Not a love story but a suspense movie

Pyar Ke Rahi (1982) is a movie starring B grade actors like Kanwaljeet Singh and Padmini Kapila. Well, I do not believe in this so-called grading. In my opinion, a movie is either good or bad whether it’s a low budget one or a high budget one and whether it features popular stars or lesser known actors. Ultimately it’s the quality of the story and its presentation which matters for the entertainment-seekers. And Pyar Ke Raahi is an entertaining movie.Pyar Ke Raahi means travellers of love. It suggests that it’s a love story but contrary to the title, it’s not a love story. It’s a suspense movie, a mystery. Though the foundation / build up of the main story consists of a love story also, the main track is that of a mystery which is unravelled in the climax. Pyar Ke Raahi starts with a dam construction project in the Chamba valley (perhaps in Himachal Pradesh) where the work is being looked after by four partners of the construction company. One of them – Gupta (Sudhir Dalvi) comes into contact with a pretty worker girl – Champa (Shobha) and both fall in each other’s love. Gupta promises to marry Champa and they get physically intimate also. However Gupta is not able to fulfill his promise and retreats from it, bearing the curse and hatred of now pregnant Champa. Now comes the first twist in this tale.

The greedy partners of the construction company have used poor quality materials in the dam and therefore, when complete, it suddenly collapses with several houses and hundreds of innocents getting drowned in the consequential submergence. However, despite being money-minded, this foursome still has its conscience intact. And because of the call of their conscience and a feeling of repentance only, they decide to do something as penitence although they escape legal punishment by bribing the government authorities. They form a charitable trust, pouring a part of their income into it, and start helping the poor through it. Thus these gentlemen responsible for the death of hundreds, become trustees of a charitable trust, earning blessings of the beneficiaries and goodwill in the society.

Years pass. Gupta has married a girl in the city and begot a son Jai (Kanwaljeet Singh) through that marriage. He still remembers Champa and feels guilty within his heart for betraying her. However, enough water has flown in the river of time now and the harsh fact of life is that you cannot unring a rung bell. His talented son Jai is in love with Poonam (Padmini Kapila) who is the daughter of Gupta’s business partner who, quite naturally, is a trustee of the charitable trust like Gupta. Jai has chosen journalism as his profession and he runs a magazine known as ‘Yeh Sach Hai’ (this is the truth). He smells some scam in the collapse of the dam in the Chamba valley years back and starts his quest for the truth. Now comes another and the principal twist in this interesting story.

Someone starts blackmailing the partners of the construction business who are also the trustees of the charitable trust. First this information is hidden from Jai but when he comes to know it, he sets about to search the blackmailer and help his father who is a victim of this blackmailing like his partners. One day, his father gets murdered. Now unmasking the murderer and his motive behind this murder also becomes Jai’s duty. His dying father confesses to him in his ending moments that he had loved a hilly woman in his youth but betrayed her and not married her. The activities of the blackmailer continue even after Gupta’s killing. Totally confused Jai keeps on hitting his head in the dark and following the clues whatsoever come his way, to find out the whole truth behind the dam scam, the blackmailing and the murder. The identity of the main person behind the contemporary criminal activities is known in the climax.

This movie has been directed by the younger brother of the legendary filmmaker Guru Dutt – Aatma Ram and his presentation of this admirable script on the screen is satisfactory though it could have been better. The real hero of this suspense movie is its script only and the script-writer (Ram Govind) deserves a big pat for that. The narrative runs slow in the initial reels but it is because of the build-up of the main track which starts thereafter and keeps the audience hooked till the climax of the story. However the initial reels containing a love story and a splendid Holi song, are also interesting.

Despite the doses of romance and comedy which are not a part of the main track, the story flows very well. Actually the problem of yesteryears’ filmmakers was that they could not avoid the undue insertion of these formulae in the narrative irrespective of the otherwise high quality of the script. Many good movies could not become very good or excellent because of this (not understandable) compulsion of the moviemakers. Pyar Ke Raahi is one such movie only.

It’s a low budget movie. Still the scenes of the hilly area, the dam and its collapse are quite impressive. Technically the movie is up to the mark with the length also being the optimum.

All the actors have done their respective parts satisfactorily. Kanwaljeet Singh was a hero material by all standards but he was not fortunate enough to get a good break and a hit movie in his prime. Ultimately TV only became his shelter. Padmini Kapila has filled heroine’s quota. Paintal has done good comedy. If I have to choose the best performer in this movie, I will choose debutante actress Shobha who is not only very pretty but also seems to have poured her heart into the role of Champa. Her performance only has made the Holi song – Daiya Re Daiya as an extra-ordinary one, a treat to watch.

Aziz Naaza’s music contains at least two good songs – the first one is the already mentioned Holi song, i.e., Daiya Re Daiya (sung by Anuradha Paudwaal) and the other one is the title track (sung by Jaspaal Singh, Dilraaj Kaur and chorus).

If you are sick of watching poor quality movies starring big names, then give a watch to this low profile movie of low profile actors. This suspense movie with a taut script will not disappoint you. Despite not being a great movie, Pyar Ke Raahi is definitely a cut above the regular Bollywood potboilers.

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About Jitendra Mathur

A Chartered Accountant with literary passion and a fondness for fine arts
This entry was posted in Movie Review and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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