Director Raj Khosla made three suspense movies consecutively during the sixties casting Sadhana in the female lead. The specialty of these three movies is that in all of them, the plot is based on the mysterious personality of a woman. Hence Saadhana’s role is not just to fill the heroine’s space in these movies, hers is the pivotal wheel of the story. These three movies are – Woh Kaun Thi (1964), Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967). Since I have reviewed the first two, I feel, I should review the last part of this trilogy too.As the title itself is after the name of the lead (female) character, the whole story is based on her personality only. Anita (Saadhana) is the daughter of a businessman and is in love with a salaried ordinary person, Neeraj (Manoj Kumar). She first almost drags him to marry her in a hurry but backs out at the last moment. Neeraj comes to know that she is going to marry another person. Heartbroken, he gets himself transferred to another place and moves out of Anita’s town. However, an apprehensive letter from Anita brings him back only to know that she has committed suicide. His heart is not ready to believe it. Further he happens to get a glimpse of her at places. And upon inquiring, different people say different things to him about her. Ultimately he is able to find her as well as unravel the truth behind her activities.The story apparently is quite interesting and seems to have been written in the hangover of Woh Kaun Thi, the first part of this trilogy. However, the weak script is the biggest minus point of this movie. Whatever the director could do, he has done with all his abilities (and he seems to be overwhelmed by Saadhana’s gorgeous personality, of course). But when the script is not good, direction itself cannot help much. That’s the case with Anita. That’s why the revelation in the climax is not very impressive and convincing. Due to the shortage of interesting twists and events in the story, the comedy track of two private detectives have been given undue footage which bores. The opening scene is interest-provoking but the writers could not link it to the main story later on, hence it loses its shine.Still, the movie scores though it lags behind its predecessor, Woh Kaun Thi in quality of entertainment. Mainly, the charming personality of Saadhana and her chemistry with Manoj Kumar keep the interest alive till the climax. Saadhana has carried this movie on her shoulders and made it worth a watch. Manoj Kumar has not been a great actor but he has not disappointed. All others have supported the lead-pair satisfactorily. In fact, their romance has been handled very well on the screen and it’s a plus point of the movie.But the biggest plus point of the movie is music. Laxmikant Pyarelal have composed some heart-winning songs for this movie. Mukesh’s classic song – Tum Bin Jeevan Kaise Beeta, Poochho Mere Dil Se is undoubtedly the best song. Gore Gore Chaand Se Mukh Par Kaali Kaali Aankhen Hain (Mukesh), Main Dekhun Jis Or Sakhi Ri Saamne Mere Saanwariya (Lata) and Kareeb Aa Ye Nazar Phir Mile Mile Na Mile (Lata) are other good songs which we can listen to any number of times and in fact, they help the thin storyline to move forward. The songs have been shot and choreographed very well.
Cinematography is quite good. The era of colour movies had started by then and the makers have used the best stuff. Hence this movie is an eye-soothing experience. Not only we can feel Saadhana’s beauty in that time while watching the movie now after half a century but otherwise also, the movie appears to be a visual treat, courtesy its bright colours and beautiful scenes. Production value is high. Raj Khosla’s efficient direction has given the movie an attractive look but editing should have been better and the movie should have been shortened.Saadhana’s famous hairdo has been given a new look in the initial reels of the movie. She is the heart and soul of this not-so-great suspense movie which can be watched for herself as well as the songs. Overall speaking, it is an entertaining suspense movie. A good one time watch.
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