Tuesday 19 January 2010

Dhool Ka Phool (1959)

My favourite diva becomes Yash Chopra's first heroine in his directorial debut Dhool ka Phool (Flowers of the dust) This film also earned Mala her first filmfare nomination for best actress alongside Meena Kumari for Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan and Nutan for Sujata, Mala was upstaged by Nutan who won for Sujata

Mahesh (Rajendra Kumar) and Meena (Mala Sinha) meet and fall in love after a bicycle collision accident at their college campus
They start dating and on a barsaat ki raat (a rainy night) if you've been watching lots of hindi films you should be able to guess what happens next, they both get horny and succumb to do that which only 'married couples do'

Meena gets pregnant ( a big Lol at the way Meena finds out about her pregnancy through a baby picture on the wall, I was in fits of laughter for this scene)

spooky picture which confirms Meena's pregnancy

Mahesh meanwhile lands a high paid job with his father's friend, when Meena tells him about her pregnancy, he's shocked and Meena begs him to marry her as this would lessen the stigma of her giving birth out of wedlock. Mahesh promises they would marry after he comes back from a trip to his fathers, Meena believes his word and promises to wait for him
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Nooo.... Meena..... Nooooo

When Mahesh gets to his father, who insists he marries Rai Saheb's daughter Malti (Nanda) Mahesh conveniently forgets about Meena and agrees to marry Malti

After waiting for weeks on end without any sighting of Mahesh, Meena travels to meet him in his father's town, there she is confronted by his marriage ceremony to Malti, Meena is disheartend and returns back home (No Girl, you should Speak Up but i also believe shame on breaking the moral code of the time must have made her keep silent!!!)
Back at home Meena's uncle and aunty find out about her pregnancy and as a result she's considered a taint to the family's honour and sent out of the house. Meena who now sees herself as a mistake and a blemish to society attempts throwing herself off a cliff only to be stopped by their house maid Gangu Bai (Leela Chitnis) who holds her back arguing that women shouldn't bear the brunt only, but men should suffer and called out as well, thus Meena goes to live with Gangu Bai
Meena gives birth to a son and is concerned about her child's fate and the prejudices he might face from society,Mahesh & Malti also have a son of their own. Gangu Bai also passes away after getting injured in an accident
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>this baby was so cute

Following Gangu Bai's death and lack of support from anyone, Meena goes to confront Mahesh, he treats her coldly saying he has his honour to protect & when she threatens to out him as the father of her baby, he asks how she would prove this (no DNA tests back then :0(

Meena in a bid of frustration and helplessness drops her baby in the jungle (applause to Mala for pulling off that cold scene)

When Meena goes back to get her baby, he's no more there and has been rescued by a muslim Abdul Rashid (Manmohan Krishna). Abdul Rashid adopts the baby and names him Roshan but he faces opposition from neighbours and friends who contend what the child's actual religious origin might be, Abdul Rashid seeing the way people react to Roshan moves away to the city

Meanwhile Meena goes looking for work and lands a job as a secretary at a barrister's office (Ashok Kumar), he takes a liking to her and asks her to marry him, Meena is reluctant at first but later agrees, she keeps her past life a secret from him

Roshan however faces a difficult time in school as questions about his illegitimacy cause him to be treated as an outsider and bullied by other kids, he forms a deep friendship with Rakesh (Daisy Irani) who happens to be the son of his biological father

yup thats right Ramesh wants no excuses not to be friends with Roshan

Would Meena ever find her son again? What proof will she have? Watch how events unfold in Dhool Ka Phool? Will Mahesh and Meena ever meet again? Will Ramesh & Roshan ever find out they're rothers from the same Daddy?

Overall a beautiful and well crafted Melodrama, i enjoyed watching Dhool ka phool very much, of course the film was a social commentary on the issue of children born out of wedlock, i admire the director for focusing on the man's irresponsibility, mostly and even till today the woman bears all the disgrace or is the one called the slut. I also liked Dhool ka Phool for being sensitive and trying to address the fact that it wasn't so much the fact that they had sex before marriage that was wrong but Mahesh's failure to be a man and stand up to be a father. This film is also portrays an interesting study on the phenomena of labelling theory as can be seen through Roshan who after numerous name calling becomes that which has been ascribed to him.

