I dedicate this review to my better half, Amita. I was not a foodie prior to 1st December, 1995 (my marriage date). On that day, Amita entered my life and since then I have been a foodie. Reason ? Very simple. She is a cook par excellence. Just not that she can cook a large variety of dishes, but the thing is whatever she cooks is highly delicious. Even the regular day-to-day meals cooked by her are so delicious that I have to exercise a lot of will power to keep my diet under control. She knows very well which ingredient and which spice should be in what quantum in the dish under preparation. And this perfect ratio of the ingredients and the spices used is the reason behind the high quality of the final product that comes out of her kitchen.
The same principle applies to the entertainment products also whether the product is a fiction-book or a theatre-play or a movie. Since most of the books, plays and movies are created for the commercial purposes only, they are bound to be entertainment-oriented. In Bollywood movies, there always have been certain set formulae used in most of the movies to entertain the target audience. The audience is served what it likes. However the intelligent filmmaker is one who knows the right proportion of the formulae to be used in presenting the chosen story on celluloid. When (deliberately or by default) it happens, the audience find the movie as highly entertaining.
Jhuk Gaya Aasman (1968) is one such movie. The writers, Prayag Raj and Omkar Sahib in unison with the director, Lekh Tandon have presented a formula-based movie in which the proportion of all the formulae used are just perfect. The result is a thoroughly engrossing movie which entertains the viewers from the very first frame to the very last frame. It contains most of the usual Bollywood formulae – romance, comedy, emotion, re-incarnation, action, melodious music and finally a murder. But everything neither exceeds nor falls short of the optimum quantum required to entertain the (Indian) public.
The story revolves around our hero Sanjay (Rajendra Kumar) who is a tourist guide in Darjeeling and lives a happy-go-lucky life with his friend Hanuman (Rajendra Nath). Hecomes across our heroine Priya (Saira Banu) who has arrived from Calcutta with her college group. Quite expectedly, they fall in love with each other. But after Priya is back to the city because of the news of her father’s arrest, Sanjay dies in a mishap. Now when his soul reaches Yamraaj (the god of death in the Hindu mythology), it is known that the Yamdoot (Yamraaj’s representative who is assigned the duty to bring the soul of the dead person to Yamraaj) sent to bring the soul of his double Tarun Kumar Saxena, has erroneously brought him because of the sameness of faces of these two. Sanjay requests Yamraaj to send him back into his body but now it is not possible because his funeral has already taken place. So, as the last resort available to him, Yamraaj infuses Sanjay’s soul into the dead body of Tarun Kumar aka TK who had been a corrupt man in his life, doing all types of bad things in the company of Prem Kumar (Prem Chopra) who had created a rift between him and his grandmother (Durga Khote).Now Sanjay in the body of TK, is close to his sweetheart Priya because his new home is also in Calcutta where Priya lives with his father who earlier worked for TK (and had got arrested by him only) and well-acquainted with his grandma too. However he, originally being an honest and noble person, is very uncomfortable because of the tainted past of his new body. He now starts correcting the wrongdoings of TK, patches up with his resented grandma and keeps distance from Prem. Prem, not being aware of the truth that it is Sanjay in the body of TK, makes his own moves on the chessboard of business, power and glamour and finally masterminds a murder to frame TK. Ultimately the movie reaches its happy ending with the baddie being arrested and the lovers being united.This story has been borrowed from a Hollywood movie of 1941 – Here Comes Mr. Jordan which had been remade also as Heaven Can Wait (1978). However the writers and the director have given the movie an Indian look and as I have already praised them, mixed all the Bollywood formulae in the perfect ratio in the basic story plot and prepared a spicy dish for the Indian audience. The movie does not bore you even for the fraction of a second and you get your money’s worth in full. While watching the spicy, formula-based movies of Farah Khan (Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om), I was wondering whether she has learnt from this movie as to how to make a masaala movie for the Indians.The performances are all up to the mark. This is one more silver jubilee movie of the romantic hero Rajendra Kumar who was known as Jubilee Kumar in the sixties. His on screen chemistry with Saira Banu who herself was known as the beauty-queen in that period, is amazing. Her sex appeal in the song – Unse Mili Nazar Ki Mere Hosh Ud Gaye is so great that no Kareena Kapoor or Katrina Kaif is a match for her. Rajendra Nath’s comedy is hilarious. Prem Chopra as the villain, Durga Khote as the affectionate grandma, Parveen Choudhary as TK’s secretary cum girlfriend among others are quite all right.
Shankar Jaikishan have composed highly melodious songs for the movie with the help of the heart-winning lyrics of Hasrat Jaipuri. Kaun Hai Jo Sapno Mein Aaya, Unse Mili Nazar Ki Mere Hosh Ud Gaye, Kahaan Chal Diye Idhar To Aao, Kisi Ki Jaan Lete Hain, Mere Tumhaare Beech Mein, Meri Ankhiyon Ki Nindiya, Sachcha Hai Pyar etc. all are very very good to listen. Most of the songs are among the extremely popular songs of Lata and Rafi. The music of this movie is, in fact, a very big treat for the melody lovers.
Technically also, the movie is perfect. The cinematographer (Dwarka Divecha) has captured the beauty of Darjeeling very well.The prints of this movie are so good even today (after 50 years) that the brightness of colours cools your eyes. Art direction, editing, production value and all other aspects are quite in order.
Summing up, you will get a satisfactory feeling after watching this movie, similar to the one you get after consuming a delicious, spicy dish. I was fortunate enough to watch it on the big screen but it is enjoyable on the small screen as well.
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