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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Satisfaction guaranteed! (Aaye Din Bahaar Ke)

I'm always game to watch a film for umpteen times provided it guarantees wholesome entertainment. There might be flaws and redundant inclusions, but after it ends it should leave me happy and satisfied. Sadly, not many films of today deliver such fun. So, I keep going back to the films of yore to extract my daily quota of entertainment. I might know every scene by heart, every dialogue might just rotate in my mind and everything looks all too familiar. But nothing stops me from re-watching them. J Om Prakash's romantic drama Aaye Din Bahar Ke is one of them. Only heaven knows how many times I've watched this Dharmendra-Asha Parekh lovely, but does that mean I'll stop? No way...

What is not to like in this 1966 film set amidst the picturesque hills of Darjeeling. Dharmendra is absolutely drool-worthy, albeit he becomes soppy quite often, Asha Parekh is frothy and glamorous, the story is credible, the characters are good fun and plenty of twists surface to keep you hooked. Also, the music by Laxmikant Pyarelal is fantastic, especially the title track. It's sonorous and blissful, just like Asha Parekh's charm and the bountiful Queen of Hills.Anand Bakshi's lyrics also keep you engaged in all the songs. He is a master here.
Ravi (Dharmendra) is an eligible bachelor who stays with his mother, Jamuna (Sulochana). He meets the rich Kanchan (Asha Parekh) and as is prone in all Hindi films, he does play some naughty pranks on her. But the girl is too swift for him and she retorts marvellously. However, after all the initial misunderstandings, the two fall in love and make for such a halcyon picture. They sing, dance and romance amidst the tea gardens of Darjeeling. Love never looked so good. Dharmendra is as gorgeous as gorgeous can get and Asha Parekh is sweet, classy and charming.
This time there is no class barriers and Kanchan's rich father, Seth Jankidas (Raj Mehra) readily agree to get his daughter married to the middleclass Ravi as he sees a gem in the boy. He talks out the issue with Jamuna and after dithering momentarily, even the mother agrees to the match. Everything is going just about fine. But alas! Such happiness is short lived. At the engagement party (where I must mention that Dharmendra is killing in a formal black suit and Asha Parekh steals the scene in a lavender pre-stitched saree ensemble) Jankidas's sister (Leela Mishra) recognises Jamuna. She hollers out that Jamuna, many years back, came away from Ambala after being stigmatised. Jamuna was not married but was already pregnant with a child and was forced to leave her ancestral land for fear of public ridicule. Ravi and Kanchan are devastated. Jankidas insults Ravi and throws him out. Ravi promises Kanchan that this cannot be true and pleads with her to wait for him to discover the truth before she flees into any decision.
Ravi implores his mother for an explanation and is flabbergasted to learn that all the mudslinging at the party was not unjustified. Ravi blasts his mother and goes out even before she can explain what actually happened. He takes refuge in alcohol at a local pub where he is accosted by a pimp who takes him to a courtesan's den. While at the courtesan's, he has a fisticuff with the pimp and is brought before court. The drama plot thickens from here... Watch Aaye Din Bahar Ke, for this is only the beginning of the travails that Ravi and his family will face. You also need to know who exactly is Ravi's father and whether he really was a villain. Also, what happens to Kanchan and Ravi's love story? How do they reunite. Lots of twists and turns will keep you enthralled.
There might be times when you feel that the film is being unnecessarily dragged but as long as you get to see so many colours and emotions, such free-wheeling performances, then what's the harm in investing those extra minutes. I love how Rachna (Nazima) makes an entry in the plot, to just unsettle the tidings in Ravi and Kanchan's love story. Here is a girl who minces no words in pronouncing that she is in love with a handsome young man and even looks for avenues to make him own up his feelings for her. Sweet!
Kanchan is also a feisty girl. When she realises that she cannot live without Ravi, she promptly leaves her father's home, boards a train and goes to Bombay. Asha Parekh did a similar thing in her previous film, Bharosa, where she was Guru Dutt's sweetheart. (But while Nana Palsikar came over to the city to look for her Raj Mehra is not bothered! Strange, huh! Anyways, as I said, I'm ready to forgive these niggling faults.) And then when she realises that Rachna is madly in love with her employer's son, she actually gives her tips to win his heart, without knowing that this is the same man who once stole her heart.
Aaye Din Bahar Ke is a lovely film to behold. The sights, scenes and sounds of Darjeeling, the robust manliness of Dharmendra, the soft delicacy of Asha Parekh, the stunning costumes (she wears some sexy slim pants paired with smart shirts that accentuate her curvy frame. And the sarees she dons are just splendid), the soothing presence of Balraj Sahni and Sulochana and the vibrant colours that make the film. Ample of reasons to like this one.
And then there are the fabulous songs. Modh Rafi, Asha Bhonsle, Lata Mangeshkar and Mahendra Kapoor just infuse life into the numbers created by Laxmikant Pyarelal. Khudaya khair is naughty and teasing, Mera mehboob is precocious and Aaye kaash kisi diwane is jaunty. Khat Likh de has an element of waiting as well as longing. It's folksy tune gives enough scope to Parekh to flaunt her nimble dancing prowess. Mere dushman is a tad preachy but has a good lilt. The picturisation is fine.
Immensely liked by me is Yeh kali, a song that harps on romance and longing between a young couple. Both the actors are marvellous here as they look into each other's eyes and revel in each other's company. However, the best track has to be Suno sajna, a soft semi-classical ballad expressing the first rushes of young love. It's as if nature is responding to the heart's call through its signs and it is celebrating the joyous union of Ravi and Kanchan with aplomb. Gosh! Will songs like these ever get made again? Or rather, films like these...





