There is a strong sexual undertone in this scene. A robust man who never came in proximity to a young woman is desirous towards this pretty damsel. He finds her beautiful and brave at the same time. It is at this moment that he feels that probably this is the woman who can change his life for the better. The camera captures Jarnail's face closely. His eyes are peering on Chameli's face. He is struck by the beauty of the woman and his sexual yearnings are almost palpable. Never had I seen such intensity in Sunil Dutt and such vulnerable charm in Waheeda Rehman!
Mujhe Jeene Do is the story of reformation about a feared dacoit called Thakur Jarnail Singh and his journey towards redemption. His gang is notorious for loot and plunder in the small villages of Madhya Pradesh and he displays his cruelty right in the beginning by killing the headman of a village before his young wife Champa (Nirupa Roy). The dying man becomes a martyr and Roy pledges, along with the villagers, to protect themselves from this dacoit henceforth and to extract sweet revenge one day.
Thakur Jarnail Singh plans his next trip to the marriage of the daughter of another Thakur (Sapru). There he spots Chameli Jaan, the courtesan who entertains everyone with Raat hain kuch bheegi bheegi (Lata Mangeshkar). It's a deliciously tantalising take on how young lovers meet. Jarnail is instantly hooked on to the antics of the dancer and plots to kidnap her. Which of course he does.
One day, while Jarnail is off to loot some more, Kripal Singh attacks Chameli thinking that Jarnail will fall prey to the bullets of the police. This scene is also shot wonderfully. The fear and desperation in Chameli's face is remarkable. The lust and cruelty on Kripal Singh's demeanour is terrible. As Chameli escapes, she falls in front of Jarnail, who is so angry that he goes to kill Kripal. But on the behest of Chameli he lets him go. A mistake, as we get to learn later!
Chameli Jaan and Jarnail get married. But alas, they never get to enjoy a blissful honeymoon. Just after their wedding, the police catch up on them and the two have to run with their men. In the middle Chameli teases her husband with the lovely Nadi naare na jao shyam culminating in the union of the two lovebirds. BUt, all said and done, marriage does not change Jarnail. He is just the same old handsome dacoit who dares to take up odd challenges. This shows that love cannot change one suddenly.
It is only after Shera is born that Jarnail reckons the dangers that he is putting his loved ones in. He loses his dear friend Tara and Chameli and Shera are always on the brink of danger. A stunning and heartfelt scene at Anwar Hussain's haveli brings out the positive side if this man and Jarnail;s journey to redemption commences. But his path is strewn with big thorns that will leave gashing wounds...
Tere bachpan ko jawani ki dua is a mindblowing creation. A mother understands the predicament of bringing up her son and wishes for his fast growth. She is not willing to enjoy his childhood. It is a painful thought for every mother that she cannot secure a stable upbringing for her son. Brilliant work by Sahir Ludhianvi.
This 1963 film is definitely one of the best dacoit dramas ever. It showcases the life of dacoits and the circumstances in which they live. It harps on the fact that even if a criminal wants to reform himself, society does not give him a scope or a chance. It blends the black and white shades of a goon splendidly. At once the writer shows Jarnail to be all crooked and wild. But this is also a man who feels the pangs of love very strongly and sacrifices his well being for his wife and children. Kudos to writer Agha Jani Kashmiri.
Waheeda Rehman is a brilliant choice for Chameli Jaan. She has the right dosage of ethnicity and vulnerability to pull off this role. She looks rustic, is naughty in parts and displays her sorrows and fear darn too well. In the scene where she screams out when the villagers come to vandalise her house is done with utmost precision.