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Sleepwalker Sita Raichand (Waheeda Rehman) is rescued by Ram (Manoj Kumar) while walking on a railway track. Shortly thereafter Guruji (David) and Mr. Raichand (Balraj Sahni), approach Ram's mom (Lalita Pawar) with a marriage proposal. Finding the proposal suitable both Ram and his mom agree, and as a result Ram and Sita are married. After the marriage, Sita displays very strange behaviour, like walking away during the night for long durations. This increases the suspicions of everyone in Ram's household. Ram subsequently finds out that there is a lot more to Sita's disappearance than sleepwalking, as Sita seems attracted to someone else from a previous birth. Written by
For me, Ram Maheshwari's Neel Kamal is definitely a disappointment despite having several reasons to watch it. The film's story could have been used to a much greater extent, but the script is very faulty. Actually, Neel Kamal starts on a wonderful premise which could have been handled so much better than it ended up being, and apparently the writers did not have enough time to explore it more. The film is about Sita, a young woman who is thrown out of college when her principal finds out she sleepwalks at nights. Her worried father, who is told of her mental disorder, marries her to one young and wealthy man named Ram. The problems start when Sita enters his house as a bride. Her interaction with her mother and sister in-law is so poorly done. Actually, the film is supposed to be a sort of a fairytale, so I understand why some people forgive the flaws, but then again, this part of the film should have been more real. Instead it just gets more melodramatic with every scene and the dialogue is at times downright awful and clichéd.
Having said that, Neel Kamal is definitely not a bad film, and well, I still tried to see it as a fairytale. The sequences showing Sita sleepwalking at nights and going back in time to her previous life when she was known as Neel Kamal where she meets her past lover Chitrasen, are very well portrayed. Technically, the film is brilliant. The cinematography is stupendous, and along with the excellent production design, which includes detailed set decoration, captures the beauty of both present and past times. Some of the landscapes, particularly those shown in Sita's dreams, are breathtaking. In that sense, the film is a visual treat, but the editing is, sadly, tepid. The film is overly melodramatic, and the scenes in which the mother and sister in-law turn Sita into a housemaid is really done-to-death. I can't get why some Hindi filmmakers always have to victimise their heroines with such poor attempts just to draw pity. It can be done in so many other ways. The comic sequences involving Mehmood are even worse, and they just don't fit the film.
The film's main highlight is easily its leading lady. Waheeda Rahman is always good, so it's no surprise she is good in this one. She mostly manages to rise above the poor script, though there are moments when she is let down by it. Her presence is always commanding, she is beautiful and she once again shows how excellent she is as a dancer. Balraj Sahni, one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema, is also good but he too is given poor moments. Manoj Kumar is good but then he never registers the complexity of his role's conflicted feelings. Mehmood is his usual self, which is a compliment, and the two evil women - Lalita Pawar and Shashikala, are just excellent in their expected appearances. The music is quite good, but some songs are really whiny and annoying. Towards the end, the film gets really boring, and the underwhelming climax just makes things worse. Anyway, Neel Kamal does have its moments, it's beautifully shot, and it's worth a watch for Waheeda Rehman. This is reason enough for me to see it, but only once.
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