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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Toying with melodrama (Khilona)

There are times when I'm game for a film where I wouldn't have to put in much thought and reasoning. I'd only have to go with the flow of the story, the ups, downs, drama, melodrama, songs, sequences and inanities. These are the times when I am lazy, tired or rather bored. These are times when one can surely watch the film Khilona. Yes, I did too. There's nothing much to say about the film except that Mumtaz looked lovely and Sanjeev Kumar was so different from his other celebral roles. But somehow, I cannot say that I did not like Khilona. There is something very dramatic about this movie that sat well with me!

Everything is absolutely OTT about this Chander Vohra film. The plot is not bad but the execution and performances are so, so melodramatic. This 1970 film was adjudged the best film of the year by Filmfare. Maybe, those were the times when soppy tales attracted the audience as well as the jury. I don't mind such tales either provided the performances are good. And here, the acting is quite good I must say.
Chand (Mumtaz), a beautiful courtesan, is hired by Thakur Singh (Bipin Gupta) to take care of his deranged son Vijay (Sanjeev Kumar). While the other members of the family are against this step, he is sure that the company of a female will cure Vijay gradually. Vijay has turned mas after his sweetheart committed suicide. Chand's mother, Hirabai is against the entire proposition but Chand is attracted to Vijay, as he used to be a very good poet. So, while the idea seems ridiculous, everyone agrees to it. And I keep watching.
Chand is seen as a fallen woman by everyone but slowly she is able to bring a semblance of sanity in Vijay's behaviour and some of the members of the family start respecting her. But on one fateful day, as luck would have it (or should I say as melodrama would have it), Vijay, in a fit rapes Chand. However, he is swept with remorse immediately after and Chand forgives him!!! Love, you see...
The Thakur's neighbour is the odious Bihari (Shatrughan Sinha). He salivates whenever he sees Chand but currently he is luring Radha, Vijay's sister, to come with him to Bombay so that he makes her a successful filmstar. Radha the gullible young girl, almost goes with him, if not for Chand's interception. When the family catches Bihari fleeing their premises, he quickly casts aspersions on Chand's character and says that he regularly comes to meet her. This sounds pretty obvious to the family as Chand is already known for her suspect background.
But throughout there is one person who believes Chand. That is Mohan (Jeetendra in a special role), Vijay's younger brother who also falls for Chand. When Chand realises that he is sympathetic to her condition, she tells him that she is carrying Vijay's child in her womb (remember he had raped her once!!! Man how fertile!!!). Though Mohan is distraught (it means he cannot pursue her anymore, he comes back in the end when everyone, including Vijay (who is no more mad), rubbishes her claim.
Bihari starts blackmailing Radha to come away with him. When Chand goes to confront him on this, he tries to kidnap her. Vijay, the lunatic comes to the forefront at the opportune moment and fights the rogue (Ah the drama!). In a freak accident, Bihari falls down from the terrace and dies. The shock cures Vijay. But in all the happiness and reunion with the family, Vijay does not even recognise Chand. He is grateful to her but he does not love her (How sad!). Chand breaks down and cries over her fate. When the time comes for her to leave, she breaks her silence and tells the other daughter-in-law of the house that she is pregnant. Then all hell breaks loose and we have too much of drama and melodrama to be true. Seriously. And I actually sat all through it...
Now for the music. I'm not particularly fond of Laxmikant-Pyarelal's brand of music. But here, the opening track was pretty good. Mumtaz is an awesome dancer and she looks so beautiful in that orange costume. Other than that, the songs were just about okay. We surely could have done without Rose rose Rosie. In fact, the comic subplot was banal and tedious. If the director would have done away with that, the film would have been shorter and maybe a little better.
In terms of performance, this is not how I'd like Sanjeev Kumar. I'd rather have him play those intellectual and restrained parts that he plays so well. Here he looks superbly funny as the lunatic Vijay whose mannerisms and actions are laughter inducing. He looks like an over grown and spoilt baby who is cribbing for things he did not get. But then I guess Kumar was toying with more commercial roles that time.
Durga Khote, Ramesh Deo, Jagdeep, Brahm Bharadwaj and Shatrughan Sinha were all apt. Sinha seriously looks like a leech who can do anything to bed a woman.
The star of the show here is Mumtaz, in a role tailormade for the awards. And voila! She even won the Filmfare Award for her performance in Khilona. She is sweet, simple, dedicated and strong. I love the sound of her voice. And best of all, she looks ravishing. Plump yet svelte, she sure is the reason, I guess, why I stuck on till the drama ended...


  1. Yes, I agree with you about Mumtaz being the star of the show. She is perfect in Khilona - so pretty, and also such a good actress (though I must admit I really don't like all the melodrama in this film). Okay, time-pass sort of film, but not my type!

    P.S. I have managed to rent Shonar Kella!!! :-)) Will watch it this weekend.

  2. @Dustedoff: Yaaayyyy... have a great time. It is an awesome awesome, super awesome film. Just get soaked in all the fun and adventure :)

  3. I liked Khilona and that mujra song 'agar dilbar ki' is worth the admission price alone, Mumtaz was oh so vivacious, I had reviewed it in my early blogging days and I loved the message in it, although yes it gets clunked up in Ott melodrama and banal comic sideplots but still a worthy watch and one of my favourites

  4. @Bollywooddeewana: Yes,Mumtaz is the sole why i can watch this film more than once :)