With a blemish-free narrative, a classic projection of vintage Lucknow, a web of some of the most beautiful romantic numbers, a cast that performs immaculately in every frame, Harnam Singh Rawail's Mere Mehboob is now my initiation to a whole new world of charming romance. Yes, I simply got goosebumps in so many parts of the film when Anwar utters those delicate ditties to his beloved Husna. Such beauty and charm this film has! And not just that. All the romance is interwoven with a solid tale of misunderstandings, tweaks and twists that it falls so rightly in place. And yes, that ending could not have been better. What is even more laudable is how the director sticks strictly to the depiction of the old Lucknawi culture and etiquette. The diction, the behaviour, the custom, the costumes and the rituals, everything is so faithful to the original. No wonder this 1963 romance is remembered as one of the best made romances till date. And after enjoying it today afternoon, I can guess why.
Ashok Kumar is a tried and tested actor and a brilliant choice to play the Nawab. Pran is seen in a tiny role but he is very good as usual. Mumtaz Begum for a chance, displays grey shades. Ameeta is a surprise and she is so refreshing. I still feel she should have been a lead actress. Directors failed to exploit her talent. In the song Janeman ek nazar dekh le, you can witness her pain as well as her happiness. She is happy that her best friend is getting engaged to the man she loves and at the same time heartbroken because her love had to die a premature death. She also matches her steps quite well with Sadhana in Mere mehboob mein kya hain (Asha Bhonsle and Lata).
As said before, this is perhaps the first time that I seriously liked rajendra Kumar in a film. Fact is, he looked dapper in those sherwanis, he gave a restrained and controlled performance and he was extremely romantic in the scenes with Sadhana. This Anwar was brilliant and I have no qualms in admitting it.