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Ab Dilli Dur Nahin (1957)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 36 users  
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The year is 1951, India is a free country, and Hariram lives a poor lifestyle along with his wife, Bela, and a young son, Rattan. He is in debt, but continues to borrow money so that he ... See full summary »

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Title: Ab Dilli Dur Nahin (1957)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Master Romi ...
Rattan (as Romi)
Sulochana Latkar ...
Bela (as Sulochana)
Lala Yaqoob ...
Mahananda (as Yakub)
Anwar Hussain ...
Mukundlal 'Mukunda'
Motilal ...
Hariram Jayram
Nand Kishore
Jagdeep ...
Masita
Baij Sharma
C.S. Dubey ...
Ram Bharose (as Dubey)
Shivaji Rathore
Om Prakash Mehra ...
(as Om Prakash)
Manohar Gir
Mohan Choti ...
Mitthu
Suraj Prakash
Nazima ...
(as Baby Chand)
Edit

Storyline

The year is 1951, India is a free country, and Hariram lives a poor lifestyle along with his wife, Bela, and a young son, Rattan. He is in debt, but continues to borrow money so that he could provide a better life for his family. On the occasion of Diwali, he borrows some more money, returns home laden with gifts, fire-crackers, and sweetmeats, and together they celebrate. That night a snake enters their hut and bites Bela, killing her, leaving both father and son devastated, so much so that Hariram takes to alcohol, loses his job, and is unable to re-pay his loan. His moneylender assaults Rattan, and an enraged Hariram threatens to kill him. That night the moneylender is killed, and the Police arrest Hariram, he is tried in court, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged. With the help of a pickpocket named Ghasita, Rattan finds out that his father is innocent, and both set out to travel to Delhi to meet the Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru so that Hariram can be freed. ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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Maata O Maata
Music by Dattaram Wadkar
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User Reviews

 
Not a particularly great film, but an appreciable effort nonetheless
24 March 2011 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

After watching such movies as Boot Polish and Jagte Raho, produced by the great Raj Kapoor, I could not miss Ab Dilli Dur Nahin. The premise was very interesting, and the film is quite good, but not as good as expected. The film imparts the journey of Ratan, a little kid who goes on foot to Delhi (Dilli) to save his father from death. His mother died of a snake bite and soon afterwards his father was charged with murder and convicted to death penalty for no fault of his own. After the father is sent to Delhi to await his death sentence, the kid meets a petty thief who confirms that at the time of the murder he saw his father sleeping near his wife's grave. That's when his journey to meet the Indian prime minister of the time, Jawaharlal Nehru and prove his father's innocence begins. And he has many obstacles to overcome.

Generally a watchable movie telling the story of hope and struggle, Ab Dilli Dur Nahin was a rather experimental film at the time, and the one who fearlessly invested his money in this project was none other than the great Raj Kapoor. This is actually one of the least famous films he produced. The film's title itself, which is more of a slogan, made me go and watch it. Though it is definitely worth the watch, it's not flawless. I liked the beginning a lot, and I found the portrayal of the family and the couple very convincing and moving. This portion of the film shows how people, despite financial difficulties and hardships, were happy with what they had. Unfortunately the death of the female heroine happens too soon and it's a sad view, and the following proceedings only add to the tragedy.

The film's songs are lovely, but they are so many that at times they just drag the narrative. The director does try to portray the story realistically, but at times the film gets a bit melodramatic and the main conflicts as well as the villains make it look more of a fairy tale. As far as acting is concerned, the film's main protagonist is the kid Master Romi, and he does reasonably well but never well enough. The supporting child actors do much better, for what it's worth. Motilal does very well in his role, while Soluchana Latkar is excellent in her brief appearance. Anwar Hussain makes for an ordinary villain. The film's ending is very sugarcoated and is easy to predict. I thought the movie would have worked better as a children's movie, but it was far too serious. Ab Dilli Dur Nahin may not be a great film, but it has a good concept and it is an altogether appreciable effort.


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