Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Amar Prem (1971)

If you haven't seen this movie, then you are missing something. Doesn't matter if you are not a movie buff, but watch the movie. The storyline, the characters, the dialogues, and  soulful lyrics are timeless. 

Bharu and I had dinner at her mom's place last night. When we were flipping channels, we were thrilled to catch Amar Prem playing on SAB channel. She told me her dad used to cry throughout this movie. It does not surprise me. The movie evokes your every being.

Amar Prem (Immortal Love)  - I have seen it a dozen times. It touches your spirit, because the story is so human and true. It is a story about love that emanates from the soul and the culminations of spirit that binds two strangers whose circumstances bring them together. Movies today have a lot to learn from their peers.

Directed by Shakti Samata in 1971, Amar Prem was created based on the story by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay. The Hindi version was a remake of the original Bengali film Nishipadma, directed in 1970. The screenplay for both versions was penned by Arabinda Mukherjee.

Pushpa (Sharmila Tagore) is sold to a brothel by her uncle from the village. Anand baabu (Rajesh Khanna) a rich businessman, driven by his loveless marriage, haunts the brothel. He is mesmerized by Pushpa's voice and begins visiting her everyday. Their affection for each other is pure and the relationship offers them comfort from their miseries. Pushpa's neighbour who comes from the same village has a child called Nandu, for whom she develops a great motherly love. Like any other woman, she yearns for a family life, but fate had other plans. Nandu's step mother (yesteryear vamp, Bindu) does not provide for him and his father is too busy to care for the child. Nandu finds love and affection in Pushpa's arms much to the dislike of his family. They criticise her as a low life who entertains a variety of men. This hurts Pushpa deeply. For the sake of maternal love, Pushpa decides to give up her life as a courtesan and stops Anand babu from visitng her. During the Durgo Pujo, Nandu plants a sapling in Pushpa's courtyard.

Years later, a much grown up Nandu, now an engineer comes in search of Pushpa. The sapling is now a full blown tree. Nandu finds an older bespectacled Anand baabu who chances upon Pushpa working as a maid, taking abuses from the people she works for in the same courtyard. It pains him to see that gentle creature endure so much. In the end, Anand babu reunites the mother and child.

Rajesh Khanna in his heydays is so charming, he can make you heart melt like butter within a matter of seconds. His caressing voice and disarming smile will keep you hooked to your seat. Sharmila Tagore is stunning and beautiful. If looks could kill, then it would have to be her. Beyond all the physical distractions, both actors do great justice to their characters, that you begin to believe it is reality.

You feel their sorrow, beauty, and affection. Love is eternal and pure. You find it in the most unlikely places from complete strangers. The songs penned for this movie still live on and were a big hit in those days. Chingari koi badke, Kuch to log kahenga are my favourite numbers.

When Pushpa hears people bad mouthing her and cries, Rajesh Khanna consoles her with a soulful song - Kuch tho log kahenga soulfully rendered by the brilliant Kishore da.

The song is a story of life, of people, and the world we live in.

Kuch tho log kahenge
Loghon ka baath hain kehena
Chodo bekar ki baatho mein ab
Beeth na jaaye rainaa
Kuch To Log Kahenge
Logon Ka Kaam Hai Kehna

Kuch Reet Jagat Ki Aisi Hai
Har Ek Subah Ki Shaam Hui
Tu Kaun Hai Tera Naam Hai Kya
Seeta Bhi Yahan Badnaam Hui
Phir Kyon Sansaar Ki Baaton Se
Bheeg Gaye Tere Naina
Kuch To Log Kahenge
Logon Ka Kaam Hai Kehna

Humko Jo Taane Dete Hain

Hum Khoyen Hai Inn Rang Raliyon Mein
Humne Unko Bhi Chhup Chhup Ke
Aate Dekha Inn Galiyon Mein
Yeh Sach Hai Jhoothi Baat Nahin
Tum Bolon Yeh Sach Hain Na

Kuch To Log Kahenge

Logon Ka Kaam Hai Kehna

What I loved about the movie was the dignity and endearing affection that the central characters extended each other - a quiet acceptance of each other.

I don't know how many of us really find true love. Sometimes, we live them through the movies and the actors and their director.

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