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Gulzar's Mausam tells the story of Dr. Amarnath Gill, who returns to
Darjeeling after many years and after a while decides to look for his
past love there. Just like Aandhi, Mausam is about a missed
opportunity, only that here the separation is inevitable as in Aandhi
the pair separated for good and only later realised what they had
missed out on, and here, it was unintentional. Mausam is excellent in
writing, direction, cinematography and acting. It's authentic to the
core, it's beautifully shot, it's emotional and melancholic, and it
just presents a moving episode of mainly three characters, while it is
mainly seen through the eyes of Amarnath. Wavering between the present
and the past through flashbacks, memories and confessions, the story is
narrated exceedingly well. Gulzar gives the script a touch of tension
and suspense, and several proceedings are completely unexpected and
Gulzar shows his characters going through many trials and tribulations, and yet he never tries to victimise them or dramatise their stories when he presents the motives behind their current state. The movie in large portions works as a character drama, and is a very poetic, intense and atmospheric piece. Moreover, while the casting of one actor in two different roles has often not been justified in Hindi films, in Mausam it is very symbolic actually, showing what a cruel and ironic game destiny has played with Amarnath by taking away his love and making him meet her lookalike daughter who is a completely different person, namely a prostitute. I was very impressed by this part of the film, particularly by the portrayal of the brothel which looks most lifelike and real. You will see none of the mess or the caricature girls one is used to seeing in Hindi movies dealing with prostitution.
There can be no doubt about Sanjeev Kumar's extraordinary acting talent and following Aandhi, in which he played a similar part, here too he plays his character's regret and pain with depth and ease. Sharmila Tagore got her best roles in Satyajit Ray films, and Mausam may be one of the best parts she received in Hindi cinema. She is astonishing in both roles although it's the role of Kajri, the daughter which lets her do a full emotional cycle. Not for a single moment in the film did she overdo her part, not the cute young girl, not the foul-mouthed prostitute, not the woman who lost her mental sanity. The transformation of Kajli looks very natural and due credit goes to her. She exudes a warmth and her emotional scenes towards the end, particularly the final scene of her realisation, are amazingly forceful. Among the supporting actors, Dina Pathak and Om Sivpuri play their parts excellently.
The film was released after the death of its music director Madan Mohan. I liked his compositions very much and "Dil Dhoonta Hai" is my favourite. The film's ending is very touching, and it provides a great moment of relief and optimism. Mausam is another example of Gulzar's craftsmanship and of his unique storytelling. Just go and watch it.
Sanjeev Kumar has been my favorite actor. His Characters in Andhi and Sholay were impressive or, in other words, he made them unique. But, in my opinion, Mousam is his best movie in respect of characterization. Mousam is a story of a medical student who comes across his memories after spending much part of his life. These memories contain pain and pang of lost love and emotion of repentance. When Gill realizes that he has committed a mistake by not caring for a girl who builds a sweet home of love in her dreams, he tries to compensate for her by finding her daughter but a lot of water has gone under the bridge now. The film has simple plot but the real charm is the sad environment of the movie and also its music. It is the film which bases on emotions and passions. If you are not a man with sensitivity of emotion, it is not for you. Such emotional environment can be felt in Masoom also. Masoom is also a fine movie worthy of watching and remembering.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Dil Dhoondta Hai. The heart yearns. One day when we'll look back upon
these days of leisure and carelessness with a great sense of nostalgia,
we would find these days hazy, hidden, buried and long gone and what'd
be left for us but the remains of these days. I'm getting ahead of
myself but how else can I describe Mausam for what is it but an
eclectic mosaic of sweet, sad, vengeful, insightful, melancholic
memories, the colors of which are brought forth masterfully on the
canvas, by the master painter and poet, Gulzar, who with the sweep of
his magical brush, paints a kaleidoscopic landscape of lost love Now,
there are many kinds of memories. Some memories are hauntingly
pertinent and indelible. Funny how they keep lying- dormant, unused, in
a hidden cavity inside our cache like conscience, waiting to flash
psychedelic impulses of Deja- Vu into our brain, triggered by an
obscure thought; the whole process reminiscent of the obsolete Oracle
8i software, marvelously retrieving data from its enigmatic records.
