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While driving his car on a rainy night, Anand's car breaks down, and he goes to seek shelter in a nearby house. He is let into the house by the servant, and he is permitted to stay until the rains stop be able to get his car fixed. It is here that he will find out about his previous birth, his true love, Madhumati, their ill-fated, star-crossed and tragic romance, and how events in his previous birth are going to effect him in this life-time. Written by
Tinged with whimsy, 'Madhumati' is a primeval tale of reincarnation, with retribution and eternal love. Bimal Roy, a poet of light and shadow, draws you in with sheer lyricism. Cinema here is more than just the telling of a story.
On a stormy night, Devendra (Dilip Kumar) and his friend (Tarun Bose), who are on their way to railway station, take shelter in a creepy and deserted mansion. Exploring the house, Devendra finds a painting of its former owner, Raja Ugaranarayan, and feels he has painted the portrait.
This cues a flashback to his previous life as Anand, when he worked as a foreman on a timber plantation, owned by Raja Ugaranarayan (Pran).In the hauntingly beautiful jungle, he sees Madhumati (Vyjantimala), a beautiful village belle, and falls for her elemental appeal.
Initially her father, the Pan Raja (Jayant) disapproves of their relationship, but when Anand vows to marry her, everything works well. But, the wicked Ugarnarayan casts his evil eye on Madhumati. When Pan Raja goes to the city, Ugaranarayan arranges for Anand to visit a nearby village. And then the news of Anand's accident reaches Madhumati, and she rushes to the mansion, little knowing that this is a plan to trap her
'Madhumati' won 9 Filmfare Awards.
(Best Art DirectorSudhendu Roy, Best CinematographerDilip Gupta
Best Dialogue WriterRajinder Singh Bedi, Best DirectorBimal Roy
Best EditorHrishikesh Mukherjee, Best FilmBimal Roy
Best Music DirectorSalil Choudhury, Best Playback Singer FemaleLata Mangeshkar For the song 'Aaja Re Pardesi,' Best Supporting ActorJohnny Walker)
Vyjantimala is excellent, and Dilip Kumar's convincing turn at befuddlement, earnestness and fascination anchors our belief in the events.
The story, punctuated by plenty of dark cloudbursts, sustains its suspense through complications that include a flashback within the flashback a train wreck in the frame story, and no less than three different embodiments of the heroine.The film deploys an eerily romantic atmosphere, enhanced by Salil Choudhury's background score and Hrishikesh Mukherjee's editing.
The imagery evokes passion, linking the beautiful Madhumati with nature and tribal cultures, beyond the grasp of capitalist appropriation.
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