Year – 1954
Language – Hindi
Country – India
Producer – Talwar Films
Director – R. C. Talwar
Music Director – Madan Mohan
Box-Office Status –
Cast – Jagdish Sethi, Kishore Kumar, Meena Kumari, Shammi, Amar, Randhir, Meera Devi, Om Prakash
Miscellaneous Information – Not Available.
Produced and directed by R. C. Talwar from a screen-play by himself and dialogue by screen-writer Ramanand Sagar, Talwar Films’ "Ilzam" was premiered in Bombay at the Swastik and other cinemas on Friday March 5, 1954. Accorded an enthusiastic welcome by packed houses of filmgoers, the picture fully deserved it.
There is nothing new about the theme and the story. In fact, they are definitely hackneyed. There is the poor little boat girl, ravishingly lovely and the idol of every rustic swain for miles around, living with her blind old father in the village’s poorest hovel. There is the rich young man from the city who falls like a ton of bricks for the gay and vivacious belle of the village who loves him in return. There is the rustic lover hating his successful city rival, and scheming with his boon companions to oust the outsider and get the girl.
These are the main threads of the too familiar plot into which are woven subsidiary strands of interest provided by the aristocratic mother of the city lad with notions of her own for his marriage, her daughter who is secretly married to a childhood friend and on the way to being a mother, and a charming family retainer who divides his loyalties between the mother and the children with an impartiality which is highly amusing.
The ingredients of an intriguing romantic drama with enough explosive material in it to add the thrill of excitement in good measure are all there, and Mr. Talwar has mixed them well in his screen-play and put them over convincingly enough in his characters and the picture to make engrossing entertainment of it.
Opening brightly in an atmosphere of carefree youthful romance carried on against the backdrop of village life with its melas and its gossip and its undercurrent of suspicions and hatred of Pardesis as a class, the story takes on a grimmer note as the villagers begin to view the visitor’s dalliance with their favorite as an insult to the community.
Beaten up on his way to tryst, the young man is carried off by his mother who forthwith arranges to marry him to a girl of her own class and choice. Back in the village, the girl is besieged by her rural swain and, when her old father tries to protect her, he is beaten up.
From this dire plight the girl is rescued by the timely arrival of her lover who carries her off to town, resolved to persuade his mother to their marriage. But the plot thickens at this stage in a series of complications which end with Kamli being driven out by her lover, who finds her with a baby and believes it is hers.
The finale comes melodramatically on a note of high suspense, with Kamli struggling for her and the child’s life against the savage assault of her persistent rural swain and their rescue in the very nick of time.
Meena Kumari as Kamli is the embodiment of loveliness and innocent allure, putting over a performance which is flawlessly perfect and ravishingly attractive.
Kishore Kumar, as her rich and determined young lover, is very good and appropriately virile, with that touch of impulsive resolve which is the essence of youth and romance. Between them, they make up the chief attraction of the picture.
Shammi and Randhir are excellent in their subsidiary roles while Om Prakash, Jagdish Sethi and Meera Devi give portrayals worthy of their veteran art and experience. Highlighting the picture most delightfully are Madan Mohan’s beautiful music score, Rajindar Krishan’s exquisite lyrics, Prakash Malhotra’s photography ,and, of course, Gopi Kishin’s dance ensemble.