Great Performance from all the cast Rajendra Kumar plays Mahesh with such conviction that you have nothing but hate for him

Manmohan Krishan is adorable as ever in his portrayal of the kind hearted muslim he won the filmfare best supporting actor for his role and Mala gives an excellent performance as the mother who finds herself at the cross roads of her own emotions and societies prejudice

I love this child actor who plays Roshan a lot, can anyone confirm if his name is Sujit Kumar or Sushil Kumar (Imdb is unclear about this)

Fabulous soundtrack from N.Dutta the music of dhool ka phool has become one of my favourite soundtracks from 50's bollywood, there's the beautiful mushaira 'tere pyar ka aasra' the fun 'Apne jeena khatir hai' the wonderful 'tu hindu banega' and quiet ballad 'Tu mera pyar ka' my favourites however are 'Jo tum muskura do'

and Asha's beautiful vocals on the breezy 'Jukti Ghata'

Paisa Vasool rating: 7/10



sunheriyaadein said...

What a movie to start with!!! I had seen this when I was still in school. Tu hindu banega was quite a popular song in Rangoli and Chitrahaar those days (these were the filmy songs based show on national television). I had seen few movies of Manmohan Krishna and I really liked him. So when this movie was aired on TV, I just couldn't help watching it. Usually movies of that era with kids were pretty heart-rending, but I still went ahead and watched it.
Quite a melodrama but as you put it, it was well-crafted (at least as far as I remember). Btw, how was Mala? A bit too melodramatic as accused? I actually don't remember that part. All my concentration was centered on the two little kids.
And oh yes, I hated Rajendra Kumar in it!!! I kept wondering for days why they had him in that role, it could as well have been Prem Chopra or Pran. But guess with the image they had then, they couldn't picturize such lovely songs on them.
Coming to the songs, I love all of them - Tere pyaar ka, Jo tum muskurado, Tu hindu banega, Jhukti ghata
And I remember crying my heart out in that scene where Meena leaves her child in the jungle and goes. As always, loved Ashok Kumar. And Nanda, she was such a brilliant actor but underrated most of the times.
Oh....Meena finding out about her pregnancy through the baby picture was really hilarious!
And btw, it's 'barsaat ki raat' :-)

Bollyviewer said...

I always associate this film with Tu Hindu banega - love it for the enlightened sentiments it expresses (you wont become a Hindu or a Muslim, you are a human being's child and will be a human being) and of course, for Rafi's voice. It still takes a considerable mental leap for me to remember that Tere pyaar ka aasra and other lovely songs are also from the same film. And Rajendra Kumar - if I hadnt already seen him in more symnpathetic roles, I'd have hated him after this film!

Ava said...

Regretfully I never saw the movie. Your review makes me want to watch it. I will look out for a dvd. :)

Great review. I love the songs of this movie a lot.

Anonymous said...

Still haven't seen this one, though the cast sounds mouth-watering (at least Mala Sinha, Nanda and Ashok Kumar do; I'm not sure about Rajendra Kumar!)... am putting this on my must-see list.

I'm tucked away in the back of beyond right now, with very dodgy net access, so will keep your Bollywood Divas post for later - something to savour if (and when) I manage to log in tomorrow.

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Shellie said...

I have a feeling that I would spend most of this movie yelling at the screen at Mahesh at what a tool he is. Sounds like a great story though, even with the jungle abandoment (OMG, how on earth could a mother walk away from a baby clutching at her skirt! HEARTBREAK!). I'm sure love triumph's in the end and it's a happily ever after kind of film. I hope.

bollywooddeewana said...

@ Sunehri It is a gem of a movie indeed,i can watch it over and over again, if nt the film then the songs

@ bollyviewer I love the Tu Hinu banega, i was torn between it and Jukti Ghata, but decided to post the latter. Its a beautiful song with lovely lyrics

@ Avdi Thanks, its a great watch

@ dusted off When you do please let me know what you thought of it

@ Shell he was so annoyine but i'm a big fan of Rajendra Kumar who plays him, it ends on a good note but not all sugary sweet

Unknown said...

