“ANHONEE” makes no pretention to technical brilliance or production grandeur. Its very modesty makes it a welcome change from the fantastic dreams in celluloid that fill cinema houses these days. It reflects the sincere effort of a writer to tell a down-to- earth story and of a director who presents it competently. Happily, both are merged in the person of K. A. Abbas and the result is an engrossing, thought-provoking film.
“Anhonee”, “the impossible”, tells us that what is seemingly impossible may be only a paradoxical twist of destiny. It is environment and not parentage that makes a man what he is. That was the basic theme of “Awara”, too. In “Awara” it was portrayed through the life of a boy. In “Anhonee” it is delineated through the medium of two half-sisters who bear a startling resemblance to each other.
Roop and Mohini are the daughters of the same father but they are poles apart in their upbringing, outlook and character. Roop is reared in an aristocratic atmosphere. while Mohini is brought up as a dancing girl. The conflict between them when they meet accidentally is heightened when both fall in love with the same man. Then comes the sudden, rather the most delightful, turn in the picture. It is revealed that Mohini, and not Roop, is the lawful daughter of her father.
“Anhonee” is an example of a deftly written and well-planned screenplay, where the songs, dances, and humorous interludes have some bearing on the main current of the story and contribute to the tempo of the film. Even the kiss, which is the first allowed by the censors in any Indian film in recent years, has a significance for it is that fateful kiss that wipes out the artificial mole on Mohini’s cheek and reveals to the hero the disconcerting fact that the girl he has just married is not Roop.
Om Prakash, the noted comedian, fails to excite laughter and he is just a hideous black-mailer in the film. Agha, too, just jumps in and out for no apparent reason. Nargis as the “bad” girl offered excellent material for some gripping entertainment, but the costumes she dons for the role are out of harmony with her personality. Camera angles, too, fail to do justice to her. The all-important dance number where, as Mohini, she performs to her own shame, exposing herself to the contempt of the sophisticated society she finds herself in, fails to rise to the expected climax.
The worst job, however, is done by the music-director for “Anhonee” has the most unmusical music ever heard on the screen. The beautiful words of four well-known lyricists are ruined by the uninspiring music which is still further spoilt by poor orchestration. The playback singers seem to suffer from a bad attack of ‘flu. But despite these drawbacks Anhonee” is entertaining. In it, Nargis is at her best both as the temptress and as an innocent, self-sacrificing woman. She acts with gusto and gives one of the most convincing performances of her career. Equally forceful is Raj Kapoor, who in this film is altogether different from what we are accustomed to see him as : a comedian with a streak of the slap-stick in him. In “Anhonee”, he is handsome and sober and impresses cinegoers with his ability to give a convincing portrayal of a serious role.
Year – 1952
Language – Hindi
Country – India
Producer – Naya Sansar
Director – K. A. Abbas
Music Director – Roshan Lal
Box-Office Status –
Cast – David Abraham, Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Agha, Achla Sachdev, Jankidas, Badri Prasad, Om Prakash
Miscellaneous Information –