Anamika means a female without a name. The movie I am reviewing was released in 1973 and I saw it for the first time after a few years only upon its telecast on the Doordarshan. I watched it again when I grew up and since then I am never tired of watching it any number of times. It is a mystery movie with the suspense revolving around the female lead, appropriately called Anamika. However it has not been made like the regular suspense thrillers. The director has taken proper care to present it like a social drama or a rom-com in the lingo used now-a-days (not used in that period of the seventies). Hence this movie is an excellent timepass not just for the mystery fans but also for the young audience fond of romance, comedy and social drama.
The story of Anamika (1973) starts in Shimla with a popular novelist Sanjeev Kumar who hates women because of the infidelity of a girl whom he loved. When he is returning home from the ceremony held for the release of his new novel, he finds an injured girl lying unconscious in the middle of the road. He brings her home where he lives with his uncle, A.K. Hangal and his secretary Asrani. The girl, Jaya Bhaduri, comes to her senses and from her talks, it appears that she is under an illusion to consider herself as Sanjeev Kumar’s wife. Sanjeev gets irritated by her wifely behaviour and romantic advances towards him. However with the passage of time, he falls in love with her. He starts calling her Anamika, i.e., the woman who does not bear any name. However the way she had suddenly entered his life, the same way, she suddenly disappears too, leaving him sad and lonely again. But he keeps on searching her, only to gain startling and shocking pieces of information about her identity and her character. Finally he meets her again, comes to know her real identity and the mystery behind her behaviour and relevant events that have taken place. The lovers get re-united after a spine-chilling climax involving the villain.
I have always admired director Raghunath Jhalani’s skill of presenting a mystery in the form of an engrossing social drama. In Anamika, he has done the same job. The movie is a mystery but its presentation is that of a family drama or say a Rom-Com. The interactions between Jaya Bhaduri and Sanjeev Kumar are rib-tickling as well as touching the romantic chord in the audience’s hearts. This makes the movie a thoroughly enjoyable one even for those who don’t like suspense or mystery. But the curiosity regarding the real identity of Jaya Bhaduri gives it the flare of a mystery too. However it is not a regular suspense thriller. It is a good mix of family drama, mystery, romance and comedy. Despite the romance and the comedy, the narrative moves swiftly and the movie heads towards its desired ending without unnecessary digressions.Jaya Bhaduri in the title role, is the heart and soul of this movie. She has delivered a hilarious performance and entertains the viewers with her (seemingly) innocent mannerisms and advances towards Sanjeev, deeming him as her husband. Though her role has been given a profound look when the movie reaches near the climax, it is her naughty romantic version that makes the narrative lively and engrossing. Sanjeev Kumar is natural as he always is. Asrani’s comedy provides additional laughs. A.K. Hangal, Iftekhar (as the doctor) and Baby Pinky provide good support to the family drama taking place inside the house of Sanjeev Kumar. I am not able to identify the villain (as to who that actor is) but he has done well.The climax of the movie is scary. The final ten minutes are certainly spine-chilling. However after it is over and the movie ends with the unison of the lovers, the viewer gets a feeling of satisfaction. The narrative is crisp. No undue dragging. The complete length of the movie is hardly two hours.Music is another highlight of Anamika. Pancham Da (R.D. Burman) has composed ear-soothing songs (penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri) for the movie. It contains Kishore Da’s memorable song – Meri Bheegi-Bheegi Si Palkon Pe Reh Gaye Jaise Mere Sapne Bikhar Ke on one hand and Lata’s heart-warming romantic song – Baahon Mein Chale Aao, Haan Humse Sanam Kya Parda on the other. Asha Bhonsle’s songs – Logon Na Maaro Isse and Aaj Ki Raat Koi Aane Ko Hai are also very good.
On the flip side, the storyteller does not answer all the questions perfectly in the end. Some loose ends have been left untied. The characters of A.K. Hangal and Iftekhar have been developed by taking Bollywood style cinematic liberties. However the interesting flow of the narrative compels the viewers to ignore such things.
Technically and production value wise also, the movie is all right. Appropriate costumes have been selected for the characters suiting the different situations created in the story. The cinematographer has captured the snowy beauty of Shimla (in the seventies) very well.
Anamika is a very good watch. I recommend it to all. Whether you are fond of comedy or of romance or of family drama or of mystery, this movie is just for you. Despite being a suspense movie, it has repeat value. Watch it once and you would like to meet this damsel without a name once more.
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