sadhna and Agha. I have a soft corner for this guy.
    Now, since Sadhna is Chanda, who was original Rekha that his friend had written to him about? What happneed to her?

  6. @Sunheriyaadein: She got lost in all the confusion, hahaha. But who cares once you have the charming Sadhana. She is brilliant and does a fine job with Kapoor. I've put the film's link here. You can watch it there if you want :)
    It is a tolerably good film, though with its usual share of flaws ;)

  7. This is what I would call a cute romance with a little suspense thrown in. Very enjoyable, mainly because of Sadhana and Agha though. Sadhana looks sooo lovely with her forehead showing and without those 'hair raising' hairdos. She was truly a great and versatile actress. That fabulous figure and that 'naazuk' voice of hers were big added charms. What a delightful package she was!!!!

  8. @Himmat: Hello and welcome.
    Well said. I totally adore Sadhana because she leaves a mark in all her films. She is so charming and natural. She is delightful in all the roles she has played. A very convincing actress. This film is engaging because of her mysterious air. And she makes up for Raj Kapoor's goofiness :)

  9. I didn't mind Raj Kapoor in this film. He somehow looked the role - a nearing middle-age AIR artiste living a low-wage existence. In fact, his appearance and demeanour lend just the right kind of depth and contrast to Sadhana's lost-girl innocence in the first half. A prettier leading man (like Dev Anand) wouldn't have had the same impact.

  10. @Himmat: Hmmm point taken. But I'm so in love with the Raj Kapoor of Awara and Shree 420 that I can't seem to love him in his later films :)

  11. I have no great love for RK's earlier or later actor avatars :). Though I do think he is one of the best film makers we have had. I re-watched aajao tadapte hain armaan from Awara today. The way the grandeur of the music, the settings, the framing and Nargis's movements meld is simply amazing... mind-blowing! One needs to be a genius to create such a scene.

  12. @Himmat: You are so right. Raj Kapoor was a genius and a filmmaker much ahead of his times. I also loves his nonchalant charm in Chori Chori. I think he was very good looking, too :)

  13. in fact , compared to most hindi movies these days , this movie was far far better and i would watch it maybe 50 times.....- RAM