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An interesting movie ! The story revolves around a house which is let
out by the house-owner ( David ) to a series of tenants - all of whom
stay for a little while, let the viewers into their lives and then
leave. The movie sports some big names - though they do not appear
together. Suchitra Sen is part of a runaway couple who are the first
tenants. When they leave, the next set includes Kishore Kumar, Nasir
Hussain and Nirupa Roy. The final set of tenants involves Usha Kiran
and Dilip Kumar. And thus, one can imagine the story to continue
Kishore Kumar sings a famous, lively song 'munna bada pyaara'. The movie also has a rare song sung by the famous actor Dilip Kumar.
All in all, an interesting story, well directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee who has made several great Hindi films like Anari, Asli Naqli, Anupama, Anuradha, Anand, Guddi, Golmaal, Bawarchi etc. Definitely worth seeing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With the passing of veteran editor and director-Hrishikesh
Mukerjhee,the curtain has fallen on an entire era.It is indeed
difficult members of any generation to miss his films.He was the master
story-teller who touched the heart of th audience through his brilliant
films.Nowadays,with an excess of NRI films courteousy Karan Johar,where
characters bear no resemblance to the real people Hrishida's films
always stayed firmly with the middle class.many pages has been written
on his popular works,but I chose to write on his maiden,acclaimed yet
flopped and almost forgotten debut film-Musafir.It is con sidered that
the 3 most important episodes of a person's life is birth,marriage and
death.We all almost agree with it.But Hrishida went a step ahead and
made a film on this concept. Hrishida made the film highly experimental
by making as a 3 episode film I had read about the film in an interview
of hrishida published in Filmfare around 5 years ago and with great
difficulty I had managed to get a cassette of the film from a library
after 1 year of searching and finally watched the film where the
brilliant innings of Hrishida as a director started.
For any young married couple moving in their new house is a very special feeling.The feeling gets more special when the young couple has eloped and married.Something simlar happened with Shakuntala(Suchitra Sen) and her husband.The landlord(David) helps the couple in moving to the rented house.The young couple moves to this house which incidentally is the main protagonist of the film.While Shakuntala makes the house into a beautiful home,her husband gets busy with work.She meets the neighboring tea vendor(Mohan Choti) and meets the next door aunty whose favourite past time is to tell whats cooking in others home.The couple experiences the sound of violin in the night and ask the tea-stall owner about it in the morning who tells that it is being played by a mad man-Pagla Babu.Since,the couple had eloped Shakuntala wanted that her parents-in-law accept her as their daughter-in-law.This is what happens and her in laws somehow search the young couple and they are more than happy to meet Shakuntala.Finally, Shakuntala and her husband go with them and vacate the house.In between Shakuntala grows some seeds in the garden.
The landlord again puts the hoarding of TOLET on the house Episode-2-Birth
The next tenants in the house is a family headed by an old man(Nazir Hussain).The other members are his elder widowed daughter-in-law(Nirupa Roy) and younger son Bhanu(Kishore Kumar).The daughter in law is pregnant and we are told that her husband had just died.Bhanu is finishing his college and simultaneously looking for job whereas his old father is somehow managing the expenses.Although there is sadness in the home yet Bhanu with his wit and humour maintains a light atmosphere for his sister-in-law.The next door aunty again comes and chats on and on.Bhanu also hears the violin and when asks about it from tea-vendor is told about Pagla Babu.The problems of the family as Bhanu fails to get a job landing the family in dire consequences.He gets frustrated and this leads to his clash with his father.On feeling humiliated Bhanu finally drinks poison before sleeping.However the poison is adulterated and Bhanu wakes up when the entire family is mourning.He gets the news that he has finally got a job in some other city.The pregnant lady also delivers a child.The family is happy and they move to another city vacating the house.We see that the seed which Shakuntala sown has germinated.
The landlord again puts the hoarding of TOLET on the house.
The next inhabitants are a barrister and his widowed sister Uma(Usha Kiron).Uma has a small handicapped son (Daisy Irani).The neighbourhood aunty again visits the home.Like the previous tenants this family also hears the sound of violin in night.The child is too attracted by the music and when he comes to know from the tea-vendor about Pagla Babu,he insists on meeting him.However the vendor tells the child that Pagla babu does not meet anyone.However,the child does not listens and insists on meeting the mysterious violinist.The Pagla Babu does appear to meet the child.Uma is shocked to realized that Pagla Babu is none other than Raja(Dilip Kumar),her ex-lover.Raja however does not make it evident and interacts fondly with the child.In a very short span an amazing bond is developed between Raja and the child.Initially,Uma is very uncomfortable with this bonding but slowly she accepts it.We come to know that Raja is suffering from cancer and the dreaded disease is in its advanced stage.Ironically,Raja who is on verge of dying pumps life in the child and fills his dark world with hope.He also tells the child that he will start walking once there will be a flower in the garden.On knowing about Raja,Uma's brother is very furious.There is a clash between them.Slowly,Raja reaches final stage and Uma takes care of him.Eventually he dies and the child starts walking.On seeing the garden we see that the germinated seed finally blossomed into a flower!!!! In the end it just shows to say that Hrishikesh Mukherjee was a genius and one can judge that after watching his debut film itself.
Trivia-Hrishikesh Mukherjee was an ace editor and was associated with Bimal Roy-Dilip Kumar combo's classic Devdas.During the making he became great friends with Dilip Saab.Dilip insisted him to turn into a director.Hrishida accepted it but said to Dilip that he had to act in it without his star price.Dilip readily agreed and thus was born Hrishida the director.
A three act movie about a house and its varied renters representing
phases of life.Rushikesh Mukerjee debuted here as director and the
future genius is obvious. For me the biggest treat is Dilip Lata duet
in Dilips own voice....Lagi nahin chhote rama kahe jiya jai...
The cast is superb. The famous Munna bada pyara song is part of charm. Complex..as life and as ephemeral
David and his house are the constants
There is a type of black and white photography which sets the 50s in outstanding relief. I was only 9 when I saw it but it has stayed with me for half century
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