The Train (1970) is a thriller movie based on the activities of a gang of robbers. The title of the movie is as such because the incidents of robbery and thereafter the murder of the robbed passenger take place in a particular train which runs between Mumbai (then Bombay) and Kolkata (then Calcutta). It’s been directed by Raveekant Nagaich who used to make crime-thrillers during the seventies and eighties. It stars Bollywood’s superstar of that period, Rajesh Khanna and the popular heroine of the sixties, Nanda in lead roles.Regular criminal incidents take place in a particular train at a particular time when the train is about to arrive at the Igatpuri station during the journey. The victims are all jewellers who are travelling with precious jewels in their possession. The modus operandi of the robbers is that the jeweller who is travelling in the first class coupe meant for two passengers only is selected for the loot. Then first his fellow passenger is either separated from him or intoxicated. Thereafter a member of the gang (Shetty) murders the jeweller and jumps with the booty into a river when the train is crossing over it. The other member of the gang called as No. 1 (Madan Puri) is ready at the shore with a car whom the killer reaches by swimming through the river and then they flee away with the booty. The time when the train crosses over the river is of around midnight and hence the robbery and murder is known only the next morning when some attendant of the train reaches the coupe or the fellow passenger comes to know of it.The police has to take these incidents quite seriously because they have become quite frequent. When an incident of thuggery take place with a jeweller in his showroom itself in broad day-light (by the members of the same gang), then the top brass of the police force (Iftekhar) deputes a CID inspector, Shyam (Rajesh Khanna) to investigate the case and catch this gang which has become a big headache for the law-enforcing agencies. Shyam is in love with a girl, Neeta (Nanda) who is living a poverty-stricken life with her mother since her father got sentenced to imprisonment under a false murder-charge. Lily (Helen) who is a cabaret dancer in a hotel is also fond of Shyam and she keeps on trying to induce him. However since she is a member of the robbers’ gang also, it is difficult to say as to how much her fondness for Shyam is real and how much is a part of her duties assigned by the gang.The twist in the tale comes when Neeta’s father runs away from the prison and reaches his family, i.e., Neeta and her mother but Shyam also reaches there and being a dutiful cop, gets him rearrested. This incident distances Neeta from Shyam. Soon thereafter, No. 1 visits Neeta’s house and arranges the job of the receptionist for her in the same hotel in which Lily performs cabaret. Then one more incident of robbery takes place in the train which the fellow passenger of the looted and killed jeweller is Pyarelaal (Rajendra Naath) who was travelling in the same small coupe but who was separated from the jeweller by one charming girl who induced him by her charms and took him out of the train when it was stationed and did not allow him to board it again till it departed, thus making the path clear for the loot and murder of the jeweller, now alone in the coupe. Pyarelaal is approached by Shyam who keeps him in his company in his bid to catch the criminals. But Shyam is startled like anything when Pyarelaal identifies Neeta as the girl who had taken him out of the train and facilitated the loot and the killing that was committed later. What happens thereafter leads to the finale of the story.I won’t categorize The Train as a great thriller. It has many flaws. The biggest one, in my opinion, is the incident of thuggery in the jewellery showroom because when a gang is successfully functioning with a set modus operandi of robberies in the train, then there’s no need to go for a sophisticated thuggery. Anyway, it’s a nice timepass. Since Rajesh Khanna had established himself as a romantic hero, this thriller also has a good dose of romance and sentiments with a couple of chartbuster songs. Overall, the movie does not bore at any place and the curiosity of the viewer is maintained till the climax. But after watching the full movie, the thought that comes to mind is that it’s just an above average thriller with nothing extra-ordinary in it.Technically the movie is good. All the action, chase and thrill sequences have been executed proficiently. Art director, cinematographer and sound recordist have done their jobs well. The length of the movie is not much but by excluding the superfluous thuggery episode, the moviemaker could have trimmed it further.Rajesh Khanna was undergoing the purple patch of his career then and was considered the superstar of Bollywood. Despite the movie being a thriller, he has shown his romantic mannerisms whenever given the opportunity for that by the director. His dashing looks and romantic glances are sufficient to knock any young girl (of that period) out. Nanda appears (and actually also was) elder to him but the twosome has shown good on-screen chemistry and appears quite a charming pair. All others including Helen as the vamp and Rajendra Naath as the comedian (in a relatively meaty role), have done justice to the assigned roles.R.D. Burman has prepared good music with help of Anand Bakshi’s lyrics. The movie boasts of Mohammed Rafi’s chartbuster romantic song – Gulaabi Aankhen Jo Teri Dekheen, Sharaabi Ye Dil Ho Gaya. Nee Soniye (Rafi-Lata) and Kisliye Maine Pyar Kiya (Lata) are also quite good and popular songs. For Helen’s dances, Asha has sung in her enchanting voice, songs like. Maine Dil Abhi Diya Naheen, O Meri Jaan Maine Kaha and Saiyan Re Saiyan.
All in all, The Train is a decent one time watch. I recommend this popular and commercially successful movie of its time to not only the fans of Rajesh Khanna but the movie buffs in general also. However there is a word of caution from my side. I had seen the full movie when it was telecast on Doordarshan but upon watching it on internet recently, I found that many important scenes are missing in the uploaded version including the revelation of suspense in the climax. Hence please don’t watch it on internet and instead, catch a VCD / DVD of some reputed company for watching it.
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