Watch ‘Hum Dono’ in colour, get swept away by sheer melody (IANS Movie Review - Rating: *** )By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Friday, February 4, 2011
Film: “Hum Dono” (coloured version); Cast: Dev Anand, Sadhana, Nanda; Director: Amarjeet
“Abhi na jao chhod kar ke dil abhi bhara nahin” - the films anthemic love ballad, regarded as one of the finest love songs ever composed for Hindi cinema, rings through your heart after the lengthy film is done - and lets face it, nearly three hours of playing - time for a long-forgotten war saga can get tedious when you have the next chapter in the Egyptian civil-war waiting at home.
Yes, “Hum Dono” is back. The 1961 film about two look-alike soldiers who become friends at war, is as far-fetched in plot assay, todays “Dabangg” or James Camerons “Avatar”.
Indeed, the films old-world values of valour, integrity, loyalty, fidelity and trustworthiness seem to belong to another era, if not a completely different planet. They are rescued from fading by computer-coloured velocity.
Admittedly even today “Hum Dono” makes a fairly engaging triangular love story with war at its backdrop. The coloured version that has come to us now leaves us with mixed feelings. Though at first one enjoys the splash of colour that is added to V. Ratras outstanding black-and-white cinematography, a lot of the films original visual intensity is lost in colourised translation.
We are left wondering who decided what colour Dev Anands shirt or Sadhanas sari was meant to be! Did the colour-generating department check with the films core team to decide the colour schemes? If not, is it ethical or even legally permissible to tamper with the films creators original vision?
The Dolby-enhanced sound leaves no room for quibble. Jaidevs music score, considered by many aficionados to be one the 10 finest Hindi motion-picture soundtracks of all times, heals all the wounds of excessive coloured flamboyance.
Whether it is Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosles duet “Abhi na jao chhod kar” or Lata Mangeshkars immortal bhajan “Allah tero naam”, or those two imperishable Rafi ghazals “Kabhi khud pe kabhi halaat pe rona aaya” and “Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya” you just cant help being swept into the sheer melody of the moment.
The casually stylish way the songs are shot, the sharp closeups being intercut with lyrical poetic long-shots, incidental but intense interludes of passion played out in the visual detailing, all carry the distinctive stamp of Vijay Anand who wrote “Hum Dono”.
The films direction is credited to Amarjeet, who later directed Dev Anand in a film called “Gambler”.
Ah, Dev Ananda star beyond any definition of stardom! He shines with meteoric melancholy in the double role of men at war with themselves, much more than for his country. The way this debonair actor enacts the solo numbers by Rafi makes you wonder if the song came first? Or was the song inspired by the face that conveys the numbers on screen?
Sadhana (impish, coquettish) and Nanda (tremulously poignant) are lovely supplements to the Dev Anand mystique. What was he thinking when he romanced these beautiful ladies?Surely more than what Sahir Ludhianvis love-lorn lyrics describe!
They dont make stars like Dev Anand any more. They never will. Or for that matter a film so suffused in the splendour of its own cultivated grace is impossibly to come by in todays era of pelvic passion.
Abhi na jaao chhod kar indeed.