Year – 1956
Language – Urdu
Country – Pakistan
Producer – Qazi Abid
Director – Munshi Dil
Music Director – Safdar Hussain
Box-Office Status – Superhit
Cast – Sabiha Khanum, Santosh, Shola, Zeenat, Allaudin, Ejaz, Asha Posley, Nazir, Nusrat Kardar
Miscellaneous Information –
“Hameeda” is a gripping story. It has a natural appeal and affects the audience directly. Apart from being based on a genuine feeling of grief, it brings into play the noble quality of facing life with dignity and courage. That this quality is displayed by a young woman makes the drama still more forceful. Hameeda does not sacrifice her love because anybody is thwarting it (as is usual in Pakistani films), but because she realizes her duty towards her invalid father and the little brother.
Tragedy strikes Hameeda’s (Sabiha) happy family with terrific swiftness. Ejaz (Nazir), her father, is dismissed from service because of failing eye-sight. However, her brother, who has taken B.A. Examination, has been assured of a job. He passes the examination with distinction but dies in an accident the day the result is declared. Ejaz beats his head on the cot and loses his eye-sight. Hameeda who is engaged to be married to Matin (Santosh), insists on postponing the marriage till her younger brother can shoulder the responsibility of the earning member. She informs Matin of her resolve and he, being her companion since childhood, agrees. They vow to wait till the hard days are over. Matin fails to honor his pledge. Pressed by his mother, who is influenced by the opium addict Sheikhji, he consents to marrying another girl. Hameeda asks Matin to forget her and love his wife. But Matin loves her too well to be able to do that and his suspicious wife becomes a source of constant misery. They finally decide to migrate to another city,
For eight years Hameeds works as a typist till Hanif has completed his education and found employment. On his request she resigns her job. Hanif’s wife is Sheikhji’s niece and when the old drug-eater comes to reside with Hanif, he steals household property so that he can gratify his craving for opium and tactfully puts the blame on Hameeda. When Hanif believes his wife’s stories and loses patience with the ailing Ejaz, Hameeda, along with her father, leaves the city. In the new town she finds a fortnight’s work in Matin’s house. She is followed there by Sheikhji who reveals her identity upon which Matin’s wife tries to poision her. In the meantime, Hanif has learnt the truth and come to ask his father’s forgiveness. While Hameeda is leaving Matin’s house she encounters the latter who has just returned from his tour. She reprimands him on his cruelty and asks him to be faithful to his wife. The same moment she faints into his arms and in the ensuing confusion Matin’s wife falls down from the staircase, fatally injured. On her death the lovers are free to keep their vow.
There can be no doubt that the film’s scenario is very much like Pandit Mukh Ram’s story for the Indian film, “Vachan”. Alterations appear to be few and unimportant. Rahat Productions, therefore, can claim little credit for that.
The film is so absorbing that one has little time to evaluate the Director’s work. Still one wishes the plot were even more absorbing, for whenever there is a light scene the direction is visibly weak. The romantic meetings of Hameeda and Matin amidst the ruins have been crudely handled although the setting, except that the same candle is always there under the full moon, is attractive. The direction of Allaudin’s Sheikhji is defective. The man is surely a despicable character but why should he be a clown as well? The poisoning scene is quite unconvincing.
Among the artistes Nazir’s work is outstanding. Though the tendency to become theatrical is there, his portrayal of an unhappy blind man has flashes of realism and, on the whole, is remarkable. Nobody else is on the same level with him. Alauddin’s opium-addict shows glimpses of the fine actor that he is. Sabiha has tried her best and has succeeded in keeping the role under control. Santosh goes through his brief part with confidence. Shola’s performance is colorless except in a scene when she storms at her mother-in-law. For a moment she is a real vamp.
Technical values of the film are mediocre. Sound recording is good. The cameraman has done his job competently but the processing is poor and lighting unimaginative. The shot of Sabiha singing on the roof with probably a mosque between her and the camera puzzles one a great deal. The music accompanying the songs is fair. Some of the tunes are pleasant. The background music, however, is jarring and unhelpful.