And just reliving them makes one feel alive again. One wants to be
deluged by those memories, to be drowned in them and wallow in the
sweet anguish they bring along Then, some memories are unpleasant and
one wishes to obliterate them but is such a thing possible? They
invariably come back periodically like wind bouncing off the abandoned
water facing lighthouses, to haunt us again and again and remind us of
our fallibility. Then, disorientation beckons and insomnia reigns. Many
nights in a row. Isn't there a thing called consecutive dreaming? It is
these memories that the film in question deals with.
We meet Dr. Amarnath Gill. Though ostensibly, Dr. Gill is on a vacation to Darjeeling to take a break from his hectic schedule, his visit has a more subliminal motive too, one that is not known to his frenzied city life but is only known to his other self, which has long since become lost like an unknown face in the mirror that he doesn't recognize anymore. Dr. Gill has a past. Something he had done years ago has left his conscience pecked with a deeply embedded guilt. He tries to pick up the broken pieces and tie up the loose ends. His immaculate questions about a woman he had known many years ago, sheds ample light on the cause of his restlessness.
Then, we embark upon a journey with him along the woolen clouds and the and through a series of flashbacks, we meet our second main character- the object of Dr. Gill's affection in the past and his culpability in the present. Theirs was a fairytale story. Young, city bred, urban urbane man comes to a small hill station to study Medicine and falls in love with a local damsel. But he has to go back to the city for his exams. He promises to come back and marry her. But he doesn't. She keeps waiting, keeps his memories and a gift as an embodiment of hope- and she clings on to that hope like a flimsy rope knowing very well that if it snaps, it could also act as as a noose. What happens next? He doesn't come. Her illusion is shattered. Her innocence lost. There are even other clues that point to the fact that she may have borne his love child before her ultimate abandonment by him.
We cut back to the present where suddenly, our protagonist finds himself face to face with a stranger whose countenance has an uncanny similarity to that of his lost love. Who is this enigmatic stranger, who happens to be a prostitute, to whom he feels so mysteriously attracted? Is she the reincarnation of his lost love or could it be that....yes that must be it! He pays her pimp to take her to his guest house. There, the revelation takes place and mournful at the news that this man had walked out on her desolate mother and thereby subjecting herself and her mother to years of destituteness, she walks out on him.
In the last scene, he seeks forgiveness and she grants him that by agreeing to go with him to the city (just like her mother would've and should've many moons ago) and we leave them like that, unsure of the future facing them but sure of their intentions of facing it together
The story of the movie is fairly simple. The doctor goes back to his past that he had left behind and once there, he remembers his lost love, discovers himself and meets a mysterious stranger who would eventually change the course of his life. The pace of the movie is like the doctor's vacation- unhurried, laid back and luxurious. The camera smacks of poignant poetry in every frame, metaphorical interludes amidst the sophisticated narrative. 'Dil Dhoondta Hai' probably has some of the best use of photography- bringing together the two ends of the continuum- the past and the present, the start and the end. That one song is enough to grant this film a permanent place in my heart's graveyard. Bhupinder's vocal builds an emotional bridge between the viewer and the protagonist. You feel as if you are Dr. Gill and that you can almost touch Kajli by extending your arm through the confetti- like mist. Sanjeev Kumar is magical. Sharmila probably gives the performance of a lifetime. But with a role like hers, in a film like this, it would've been hard to falter.
But ultimately, the film belongs to its creator. Gulzar weaves a tale like a rich, exotic, Pashmina Shawl. A tale of lost love- a favorite subject with Gulzar, is probably told in three parts- Mausam, Aandhi and Ijaazat. Mausam, released in 1975, forms one installment in this wonderful trilogy. Its memory is one to cherish for a long long time just like Dali's surreal masterpiece
The movie is overshadowed by its music. When you listen to Gulzar's songs,
it creates an image, which is unique from every other. For this movie he
aptly chosen a Galzal of Galib "Dil dhundhta hai phir ohi phursath ke raat
din". This single song steels the show. It creates an atmosphere where a
lonely person is looking for his lost soul in the valley of himalay. The
films main character could have been justified by none other than Sanjeev
Kumar. And a brilliant music by Madan mohan, all add to the
Only people who can understand the subtilities of Hindi lyrics can truly enjoy this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One look at the movie poster and my mind was made up! Two of my
favourite actors, Sanjeev Kumar and the very sexy Sharmila Tagore, sure
promise a few hours of good cinema.
