Real life pair – Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri have been cast together in many movies including classics like Abhimaan and Zanjeer as well as multi-starrers like Sholay and Chupke Chupke. But my personal favourite movie in which tall Amitabh and short Jaya were cast opposite each other is Ek Nazar which got released in 1972. I have watched this socio-romantic movie which contains a murder and a bit of mystery also, many times on satellite channels, yet I am never tired of watching it again and again, not for the sake of any message or inspiration or likewise, but for sheer entertainment and Amitabh-Jaya on-screen chemistry which is magical (perhaps because of the off-screen chemistry between them).Ek Nazar (one glance) was directed by Babu Ram Ishara who was once an assistant of the legendary Bimal Roy. He is better known for his path-breaking bold movies like Chetna and Zaroorat. In this movie he has directed a good story in such a good manner that the engrossing narrative coupled with the good performances and highly melodious songs has become a very good watch for the audience. Thoroughly entertaining and leaving a good feeling after it is over.The plot belongs to a courtesan Shabnam (Jaya Bhaduri) who is a big fan of a Shaayar Akash (Amitabh Bachchan) who is actually the son of a big lawyer. One more family is in the scenario which is the family of Akash’s friend Ashok (Raza Murad) who is also a young lawyer and the son of a judge. A meeting of Akash and Shabnam leads to a highly fragrant romance between them. However this romance is not acceptable to Ameena Bai (Nadira) who is the guardian of Shabnam and owner of that Kotha. One distant relative of Ashok’s mother – Deepak (Sudhir) is also visiting the Kotha in the disguise of a Nawab. In Akash’s house also, this relationship is opposed, leading to his leaving his home and residing with a friend who runs a restaurant. Subsequent events flow in such a way that Ameena Bai is murdered and Shabnam is charged and tried for her murder. The court-room drama that follows the murder, ultimately leads to the happy ending of the story.The screenplay is very good and the thoughtful direction and good editing has made the movie thoroughly gripping for a viewer to watch. The melodious music serves as the icing on the cake. Though almost all the songs are simply excellent, special mention is deserved by Patta Patta Boota Boota Haal Hamara Jaane Hai whose first two lines have been borrowed from the classic ghazal sung by the legendary singers like Mehndi Hassan and Ghulam Ali. Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar have sung the ear-soothing songs of the movie which do not hinder the flow of the story, instead they support it and add to its strength.Amitabh and Jaya have delivered very good performances, courtesy their real life romance in that time. The supporting cast has also done well. I will specially mention firstly for the actor who has played Amitabh’s restauranteer friend (his is a lovely and admirable performance indeed) and secondly for Raza Murad whose debut movie it is. Raza Murad looks very young and he has delivered a knock-out performance in his meaty role. Bollywood did not do justice to this highly talented actor in the later years of his career. He is an awesome actor all the same.The director has managed to maintain curiosity throughout the movie despite the fact that the murderer can be guessed by the audience. The motive and the background of the murder remains the mystery which is resolved only in the climax. It is a good entertainer by all means. The use of drawings and water colour paintings in the court-room climax for narrating the flash back events, is a commendable example of directorial creativity and imagination.
I will continue to watch Ek Nazar whenever I get opportunity and I recommend it to all the Amitabh-Jaya fans as well as the people interested in watching a gripping socio-thriller with a good dose of romance.
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