It’s been more than six years since Rajesh Khanna left for his heavenly abode. However his memories can never fade out from the hearts of his admirers. Known mainly for the romantic roles and great melodious and touching songs picturized on him, he was quite proficient in comedy too. The best example of his comic talent is Joroo Ka Ghulam (1972) which I am reviewing today.Joroo Ka Ghulam (henpecked husband) is the story of Kalpana (Nanda) and Rajesh (Rajesh Khanna) who fall in love despite the fact that Kalpana is from a rich family and Rajesh is financially weak. Kalpana’s father (Om Prakash) disapproves their marriage but lovestruck Kalpana listens to her heart and marries Rajesh. They start living in a different city and carry on with their conjugal life blissfully. Kalpana gets adjusted to the modest earning and resources of her husband without any complaint and regularly writes letters to her mother that Rajesh is earning well and there is no monetary hardship for them. Within a year of their marriage, Kalpana is blessed with a son. Now comes the comic twist in the tale which leads to a stream of laughter for the audience.
When Kalpana’s parents are informed of her delivering their grandson, they become just too eager to visit their daughter, son-in-law and grandson, forgetting all the erstwhile bitterness in their hearts. They inform Kalpana about their visit to her house. Now Kalpana is in trouble because she had written false things about their financial soundness to her mother in the letter whereas the fact is that still herself and Rajesh are not so well-off. She asks Rajesh to manage a camouflage of affluence through hired items and servant just for a couple of days so that the false impression of their richness on her parents remains intact. Rajesh believes in truth and he straightaway dismisses the idea. When Kalpana remains hell-bent upon going ahead with that idea, Rajesh shows his resentment and leaves the house. Now Kalpana has a new trouble due to the absence of her husband in the house.
However since her parents have never seen their son-in-law till now, the solution to this problem that illuminates in her mind is to arrange a fake husband the same way she has arranged a fake scenario of affluence in her house. She asks the brother of her friend to pose as her husband in front of her parents and to help her. He agrees. However later, Rajesh realizes that when he loves Kalpana so much, then it’s his duty to stand by his wife and he comes back to the house. By that time, the fake husband has already appeared before Kalpana’s parents. Now Kalpana asks Rajesh to pose as the newly appointed servant of the house. Rajesh does it albeit with a lot of pout. And this situation in the house triggers a chain of laughter-generating scenes continuing till the climax. Finally, Kalpana’s parents come to know the truth and they accept their son-in-law as he actually is.Joroo Ka Ghulam has a well-written script that has been equally well-directed on the screen. It’s a neat and clean healthy comedy sans any vulgarity or indecency. The story idea itself is good and the director (A. Bhimsingh) has presented it on the screen very well. The negative character of Kalpana’s cousin (Ramesh Dev) has been inserted to take the story to its finale which is a bit irritating but can be tolerated as a necessary evil to conclude the story. The story starts routinely but once the first and the most important twist arrives, it takes off like anything and thereafter the audience experiences laughs and laughs only. Now it’s upto the viewer whether he prefers to laugh out loud or just keep smiling but the rib-tickling drama continues on the screen.It is not a slapstick comedy but a situational comedy. The inherent message silently rendered to the audience is also great that it’s no use showing off what you actually are not. Present yourself and your life to the world truthfully. Possession of precious items does not matter, possession of virtues in your personality matters. False pride and fake lifestyle yield nothing in the end. These things are realized by Kalpana (also her parents) in the end and should be taken to heart by the viewers for their own good.Technically the movie is good. It’s not unduly long either. Dialogs are hilarious and in sync with the comic mood of the movie. Music by Kalyanji Anandji is quite good with the lyrics of Anand Bakshi. The best song is the laughter-provoking song sung by Kishore Kumar – Aaiye Aapko Main Apne Banglay Ki Sair Karaaoon. Among the others songs – Baras Gai Re Taras Gai Re (Lata) and Naino Mein Nindiya Hai Maathe Pe Bindiya Hai (Kishore-Lata) are also quite good to listen (and to watch). Fondly known as Kaka, Rajesh Khanna has showcased his comic talent in this movie and underscored that he was apt not only in tickling the hearts of the spectators but also their ribs. He has performed quite naturally without any undue effort and the result is a laugh-riot for the audience. Nanda has played a loving wife as well as a daughter who is not willing to hurt her parents with utmost efficiency. Among others, seasoned actor Om Prakash has delivered a highly comic performance as Kalpana’s father and complimented the lead pair in its part very well.
Joroo Ka Ghulam is a family entertainer and the whole family can watch it together. It may not be a classic comedy but definitely an underrated one which is relatively unknown to today’s generation. If you are fed up with mindless and irritating movies shown to you in the name of comedy and willing to relief through watching a clean comedy, then this movie is just for you.
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