Mausam (season) though decades old, stills remains an attractive movie owing to Gulzar's candid story telling. While the plot itself is not what I would rave about, its the way Gulzar and his actors have handled the story, that glues you to the expected end. Amarnath Gill (Sanjeev Kumar) guilty of a failed relationship with a small town vaid's (local village doctor) daughter Chanda (Sharmila Tagore) and incidentally, twenty odd years later stumbles upon the remnants of Chanda's life, in an off-season vacation in Darjeeling. Filled with remorse and regret, Amarnath embarks on a journey to seek what remains of his lost love, Chanda's daughter Kajli (also Sharmila).
Of the several paths that this story could walk down, the choice of simplicity and bare truth exposed in the character s feelings makes the movie so convincing! Without actually dwelling on the notes of sympathy (for Kajli's life as a prostitute), or revenge / hatred (for Kajli towards Amarnath, the lover who failed her mother) or self-loathing (for Amarnath who realizes the cost of his erroneous choices in life), the movie paces on, leaving it for its viewers to experience this basket of emotions.
Some rather nice tracks, befitting its generation, accompanies this movie. Take those hours off and grab yourself a copy of this film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I got hold of this movie in order to start seeing more of Sanjeev
Kumar, whom I admired so much in Silsila, where he plays a husband who
probably knows his wife (Rekha) does not love him the way he loves her
- the performance was so subtle and intelligent He is wonderful in this
one too, but probably it's the performance of Sharmila Tagore I'll
remember more keenly.
When I went looking around the Internet for comments on Mausam I came across a message board note from someone who said she knew she could feel all right if she could hear Dil Dhoondta Hai every day of her life. I understand why someone could fall in love with this song, played at the very beginning of this movie and again in a scene of love from the past of Kumar's character, whom we first meet in his middle age.
Translation on screen:
The heart lies in search
Once again for those days
And nights of leisure . . . .
We're right away in the world of the longing and search for long-gone sweet memories, recalled with melancholy.
Dr Gill (Kumar), an unmarried gray-haired man who has become successful through discovering a useful medicine, is spending a holiday at Darjeeling alone. Over twenty years before he had visited the same place, and fallen in love with the daughter of a local Ayurvedic doctor. He did not keep a promise to return for her, and he has come back to see what he can find out about her.
He learns that she never recovered emotionally from his abandonment of her; she had married subsequently, lived in poverty, and had a daughter, who is now a prostitute The movie is the story of his efforts to deal with all of this, including his "buying" several weeks of the girl's time from the brothel where she works.
Sharmila Tagore (the mother of Saif Ali Khan, for fans who know present stars better than earlier ones) plays both the girl Kumar falls in love with and her daughter, the young prostitute. She is a magical creature in both roles - as the brash mountain girl who helps her father get customers (she rounds Kumar up fast when he slips on some steps and gets him to her dad's herbal dispensary), and as the seen-it-all and still enchantingly innocent prostitute girl. We also have a glimpse of her as a gray-haired "old" woman in a sad scene where her decline into madness is dramatized.
She doesn't know what Kumar wants when he takes her to his house, and is emphatic about being paid for her services - he insists on getting her dressed up in a ladylike way, once he's dealt with her insistence that the cost not be taken from her wages. My favorite scene in the movie possibly, besides the car and the song at the beginning, is the scene where she decides she knows what kind of customer he is: not the kind who wants to "have fun" with a girl, but the romantic kind who wants to "roam" and see dancing.
If I recall correctly, she insists on dancing for him, though with a warning that she is not good at it - and she isn't, instead she is entirely lovable. She seems to be about 14.
It's the kind of story Bollywood excels at - there is such artistry involved (the movie is written and directed by Gulzar, so the script is basically perfect) in containing the powerful emotions of a man who abandoned the only person he ever loved, and has returned too late to do anything to benefit her directly.
He is a taciturn, grim-ish character when we meet him, tenderer but also somewhat self-involved in the flashbacks to his "days and nights of leisure."The antic aspects of both the girl he loves and of her tough little daughter keep the movie far away from being a dreary guilt-and-sob-fest. Kumar is a wonderful actor, as noted, but this movie is from the days when the hero didn't have to be in fit physical shape; he isn't, so when he is supposed to be young and handsome, his face is fine but the body detracts from my ability to experience the "young love" thing. But Dil Dhoondta Hai just about makes up for it.
