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Mahesh Anand and Major Verma have a number of things in common. One: Both are in the army; both are from well-off families; and both look-alike. When Major Verma is missing, believed dead during a war, Mahesh is asked to convey this news to his family. Upon arrival, he is mistaken for Major Verma. He meets with Verma's mom, Mrs. Verma, as well as his ailing wife, Ruma. Unable to break the news of Verma's death and shatter their fragile world, Mahesh gets mistaken as Verma and is welcomed home. This creates complications in Mahesh's life as his sweetheart, Meeta, thinks that Mahesh no longer loves her. Then Ruma finds out that her husband is in love with another woman. Mahesh finds himself in a deep quandary, for he is unable to confide to anyone, and the only one who can assist him find his way back to his own life and family - is Major Verma. Written by
Hum Dono (1961) is a classic and one of the most popular movies of the evergreen hero - Dev Anand. This is the golden jubilee year of its release (50 years completed). Last year, I had heard about the release of its colour version. I don't know whether it has been released or not. If released, I would love to watch it.
Written by Dev Anand's younger brother - Vijay Anand and directed by Amarjeet, Hum Dono is a movie of a lifetime. It's studded with sentiments, melody, curiosity and touching performances of the lead characters - Dev, Saadhana and Nanda. Dev Anand is in a double role with different get-ups for both the roles. Dashing, as he always was (in his youth), Dev has made this movie an unforgettable one for his fans and for those also who are not his fans.
Hum Dono (both of us) starts with the poverty of Anand (Dev Anand) which threatens to snatch the love of his life, Meeta (Saadhana) from him. He joins army, leaving his widow mother (Leela Chitnis) behind who is taken care of by Meeta now. On the war front, he happens to meet - Major Varma (Dev's double role) who is his look alike but for the difference of the mustache and the ever-present cigar in his lips. The twist in the tale comes with the return of Anand to his home but with the sad news of Major Varma's death in the war which he has to break to his wife, Ruma (Nanda). Due to similar looks, Ruma mistakes him for Major Varma, her husband and seeing her emotions, Anand is not able to gather courage for breaking the sad news to her. On the other hand, Meeta who has left her parental home to take care of his mother (now dead) misunderstands him. How Anand is able to resolve this fix and the movie reaches its happy ending, is a treat to watch.
Hum Dono starts in a highly romantic mood with the song - Abhi Na Jaao Chhod Kar Ki Dil Abhi Bhara Nahin but soon the serious tone of the movie overtakes the romance. The song - Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya and thereafter, Kabhi Khud Pe Kabhi Haalaat Pe Rona Aaya spread the sadness in the heart of Anand to the hearts of the audience. I am sure, several viewers may find themselves able to identify with the song - Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhaata Chala Gaya (just like me). But we are also able to see the importance of Zinda Dili or ability to laugh in adversity and grief through the character of Major Varma. Ultimately, if you have to live and drink the poison of life, why not do it with smiles and laughs ? After the twist in the narrative, the emotions of the aggrieved wife of Major Varma, Ruma are also felt by the audience and that's how we are able to empathize with the kind-hearted Anand who is finding himself unable to break an innocent heart, i.e., the heart of Ruma. The director has done an outstanding job. It's a movie which appeals right from the start to the finish. And that's what a classic is all about.
Jaidev's music (alongwith Saahir's lyrics) is the biggest asset of Hum Dono. All the songs are immortal, may it be Lata's most popular devotional song - Allah Tero Naam or the classic romantic duet of Rafi and Asha - Abhi Na Jaao Chhod Kar Ki Dil Abhi Bhara Nahin. But my favourites are Rafi's gems - Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhaata Chala Gaya and Kabhi Khud Pe Kabhi Haalaat Pe Rona Aaya. The latter is, in fact, a Ghazal.
Technically the movie is perfect. The black and white environment is able to exasperate the gloom of the narrative properly. There is no boredom, no undue dragging and no nonsense (coincidences of the main story can't be considered as out of sense). Cinematography is brilliant. The picturization of the song - Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhaata Chala Gaya is an example of innovative thinking.
Dev Anand has marvelled in double role and it is easily one of his finest performances. His different expressions for both the characters in the song - Kabhi Khud Pe Kabhi Haalaat Pe Rona Aaya is something unforgettable. Saadhana and Nanda have done exceedingly well. Leela Chitnis is also perfect as Anand's mother.
I suggest Dev Anand to stop making poor quality movies and instead, devote his time, energy and zeal in converting his black and white blockbusters into their coloured versions. Hum Dono is a treat to watch. A standing example of quality cinema produced by Bollywood.
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