Monday 3 August 2009

Ek Hi Rasta (1956)

One of my favorite directors B.R. Chopra the king of relevant social dramas in his time tackles yet another issue in Ek Hi Rasta (The Only way), this was a rather bold movie for its time i believe

Amar is a very honest employee who lives a middle class life with his wife Malti ( Meena Kuamri and son raja (Daisy Irani as a boy)

Amar works for Prakash (Ashok Kumar) a rich bachelor, he keeps pestering Prakash of when he would marry and Prakash keeps making a joke out of it

Amar catches an employee Attar Singh selling stolen goods from their factory to a customer, Amar warns him and then also reports him to Prakash

Attar Singh out of anger decides to get his own back at Amar for reporting and getting him fired from his Job, while Amar is on his way to his sons birthday on his bicycle Attar hits him with his truck

Upon her husbands death in a genius camera work, a hand wipes off Malti's bindi signifying she's now a widow

Following Amar's death Malti becomes depressed, but Prakash urges her to get back there and start making a living for herself, promising to assist her should she need any help

Biharilal (Jeevan) who was also one of the people Amar had reported to Prakash for his shady activities on the job soon starts instigating gossip that Prakash is taking advantage of Malti, soon rumours spread around the neighbourhood that both Malti & Prakash killed Amar

Prakash asks Malti to marry him to stop people from defaming them, she agrees

but life after marriage isn't so easy when Raja refuses to call Prakash father but instead calls him by name

This must have been a very bold movie for its time , as it dealt with the issue of widow remarriage, which i believe was brilliantly executed. I also liked the way complications which often arises in a new marriage was potrayed, especially on the part of the kids as in Raja's case where he finds it difficult to call Prakash 'father', i could really relate to that scene as i found myself in a similar situation with my stepfather. The only quip i have about this movie is that the killers aren't brought to justice

This film also felt a bit like a reality Tv show on a middle/upper middle class Indian family, we get to see them driving a convertible, going to the pool and they even have a dress up birthday party for their son, all of which i loved

Happy family driving a convertible

Visiting the swimming Pool

Children at the fancy dress birthday party

Happy family joined by their chef and househelp

All performances were great all round, but one performance that stood out for me was Daisy Irani who played Raja. While some kid actors usually tend to be just cute or rather annoying, Daisy was fierce, hilarious and mixed the cutesness and annoyance effectively

This kid was given some hilarious dialogues, like the scene where he makes his anger known to the maid at his mom's overfriendliness with Prakash

There was also some crazy scene where a baby was left on the tracks of an approaching train, i found the scene nailbiting

The music by Hemant Kumat is fantastic from the mellow dancy rhythms of 'Chali Gori Pi Milan se chali'

and the breezy Sanwale salone where we get to see the joys of a happy family cycling down an empty road

Total Score:7/10 ( An Engaging social drama)


Nicki said...

I know who Meena is but it's sad that I've never seen a film of hers!

bollyviewer said...

The songs were lovely and Meena Kumari looked great. What did puzzle me was how could Malti-Prakash marrying kill rumors about the two of them having killed Amar. Their marriage would most likely act as added confirmation, in any real life situation!

dustedoff said...

I love the songs of this film, especially Saanwale salone aaye din bahaar ke. And Meena Kumari looks so lovely - though I wish she'd hadn't been so tragic! I don't remember much beyond the fact that they get married and the kid isn't able to reconcile to a new father, but I do think bollyviewer's right: wouldn't getting married sort of confirm any rumours of the two of them having killed Amar? Or was that sorted out?

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bollywooddeewana said...

@ Nicki i reckon you watch Pakeezah for a start, even though many are didvided on the storyline and by Meena's character in the movie, i consider that film a work of art plus the songs are top notch

@ bollyviewer and dusted off, those are excellent points you both raised but it was clearly rumours initiated by jealousy as Prakash had also opened up a dance school for Malti, plus i guess the director wanted to make a point of them not caring what other people think

@ Bollywood rocks thanks for stopping by, i'll be checking out your blog

Shellie said...

You totally had me until the baby on the tracks bit. What was that about!?

Thoroughly enjoyed Sanwale Salone though. Made me so happy I forgot about the baby thing...for a second anyway. Cute. I've yet to see a b&w bollyfilm, might have to be this one.

bollywooddeewana said...

The baby bit was only a nailbiting scene to nail the climax, its an overall cute movie, i only got into black & white hindi films myself a few months ago and now they're so natural to me, however i'm yet to discover the b&w gems of hollywood