Monday 22 June 2009

Hamraaz (1967)

B.R. Chopra who mostly made socially relevant drama, went all commercial in this fabulous, stylish, suspense filled movie with good looking actors, gorgeous sets and great music

Meena (Vimi) lives with her wealthy father Mr Verma (Manmohan Krishna) in the hills of Darjeeling. Meena secretly marries her sweetheart Captain Rajesh (Raaj Kumar) a soldier in the Indian army. Eventually her father comes to know and he's disappointed, but he forgives Meena and plans for an open and pompous marriage for the two, also Meena is now carrying his baby

News soon reaches them of Rajesh's death, Meena is devastated, months later when she goes into labour, the child is pronounced dead. Meena becomes withdrawn and In a bid to cheer her up, her father urges her to attend a dance session for the army troop, at the event Kumar (Sunil Dutt) a famous stage actor sees her and falls for her.

When he decides to marry her, Meena feels uneasy and upon telling her father he instructs Meena not to mention her previous marriage to him, saying it might put him off

They both marry and Kumar and Meena move to Bombay where Kumar is a famous stage actor alongside Shabnam (Mumtaz) who plays his leading lady

Meena gets news that her father is dying so she goes back to Darjeeling, while there her father confesses her child is well and alive, and then reveals he had lied to save her from public shame. He gives her details of the orphanage where she is before he dies

When she sees her daughter Sarika (a young Sarika) she takes her home and when she tries to adopt her, but Kumar objects saying her affection for Sarika will diminish when they have their own kids. Meena keeps schtum and returns sarika to the orphange

At a New year's party Meena runs into Mahendra (Anwar Hussain), a friend of her first husband Captain Rajesh. Meena lets him know that she's now remarried and begs him not to bring up the subject of Rajesh to her husband, she however leaves him her number

Meena soon starts receiving strange calls from Mahendra

One day she fakes an illness and is excused by Kumar from coming to his show, when Kumar rings home he's told Meena is not home, Kumar starts getting suspicious. When he gets home Meena says she had gone to the doctor, but when Kumar rings the doctor, he says Meena never came, Kumar's suspicions on Meena deepen even more and he plots to catch Meena in her act

Kumar then tells Meena he is going to Pune, instead Kumar goes on disguise with a full beard and returns home hoping to catch Meena being unfaithful, when he returns home he finds Meena dead, but he is unable to report it to the police

When the news hits the headline the next day, the bearded man is linked to the murders, Inspector Ashok (Balraj Sahni) who's in charge of the case soon starts getting suspicious of kumar, linking him to the murder

So Who killed Meena? Will he/she ever be found? Will Meena's secret ever be revealed? What will happen to SarikA, Meena's Child? For this and many more suspenseful answers watch Hamraaz

A super stylish Suspense movie from the '60s, i loved every moment of it and although the movie doesn't settle fully till about an hour and some hammy fighting scenes between Raaj Kumar and Sunil Dutt, the story and suspense is well thought out and gripping. Great performances from everyone and India times picked this movie as one of Sunil Dutt's best

Hamraaz also had wonderful sets and interiors from sunken living areas to quilted doors and a decadent fireplace all of which i adored

There was also some great stage plays of Romeo and Juliet and Othello performed by Sunil Dutt and Mumtaz

I was so surprised to see Sarika who later went on to become a big star in the role of the little girl, she definitely didn't change much

Adult pictures of Sarika courtesy of bollywood 501

I was fascinated by Vimi who played Meena, although she appeared really wooden most times, she had so much style and glamour. I struggled to find any story about her but a kind soul at notes she had married against the wishes of her parents, moved to Bombay where Ravi introduced her to B.R Chopra, who then cast her as Meena in Hamraaz, she is said to have been more concerned with how she looked and what she wore than her acting, a few more films followed afterwards but directors weren't too keen on her, she ended up dying of a alcohol related illness, Read more on her here and here

The music of the film by Ravi is fabulous (i know i use that word way too, they all had a '60's vibe about them Na mooh chupa jiyo, Kisi patthar ki murrat se and the haunting evergeen Neele gagan ke Tele (see below) which won Mahendra kapoor the filmfare best male playback award


Total Score: 8/10 (Entertaining Suspense movie, one of the best from '60's bollywood)


dustedoff said...

This is one of those good suspense films that they made in the 60's. I love the music, and Vimi's very pretty (though, as you point out too, she's so awfully wooden! I'd have settled for an actress who may not have looked so lovely, but who could at least act). Yikes, that link about her is almost like a film story in itself. I wonder how accurate it it...

Bhargav Saikia said...

Looks very stylish. We haven't had a well made whodunit for ages now.

bollyviewer said...

Lovely screencaps. Vimmi was gorgeous, though in a very marble-statue sort of way. I'd read about her last days a while ago and was sad that she came to such a bad end.

Its been a while since I saw this and I had completely forgotten about Sarika being in it. She was such a cute child (she had some bad stories to tell about being coaxed into acting as a kid, though) and so nice to see onscreen.

bollywooddeewana said...

@ Dusted off, i wonder how accurate it is as well, but i found it interesting and i don't think any of the top lead actresses of the time would have liked the idea of them dyin hence why B.r. Chopr decided to use Vimi

@ Bhargav It is stylish indeed, everything was well researched and it really reflected the designs of the '60's, an utter feast for the eyes if yo're into '60s furnishings and architecture

@ Bollyviewer Thanks, i'm quite ocd and very meticulous when it comes to taking the screen caps,indeed she was gorge in the marble stone sort of way one of the songs from the films has Sunil singing i've fallen in love with a stone statue, so perhaps it was part of her role to look that way

Sujoy said...

I can remember Hamraaz to be the one soundtrack which introduced me to Mahendra Kapoor. Dad used to play the audio tape on loop. Side A was Hamraaz, and Side B was Waqt, or the other way around. Just way too much Mahendra Kapoor to handle. hehe.

My Dad loves this movie. Bless him!

bollywooddeewana said...

Ah bless him indeed,i really enjoyed this movie and the songs are top notch, they're evergreen

Nicki said...

This is one of Hmong people's fave!

bollywooddeewana said...

wow, i seem to have the same bollywood tastes as Hmong people..LOL

Unknown said...

Friends here is the great website to watch bollywood movie online

Ava said...

I liked the movie too, for the same reasons. Though I dislike Mahendra Kapoor's voice, the songs were too good to be trashed because of that.

Vimi looks lovely, and the song 'patthar ki moorat' is so apt for her, hehe.

I heard when she died, her body was stowed in a cart. But some kind souls in bollywood came to know about it and gave her a decent cremation.

Beth Loves Bollywood said...

Ooooh this sounds, well, FABULOUS! :) No other word for it. Love the architecture shots, especially the golden circular sunken seating area. Want!

Sarika looks SO similar, younger and older - even in Manorama Six Feet Under.

Jaspal said...

It was wonderful Movie. Unforgettable. Fabulous Songs. Great script. I wrote a tribute to Actress Vimi.
Read and comment.

bollywooddeewana said...

@ Jaspal Thanks for that link, I'm off to read it now

Unknown said...

Hope you will read it, as I tried to collect maximum information. Even exchanged mails with her SON, who is follower of Osho Rajnesh. His name is Swami Rajnesh.