Hollywood’s entertainer ‘Baby’s Day Out’,
Indian cinema had made something much more higher than it. Writer, Director
Chetan Anand’s this film shot and filmed in neo-realist approach is natural journey of a lost infant in the backdrop of 60’s urban Mumbai.
The film was a debut movie of Rajesh Khanna pairing with Indrani Banerjee. The hill station romance and private marriage in temple turned out as what’s typical hindi film situation where heroine returned to urban hero with a child in her womb. But keeping this formulaic part aside for a while one has to look forward for the rest of it where we witness the lost child let loose in the city. I must confess without exaggeration that I haven’t seen any other Indian film where an infant actor of mere fifteen months filmed so sensitively, so naturally and so beautifully keeping the realistic approach. Director Chetan Anand and Cinematographer Jaal Mistry deserve honor for this for portraying the subject so sensitively and artistically. One has to watch the beauty of certain scenes handles so well with hand held camera focused on child in the background of indifferent city. Baby Bunty is the real hero of the film and he performed so naturally on screen that you can’t resist being emotionally exploited.
Any Chetan Anand film almost offered memorable nostalgic music and this is not an exception. Though for some inexplicable reason here he didn’t have his long collaborator Madan Mohan, the music composed by Khayyam and penned by Kaifi Azmi never felt us the lost of melodies and it features two of most melodious tracks he offered to Lata Mangeshkar- ‘Baharon mera jivan bhi sanwaro’ & ‘Mere Chanda mere nanhe’. Like to share the trivia that the film was
India’s submitted entry in Best
Foreign Language film category.
Here’s what Ketan Anand said about his father’s film at one of Kolkota Film Festival, “I feel Aakhri Khat was a greater achievement, not only for him, but also for Indian cinema. It was a masterpiece and my father started with a bare outline of a script and a 15-months old infant who he let loose in the city, following him with his camera. Even though, it seems a simple film, a true student of cinema will realize that it was actually a biting comment on the loss of innocence, in the new, fast growing material world.”