During the sixties, Bollywood witnessed many potboilers which originally were romance or social / family dramas but in the final reels, a suspense element was inserted by the script-writers to provide an interesting twist in the tale and though the movie continued to be entertaining afterwards too but now the focus of entertainment had shifted to a murder mystery. Today, I am reviewing one such movie only which was a box office flop but is not low on the scale of entertainment. This black and white movie is Dooj Ka Chaand (1964).Dooj Ka Chaand literally means the moon of the second night of the bright fortnight according to the lunar calendar. Since just after the new moon night, the first day moon is mostly not visible because of the strong effect of the sun on it. It’s on the second day (Dooj) only when people are able to see the moon which is a very slender shape. But it’s very beautiful to see and that’s why, (in India) beautiful ladies with sharp features and hourglass figure are praised through the metaphor of this moon. You can term a pretty lady as Poonam Ka Chaand (the full moon) or alternatively, Dooj Ka Chaand (the moon of the second day).Besides, this second day coming after Diwali as well as Holi is considered as Bhaiya-Dooj in several parts of India which is a great festival of brothers and sisters. On this day the sisters put a Tilak on the foreheads of their brothers and perform Aarti for them. And the brothers take vows to protect and support the sisters wholeheartedly whenever needed. We can call it a mini Rakshabandhan which is an emotional festival, especially for the sisters who eagerly wait for their brothers on this day. The movie under review refers to this Dooj only whose auspicious sign is Dooj Ka Chaand, i.e., the slender moon visible on this night. The base of the very interesting story of this movie is the bro-sis love only.Dooj Ka Chaand is the story of Gopu (Bharat Bhushan) who lives with his elder brother, Mahendra (Chandrashekhar) and sister-in-law, i.e., Bhabhi (Sulochana). Their parents are no more and Gopu’s Bhabhi is also issueless. But these two brothers have a sister, Lalita (Jeevankala) who is actually the adopted daughter of their parents. Gopu is a carefree youth in his life, not giving a damn for career and living. More than his studies, he takes interest in doing theatre. His Bhabhi loves him very much and always becomes a shelter for him from the resentment of Mahendra. Further, he loves his younger sister, Lalita very much and wants a suitable boy for her. Lalita also loves her foster brothers very much, especially Gopu. One more track of this story is the friendship of Gopu with Anand (Ashok Kumar) who has become a lawyer after facing a lot of hardships in his life. Gopu has always helped him in his hour of need.
Due to his carelessness in life, Gopu has to suffer a heartbreak when his sweetheart, Indira (Azra) is married to the public prosecutor in the city court (Iftekhar). Gopu has to leave his home also when his sister, Lalita’s engagement is broken. His fate makes him cross paths with Gauri (B. Saroja Devi) who starts loving him. On the other hand, Anand happens to meet Leela (Preeti Baala) who is the daughter of a big barrister (Ulhas). Anand not only starts his legal practice successfully under Leela’s father but also gets married to her.
The twist in the tale comes when Gopu comes to know that Lalita’s marriage has been fixed with a rich but licentious aged person, Meerasdaar (Muraad). He is awestruck to see that his sister’s life is going to be spoilt this way. The reason behind this marriage is conveyed to him as the money owed by his family to Meerasdaar. Gopu promises Meerasdaar to repay his debt and leaves no stone unturned in arranging money for that with the help of Gauri. Still he could not stop Lalita’s marriage with Meerasdaar. But on the wedding night itself, Meerasdaar is murdered and Gopu is arrested for his murder. In his trial, his ex-flame’s husband is the public prosecutor whereas his close friend, Anand is the defense counsel for him. The real murderer is unmasked in the end and Gopu is acquitted.
This story has been written by K.P. Kottarakara with a lot of effort which deserves admiration. Though director Nitin Bose could not direct this admirable script perfectly for the screen, nevertheless the movie is engrossing for the viewer. Good doses of romance, comedy, sentiments and music are there before the final dose of mystery is effected to the spectator. The dialogues have been written by the famous Hindi litterateur, Rajinder Singh Bedi.
The moon of Dooj has been linked to the love of brothers and sisters very sentimentally. However this movie has shown a fair also taking place on this day, called as Dooj Ka Mela when the Suhagins (married women) as well as the girls aspiring to get married, leave lit earthen lamps in the river. The title track of the movie, Sajan Salona Maang Lo Ji comes in that sequence only.Performances are all admirable. It’s interesting to see 53 years old Ashok Kumar playing the role of a suitable boy in the movie. All the actors have done their parts very well and nobody has disappointed.
The hero of this movie, Bharat Bhushan only has produced this movie and he has chosen an interesting script containing all the ingredients of a successful movie. However there are directorial flaws which seem to have had a negative impact on the commercial result of this movie. The movie is not unduly long. Still certain sequences could have been done away with.
Roshan has composed very good music for this movie with the beautiful and touching lyrics being penned by Saahir Ludhianvi. The music album of this movie contains melodious and impressive songs like Vinati Suno Mori Avadh Bihari, Sajan Salona Maang Lo Ji, Pade Barkha Phuhaar, Chaand Takta Hai, Phool Gendwa Na Maro, Sun Aye Mehjabeen, Mehfil Se Uth Jaane Waalon, Jhaankti Hai Meri Aankhon Se Kaza Teri, Lo Apna Jahaan Duniya Waalon etc. sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Geeta Dutt, Suman Kalyanpur, Mohammed Rafi, Manna Dey and Asha Singh Mastana. All the tracks are admirable. The dances have been choreographed aesthetically. A couple of songs are portrayed as dance-dramas (because the lead pair does theatre).Dooj Ka Chaand is a long-forgotten but very interesting movie which loosens its grip on the spectator at no place during its running time. Once you are in it for a few minutes, you will find yourself as glued to the screen. Movie buffs of all categories are supposed to like it.
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