Monday, 24 October 2011

Chhote Nawab (1961)

Continuing the theme of maybe not so remarkable films but definitely a remarkable soundtrack is 1961's Chhote Nawab (Little Master) which as i understand gave Mehmood (one of my favourite comedians) his first leading role, but the great fact about Chhote Nawab is that it marked the  music directorial debut of the great Hindi film music director R.D. Burman. According to Mehmood (via wikipedia) he appointed R.D. Burman as the music director because he got tired of R.D. Burman constantly denting his car with his constant drumming.Great Choice Mehmood I say, as I'm in love with this soundtrack but first lets get into the plot

Our Story begins in Lucknow where Bade Nawab (?) is burdened by the upcoming birthday bash of his 5 going on 20 years old son (just as well, as he was born on a leap year) son Chhote Nawab (Mehmood)

He's advised by his personal Assistant Munshi-ji (S.N. Banerjee) to keep it a low key affair but Safdar (Kumar) his son in law reminds him of his reputation which results in the Nawab taking out a loan from Bhagwati Prasad (?) who's out to exploit him, Nawab places his house as a collateral (I think we know where this is going, bad mistake Nawab)

Days after Chhote Nawab's birthday celebration when he's unable to pay back his loan, Bade Nawab suffers a hear attack when Bhagwati comes to reclaim his property.It turns out the idea to get bade Nawab to place his house as a collateral was a plan between Bhagwati and Safdar to usurp Nawabs wealth. However, Bhagwati cheats Safdar out of his share and ends up usurping Bade Nawab's property leaving Safdar penniless

Angry and frustrated at being conned by Bhagwati, Safdar starts mistreating everyone around  him including his wife (Minoo Mumtaz) and her brother Chhote Nawab. Unable to take Safdar's humiliating treatments any more Chhote Nawab escapes to Mumbai.

He's found roaming the streets of Mumbai by family friend Nawab Nazir (Nasir Hussain)  who takes him home and offers his daughter Roshan (Ameeta) as his fiancee

Chhote Nawab comes across as uncouth and after a humiliating episode Chhote Nawab subjects her to, Ameeta alongside Kanchan (Johnny walker) starts educating Chhote Nawab and transforms him from a bumpkin to a city Slicker

Alas all her hard work soon starts causing jealousy when Sophie (Helen) a night club dancer starts flirting with him

Chhote Nawab starts acting erratically and turns cold towards Roshan and her family, forgetting how they  had helped him when he was down and out (see what the beauty of Helen can cause)

If all this wasn't enough he gets in with the bad crowd when he becomes friends with Bihari (Anwar Hussain) a gambler whose company causes him to start visiting Kotha's (brothels) as well as become a raging alcoholic
The lovely Sheila Vaz

Will Nawab ever come back to his senses or will it be too late to save him from his debauched lifestyle? Watch Chhote Nawab to find out

While not being up there with my favourites, I enjoyed watching Chhote Nawab, the first half moves along rather smoothly and was very enjoyable mostly due to Mehmood's child like antics plus the general drama, but then the second half which follows his journey from Lucknow to Mumbai and which sees him transformed from country bumpkin to city slicker becomes all preachy and moralistic in that cliched modern versus traditional life manner but alas Chhhote Nawab had matured and they had to pad out the story, still though this is na enjoyable film and I'd recomend it for mehmood fans and for R.D. Burmans

Performance wise Mehmood is the scene stealer in this film which I've heard he self produced, I'd describe him as delightfully loud and annoying yet oh so lovable, his childlike mannerisms and body language are simply unmatchable see the scene below for example, I love Mehmood I really do

And Ameeta is love interest was oh so beautiful though a bit too camera conscious as I noticed numerous sceens where kept glancing directly at the camera

 And Helen what a beauty, i loved her look in this film

Great Soundtrack from R.D. Burman, the songs on this blew me away and I couldn't help but appreciate R.D.'s talent ever more so, the songs on here are pretty remarkable for a debut. Favourites include the playful kiddie song 'aam chum tam chuum', the sweet and uplifting 'aaj hua dil matwala' and two super mujra's in the form of 'Ghar aaja ghir' with the lovely Sheila Vaz and 'chura ke dil' can anyone Id the lady in the clip (see her below)
can anyone id her?
two favourites I've chosen to embed are 'matwali ankhonwale' with Mehmood and Helen in full flamenco mode (I love this picturisation so much)

and the fun 'jeenewale muskura ke jee'  I love this composure so much and Mehmood's child like giggles added to the song makes it ever so delightful

Paisa Vasool Rating: 6/10


Banno said...

