Blogadda Who are you reading today?

Visit to discover Indian blogs

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Where the script lacks steam (Mere Hamdam Mere Dost)

I had seen Mere Hamdam Mere Dost a long, long time ago. So, I didn't quite remember much from this Amar Kumar film except for the title track and the scintillating club song, Humko to ho gaya hain pyar , picturised on the dazzling Mumtaz. In fact, I vividly remember the song Na jaa kahin ab na jaa, simply because of the long refrains in the voice of Mohd Rafi, the oh-so handsome Dharmendra in a embroidered kurta-shirt and white trousers and Sharmila Tagore, the picture of charm in a dark grey sari. The very instance of eye-candy and melodious magic in old Hindi films.

However, it would have been good if I would have let the good memories be. Instead I chose to relive them yesterday. And sadly, I was so disappointed. What my juvenile head liked many years back, my now old head didn't quite this time. Yes, there were good moments. For instance, I simply cannot get over how handsome Dharmendra was, how dashing he looks in every frame. Even when he is supposed to irk people off with his inebriated charade in Chalkaye jaam, aapki hoton ke naam, he is good enough to kill. Also Mumtaz, the glam quotient in the filmn. Despite being the heroine's friend who hardly gets some decent screen time, she makes it sure that she earns enough brownie points for her ineffectual charm and her gorgeous personality. In fact there are time when I felt that Sharmila looked quite fake in terms of glamour beside Mumtaz. Yes, this is where I am going to draw daggers next.
Sharmila is a lovely looking lady. She has a dimpled smile that can wreak havoc on any heart, irrespective of gender and age. But here, I somehow found her too superficial for my taste. The girl who dazzles away in Aradhana and Amar Prem, is somewhat too over-made-up here. She does not require those excessive jewellery, those gaudy saris and that caked look. There is a refreshing charm about her that should be kept intact. If you remember how stunning she looked in An Evening in Paris despite portraying a rich girl, you'd be disppointed at how wrongly Sharmila is done up here. She looks overtly proud in some frames and a tad haughty in some. Not to my liking. Maybe it was her personality too that put me off to some extent.
She tries to make Sunil (Dharmendra) fall in love with her by beguiling him and throughout her pursuit of the prince there is a vein of deceit and force. she expects Sunil to forgive her at the drop of a hat for lying to him. And to take the insult further she gets angry when Sunil creates a nuisance of himself at the party. She never realises that he is hurt incredibly because she has posed to be what she was not. She toyed with his emotions and his love. Even when she is happily singing Chalo sajna jahaan takghata chaley (a beautiful song by Lata Mangeshkar composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal), I sense that she is not totally true. And the disaster of disasters is that even Sunil's parents become party to the cheap charade that Anita has been continuing with total help from Dhand (What a waste of the talent of Om Prakash).
Amar Kumar got all his characters wrong here, or is it the script? Om Prakash is projected as a parasitic gossip monger with little or no entertaining side to his character. Dharmendra is a mute spectator throughout the film, except in the last stages where he has to avenge his father's death. Sharmila is too happy putting up a disguise of a poor girl, though she looks extremely well-dressed and happy to be true. How come Sunil never finds it irking that her mistress (Mumtaz in this case) is so kind and magnanimous that she lets the servant wear all her best saris and jewels!!
The Ramesh situation is too forced and idiotic. Santosh Kumar comes and goes in the film without even making a whimper or sound. Bad, bad characterisation. Achla Sachdev tries to make an impact in the scenes where she appears. At least she tries to drive some sense in her son that he can't marry a girl whose father killed his own father! But then after that, the story becomes a bit too confusing with Sunil blaming Anita for hiding her father, Anita running to her long-lost mother demanding a reason for her absence all these years, begging her to call her 'Nitto' just once and then this becoming evident that Anita and Minoo (Mumtaz) are in fact sisters! (All the sharing of jewels and clothes at last comes to some good!)
The 1968 film does start off very well with a murder taking place and the person behind the murder being good enough to own up his devious act and landing in prison. His manager Ajit Narang (Rehman) takes care of his property and his daughter till she is big enough to take care of the estate herself. But what is disgusting is that Ajit who is old enough to be Anita's father, harbours romantic interests about her and wants her to himself. Yikes!!!
So he keeps a tab on Anita's whereabouts by fixing Minoo for the job, who later develops a close bond with Anita. She safeguards Anita from the hawk eyes of Ajit, even misleading him to some extent.
Now Ajit does what he should be doing. He ruins the happy parties gradually. he slow poisons Sunil's mother's mind against Anita so that Sunil grows distant from the girl he so wishes to bed! Yikes again... He even murders his old master and shifts the blame on Sunil.
Mere Hamdam Mere Dost is a good hot potch of romance, thrills and comedy. What the director wanted to achieve is not clear. In the midst, we get a distorted script with characters mired in controversy and with lack of steam. And after the close to three hours of reel time, I am left with the foot tapping club number that comes in the last. Mumtaz dazzles in it and makes the pain a bit easy to endure!!


  1. @Sharmi: I watched MHMD recently and I agree with you. The movie started off well but lost steam in between. It is hard to believe how Dharmendra can take Sharmila for a servant with so glam a look. I think it's an okay movie overall but not great.

  2. @Sreenath: I can just say that I have seen better Dharmendra films and much better Sharmila Tagore films!

  3. "But what is disgusting is that Ajit who is old enough to be Anita's father, harbours romantic interests about her and wants her to himself. Yikes!!!"

    What about the Mumtaz-Om Prakash jodi? I thought that was equally hard to believe! The only thing I really liked about this film was the songs, and the eye-candy provided by Dharmendra, Mumtaz and (very occasionally) Sharmila. Otherwise, yes... a pain. :-(

  4. @Dustedoff: Arey I thought that was only a joke!! But now that you say there was some seriousness to it, then ya... Superyikes!! This lot could have done much much better, na?!?!?

  5. I initially thought it was a joke too, until the end, when she seems to be reciprocating!! 'Superyikes' is right! Much as I like Om Prakash, he is certainly not a match for the gorgeous Mumu, who must've been young enough to be his granddaughter by this time. :-(

  6. @Dustedoff: Hahahaha... granddaughter!!! What these filmstars have to do na?!?!?!