6.8/10
86
3 user 1 critic

Gumrah (1963)

| Drama, Family, Romance
Meena lives with her retired and widowed dad in picturesque Nainital. She has a sister, Kamla, married to a well-known Barrister, Ashok, and two children, Pappu and Dolly. When Kamla comes ... See full summary »

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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Barrister Ashok
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Rajendra
...
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Leela / Miss Roberts
...
...
Meena's Father
Moolchand ...
Sethji
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Storyline

Meena lives with her retired and widowed dad in picturesque Nainital. She has a sister, Kamla, married to a well-known Barrister, Ashok, and two children, Pappu and Dolly. When Kamla comes for a visit, she finds out that Meena is in love with Rajendra, a painter and singer, who she approves of him, and would like to get them married. Before that could happen she has an accident and passes away, leaving the care of her children to Meena. Subsequently, their father arranges Meena's marriage with Ashok, fearing ill-treatment by another woman as the step-mother. Meena marries Ashok and goes to live in his palatial house in Bombay. After a year when they return to Nainital, a visibly upset Rajendra gets in touch with Meena and they rekindle their romance. When Meena gets back to Bombay, Rajendra follows her and they continue to meet in secret. Things gets complicated when Meena finds out that Rajendra is married to a woman named Leela, who also wants to blackmail her in order to keep her ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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blackmail | affair | See All (2) »

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Drama | Family | Romance

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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Why Fight Each other" By Ravi B was a cover version of "In Hawaon Mein". See more »

Connections

Remade as Bewafaa (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Ek Pardesi
Sung by Asha Bhosle
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User Reviews

 
A brilliant character-driven piece
28 August 2011 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

Gumrah is one excellent film. B.R. Chopra is one director who is known for making mostly suspense thrillers cum courtroom dramas. Initially I thought the movie, which seemed to be more of a family drama, would be a departure from his usual fare, but then, just like with such films as Hamraaz, Chopra turned everything upside down to create another suspense thriller, this time a psychological one which really works. Gumrah is very well scripted and directed, and everything about it holds interest, whether it's the cinematography, the music, the characters or the performances.

Here we see Meena, a young woman who marries her recently-deceased sister's husband Ashok in order to raise her little niblings. In doing so she leaves behind her young boyfriend with whom she had been planning to tie the knot. After some time, she meets him again, and this brings to a renewed relationship, which is mostly based on friendship but is still done secretly with her husband knowing nothing about it. She herself considers this habit of meeting him unseemly, but when she regrets it, it's too late as she becomes subject to daily blackmail by a woman she has never met.

The story looks very Hindi-film-style on paper, but eventually turns out to be much more than that. This is mainly due to some very good writing and execution. The film lacks melodrama and looks throughly believable, which was the case with most of the 1960s classics. I loved the matter-of-fact way in which Chopra portrayed the relationship between Meena and Ashok - no bitterness, no tension, no estrangement - practically nothing which could be so convenient in a film like that. They may have married for odd reasons, but they have accepted it and now lead a natural way of life.

The second half of Gumrah is much stronger and more intriguing to watch than the first. While, as mentioned above, the beginning is more of a family drama, the second half is filled with a sort of moral suspense. It is however later on, with the entrance of a blackmailer who comes in the form of a young unknown woman named Lily, when the film turns into one intense and effective psychological thriller. This part of the film is handled with great success, being suitably confusing, chilling and disturbing, and highly watchable. It just keeps evoking uncertainty in the viewers' minds and there it scores.

Where acting goes, Gumrah is overall Mala Sinha's show, and she is plain excellent in a demanding part which requires her to work a lot with her inner self. Ashok Kumar is unsurprisingly brilliant in the role of the happy-go-lucky husband who is far more sophisticated than it seems to be. Sunil Dutt plays the tormented and disappointed lover exceedingly well. Shashikala, one of the best character actresses of the times, is damn awesome as Lily in a small role that makes the greatest impact in the film's last portion and is fundamental to making it work. She is both entertaining and unsettling.

Gumrah is overall an enjoyable and memorable Hindi film classic and it is one of B.R. Chopra's best. The music by Ravi is also quite wonderful. This film was the source for the recently-made film Bewafaa, a terrible movie which shamelessly copied this film without attribution, and expectedly without any success. You just have to watch Bewafaa to understand how good Gumrah is, but then, this movie is good on its own merit, and has a great repeat value.


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