I think the movie also allows some play to the question of whether there is a Lolita-like element to the relationship developing between Dr Gill and the girl - it lets us think about that, I'd say.
The resounding and penetrating direction and story by Gulzar makes this
film a toast to watch. Although, the story is not very extra ordinary,
but the resonating acting of Sanjeev Kumar and Sharmila bring poignant
waves of past events laden with turbulent sequence in the movie.
Simply put, they don't make it like this anymore ........... Gone are the days, when lesson oriented, soul stirring and reflective films were made. These films which carried their imprint on the audience memories for a long time,not like the hullalalabulo absurdity of present day movies. The classic era of cinema, may it be from Hollywood, Bollywood or Lollywood was a subject of intellectual thoughts and yearnings. The crazy, temporal and mediocre standard of present day movies hold nothing for the mature and serious viewer. There is nothing worthwhile to watch, which could penetrate beyond the cinema screen.
I managed to catch two gems recently. The first one was over 3 days while I worked out. Maybe the installment approach allowed me to ponder on this film and love it all over again. In Mausam, Sanjeev Kumar rocked as the young doctor-in-training, and then as the older man who comes back to Darjeeling to relive his memories. Gulzar kept many things shrouded in mystery and so many things completely understated - I was so glad he chose to not insult the viewers' intelligence with needless explanations along the way. We never found out if Sanjeev came back to Darjeeling for any other motive than R and R. We were never told if the young Sharmila actually "fell" for this older man or it was pure gratitude, since she knew who he was all along! The flashbacks were kept to a minimum and even the minor characters like Om Shivpuri, Dina Pathak and Agha were so perfect in their roles. Sanjeev was pitch perfect, playing men that were 20 years apart in age, just by subtle changes in body language and some gray hair! And in a surprising twist all the intensity, regrets and anger were portrayed by the older man. Sharmila was excellent in the mother daughter roles, although clearly outclassed by Sanjeev. And the divine music - Dil Dhoondhta Hai Phir Wohi Fursat Ke Raat Din. A perfect 10 from me for this perfect film.
Caught this movie totally by chance and could not turn away from it.
The story at its fundamental explores a father and daughter relationship, missed opportunities and the act of repentance.
Firstly, let congratulate Gulzar for making such a thoughtful and emotional movie. Lets not forget that this movie was made in 1975 in India, the sub-continent is very reserved and back in 1975 it was even more so. This movie tackles a subject that even today Indian movies wont go near so just imagine how ahead of its time this movie was. The movie has been handled with the utmost delicate manner.
The two main actors in the movie were amazing. Sanjeev Kumar is amazing, he was one of those actors that did not have to say much as his expressions lied within his eyes. In this movie Sanjeev Kumar plays a man with so much guilt in him, you can actually feel it and his wanting to repent. Sharmila Tagore was amazing, you would have to be a brave woman and actress to take a movie like this back in 1975 and boy does she nail it.
Conclusion, a great movie, a great story and great acting.
Mausam is a masterpiece. The more you watch it the more you understand
it and you start developing a bond with the actors in the film. There
are people who debate whether mausam is better than Aandhi or vice
versa, although both the films are based on somewhat a similar subject
which involves the actors making a mistake in their early life and
living through it to the latter part of their life filled with remorse
and guilt.I will go with mausam as a better movie than Aandhi mainly
because of Sanjeev kumar's acting (not that his acting in Aandhi was
bad but the story of Mausam is sanjeev kumar centric) who makes you
feel for him and his helplessness as Amarnath Gill. He comes back after
25 years to the place of his love and has not married yet. Gulzaar Saab
has left it upon us to think whether amarnath was right or wrong in his
decision of not returning at the earliest and it is these moments in
the movie that trigger our imagination and establish a bond with the
characters. Sharmila Tagore has played a character that you will have
in mind whenever you go to Darjeeling. I recommend to see the movie
twice and in absolute peace. The songs just suck you even further into
Disclaimer: Watching the movie repeatedly might start to trouble you emotionally ;-)
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