This is another dramatic feature by the great Hrishikesh Mukherjee. It is not among his finest, but it is very interesting and moving nonetheless. Raakhee stars as a simple girl who catches the eye of Amitabh Bachchan. He plays a mini-negative role of a young Casanova who does not take women seriously and who decides to win over Rama. Rama is once found at his home by her father and is subsequently thrown off home. She ultimately finds refuge in the house of a kindhearted young man named Nandlal. An accident involving the train with which she left her home happens after she has already got out of it and makes everyone believe she is dead. In the meanwhile she becomes a famous singer, still believing her father does not ever care for her alleged loss.
Jurmana is entertaining for the most part, though at some points I felt the story took itself too seriously considering there was not much for. The story was nice but the script had several holes. I, for instance, could not understand why a father would throw his daughter just because she visited another man's house. Rama's return home when her father is already blind and all the melodrama involved was also a bit cliché, though it does move you in later portions. Having said it all, Jurmana is just fun to watch like possibly every other film by Mukherjee. It flows well, it is well acted and the music is simply wonderful. RD Burman scores again - this soundtrack is beautiful. Lata Mangeshkar sings the songs for Raakhee - "Aye Sakhi Radhike", "Chhoti Si Ek Kali", "Sawan Ke Jhoole" - amazing classics!
Jurmana is Raakhee's film and she does a very good job in carrying the film on her shoulders as Rama. As always she skillfully creates a screen persona of a dignified and simple woman. Amitabh Bachchan does not have that great a role in my view and not that much screen time either. He does well in whatever he is given, but is not given more than just a role of a man who matures as he falls in love, which is typical. Vinod Mehra is excellent as Prakash, Farida Jalal is effective as Laila and Asrani surprises as he is cast against type in the role of Nandlal. Jurmana is an enjoyable fare despite the mentioned flaws. It is a Mukherjee classic, a lesser-known one but one should enjoy watching this with his family for its main star cast and music.
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There have been several memorable rain songs in Hindi movies. One such song is Saawan Ke Jhoole Pade, Tum Chale Aao (the swings in the month of Saawan have been installed, you come please). This beautiful song sung by Lata Mangeshkar in the classical Raag Pahaadi, is in Hindi movie Jurmaana (1979).
The nucleus of the story of Jurmaana (fine) is a simple small town girl - Ramaa (Raakhee) who lives with her widower father - Dayashankar Sharma (Dr. Shreeraam Laagoo) who is a retired teacher and now facing health problems with his eyesight getting dim day-by-day. They are financially weak but believe in simple living and high thinking, following the Indian ideals of life. Prakaash (Vinod Mehra) is a simple youth like them only who silently loves Ramaa. He keeps on visiting them regularly and taking care of Dayashankar. Their peaceful lives get disturbed just like the stirring in the silent water of a lake by the dropping of a stone in the same. This is because of the entry of Inder (Amitabh Bachchan) who has been a student of Dayashankar years back (or at least he claims so) and is an old buddy of Prakaash. Inder is now a rich businessman and due to some bitter experience with a girl in the past, looks upon every girl as a sex-object only. Whenever he comes into contact with some girl, he immediately starts wooing her only to take her to his bed. He has come to their town because of a construction project of him and as soon as he sees Ramaa, he falls for her and starts his evil designs to bring her to his bedroom. Prakaash who not only loves Ramaa in his heart but also knows her piety and idealistic way of living very well, enters into a bet with Inder that his bad intentions will not succeed with Ramaa. He also cautions Ramaa and her father in this regard. However Ramaa who is too impressed by Inder, gets trapped by him. However before any undesirable thing could happen, Dayashankar and Prakaash reach Inder's house where Ramaa has visited by lying to her father. Completely shocked Dayashankar is not able to tolerate his daughter's act and her lying to him and he asserts that he will never be able to forgive her because she has broken his trust as well as his heart.