18 comments:

  1. Asha Parekh and Dharmendra make a gorgeous pair, really really charming. I'd watch any film with the two of them in it. And Asha Parekh was such a glam dresser, curves and all.

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  2. @Banno: Parekh could definitely give all these size-zero nincompoops of today a run for their money!! So glam she was. And ya, she manages to do justice to each and every role, me thinks!! Remember Ayaa Sawan Jhoom Ke!

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  3. Dharmendra looked scrumpilicious in this movie. I am not a great Asha Parekh fan, but boy, could she dance! (And I did like her in her earlier movies like Chhaya and Dil Deke Dekho.) And she *is* eminently watchable. I really liked Aaye Din Bahaar Ke - it had the perfect blend of 'masala'. :)

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  4. @Anu: Yes, lots of romance, drama, melodrama and twists! Never can fail, this combo!!

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  5. Amazing movie!! The old romantic love story with spice of betrays and emotions.The story is credible and expressions of the actors are just awesome.

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  6. I've seen it, though a long time ago. I remember till where you've written, and then my mind is blank.
    I can't even remember if I liked it or not. I don't understand this black out.
    Which means I must watch it again :)
    pacifist

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  7. Suno sajna is my favourite song from this film too! I have the VCD lying around at home and have been meaning to rewatch it, mainly because I love the Asha Parekh-Dharmendra jodi: they're so good. By the way, have you seen Shikar? Also starring the two of them. It's a very good murder mystery.

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  8. @Pacifist: Sounds like a very good idea to me!!!

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  9. @Dustedoff: Nooooo but I so badly want to see it. I've been hunting for Shikar everywhere on the planet but to no avail :(

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  10. Sharmi, ask and thou shall receive. :))

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvjGuaYhzTQ

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  11. @Anu: Thank you Anu. Saw it yesterday night on some film site. It was something really worth it. Should be writing a post soon :)

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  12. It's been quite some years since I watched this movie. Totally love Dharmendra-Asha jodi and the songs! Few years ago when Set Max used to air old movies, this used to be among the most frequently aired movies. So thanks to them that I must have seen it around 10-12 times. Though I remember most of the movie and all its other songs, I had completely forgotten about Phoolon se mukhde wali until I heard it on radio few days ago and have been hooked to it ever since.
    Same with Shikar too. I havent watched the movie yet, but that song - Tumhare pyaar mein hum beqraar hoke chale, I can listen to it the whole day.

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  13. @Sunheriyaadein: The magic of old films and old songs, I say!!!

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  14. @Sharmi: Yep, I like this movie and it's time for a re-watch. As soon as I saw this review from you, I wanted to recommend Shikar in the same combo but I see you have already watched it and fallen in love with it :)

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  15. @Sreenath: Absolutely. I'm going to watch that everyday for the next four days. I'm addicted!!

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  16. Gotta watch this too then...

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