The popularity of almost every romantic legend depends to a very great extent on the narrator’s ability to recreate the scene in which the audience can share, or at least understand, the genuineness of the feelings of the characters. In case of films this requirement is even more essential as the spectator has everything before him and hardly anything is left to his imagination. The creation of the proper atmosphere is entirely the work of the director. It is he who mixes the impressions of setting and lighting, the picture’s tempo and the artiste’s work to achieve the desired effect. Where the coordination of these factors is weak, the result is poor.
‘Mirza Sahiban’ has all the ingredients that go into the making of an average successful film. Its romantic plot has been popular with the people for a long time; there is adventure, comedy and tragedy in it. It has a cast of leading actor and actresses and its musical score has some impressive features. Yet the film does not wholly satisfy the audience. The main reason is that its sequences do not have the full gripping force of the theme. Apart from the tragic end of the lovers, a whole village is wiped out, but the tragedy barely moves the audience. Moreover, the writer has treated the theme on the pattern of routine love stories, the element of curiosity or expectancy is missing.
Considerable footage has been devoted to the childhood mischiefs of Mirza (Sudhir) and Sahiban (Mussarat) attachment to him. They are cousins, living in the same house, and Sahiban’s love for Mirza has its roots in her feeling of sympathy for the wretched boy who is constantly badgered by his aunt and other cousins, Shameer (Alauddin) and Ameer. When they grow up the Mirza-Shameer rivalry assumes dangerous proportions. Beaten in straight contests, Shameer breaks wrath on his sister. She is forbidden to see Mirza and confined within her room. After several failures, Shameer succeeds in turning his father against Mirza. He is aided in his evil designs by his younger brother who disappears in circumstances implicating Mirza as the murderer. Sahiban’s father thereupon arranges her marriage to a village youth. When Mirza learns of it, he leaves the marriage ceremony of his own sister and rushes to Sahiban’s village. He succeeds in taking her away but his opponents overtake them and the lovers are cruelly killed. In retaliation Mirza’s brothers and friends attack Sahiban’s village and ransack the whole place.
Comic relief is provided by the Zeenat-Nazar pair.
The director’s work is of varied quality. At moments, especially while picturizing songs, he seems to be extremely active and attentive. These portions of the film have life and force. But the rest of it suffers from monotony of tempo. The editor has not done much to tighten its grip. The last sequence, for instance, has been filmed with damaging carelessness.
Lighting throughout the film is bright and hard. Low-tonal scenes are few. The composition of picture frame is not imaginative. If only the lighting and camera movement had been varied with the changes in the mood of the story, the result would have been far more effective. The film’s music has been marred by the singer’s lapses. Zubaida has done her songs fairly well, but Salim Raza’s voice breaks down frequently. At moments, however, his voice is rich and appealing.
Year – 1956
Language – Urdu
Country – Pakistan
Producer – Mrs. M.Sharif
Director – Daud Chand
Music Director – Khurshid Anwer
Box-Office Status – Flop
Cast – Musarrat, Sudhir, Yasmeen, Allaudin
Miscellaneous Information –