Monday, July 20, 2009

MADHUMATI (1958)

Here are TEN solid reasons why you must watch this All time classic of Bimal Roy:

# 1- Even after 50 years of its making, the formulae of the film still makes any bollywood film super duper hit (i.e- Om Shanti Om) and still the film remains unmatched touchstone classic in the genre of haunting Indian film.

# 2 - Apart from Bimal Roy’s other films this film remains the most successful film in his entire career in terms of appealing both mass and class audience. Nature always remains inseperable part of Bimal Roy films and it gives you soothing effect watching scenic beauty which plays pivotal role in the film to enhance the mood and tone of Director’s idea in all departments of film making. That’s the reason why it becomes the first film which swept 8 Filmfare Awards including art direction, cinematography, editing, dialogues, Music, Female vocal, supporting actor and best film.

# 3- Dilip Saab was at the peak of his career when he did this film and believe me he never looks so natural, handsome romantic dude full of youthful vibrant energy in any of his film after or before this. Among all of his melodrama oriented films, this film gives out and out different feel which you love to watch time and again. It also rest in my list of Dilip Kumar films where he gave the most natural and restrained performance without letting his stardom overshadows his acting talent. The others are – ‘Ganga Jamuna’, ‘Naya Daur’ and ‘Devdas’.

# 4- Vyjyantimala never look so beautiful in any Black and white frame and she confessed that it’s her personal all time favorite film. Strong women characters remained trademark quality of Bimal Roy films and he presented Vyjyanti as irresistible natural beauty with enigmatic mysterious character. Watching her in this is sheer bliss. Notice her fine facial expressions, the way she performs dancing moves in “Bichchuaa” song or the any romantic scene of the film gives you insatiable feeling to meet this mystery woman.

# 5- Ritwik Ghatak who later became an adorable name of Indian parallel cinema in the lineage of Ray and Sen wrote the script and screenplay of the film. The story never bore you even for a single scene throughout the film and kept the mystery of Madhumati and suspense of the story intact till the final climax. Many critics disagree with unrealistic treatment of reincarnation lovers but its more literary film than other socially realistic and relevant films of Bimal Roy.

# 6- The most immortal part and soul of the film is Salil Chaudhary’s finest melodious score for the film. Whether its composition of “ Suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen…”(Mukesh) or Lata’s haunting solo “Aaja re pardesi…”, folk based “Daiya re daiya chad gayo papi bichchua…” or lilting and romantic “Zulmi sang aankh ladi…”, classic duets of Lata- Mukesh “Ghadi ghadi mora dil…” and “Dil tadap tadap ke keh raha…” or soulful Rafi number “Toote hue khwabon ne…” Salilda has scored a masterpiece of his entire career. The role of Shailendraji’s lyrics played pivotal role for its simple and yet soothing lyrics. Ab aisa Music kahaan!!!
Lata once confessed that some of the most difficult compositions she sang in her career rest in the account of Salilda. Even the use of western orchestra and ‘chorus’ in his music was unique and finely blends Indian sur and western taal in the most intoxicating way.
He got Best Music composer Filmfare Award that year for this immortal soundtrack.


# 7- The romantic chemistry of Dilip Kumar-Vyjyantimala gave some of the fine memorable films like Devdas, Gunga Jamuna and Naya Daur but this film remains immortal with the haunting plot of immortal reincarnated lovers.

# 8- The brilliant editing of the film was handled by none other than Hrishikesh Mukerjee who later on became refined and great Director and gave us so many classic Indian films.

# 9- Pran as villain Ugra Narayan raised a bar of a royal blood aristocratic villain with his cold trademark expressions and mannerism and he became Commercial Film Industry’s first strong villain who got hefty signing amount from producers. He is the first villain who established villain at par with hero of the film.

# 10- The film combined so many elements in a manner that had never been attempted before, let alone achieves so effectively. The haunting B&W spookiness, depiction of tribal customs and imagery, music which creates an atmosphere and finally an unexpected chilling twist at the climax.

Ratings- With given 10 reasons should I have to repeat 10/10!!!

1 comment:

yale great lakes said...

Hiren,
You have been the best reviewer I have followed. This is an honest statement and please take it on its face value. I have been an ardent follower of your blog.

Now, let me come to the point. Your new style of reviewing sounds flippant and lacks the erudition of the earlier essay style. So if you want to change it, change it for better. I understand that this new style of writing review in a bullet-point form is less demanding on your time. But believe me, that pain is worth taking.

Hope to see those beautiful reviews back again.

Pratik