Monday, January 30, 2012


Unfortunately or fortunately I haven’t read neither the original/translated timeless classic of Gurudev Rabindranth Tagore, nor seen the early Bengali version of the film prior to watching this Bimal Roy production. This Hindi version was inspired by the tremendous success of Tapan Sinha’s Bengali film by the same name, starring Bengali cinema’s thespian actor Chhabi Biswas. The Bengali film managed to grab National Best Film Award four years prior this one. A spark of thought clicks in mind for a moment to read the story prior to watch the film but than I don't want to ruin the surprising benefit as a poor reader and decided to read it once I finish the film. The result was a film that was as commercially and critically acclaimed. I leave further analysis, comments comparisons between the films to few Bengali cinephile buddies.

Director Hemen Gupta and Mr. Balraj Sahni as Kabuliwala (in one of the most moving performance of his career) successfully managed to brought the essence and soulful emotions of Tagore’s timeless humanitarian tale on screen with few changes in original story and adding one or two interpolations to highlight the key relationship. Both of them deserve applause and award. The first person narrative by Mini’s father in the story is replaced here with linear and straight narration showing us the homeland and Pathan’s tender relationship with his daughter Amina to cater then audience. But what is praiseworthy thing about direction and acting from almost all cast is that it never for single scene becomes unnatural or over sentimental melodrama. Thanks to doyen like Mr. Sahni and that sweet girl who played Mini. The film evokes and makes us felt even smaller details of the story on screen in so moving way.  

I said it many times and would love to repeat once again without an iota of change that if I have to choose a single genuine Hindi film actor devoid of any theatricality or camera consciousness seems so natural and realistic in his act on screen, it’s Mr. Balraj Sahni. Though he didn’t get more versatile roles and usually ended up playing melodramatic character roles in later part of his career, whatever he had done in ‘Do Bigha Zameen’, ‘Garm Hawa’ and ‘Anuradha’ is contribution unparalleled to Hindi cinema.

The film has a few glitches like Balraj's messy Pathan make up, stretching two songs towards the climax including Mini’s dream sequence and that added unwanted scene of Pathan’s saving the girl; the film is deeply moving experience that tugs at audience’s hearts making us felt the eternal worth of the visionary’s literature.

PS- Oh i just googled image of Biswas as Kabuliwala and he justs befits the Afghan compared to all so genuine gentleman look of Mr. Sahni! Eager to see the Bengali version, provided English subtitle :( 

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