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This movie looks at the struggle for a child between his biological father and the "other" father(the one who raises him). The other father is childless(unsuccessful attempts many times). The movie is full of memorable songs that share the feelings of the "real and the other" father. This is not the same masala mix of traditional Hindi movies.
For some reason, Indian movies were some of the few things enjoyed by Romanians during the communist era... Most of us born between 1965-1985 grew up with these things and particularly this movie is probably the favorite of many Romanians.It played for weeks on the cinema and when shown on TV, everybody including the DOG was watching :O I got a chance to see it again a few years ago and although it didn't seem as great as when I watched when I was maybe 8-9 :) , it still is a great movie compared with some of the poorly made stuff that rolls out of Bollywood faster than cars on the assembly line... Anyway, if you get a chance to see it, don't miss it.You'll be surprised by it.
Till the beginning of the decade of seventies, abortion was illegal in
India and therefore, the trouble of pregnancy without marriage was
ticklish to handle. Naive and innocent girls falling in love with guys
and then surrendering physically to them out of sheer love in their
hearts and visualizing them to be their brides in future, suffered like
anything in that era. And so, Bollywood presented a plethora of movies
whose theme was an unmarried girl's pregnancy and her giving birth of a
child whose father is not there to render his name to the newborn. Ek
Phool Do Maali (1969) is such a movie only which has gone a couple of
notches above many other similar movies due to good direction, good
acting, good music and beautiful locations of the Himalayas.
The story of Ek Phool Do Maali (one flower, two gardeners) starts with Kailash (Balraaj Saahni) who loses his complete family in a mishap and becomes completely lonely. To give a meaning to his life, he starts a mountaineering school in the Himalayan region. One of his students is Amar (Sanjay) who falls in love with a local girl - Somna (Saadhana) who lives with her widowed mother - Leela (Durga Khote). The love of Amar and Somna leads to their physical intimacy and Somna's pregnancy. Amar heads for a mountaineering expedition after whose completion, he is to marry Somna. However an avalanche hits his group and it is known that all the group members have lost their lives.
Now Somna is in deep trouble because she is pregnant without marriage and is left with no path to survive in the society. Moreover a baddie - Shamsher (Shyam Kumar) tries to molest her. Kailash saves her and Shamsher is sent to the prison. Besides, Kailash upon coming to know of her pregnancy, helps her by marrying her. When Somna gives birth to a baby boy, Kailash gets a recourse for his life. Despite the kid not being his biological son, he moves into the shoes of a proud father and pours every drop of love in his heart on the little angel. Somna, though not being able to forget her first love that led to her motherhood, feels indebted to Kailash and respects him very much. Now comes the twist in the middle of the tale.
Amar comes back alive after many years and shocked to find Somna as the wife of Kailash. Putting a stone on his heart, he keeps on interacting with Kailash and his family. However he feels a strange bond between himself and Somna's little kid. There's something that effortlessly drags him time and again towards the little boy. And one he day, he comes to know its reason. The knowledge of the fact that the little boy is his son only, makes him restless like anything. Now all the three protagonists put forward different proposals. Amar wants to get his son and leave the place with him whereas Kailash proposes him to take away both Somna and his son, leaving him behind. But it's the proposal of Somna that both these males have to accept. She knows that Kailash loves the kid so much that he won't be able to live without him. Further, she feels that it will be ungrateful on her part if she leaves Kailash this way. She, therefore, asks Amar to leave the place and let her family live in peace. However destiny has other plans to conclude this triangular tale. Shamsher gets released from jail and abducts the kid, paving the path for a Bollywoodish finale of the movie.
Ek Phool Do Maali is a highly entertaining as well as highly impressive movie. The post interval session involving the sentimental tussle between the foursome, i.e., the kid, his mother, his biological father and his fostering father keeps the viewer hooked and leaves an indelible imprint on his / her heart. Ditto for the climax and the ending of the movie. The first half is mainly devoted to romance and comedy generated by the lead pair of Amar and Somna which is able to tickle any romantic heart.
Ravi's enchanting musical score is another major plus point of Ek Phool Do Maali with the touching lyrics coming from the pen of Prem Dhawan. On one hand, we have Manna Dey's everygreen song - Tujhe Sooraj Kahoon Ya Chanda signifying a father's love, on the other, we have Rafi's immortal song - O Nanhe Se Farishtey in which the unknown bond between a child and his father gets highlighted through the sentiments of the father. The album also contains Asha's romantic numbers - Sainya Le Gayi Jiya Teri Pehli Nazar and Sajna Sajna O Sajna Tere Pyar Mein Main Gayi Kho Sajna and also the popular Rafi-Asha romantic duet - Yeh Parda Hata Do. Music director Ravi himself has also sung a very good philosophical song - Kismet Ke Khel Niraale Mere Bhaiya.
Performances are all admirable. Sanjay (Khan) and Saadhana made a lovely on-screen pair and both have done well. The child artist - Master Bobby has delivered a touching performance. All the supporting actors have done their parts well. And the best performer is Balraaj Saahni who was considered a school of acting in his time.
Ek Phool Do Maali was a super hit when released. And its quality is still intact even after passage of such a long time since then. It has a great repeat value and can be seen many number of times.
A very good movie with a strong storyline. A remnant of the old Hindi filmi era. Good performances by all concerned. Sadhana, Balraj- of course expected of him- and including Sanjay. Well not many have a high opinion of Sanjay as a thespian- but his looks were impeccably dashing. The songs were all great hits. As my Rumanian friend observed rightly good movie compared to the nonsense being churned out of Bollywood nowadays- though a few are OK. That is purely because of the nice story and good songs - the latter one important especially for Indians. Music by Ravi is an important part of the movie. This movie was telecast on the DD TV of the old days, when the TV was state run. Nostalgia.
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