Now, heartbroken Ramaa who is not able to convince her father that she has not done anything against his teachings and the morals of life they have always believed in, leaves for some unknown destination. She is robbed in the train and by losing her money, becomes completely helpless. A kind-hearted station master (Asraani) gives shelter to her, treating her as his sister. The train in which she was travelling meets an accident and it is known to all that she has died in that accident. Now she starts singing on radio under the fake name of Sudha. On the other side, Dayashankar and Prakaash keep stones on their hearts, accepting the fact of Ramaa's death but Inder who had unknowingly fallen in love with her and is now genuinely repenting for ruining the happy home of her and her father, is not ready to accept it. He starts searching for her under a firm belief that she is alive. Due to this emotional shock, Dayashankar has completely lost his eyesight and has become blind. Inder asks Prakaash to take him to a house owned by him at another place and arrange his treatment. This fact is kept hidden from Dayashankar that this arrangement has been made by Inder only. Prakaash lives with Dayashankar and takes care of him whereas Inder keeps on searching for Ramaa. Finally he finds her. All the four principal characters of this story alongwith a close friend of Ramaa - Laila (Farida Jalaal) re-assemble at that place. Prakaash convinces Dayashankar to forgive Ramaa and arrange her marriage with Inder whom she loves. However Laila who has always been aware of Prakaash's feelings towards Ramaa, conveys this fact to Inder. After some emotional tension and drama involving the threesome, the story reaches its expected conclusion.
Let me assert it frankly that this movie is much below the standard of director Hrishikesh Mukherjee. It is because of the weak script. Though Hrishi Da has directed the movie pretty well, it could not become a memorable one. The climax and the pre-climax events appear to have been executed in somewhat haste. Some more footage to the emotional quotient of the relationship among Ramaa, Inder and Prakaash would have made the movie a more appealing one. The characters of Prakaash and Dayashankar are well-developed but the character of Ramaa has not been given proper scope to develop fully and that of Inder is a bit sketchy.
R.D. Burman's music is admirable. In addition to Saawan Ke Jhoole Pade, Chhoti Si Ek Kali Khili Thi and Aye Sakhi Raadhike Baawari Ho Gayi are also very good and spread the fragrance of Indian soil and Indian classical music. Anand Bakshi has written the beautiful lyrics of these songs.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee has always been able to extract the best out of the actor Amitabh Bachchan. Despite the half-baked role, AB has done well. Ditto for Raakhee whose character (around which the story revolves in the true sense) has not been given ample footage and scope. Dr. Shreeraam Laagoo, Asraani, Farida Jalaal, A.K. Hangal, Keshto Mukherjee, Manju Asraani etc. have done complete justice to the assigned roles. The best performer, in my view, is Vinod Mehra.
Summing up, Jurmaana is not an excellent movie but it is definitely a decent watch. Considering the music appeal as well as the star appeal (AB and Raakhee), the movie buffs liking emotional dramas will definitely find this simple movie as their cup of tea.
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After the success of Chupke Chupke and critical acclaim of Mili, Alaap.etc Hrishikesh and AB returned with Jurmana which was released in 1979, The year AB also had Manzil another film by Basu Chatergee which didn't work.Hrishikesh Mukherjee used 1 scene of this film in his film Golmaal which released same year and was a hit, an action scene of Amitabh(yes this film does have an action scene albeit a funny one where normally Hrishi-da films don't have fight scenes) and Deven Verma asks Amitabh from how long the film is being made Jurmana has Amitabh play a casanova which he hardly played, he puts a bet with friend Vinod Mehra that he will bed Raakhee but later predictabily has changes in his character, Raakhee is thrown out of her house because she was in same room with Ab and then lot of melodrama and it ends.
The film is well handled by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, however it didn't work at the B.O. Music by RD Burman is decent,though Kishore doesn't sing for AB yet the songs are good like Sawan Ke jhoole
Amitabh Bachchan is as usual awesome in his role, Raakhee is superb, Vinod Mehra is as usual, Shreeram Lagoo is okay Asrani is as usual, Keshtoo Mukherjee is as usual rest are okay
Hrishikesh repeated the same cast in another of his lesser known films Bemisaal which flopped too.
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