I dedicate this review to the veteran actress Shammi who dedicated more than six decades of her life to Indian cinema and television. She passed away yesterday (06.03.2018).
Director Kishore Sahu gave Indian cine-lovers many good movies especially in the black and white era. One such classic movie is Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960) starring Raaj Kumar, Meena Kumari and Nadira. This movie not only tells a heart-conquering love story but also underscores the significance of the noble profession of medicine.Kind-hearted orphan girl Karuna (Meena Kumari) joins a hospital as a nurse and comes into the contact of Dr. Sushil Varma (Raaj Kumar). Since both possess hearts of gold, filled with mercy, kindness, benevolence and humanity; they start liking each other (in fact, loving each other within their hearts). However Dr. Sushil has to marry Kusum (Nadira) due to the obligations of her father upon himself and his family. Proud (of her father’s wealth), sniffy and nagging wife Kusum makes life hell for not only Dr. Sushil but also his widow mother (Pratima Devi) and his younger sister Munni (Baby Naaz). On the other hand, heartbroken Karuna suddenly comes to know of Dr. Sushil’s silent love for her. Then she does not have any option but to shed tears over this cruel joke played by the destiny with both of them. She tries to quit the hospital but can’t. When Kusum comes to know that her husband loves Karuna within his heart, her womanly jealousy crosses all the limits. Finally the movie reaches its happy ending with the union of the lovers.
Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (the heart is own and the love is the other’s) takes the viewer to the era when love of a male and a female was not express but silent. Still the loving heartshave always been able to listen to the silent calls of each other. And that love is reliable even on the screen. The scene in which Karuna sees her name written by Dr. Sushil on pieces of paper and on neutral things and she is able to listen to the love-filled sighs coming from his heart, echoing her name only, is just superb. Anybody who has loved someone in his / her life can identify with this scene.Besides, medicine has always been considered a noble profession (though now it is also a means to earn more and more money only for the majority of the people involved). And this movie emphatically underscores this fact that the people joining this profession whether as doctors or as nurses, should understand that their patients have greater right on their lives as compared to their own right and the right of their family members. The family members of such people have to adjust to the occupational demands of them and should not be irritating or resenting towards their activities, else they won’t be able to do justice to their duty and their profession. Through the characters of various patients admitted in the hospital ward, the moviemaker has stressed the need for the doctors and the nurses to keep unlimited patience while dealing with them, in addition to the kindness and sympathy which the patients require from them.
To make the movie as an entertaining one, the director has infused humour through some patients which is over the top at places. All the same, this movie is filled with sentiments and it shows that emotional bonds can develop in any setting between the people suffering from common pains. It’s a movie which deeply moves the viewer at many places. And it also underscores the fact that if the life-partner is non-understanding, supercilious and irritating; he / she may not only snatch success from the other one but also make life worse than hell for her / him.
Performance wise assessing, Raaj Kumar has given a very impressive performance in this movie without any overtones. Meena Kumari has not only scored in the acting department but she has looked quite beautiful too. It’s definitely one of her best movies. Om Prakash impresses in his cameo (as a patient). Shammi (as another nurse who is Karuna’s close friend and confidante), Pratima Devi as Dr. Sushil’s mother, Baby Naaz as his younger sister, Kumar as the head of the hospital etc. have done justice to their roles. However, it’s mainly Naadira’s movie, perhaps her best and the most memorable one. No viewer can forget her knockout performance as the proud, ill-mannered and nagging woman.Shankar Jaikishan have given unforgettable music in this movie with the beautiful and touching lyrics having been penned by Hasrat Jaipuri and Shailendra. The music of this movie boasts of Lata’s immortal song – Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Yeh Kahaan Shuru Kahaan Khatam. The title song is another gem in Lata’s voice. Other songs – Sheesha-e-Dil Itna Na Uchhalo, Andaaz Mera Mastaana, Mera Dil Ab Tera O Saajna, Jaane Kahaan Gayi, Itni Badi Mehfil Aur Ek Dil etc. are also quite good. Picturization of the songs is also highly impressive.
Technically the movie is good. It’s not unduly long also. Though most of the scenes are either in the hospital or in the household, the scenes containing the river are quite beautiful. The cinematographer has excelled like anything in the picturization of the title song (Dil Apna Aur Preet Paraee, Kisne Hai Yeh Reet Banaai) as well as Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Yeh. And finally, the climax has been picturized sensationally.All in all, director Kishore Sahu has done a remarkable job. It’s a movie which will be liked by all – the people involved in the noble profession of medicine, the viewers liking romantic musicals, the social drama audience and the movie buffs in general as well. It’s a precious gem from the black and white era of Bollywood. With my tear-filled farewell and tribute to everyone’s dear Shammi Ji, I advise all the movie-freaks not to miss it.
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