You said you were uncertain about the actor's name who played Roshan in Dhool ka phool. So, I can confirm this was Sushil Kumar.I saw him as a child actor in other old films: Shriman Satyawadi (1960), Sampoorna Ramayana(1961), Phool bane Angarey(1963).
Then I saw him as a young actor in Dosti(1964) and Taqdeer(1967).

bollywooddeewana said...

Thanks Vlad for helping to confirm his identity apologies about the late reply, Thanks for stopping by and commenting

Greg Cameron said...

"Drool Ka Phool"/"Drooh Ka Phool"(I've seen it spelled both ways - someone help me out here) is a true classic of Indian cinema. If I might put this in Western cultural terms, the film is almost Dickensian in its narrative. A woman is impregnated by a fellow student at university who, in effect, ditches her for an arranged marriage by his family(he gets a nice consolation prize here, so to speak, in the woman he does marry). While the cad goes on to become a lawyer then a judge, the woman bears her illegitimate child at a time when such a thing brought shame and hardship on both mother and child. The mother, having a mental breakdown of sorts, abandons her child in the woods, where he is found by a kindly Muslim man. The child is brought up well, but he cannot face the hardships an illegitimate birth brings upon him. The boy turns to a life of crime, then tries to go back to school only to be implicated in a theft he had no part in.(This film is really great at capturing the cruelty of children towards any other children who are different - some things truly cut across cultures, you know.) Ironically, the boy is brought before a judge who happens to be his biological father. Meanwhile, the mother has taken work in a business office and eventually, the businessman falls in love with her. In spite of everything, the mother marries into comfort. In the trial itself, all parties come to face their own guilt with the Muslim man who raised the boy delivering a few home truths to both parties. Mala Sinha is magnificent in this film. In the early going she's all smiles, furtive glances, teases, and great big eyes. The scene where she drinks water from her lover's hands is oddly yet undeniably erotic(I'm afraid there is no other way of putting this). As life embitters her, she registers every pain, every degradation, every single thing she resigns herself to. The male lead in the early going reminds me of the male leads in 1950s/early 1960s Hollywood musical comedies(in keeping with the early light tone in the initial stages of the movie). The camera work is beyond reproach. The film's theme is explored intelligently and with great art. Lest Westerners themselves forget, an illegitimate birth was often a kiss of death for both mother and child not that long ago in our own social history. (Western society wasn't always the swinging sixties, you know.) This is a great, great film. People of India with an interest in the history of their own cinema and art must turn inevitably to this film. Western viewers in turn owe it to themselves to discover this great film - they'll be enriched by the experience. Greg Cameron, Surrey, B.C., Canada

bollywooddeewana said...

@ Greg Cameron Thanks for stopping by and for your awesome comment. Indeed Dhool ka Phool (as far as i know, this is the only title that exists)is a wonderful film and i do agree with all your points there was so much more i could have written but i just decided to keep it short & sweet. Once more thanks for your indepth analysis and comment

Anonymous said...

Excellent entertaining film.
Rajendra kumar Ashok kumar and Mala Sinha performaed thier roles superbly.
Rajendra krishan also did good job.
It is another good film of Legend Rajendra Kumar.

Punya said...

Wanted to watch this film since long, after reading your blogpost. And now that I have seen it, I simply can't get out of this movie. Such a bold subject handled so emaculately! I was amazed to see how coolly Mahesh turns his back on Meena, even after knowing that she is expecting their child!! And how he ill-treats Roshan by saying those nasty things. How I hated Rajendra Kumar in this movie. And after this film, I have a new found respect for Mala Sinha. This lovely lady indeed has given some beautiful performances to Hindi Cinema but sadly, as you pointed out, never got her due. Here she gives such a controlled and strong performance. She is lovely in the first 40 minutes of free wheeling romance but as the story progresses, you could see a different Mala Sinha. Maybe, she blossomed better in the hands of capable directors as she did have a teeny bit tendency to go overboard (sample Phool Bane Angaarey). As far as the film is concerned, BR Productions have churned out many strong films and I would say that social cinema was their forte. I really liked the ending (but it was sad to see Daisy Irani dying). Overall, an engaging drama with strong performances by Mala Sinha and Sushil Kuamr.

bollywooddeewana said...

Hi Punya glad you liked it and thanks for coming back to share your thoughts on it and yes this was one movie where rajendra was so detestable i love the man but here hew as so evil and Mala brought her A game