Year – 1956
Language – Urdu
Country – Pakistan
Producer – G.A.Gul
Director – Luqman
Music Director – Chishti
Box-Office Status – Flop
Cast – Noorjahan, Santosh Kumar, Yasmeen, Habib, M. Ismail, Asif Jah, Nasreen
Miscellaneous Information – N/A
EVERNEW PICTURES’ Lakht-e-jigar is the second Pakistani film to be based on the script of an Indian film, Vachan, and although comparison is generally odious, movie-goers might find it difficult to avoid. The audience has a natural dislike for “another version of the same story” and it is a big handicap for any film to start with.
Lakht-e-Jigar might lose favor on this very count and even its finer points, it has some, might fail to impress the audience.
The theme of Lakht-e-Jigar is unquestionably that of Vachan and Hameeda. Father loses job because of weak eyesight, brother dies in accident a few hours after learning of success in B.A. Examination, and the young woman, Rashida, decides to postpone her wedding till her young brother can make his living. Her fiancé, Mahboob, is forced into marrying another girl. When Rashida’s brother grows up he succumbs to the machinations of his wife and the latter’s drug addict uncle. Rashida is accused of stealing household goods, her brother becomes annoyed with father’s illness. Rashida goes to another city, finds employment in Mahboob’s house and the lovers ae eventually united after Mahboob’s wife had committed suicide.
The film’s title does not give the name of its scenarist and there is ground to question whether there was any. One feels that the formality of working with a planned scenario and its essential elements of continuity and unity has been done away with. After every few minutes the film is marred by incoherencies, discrepancies, and wide gaps which are difficult to account for unless it is said that Nazim Panipati, to strengthen his claim to be its author, added these features to the plot. And what are the changes that have been introduced? They key points in the drama have been left intact and the writer has attended to the movement in between them. Certain scenes have been removed from the plot and others introduced – but not at the same places. This has been a costly mistake as the whole balance of the plot is shattered. It is surprising how carelessly the producer has allowed the writer to play with a definitely “hit” play.
The presentation of the film, however, shows an attempt at striking a new chord. The treatment of the theme on celluloid appears different from that of Hameeda. The characters in the drama may be the same but their interpretation by the film’s cast is not. This is clear to a great extent from the performance of M. Ismail. He presents a man who takes his grief silently and has a dignity of his own.
As the joining of sequences is defective the film has an irregular movement and fails to grip. Even the most poignant scenes do not move the audience as they should, just because they have not been built up properly. The details have been cut down, the situations are created hurriedly and the incidents allowed to occur much before the audience is in the required mood.
Apart from its story treatment, material of considerably high quality has been used in Lakht-e-Jigar. Its lively and forceful dialogues make a fair bid to keep the audience interested through dull scenes, and one would have liked them better if these were simpler at places than at present. It has a pleasing musical score. Some of the tunes are delightful and should become popular.
The key roles of father and daughter have been played with understanding by M. Ismail and Noor Jehan. Noor Jehan sings better than she has done lately and her acting is good in parts. Yasmin’s performance shows improvement. Nasreen has a very small role and has no occasion to show her talent. Newcomer Habib makes an impressive debut. Asif Jah’s Munshiji lacks consistency and only in a few scenes does he succeed in creating a favorable impression.
The picture’s technical values are fair. The impression one gets at the end is that had it been made at a reasonable speed it would have been a successful picture. It has all the ingredients of a great drama and sufficient time would have helped technicians to avoid the lapses into which lack of time has led them.