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Char Din (1949) – Review

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Char Din (1949)
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If the story of “Char Din” had been thoroughly criticized prior to its shooting we would have without doubt got more logical, more dramatic and certainly more purposeful a picture than at present. As seen on the screen “Char Din” presents a clumsy story which in spite of expensive presentation fails to appeal. The producers seem to have spent rather lavishly on the picture but the story was hardly worth the trouble seeing that similar stories have already appeared on the screen too many times before.

It is a story of a rich Eugland-returned heiress who, obsessed by the Western way of life, keeps demanding all the freedoms for the fair sex. Her reversion to the Indian way of thinking, of course through the magical touch of love for a tall man, provides the entire dramatic material of the story.

FARCICAL SEQUENCES

Rai Saheb, a wealthy businessman, returns home with his daughter Shakuntala after seven years’ stay in England. Rai Saheb is shown as having absorbed the right things from the West while Shakuntala has evidently picked up the wrong ones. Shakuntala is soon on her toes addressing crowds of women and making them rebels. With one lecture of hers, we see wives leaving their husbands in odd costumes and Muslim begums tearing off their purdah.

There is a pandemonium among the men who lose their wiles with an ease that suggests that they did not even deserve to hold them. They all rush to Rai Saheb and complain about Shakuntala’s teachings. It is planned to enlist the help of Deepak, a poet and writer, as a cure for Shakuntala. How Deepak is qualified for this job, we are not told. Deepak and Shakuntala soon clash and part. Now an old learned Brahmin, called Panditji, is brought in. Shakuntala tolerates him but his teachings fall on deaf ears.

Shakuntala now tries to run an insurance company and as expected makes a mess of it. But the story writer shows a greater ignorance of an insurance organization than Shakuntala does with the result that all these sequences are reduced to a farce.

Deepak appears at the office of the insurance company and takes some photographs of the women there in a hand to hand fight. Shakuntala decides to destroy these photos and in trying to do so is trapped in Deepak’s cottage. Now begins a sequence of shrew taming which kindles sparks of love on both sides.

BAZIDPURI’S BHAGWAN!

Shakuntala now becomes the traditional Hindu cow too quickly. She accepts silently her father’s choice of a husband for her. Her wedding to a stranger is soon fixed without a word of protest from Shakuntala. Deepak quits the scene and Shakuntala soon goes chasing him supported by Panditji.

God (Bhagwan) now takes a hand in Bazidpuri’s story and discovers a previous wife of Randhir, the betrothed. Bhagwan drops her in the lap of His priest to be used at the very last moment.

The last moment is the wedding time when Panditji produces Randhir’s first wife and supports the Congress government’s anti-bigamy law in an impassioned speech. Randhir is chased out and Deepak is put in his place and married to Shakuntala.

The story is flimsy and illogical. The writer has introduced most of his characters without portraying their social and personal background. Shakuntala’s reversion to the old Hindu way of life is too sudden. The rebellion amongst married women is too farcical to contribute to the theme. Rai Saheb’s character does not carry conviction in the story. There are two limping characters in the story unnecessarily. They lend their limp to the tempo and make the picture slow. The hero, who is supposed to be a writer, poet and man of ideals, is shown as a crank and with this complexion he does not help the theme. In fact, almost all the characters in the story are portrayed in too frivolous a strain to become dramatically effective. Thanks to Azm Bazidpuri!

GOOD CAMERA WORK!

The picture is produced on a lavish scale and you can see a lot of money sprinkled over the wedding scenes and other sets. Deepak’s house is an attractive set. Photography is attractive. Suraiya has been intelligently photographed and looks almost pretty in parts. The music is poor and so are the lyrics which have words and sentiment alien to the Hindu characters of the story. A qawwali, however, is well sung. Cuckoo’s dance is as graceful as her person. Sadiq’s picture presentation is very attractive. In fact his good direction saves the story from being completely boring.

From the players, Suraiya makes a good impression as Shakuntala, the heroine. The cameraman has given her face a new complexion and moulding. She should hire this cameraman for her future pictures.

Suraiya’s “modern” costumes, as designed by Maison Vienna, are to say the least clumsy and idiotic. The square-shouldered coat which she carries looked stupid, so did the short jacket.

Om Prakash, in the role of the “Holy Father” as Randhir calls him, gives an excellent performance without the unnecessary limp. Shyam has hardly anything to do as the hero except carrying himself about and keeping himself handy.

Jayant fails to convince as Shakuntala’s father. His poise and make-up needed age. Randhir overacts as the West-struck youth. Badri Prasad’s limp takes the knavish aspect out of his role. A straight portrayal would have suited him better.

In short, “Char Din” is quite a good time-killer and the star-cast likely to attract crowds.(Original FilmIndia Review)

Year – 1949

Language – Hindi

Country – India

Producer – Ratan Pictures

Director – M. Sadiq

Music Director – Shyam Surender

Box-Office Status

Cast – Badri Prasad, Om Prakash, Shyam, Suraiya, Jayant, Randhir, Mohana, Shyama, Cuckoo

Miscellaneous Information – Not Available.

Songs List

SongYearSingersMusic DirectorLyricist(s)
anjaame mohabbat kucch bhi nahin,1949SuraiyaShyam Sunder
Anjam-e-Mohabbat Kuchh Bhi Nahin…Dil Lagakar1949SuraiyyaShyam SundarShakeel Badayuni
ek bewafa ki yaad nau1949SuraiyaShyam Sunder
Ek Bewafa Ki Yaad Ne1949SuraiyyaShyam SundarShakeel Badayuni
Gham De Diya … Koyi Jaane Wale Se Keh De1949SuraiyyaShyam SundarShakeel Badayuni
Haseeno Ki Adayen..Yeh Bholi Surat Wale (part 1)1949Rafi-S. D. Batish-RajkumariShyam SundarShakeel Badayuni
Haye Ram Kaise Bedardi Se Pala Pada1949SuraiyyaShyam SundarShakeel Badayuni
Haye yeh bholi surat wale1949Rajkumari, Kalyani, Zohrabai Ambalewali, Shamshad Begum, Hamida Bano, Iqbal (Hamida’s Brother), Lata MangeshkarShyam Sunder
Jiya laga piya apne1949Shamshad Begum, Lata Mangeshkar, PremlataShyam Sunder
kaise bedardi se pala pada,1949SuraiyaShyam Sunder
Kismat Ki Baat Hai1949SuraiyyaShyam SundarShakeel Badayuni
kismat ki baat hai,1949SuraiyaShyam Sunder
koi janewale se kah do,1949SuraiyaShyam Sunder
Panghat pe aaye akele1949Shamshad BegumShyam Sunder
Panghat Pe…Aaye Akele1949ShamshadShyam SundarShakeel Badayuni
Sajan Ghar Jane Wale…Manzil Door Nahi1949Master Sonik-PremlataShyam SundarShakeel Badayuni
Yahan Nainon Mein Pyar Yahan Dil Ko Karar-2 Jiya Laage1949Shamshad-PremlataShyam SundarShakeel Badayuni
Ye Zalim Dekhne Mein1949Iqbal-Zohrabai-Lata-chorusShyam SundarShakeel Badayuni
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