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The Test (1960)
"Parakh" (original title)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 55 users  
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Niravan (Nazir Hussain), the village postmaster receives an envelope with a cheque for a very large amount, with the instructions that he is to turn this cheque over to the most honest man ... See full summary »

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Title: The Test (1960)

The Test (1960) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sadhana ...
Seema (as Sadhana Shivdasani)
Durga Khote ...
J.C. Roy's mother (Rani Ma)
...
Mrs. Nivaran
Sheela Rao
Praveen Paul ...
(as Ruby Paul)
Mumtaz Begum ...
Mrs. Tandav Tarafdar
Sarita Devi
Mehar Banu ...
(as Meharbanoo)
Nishi
Vasant Choudhury ...
Prof. Rajat Sen Sharma (as Vasant Chowdhury)
Nasir Hussain ...
Postmaster Nivaran (as Nazir Hussein)
Kanhaiyalal Chaturvedi ...
Pandit Tarkalankarji (as Kanhaialal)
Jayant ...
Rai Bahadur Tandav Tarafdar
Rashid Khan ...
Village Doctor
Asit Sen ...
Bhanju Babu
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Storyline

Niravan (Nazir Hussain), the village postmaster receives an envelope with a cheque for a very large amount, with the instructions that he is to turn this cheque over to the most honest man in the village. Honest Niravan calls a village meeting and informs them of this outcome. They mutually agree that there are five people in the village who can be called honest, however, since the stipulation states that the amount is to be turned to only one, they decide to hold elections in the village, so that everyone can decide who the most honest man is. The outcome is hilarious as all the five prominent people bend over backwards not only to be honest and caring, but also be seen to be honest and caring. The village doctor starts treating all patients regardless of their ability to pay him; the village money-lender starts forgiving loans; the wealthy zamindar allows everyone to drink water from his property; the village priest allows the untouchables to worship in the temple. Can these people ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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Release Date:

5 August 1960 (India)  »

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The Test  »

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Quotes

Seema: O sajana, barkha bahar aai, ras ki puhar lai, ankhiyon me pyar lai... O sweetheart, it is raining, a shower of nectar, love in eyes...
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Soundtracks

mere man ke diye
Sung by Lata Mangeshkar
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User Reviews

 
Satire and songs - money talks and Lata sings
1 February 2014 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

Master director Bimal Roy only had a few more films to make after this before cancer took him at 55 years old, but Parakh was a classic up to his usual standard. His benevolent and improving social conscience never left him and he left behind many such classics: Devdas, Sujata, Madhumati, Do Bigha Zamin to name a few.

A poor but honest village postmaster receives his first letter in twenty years to find he is suddenly the temporary trustee for INR 500,000 to be given to the most worthy person in the village. An election ensues to find this worthy and in the main the five previously churlish and snobby candidates now ooze generosity and charity. There's far more to it than simply tales of greed and hypocrisy though and there's a lot going on in here: including love, hate, class prejudices, self-sacrifice, religion, politics and democratic principles being expounded by people who had hitherto disdained it to people who would probably never understand it, comedy and a handful of beautiful songs of course. And it's all expertly done with a thoughtful script and some wonderfully atmospheric photography too. I think this was one of Sadhana's first films and she was perfect in her acting, and in her miming for Lata – the jaunty and bright Mila Hai Kisi Ka Jhumka and the exquisite and dark O Sajana my favourites. If watching pay attention when the five candidates are informed that there's a lot of money in the offing for one of them – it's beautiful to watch as even the hookah smoke freezes in shock!

And it's beautiful to see the whole story unfold and unravel even if it's obvious how it's going to end; it's not the most subtle or savage of satires but it's worthwhile, entertaining and not testing to watch at all.


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