Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Amar - A dark film by Mehboob Khan

Amar(1954) was a landmark film in Dilip Kumar's career.Right at the beginning of his career, Dilip Kumar took the risk of starring in a negative role.Predictably the film flopped as the audience were not prepared to see the hero Dilip Kumar in a negative role..

A little background about Dilip Kumar the Actor

Dilip Kumar is considered to be one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema. Born Mohammad Yusuf Khan born in Peshawar ( now in Pakistan),Dilip Kumar was the screen name given to him by Veteran actress Devika Rani, co owner of Filmistan studios while she gave him a break in 1944.
Dilip Kumar has starred in some of the biggest and commercially most successful films from the late 1940s, 1950s, 1960s right until the 1980s. His performances have been regarded as the epitome of emoting in Indian Cinema. He is an institution of the Hindi screen.

He was the first actor to receive a Filmfare Best Actor Award and holds the record for most number of Filmfare Awards won for that category nine times in all..

About the film Amar and its maker

Amar is directed by Mehboob Khan who is known for making grand films, with a huge canvass , great actors, and unusual story lines.His films were full of drama and they made an impact on the watchers.
He has directed some of the most well known and well loved classics of Hindi cinema like Anmol ghadi, Aurat, Anadaz, Aan and Amar..

Amar was his most daring film.He tried to film a story that was shunned by all his production unit.In fact half way through the filming discouraged by the financiers, he even decided to shelve the film, but it was apparently Dilip Kumar , Madhubala and Nimmi, the lead stars who encouraged him to go through with the shooting..But the audience were not ready for a film that is now considered a masterpiece by the Classic cinema lovers..

The story of Amar

Amar (Dilip Kumar) , a lawyer is happy to be engaged to Anju (Madhubala) who is very much in love with him and looking forward to her marriage with him. Amar meets a pretty milkmaid Sonia(Nimmi) while he visits his ancestoral village and gets attracted to her , whereas she is aware of his engagement to Anju.She tells him not to pursue her , but he tries to seduce her , and when she resists he forcibly rapes her and threatens her to keep it a secret.The poor girl is in a trauma suffering her plight in silence as Amar is a powerful man. Amar watches silently and prepares for his wedding with Anju as Sonia suffers the consequences of his cruel actions.
Anju realises that something was wrong with Amar and one day she comes to know the shocking details about him, and she is determined to know the truth...

My views on the film

Amar is an interesting film in that the hero rapes a woman who fleeing from the villain , who was after her has taken shelter with him. The cowardly hero now refuses to come forward and help her out , but instead sees the woman suffer the consequences of the rape.

Mehboob Khan considered this as one of his best films, inspite of it bombing at the box office. He had a soft corner for this film, for which he had taken a lot of care .Everything looked perfect in the film.
The actors, especially Dilip kumar as the cowardly Amar has given one of his best performances.His disturbed state of mind is shown in a subtle manner with just facial expressions- very effective, i feel the black and white photography and the light and shade effect certainly helped create the right mood. The incredibly beautiful Madhubala besides looking mesmerising as usual , has given a wonderful, mature performance. The quiet romantic despair and the steely moral resolve she displays after realising her fiancee Amar's dark secret is heartbreaking. Her very presence brightens up a film like nothing else...What a great star she was!!

I loved the scenes between her and Nimmi where they contemplate on what action to take against the cowardly Amar who both are in love with..

Nimmi , a very popular star of the fifties is known for her intense roles and acting, and in Amar she has the role that perfectly suits her..She is very good in tragic roles and here , in her role as Sonia the poor girl who is raped by the hero and who refuses to disclose his identity even when she is disgraced , she makes a major impact.
Music by the Great maestro Naushad is excellent, with Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar singing some of their best classics for this film.

My personal favorites are 'Insaaf ka mandir hai yeh bhagwan ka ghar hai' sung by Mohammad Rafi, Jaanewale se mulaqat na ho - a true classic by Lata Mangeshkar, and Na shikwa hai koyi- in fact i love all the songs from this film, they are all such classics...Asha Bhonsle has sung just one song, which is probably one of her best songs 'Ik baat kahoon mere piya sunle agar tu '..

List of songs from the film
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1, Ik baat kahoo mere piya - Asha Bhonsle
2, Na milta gham ko barbadi - Lata mangeshkar
3, Insaaf ka mandir hai yah- Mohammad Rafi
4, Tere sadque baalam - Lata Mangeshkar
5, Na shikwa hai koyi- Lata Mangeshkar
6, Khamosh hai kewanhar meri - Lata Mangeshkar
7, Jaane wale se mulaqat na - Lata Mangeshkar
8, Oodhi oodhi chaai ghata- Lata Mangeshkar

Details of the Film
~~~~~~~~~~~ ~

Actors: Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Nimmi
Directors: Mehboob
Music: Naushad Ali
Language : Hindi

Summary: An excellent film

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