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Hulchul (1951) – Review

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Mr. K. Asif’s Hulchul starts with a bang and fizzles out by the time it reaches the end. The dramatic start, which the picture makes with the credit titles, leads one to expect a powerful story of convicts and prison which would have been out of the usual theme for the Indian screen. But by the time the final fade out darkens the screen, Nargis and Dilip Kumar go through the usual rigmarole of love making, separation songs and a death. This is the usual love theme which, as long time back as our memory can recall, has been the only stock in the mental reservoir of our story writers.

But I will not deny that Hulchul has some fine assets which will not fail to appeal to the spectators. For one it has some, finely acted, superbly directed scenes that touch the innermost core of your heart. It has wonderful dialogues by Hasrat, which are dramatic, tender, moving and poetic. Hulchul can also lay claim to a praiseworthy camera work of V.N. Reddy and an excellence of other technical values, like art, direction, mounting and recording. Almost all the artists, including Sitara as the other woman, Dilip Kumar, K.N. Singh as the brother of Nargis, Jeevan as the villain, have given polished and dynamic performances. They did their roles with zest and loyalty. And of course, we must not forget Yakub who, as an old jailbird and pickpocket, is as versatile and gay as ever.

But at the same time there are some grave defects of screenplay and treatment. Most of the times its progress resembles a kangaroo jumping from one idea to another and strutting about aimlessly without focusing itself on the basic theme. Through the course of this the producers have introduced an exhibition and turned Dilip Kumar into a fine jumper. A murder, a vamp, and some cheap melodrama in an effort to induce the real murderer to admit the crime, follow closely one upon the other thus shifting the interest of the audience from the main thread of the story, which by itself is a simple love story only garbed differently

Then its other drawback is its inordinate length exceeding above 3,000 feet. This consists of insufferably lengthy scenes which are exasperating. Many of the scenes were not required and the picture could have been made more interesting by their elimination. The pace would have gained momentum and arrested enthralling interest in its progress.

The end of the picture where Dilip Kumar dies is rather artificial but so sordid in its tragic conception that it stirs every heart with a feeling of pity. It was brilliantly acted superbly directed and very well conceived. In the same manner there were some unusually wonderful scenes and one brilliantylu mounted dance number of Sitara. But to a considerable extent the credit for the success of Hulchul goes, to the magnificent work of Nargis and Dilip Kumar, and as I have stated before, to some of the finest dialogues by Hasrat.

Music given by Messrs. Sajjad and Shafi was not of a very high standard, though the lyrics were good.

S.K. Ojha’s direction was good and in parts very commendable.

Year – 1951

Language – Hindi

Country – India

Producer – K. Asif

Director – S. K. Ojha

Music Director – Shafi-Sajjad

Box-Office Status

Cast – Geeta Nizami, Faizee, Sitara, K. N. Singh, Dilip Kumar, Nargis, Yakub, Jeevan, Balraj Sahni, Cuckoo

Miscellaneous Information

Songs List

Song
Year
Singers
Music Director(s)
Lyricist(s)
Aaj mere naseeb ne mujhko rula
1951
Lata Mangeshkar
Sajjad Husain
Ek jhooti si tasali woh mujhe deke chale
1951
Lata Mangeshkar
Mohammad Shafi
Haye sadke tere o bake mere har baat tere
1951
Lata Mangeshkar
Mohammad Shafi
Lagi hain aag dil men
1951
Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar
Mohammad Shafi
Loota dil mera haye abaad ho kar
1951
Lata Mangeshkar
Sajjad Husain
Mile Dil Aankh Sharmayi
1951
Geeta Dutt, Meena Kapoor, Mubarak Begum
Mohd Shafi, Sajjad Hussain
Preet jatake meet banake
1951
Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar
Mohammad Shafi
So rahe hain bekhabar sone wale
1951
Shamshad Begum
Mohammad Shafi/Sajjad Hussein
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