Bollywood Deewana, This does sound like a fun film. And I always like makeovers, even if they are lame. :) But the actor you've asked to id, isn't that Ameeta herself??

I'm going to go enjoy the songs now.

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing some of the songs from this film - those Helen ones, especially, which I really loved. Though I haven't seen the film itself.

I was also wondering which actress you wanted to identify in that song. The one sitting is of course Ameeta, and one of the two who's dancing is Bela Bose. I couldn't figure out who the other dancer is.


beautiful review :)..hope 2c see it soon :D

bollywooddeewana said...

@ Banno It is a fun watch indeed plus the music makes it paisa vasool in places where the script lets down. And oh yes thanks, it is Ameeta i failed to recognise her

@ Dusted Off Thanks, Yes it is Ameeta indeeed, i forgot she played the Tawaif in disguise to trap Mehmood she looked different and I noticed Bela too (she has a unique face)

@ The Bard Thank you, its well worth watching seeing you're quite the Burman fan

Andec Tanker said...

Re: "can anyone id her?"

The lady in the 'chura ke dil' song is Shubha Khote, sister of Viju Khote [Viju Khote had played Kaalia in SHOLAY]. Shubha's daughter Naina Balsavar is also an actress; she had played Shekhar Suman's wife in the DD Metro sitcom 'Dekh Bhai Dekh' produced by Jaya Bachchan.

bollywooddeewana said...

@ Andec the mystery has already been solved and it is indeed Ameeta, not Shobha Khote, thanks for the extra information though, I had no idea Shobha had a sister who also acts

harvey said...

I had thought, I'd already written a comment here, but was shocked to see I hadn't or did you delete it? ;-)

As you say the music track is a good one in the film. The tune of the song 'Ghar aaja ghir aaye' was composed by Pancham for the film Raaz, which was to be produced by Guru Dutt. this song is also supposed to have helped the Lata-Dada Burman patch-up after nearly five years.
It is also assumed that Pancham composed the tune of 'Aaj hua mera dil matwala' while driving to Taloja for a plate of biryani.
S. D. Burman it seems was offered to compose the music for the film, when he rejected it, Pancham came into the scene. Mehmood as it is had a better rapport with Pancham than with Dada.

Showbiz News said...

The lady in the 'chura ke dil' song is Shubha Khote, sister of Viju Khote [Viju Khote had played Kaalia in SHOLAY]. Shubha's daughter Naina Balsavar is also an actress; she had played Shekhar Suman's wife in the DD Metro sitcom 'Dekh Bhai Dekh' produced by Jaya Bachchan.

Anu Warrier said...

I'm not a great fan of Mehmood or Ameeta. But there's Johnny Walker and Helen to offset that, and the story sounds interesting. Thanks for the review. I'll keep a lookout for this one.

avdi said...

I have long loved Ghar aaja ghir aaye. The movie sounds like fun.

Anonymous said...

Dear BollywoodDeewaana,

You have as usual been doing a marvelous job cataloging Hindi Cinema. There's nothing I can say that would be appreciation enough. Dev Anand died yesterday in London, leaving behind Dilip Kumar alone among the greats of the 2nd wave of Indian cinema which began in the 40s. Could you put together a review of the great man's life in cinema?


bollywooddeewana said...

@ Harvey Never I would never do that, perhaps your comment wasn't published for some reason. ThanKS for that extra bit of TRIVIA, HE DEFINITELY SEEMED TO HAVE HAD A BETTER rapport with R.D. as they did go on to work on a number of projects together

@ Anu Warrier great to read a comment from you on here, its definitely worth watching for the songs especially

@ Avdi Its not a bad watch at all plus the songs make it extra viewable

@ Truti Thanks for your very kind words, I haven't been able to blog as much due to other commitments but look out for a Dev Anand series of posts in future

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