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Dahej (1950) – Review

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Shantaram’s Dahej is a picture of many fine qualities, polished, perfect and refined in almost all respects. There are but a few lapses but they are mostly insignificant ones and the real glory of a really well produced picture scatters the little fleecy clouds of some little coincidences. Yet in a picture that boasts of many commendable qualities these drawbacks should have been eradicated from it.

I must however admit that Shantaram has done a praiseworthy job of Dahej. My confidence in him, which was lost, has been completely restored, for his direction is sleek, deft and skillful and his treatment of the subject smooth and refined.

I think that this subject handled by any other directors would have become so dreary and monotonous that it would have jarred every nerve in our bodies. But in the experienced hands and intelligent handling the story moves on at a swift pace culminating in a crescendo of dramatic force.

The evil of the Dahej system that has destroyed the happiness of many homes has been very well depicted in it and succeeds on pointing out that evil very forcefully.

Though the basic story by Shams Lucknavi is rather pedestrian yet a good screenplay compensates its weakness very admirable.

Yet there are a few far fetched incidents like the physical mishandling of the heroine by her mother-in-law and a retinue of servants. I do not say that they are improbable but they do seem rather far fetched. The other scene is the hero dying simultaneously with the heroine.

The camera work of V. Avadhut in the entire picture is extremely beautiful, though it is to the credit of Shantaram that he has made the best use of the camera angles in the picture. His scenario was so smooth and easy that any cameraman might be inspired to give his best. The recording was of a very high standard.

Music by Vasant Desai was most surprisingly of a popular appeal and I will not be amazed if a couple of songs of Shams Lucknavi’s become hits. Dialogues were good in parts.

Now we come to the performances and in this I must say that Jayshree was a big disappointment. She has a habit of raising her eyebrows in the Groucho Marx style and staring blankly like a wide eyed owl. Her performance was utterly poor, her diction faulty and her looks rather worn out.

Prithviraj Kapoor and Lalita Pawar stole the picture from the whole cast. The former after a long absence from the screen makes his return debut in a role that he plays to perfection. Lalita Pawar was the most natural in a role which suits her very much. But the remaining artistes including Ullhas and Karan Dewan nothing very noteworthy was accomplished.

The last word is for V. Shantaram who like a maestro has managed to create harmony and charm out of various elements in the story.

It is Shantaram’s recent best and definitely unmissable.

Year – 1950

Language – Hindi

Country – India

Producer – Rajkamal

Director – V. Shantaram

Music Director – Vasant Desai

Box-Office Status

Cast – Jayshree, Karan Dewan, Mumtaz Begum, Prithviraj Kapoor, Lalita Pawar, Ulhas

Miscellaneous Information – Not Available.

Songs List

SongYearSingersMusic DirectorLyricist(s)
Aa Ja Nigahon Mein Aa Ja1950Krishna GoyalVasant DesaiShams Lucknawi
Ab Zindagi Ka Bojh-2 Uthaya Na Jayega1950Krishna GoyalPurushottamShams Lucknawi
Ae kale badal bol1950Shamshad BegumVasant Desai
Ambuva Ki Dari Se1950JayshriVasant DesaiShams Lucknawi
Aye Kale Badal Bol1950ShamshadVasant DesaiShams Lucknawi
Dil De Chuke Ab Maloom Hua1950JayshriVasant DesaiShams Lucknawi
Do Din Bahar Phool To Dikhla Ke1950JayshriPurushottamShams Lucknawi
Jo Dil Pe Guajarti Hai Dikha Bhi1950JayshriVasant DesaiShams Lucknawi
Ooi Choodi Dheere O Choodi Dheere Pehna1950ShamshadVasant DesaiShams Lucknawi
Tej Hawaen..Kagaz Ki Naav1950JayshriVasant DesaiShams Lucknawi
Uii choodi dheere pehna1950Shamshad BegumVasant Desai
Woh To Bans Bareli Se Aaya1950Jayshri-chprusVasant DesaiShams Lucknawi
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