Six years have passed since Joy Mukherjee left for his heavenly abode on 09.03.2012. He was the first Bengali hero to have played a more than one decade long successful innings in Bollywood as a romantic hero with his clean-shaven chocolaty looks (Biswajeet followed suit). Joy was so beautiful that it might have been pretty difficult for the young Indian girls during that period to control themselves whenever he smiled romantically. Joy gave many hits during the sixties. He made a successful on-screen pair with Asha Parekh with three hits to its credit – Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963), Ziddi (1964) and Love In Tokyo (1966).
Love In Tokyo is a formula-based movie produced and directed by Pramod Chakravarty. Joy Mukherjee’s mother – Lalita Pawar sends him off to Japan to bring his nephew and her grandson who is an orphan now because both his father, i.e., Joy’s elder brother and his mother who was a Japanese woman, are no more. But Joy finds it difficult because the child loves Japan and not willing to shift to India. Joy happens to come across Asha Parekh who has her own problem of a marriage being forced on her by her greedy uncle. The groom decided for her is Pran who is a criminal-minded person and he has cooked up a plan with her uncle to usurp her inheritance through that marriage. Asha runs away from her home and crosses path with Joy and his nephew. One side track of Joy’s friend – Mehmood also runs in parallel who has been sent by Joy’s mother to Japan to bring both Joy and the child to India but he has his own axe to grind, i.e., marrying his sweetheart, Shubha Khote who is in Japan. The story reaches its expected happy finale after many romantic and comic scenes and twists in the tale.
It’s a good rom-com with highly popular songs composed by Shankar Jaikishan and very good photography capturing the scenic beauty of Japan. The movie had been shot in Japan just after the Tokyo Olympics were over in 1964. However it’s too long (168 minutes duration) and the side track of Mehmood though entertains, has been dragged just too much. In those days, the Indian audience was not habitual of watching movies having a duration lesser than two and a half hours. Hence long movies of 150-170 minutes duration were made so that the audience would feel to have got it’s money’s worth. However had the director and the editor trimmed this movie by 18-20 minutes, it would have become more engrossing and entertaining. Due to this excessive length, the movie actually starts boring at some places.
However, overall, it renders an entertaining experience to the spectator. It’s a coloured movie and it’s a visual treat to watch the colourful beauty of Japan (and the Japanese women as well) on the screen. Guru Dutt’s close associate – V.K. Murthy has used his camera with a high degree of proficiency. Even the titles at the beginning of the movie, appear on handmade beautiful paintings in a highly aesthetic manner. Action and thrills are also up-to-the-mark from the standards of that time.
Besides being a visual treat, Love in Tokyo is a musical treat too because of the efforts of Hasrat-Shailendra (the lyricists), Shankar-Jaikishan (the composers) and Rafi-Lata (the singers). Songs like Le Gayi Dil Gudiya Japan Ki (which is the title track), O Mere Shah-e-Khubaan, Saayonara, Mujhe Tum Mil Gaye Humdum, Koi Matwala Aaya Mere Dware, Aaja Re Aa Zara etc. are all melodious and memorable. Manna Dey has, like always, given his playback for Mehmood for the song – Main Tere Pyar Ka Beemaar Hoon, Kya Arz Karoon.
The dialogues of Agha Jaani Kashmeri are impressive, especially the romantic lines of Joy. And with the help of them (and his own lady-killer personality), Joy has delivered a touching romantic performance. His on-screen chemistry with Asha has always been admirable and hence Asha also, with her limited acting talent, has done satisfactorily. Her dancing talent has also been used in the song – Koi Matwala Aaya Mere Dware. Mehmood had earned a lot of fame as a comedian during the sixties. He is in full form with his permanent on-screen heroine – Shubha Khote and permanent on-screen (would-be) father-in-law – Dhumal. Pran is a hateable baddie as he always was in that time. The child artist – Master Shahid has also delivered a lovely performance. Lalita Pawar is perfect as the old-fashioned mother.
All in all, Love In Tokyo is an entertaining movie filled with romance, music and comedy and renders a nice timepass in the style of the sixties. I pay my tribute to Late Joy Mukherjee through this review.
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