Jab Dard Nahin Tha Seene Mein, Tab Khaak Maza Tha Jeene Mein (When there was no feeling of pain in my heart, what the hell was the pleasure of living !). Sounds impractical ? It is. Surprisingly, it is very much practical for the true artists whose art gets refined only through the pain in their hearts. Today I am reviewing Anurodh (1977) starring Rajesh Khanna, Vinod Mehra and Simple Kapadia whose music, among many others, contains a tear-jerking song consisting of the same words. It comes in the climax of the movie and makes the audience shed tears.Anurodh (request) is the story of Arun (Rajesh Khanna), the son of a rich businessman, Mr. Chaudhary (Utpal Dutt). He is passionate about music which is strongly disliked by his father. Hence he adopts a pseudo-name for his artistic life – Sanjay. However his father kicks him out of his home and he moves to the house of his motor-mechanic friend – Bhisham Singh (Asrani) and his wife (Preeti Ganguly). Now he happens to meet the love of his life too – Sunita (Simple Kapadia), the grand-daughter of Mr. Mathur (Ashok Kumar). He changes his name once again to Preetam Nath Ghayal and gets the job of a chauffeur in the house of his sweetheart.
On one track, this rom-com runs to delight the audience, on the other, runs the pain-soaked story of Arun’s another friend – Shrikant (Vinod Mehra) who is a poet and lives with his widow mother (Nirupa Roy) under extreme poverty. At their hearts, himself and Arun are no less than real brothers. He authors lyrics for the songs of Arun. He has been caught by tuberculosis but he hides his disease from his mother as well as Arun. Though Arun never appears on the stage for a live show (he sings on radio only), he has to change his decision to arrange a huge sum for the operation of his beloved friend Shrikant whose decease he comes to know of quite late. It is then the song mentioned in the title and the first para of this review, comes before the audience. The movie ends on a happy note.Anurodh is another gem from Shakti Samanta-Rajesh Khanna team who had given many memorable movies prior to this. Anurodh is a bit different from others in the sense that it contains a heavy dose of sentiments. Despite comedy and romance getting sufficient footage in the movie, the main theme remains sentimental only. And the seasoned director has handled the script brilliantly. Not only the movie is utterly interesting but also the emotion embedded in the theme alights deep into the heart of the viewer. There are several scenes in the movie (linked to Shrikant, his poverty and his illness) which move the watcher like anything. TB (tuberculosis) became curable a few years later to the release of this movie but in that period, it was considered a deadly disease. The scene of Shrikant’s stopping himself from committing suicide upon listening to the optimistic song authored by none other than himself only, is just superb. Another heart-conquering scene is the interaction of Shrikant with the publisher of his poems for his due amount.And Vinod Mehra’s outstanding performance is the heart and soul of the emotional drama presented on the screen. I consider Late Vinod Mehra a highly underrated actor who never got his due from Bollywood. His performance in Anurodh is an unforgettable one. The ailing, full of self-respect, yet suffering from guilt-complex of giving trouble to his beloved ones, poet Shrikant who pens poems of hope and optimism but forced by the misery prevailing in his life to decide to kill himself, has been enlivened by Vinod Mehra on the screen.Late Rajesh Khanna was past his heyday when Anurodh was released. However his performance is definitely first rate. Especially his outburst before Shrikant when he comes to know that Shrikant has been suffering from TB and may not live beyond a few days, is able to leave an indelible imprint upon the viewer’s heart. Ditto about his performance in the climax when he appears in person before the music lovers for the first time in his life and appeals to them to pray for Shrikant’s life.This is the debut movie of Dimple Kapadia’s younger sister, Late Simple Kapadia (Rajesh Khanna’s real life sister-in-law) and she is just okay. The complete supporting cast has done exceedingly well to complement the performance of the lead characters (Arun and Shrikant).
Laxmikant Pyarelal have composed outstanding music for this movie. On one hand, there are romantic songs like – Aate Jaate Khoobsurat Aawaara Sadkon Par, Aapke Anurodh Pe Main Ye Geet Sunaata Hoon and Mere Dil Ne Tadap Ke Jab Naam Tera Pukaara, on the other is the sentimental song – Jab Dard Nahin Tha Seene Mein. Kishore Kumar is at his very best in the songs of this movie. It contains the inspiring song – Tum Besahaara Ho To Kisi Ka Sahaara Bano also which is an underrated gem of Manna Dey. Anand Bakshi has penned the touching lyrics of the songs.Technical and production value aspects are quite in line with the reputation of the banner of Shakti Samanta. Considering the simple characters and the simple set up required for the script, the director has demonstrated his better judgment by avoiding undue pump and show.
Anurodh is a movie for both the classes and the masses. It’s thoroughly entertaining with sufficient laughter and musical romance for the regular movie buffs. At the same time, it is a memorable experience for the movie viewers liking sentimental stuff.
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