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A child marriage broken off before adolescence because of land disputes
between two families has Kusum (Hema Malini) feeling lonesome for she
is adhering to the vows made when she was but a child, even though in a
fit of despair she has tried to burn off all memories of her betrothal,
including the tattoo on her arm.
Brindaban (Jeetendra), her betrothed and now a doctor, returns with his young son Charan (Master Rajoo) and the meeting of the two is triggered by a sickness in Kusum's village. Poignancy flows with tenderness from Sarat Chandra's pen as the story unfolds, and Kusum's antagonism fades towards Brindaban as his perceived infidelity from his marriage to now-deceased Lakhi/Kamla (Sharmila Tagore) turns out to be yet another case of unjust separation ....
A natural bond of mother and son develops between Kusum and Charan, and watching them together is a delight.
Will Kusum and Brindaban reconcile their differences?
Masterfully woven into 2+ Hours of very touching screenplay, Sampooran Singh Gulzar gives us the viewers many moist-eyes moments, with some very lilting music from Rahul Dev Burman. Kishore Kumar's rendition of 'O Maajhi re' is superb.
This is such a sensitive portrayal of a simple story from simpler
times. The rural India, the characters, and the plot depicted in this
movie might now seem to be from a totally different era; however, it is
easy to relate to the human drama unfolding in this movie in the
context of the value system of the time.
Jitendra is restrained but dignified in his portrayal of the doctor who is one of the two central characters in this movie. Hema Malini is simply superb as Kusum; watch this movie to see what a fine actress she was even relatively early in her career, but you can also understand her "Dream Girl" status in Hindi cinema.
Master Raju is hands-down the best child actor in Hindi cinema in my opinion, and you cannot help but be charmed by his role in this film. Fareeda Jalal is probably one of the most underrated actresses of Indian cinema, and together with Hema Malini, she simply shines in this movie. Asrani has a relatively small role, but as always, what would Hindi cinema of the 70's be without the rich supporting character roles played by this superb actor?
Throw the musical geniuses of R.D. Burman, Lata, and Kishore in the mix to render the beautiful poetry of Gulzar, and you end up with a complete masterpiece!
I was thrilled when I saw Gulzar's 'Khushboo' unfolding in a manner
similar to the RK Narayan's classic fable based on the lives of people
in a fictional village.
Starring Jeetendra and Hema Malini in lead roles, Khushboo is based on a story by Saratchandra Chatterjee (The man who also wrote Devdas). Kusum (essayed by Hema Malini) looks after a wealthy old lady who lives all alone in the village. This lady falls sick and Dr. Brindavan (Jeetendra in a role and look similar to his earlier film with Gulzar-Parichay) is summoned from a nearby village to tend to her. Kusum soon realizes that Dr. Brindavan is none other but the guy who she was engaged to marry as a kid. Their alliance had been fixed when they were very young, but it could not materialize due to certain misunderstandings. Subsequently, she and her mother had been unceremoniously disowned by Brindavan's family- and while he and his family move on in life- Kusum remains still stuck in the past. She still considers herself married to Brindavan and refuses to marry anybody else.
Soon Kusum learns that Brindavan is married and even has a four year old son Charan. When Dr. Brindavan recognizes her and learns about how she still considers him her husband, he starts to feel a little guilty- but at the same time she gains a lot of respect in his eyes. He decides to marry Kusum (his first wife being no more) and solemnize the possessiveness she felt for him, but due to certain misunderstandings it does not happen. At the same time a beautiful bond develops between his son Charan, and Kusum. Charan also becomes very close to Kusum's brother (played by Asrani).
The story takes a turn when Dr. Brindavan's village gets hit by the epidemic of Plague. Many people die, including some of his near and dear ones- his highly efficient and respectful compounder Birju being one of the victims. As many people start leaving the village out of fear- there remains no option for Brindavan to leave Charan with Kusum at her home. He too starts living there on her behest, though most of the time he remains away tending to the victims of the epidemic.
Gulzar treats his stories with a lot of love and affection. I am yet to see many of his works, but I can bet that this would rate as one of his finest efforts ever. He is perhaps the most perfect writer/poet who has graced Hindi Cinema- I won't exhaust my eulogies for him as, as I mentioned I am yet to see many of his works and hopefully write about. Hema Malini delivers surely one of her best performance ever, and Jeetendra is equally sincere and effective. The supporting cast, that includes the likes of Farida Jalal and Asrani, too leaves a mark with their earnest performances. Special mention must be given to Master Raju (who plays Charan) who simply lights up the screen whenever he appears and is most definitely the best child artist ever in Hindi Cinema.
This movie also boasts of memorable music by RD Burman. Each and every song is a gem and may be a part of the playlists of old Hindi film music lovers- 'Bechara Dil Kya Kare', 'Oh Maajhi re' being two of the most popular ones.
For my views on more such lesser known movies from the world of Hindi cinema, do check moviesandnomore.blogspot.in
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