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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A little messy

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
20 October 2007

'Amar' is very much a typical film of the 50s. The screenplay, though interesting is very flawed leaving several plot holes. The editing is quite messy in places. In the first half, it moves at a sluggish pace but in most of the second half, it jumps from scene to scene at a rapid pace that actually ended up confusing me. Even though it is a very melodramatic, the background score is extremely intrusive. Songs are very nice but excessive and really stretch screenplay (it's a long film). Characterisation also suffers. The Jayant character at times seems evil and at times seems kind-hearted. Even Nimmi's character suffers due to poor writing. She's a very poor but cheerful hyperactive wild village peasant. When she gets raped (by none other than the man she's attracted to), we see her pain and confusion but later she is shown to fall in love with her rapist (something that was quite common in older Bollywood films. This may be because she forgave him when Amar admitted to her at her wedding ceremony that he didn't have the guts to admit the truth but a lot more was needed to show the development of her feelings.

A few scenes have been brilliantly shot. For example, the scene at Sonia's wedding ceremony with the three main leads, the scenes between Nimmi and Madhubala, and the scene where Nimmi hides underwater to save herself from the evil Jayant. Performances are great too, especially the two leading ladies. Though one might say that Nimmi is loud and tends to go overboard, I thought she played the character with complete ease and did nothing short of a fine job. Madhubala does an equally wonderful job. One of the other things that stand out is the contrast director Mehboob Khan shows between these two characters. One is that of a wealthy, calm, gentle and helpful lady and the other a poor but cheerful energetic young lass. Dilip Kumar does well in most parts but sometimes he seems to have difficulty with his emotional expressions. However, he conveys Amar's guilt with gusto. So what really do stand out are the performances and the nice songs (but they're too much). I'd recommend it to fans of the actors. As for Mehboob Khan, his unforgettable 'Mother India' stands on a much higher pedestal than 'Amar'.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: iftikharkhokher from Denmark
30 April 2008

A misunderstood classic brilliantly shot in b/w in a style reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock.Possibly many are baffled by the way the story is churned out but it follows a definitive pattern leading to the poetical climax.Excellent use of the temples highlightens the subjects of rape and unmarried mothers.Definitely a thinking film though the frequent songs may seem absurd.Madhubala and Nimmi are outstanding.Dilip Kumar's acting has been misunderstood because his role is opposite to the usual tragic,heroic types he is known for.But the depth he takes his character into is amazing.I rate his acting in this film as the most sophisticated of his career.The music and songs are above average and the script is good.The supporting cast is strong and all excell in their roles.As in all Mehboob films the message here is the downtrodden in society,here a victim of rape left to the mercies of a bigoted community.This film will be hailed in the future because it's message and style was too complex for its time.

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A classic

Author: santoshini908 from India
12 April 2011

Amar is truly a classic with a finest story and wonderful Dialogues.Amar is a classic with a message for everybody.Old is gold and this is a golden classic.One of the early good movies made in India. The story of the movie is very much relevant and the director has described the life of a simple and innocent girl in a best way to salute him.Amar is one of the early films about lives of people in India.The movie surely has all ingredients required for a classic. A forever classic that requires high Honour even today.Amar has good soulful heart breaking songs. A classic and a good movie for everybody to watch and know about lives of people of early India.Old is gold and gold is more precious.

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0 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Indian soap

Author: JoeytheBrit from
17 September 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

AMAR is a typical pre-Bollywood epic from the 1950s. The running time (145 minutes) is far too long for the slight storyline, and is padded out with a never-ending stream of songs that add nothing to the primarily tragic story. The pacing is also extremely erratic: some important parts of the story are barely given a nod of recognition by director Mehboob Khan, while aspects that hold less interest, and are of less consequence, occupy an unjustifiable amount of screen time. The editing is also extremely untidy, almost irritating at times, and renders certain elements of the story ambiguous, to say the least.

AMAR, like many Indian movies of the period, relies heavily on spectacle. It's therefore a shame that it was filmed in black-and-white - no doubt an economic, not artistic decision - because, in B/W, it is, visually, a sometimes cluttered movie, and one that relies on a Cinderella storyline that would undoubtedly be enhanced by colour, despite its relatively negative stance.

This is a movie written for Indian audiences, so it's probably impossible for a western viewer to attempt a fair review - their tastes are different to ours; having seen half a dozen Indian flicks over the past few weeks, it's clear that that country's audience demands musical interludes in the majority of its tales (unless the BBC season has been hopelessly skewed), and leans towards fairy-tale plots. Nevertheless, there is one outstanding scene in this movie in which Sonia, the peasant girl, having eluded Sankat, the village bully, crawls around the bottom of a pond to avoid the steps of Sankat as he searches for her. Her moves are concealed by the thunderstorm that rages overhead (the whole episode may be intended as a homage to silent cinema, but, this being a 50s Indian movie, it's impossible to be sure) and the ingenuity evident in the filming of this scene epitomises what is so frustrating about Indian cinema of this period: nuggets of sublime creativity hidden within a surfeit of hyperbole.

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