Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Deedar (1951)

Now, having said that I like trashy movies, this is not one of them at all. There is a trashy movie of the same name starring Akshay Kumar, who you now must be the hero, as the national anthem is played every time he beats up people (who are smuggling drugs, so they deserve being beaten up); I own it, I have seen it, it is fun to watch.

This Deedar stars Dilip Kumar, and Nargis, and I have fallen in love with it. It is in black and white, quite short (just over two hours), has twelve songs, and the story isn't exactly unpredictable (I realised to main twist at the end, thank you Jodi No. 1 for making the reference) , but it is very nicely made, the songs enhance the story, rather than being placed at random moments (it helps that the main character is a singer), there is much symbolism and dramatic shots of bare trees etc., and you really start to feel for everybody involved.

The story is mainly a love quadrangle: Poor boy loves rich girl, poor boy gets thrown out of house by rich girl's father, he is blinded by lightning or possibly a dust storm and grows up with a foster-sister who loves him, while he still pines for his childhood sweetheart. When they meet again years later, she doesn't now who he is and is engaged to an eye-specialist she is very clearly in love with. Much soul-searching on the part of the two males follows and it doesn't exactly have a happy ending.

This was not my first Dilip Kumar movie (I have seen Vidhaata, and he also has a part in Izaat ki Rooti where he confronts a villain with a piece of bread) but the first one where he is definetly the star, exuding waves of melancholy the minute he is seen on screen, and I think I have found another actor whose work I am going to explore. Nargis also impressed me, even though her part is largely confined to looking stunning and slightly puzzled.

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