I watched Bahaaron Ki Manzil (the destination of primaveras) on SAB TV many years back. The movie started in a highly promising way and as it proceeded, I found myself just lost in the narrative, having no sense of the world around me. The spellbinding suspense and the highly intriguing storyline tied me tight to the TV screen. Finally I reached the climax of the movie, flowing effortlessly with the twists and turns of the story and after seeing ‘THE END’ on the screen, I was highly satisfied to the fact that I have watched an engrossing, PAISA VASOOL type suspense thriller of the sixties. However being a mystery fan, I could not help rewinding it in my mind and then I found that the screenplay had many holes and the hurried end of the movie did not provide satisfactory answers to many questions that had emerged during the freely-flowing narrative.Baharon Ki Manzil (1968) starts with the awakening of Radha (Meena Kumari) from the state of unconsciousness. She recalls that she had fallen unconscious after a deafening explosion in her surroundings. But after giving a look to the interior of the concerned room and seeing her face in the mirror, she finds that several things are not the same as they were prior to her getting unconscious. A song – Nigaahen Kyon Bhatakti Hain, Kadam Kyon Dagmagaate Hain (a memorable song of Lata Mangeshkar) falls into her ears and with that starts her strange journey in which everything comes in the form of a puzzle before her. She finds the house, the servants, her belongings, a young girl (Farida Jalaal) calling her mother, the neighbours and even the city as strangers for her, not having come across in her life prior to falling unconscious. The biggest surprise is that when her Jijaji (elder sister’s husband, character played by Rehman) comes home in the evening, he shows himself as her husband and calls her as Nanda who was her elder sister. The whole life becomes an intricate, spider-web like puzzle for Radha with respite coming from nowhere. She feels like going mad. She keeps on crying that she is Radha and not Nanda and she had fallen unconscious not just the previous day but several years ago, but none seems to be listening to her, leave aside believing her.But then one sympathetic psychiatrist, Dr. Rajesh (Dharmendra) believes her. And he only helps her in finding out the truth behind this mysterious scenario. After a fast-paced and thrilling chain of events which include a murder also, the mystery gets unfolded before them. It’s unbelievable, yet true.Bahaaron Ki Manzil is a movie which once you start watching, is hard to leave in between. The suspense, the thrill and the curiosity for the viewer combine to produce an enchanting aura. Within a few minutes of the start, the viewer may find himself lost in the flow of the story and that’s the success of the storyteller. The loose ends, the unanswered questions and the fact that the screenplay is not well-knit on the basis of pure logic; all these things have no impact during the first time watch because they can be noticed only when the movie is over. And it’s better not think about them (like Jitendra Mathur). The better thing is to just feel the pleasure of having a thorough entertainment of 165 minutes or so. The storyteller does not give any time to the viewer to think in between the flow of the narrative and the viewer just keep on watching in a spellbound state.As I have already mentioned, there’s no laxity in the narrative. Since the story is Darjeeling based, the cinematographer got ample opportunity to grab the scenic beauty of Darjeeling during the sixties. Technically and production value wise, the movie is all right. The length of the movie may seem unusual to today’s audience but considering the fact that there is not a single boring moment in the movie, it does not seem to be a minus point. In fact, I feel that the storyteller had better added 10-15 minutes more to explain certain things and tie some loose ends.Irrelevant title is one minus point of this movie. The title – Bahaaron Ki Manzil has nothing to do with either the story or any of the songs. Perhaps the director – Yakub Hasan Rizvi could not find a suitable title for this movie.Performance wise speaking, the best performance is of Dharmendra, the kind-hearted psychiatrist who (perhaps) falls in love with Radha who is, in fact, many years older to him in the movie (and in reality too). Dharmendra was quite dashing in his heyday and he’s such a natural performer that appreciation emerges naturally for him from the core of the heart of a genuine movie buff. Rehman is another great performer. Farida Jalaal and other supporting cast is ok. The biggest disappointment is Meena Kumari in the central role. She looks alcoholic by her face and is not able to impress by her performance.
Laxmikant Pyarelal have composed good music. Ye Daaman Ab Na Chhootega Kabhi, Janm Din Aaya and Aaja Re Piya are good to listen. However after the movie is over, only one song remains in mind which I have already mentioned above. Majrooh Sultanpuri has penned the meaningful words of the lyrics.
I recommend this highly entertaining suspense thriller to the mystery fans as well as the social drama audience alike. Watch it and it will give you full value of your time and money.
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