Friday, 17 September 2010
There is also Baazi (1951), where Dev Anand plays the gold-hearted crook. But, even though the film was a unique coming together of Guru Dutt and Dev Anand, it lacked the polish of his later films that dealt with the subject of an anti-hero.
Kala Bazar stands out because of Vijay Anand's deft treatment and the mature performances by all the actors. There are so many goods in this romance (I call it so because the story revolves around Raghuvir and Alka's love). Great cast, awesome story, superb music and restrained performances. A significant part is how Raghuvir is shown gradually attaining Gandhian qualities (read: the shawl slung on his shoulders, helping the poor and passive resistance against Ganesh and his cronies when they come to crush him down).
It is also noteworthy how the film shows that Raghuvir has to face the law long after he has changed his ways. While his life was infested with crime, he got away scotfree. It is only when he makes an honest living, the law closes in on him for his past misdemeanours. Strange, but not very surprising. For, this is the director's way of showing that there is hardly a dearth of people who want to pull down an honest and successful man.
But the most entertaining part is the first scene where there is a real life premiere show of Mother India, Mehboob Khan's 1957 blockbuster. The camera captures the excitement breeding heavy amongst the audience who are waiting for a rare glimpse of their favourite movie stars. We, sitting on the other side of the screen, also get to catch the likes of Dilip Kumar, Nargis, Naseem Banu, Kishore Kumar, Nadira, Kumkum, Mohd Rafi, Guru Dutt, Geeta Dutt, Raj Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Sohrab Modi and Nimmi. I call this a stellar gimmick on the part of Navketan...