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Musafirkhana (1955) – Review

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Review

Sadiq Productions’ “Musafir Khana,” premiered on September 11th, 1955 at the Novelty and released simultaneously at the Liberty and several other cinema houses in Bombay, is a rambunctious comedy highlighted by the uninhibited performances of three of the Indian screen’s most gifted comedians.

Telling the story of three young men who run away from home and come to Bombay from places as far apart as Kabul, Delhi and Goa, the film presents a variety of familiar human types, social attitudes and reactions, which, despite caricature and exaggeration, retain the appeal of personal experience. Romance and farce, comedy and drama are interwoven with a sure hand to make a compact plot, which is delightful from start to finish.

The narrative never falters, running smoothly and with appropriate dramatic development, through sequences alternately gripping and amusing, to a hilarious climax and conclusion which are completely satisfying.

Brilliantly written and cleverly directed with sound knowledge and understanding of human nature, its weaknesses and strength, “Musafir Khana” in addition has an abundance of noble feeling and appeal to virtue. Sacrifice made for a friend, respect for pledges given and taken, filial loyalty and parental love are all presented in a manner which appeals to both the groundlings and the sophisticated.

The dialogue, which is sparkling, tangy and terse throughout, contributes powerfully to the success of this comedy and does great credit to its writer whose first essay it is in films.

Under the sure-handed and firm direction, the members of the cast, specially the comedians, Om Prakash, Gope and Johnny Walker, give brilliant performances.

Om Prakash, as the Pathan who flees from his creditors in Kabul and helps his friends in Bombay with the proverbial largeheartedness of his tribe, has practically the entire picture to himself. His is a sympathetic role and in it he gives a grand portrayal alive with the uninhibited expression of a veteran.

Gope, as the eccentric Seth who loses all his hair when he applies the magic cure for baldness prepared by his future son-in-law, keeps abreast of Om Prakash with some superb clowning and there are quite a few sequences in which he steals the limelight from every one.

Johnny Walker has some of the best scenes in the picture and he gives them a zestful vigor and tone. He brings the house down with his zany antics which have the audience roaring each time he appears.

Karan Dewan as the romantic hero shares honors evenly with the comedians, but Shyama as his sweetheart has a less significant role. Shammi as Johnny Walker’s girl friend, Badri Prasad as the hero’s father and Amar as the villain provide good cameos.

The music is delightful and the songs, which sparkle with poetic brilliance, are beautifully rendered. Production values in the matters of photography, setting and decor are good.

Year – 1955

Language – Hindi

Country – India

Producer – Sadiq Production

Director – M. Sadiq

Music Director – O. P. Nayyar

Box-Office Status

Cast – Johnny Walker, Om Prakash, Shyama, Karan Dewan, Gope, Jayant, Shammi

Miscellaneous Information

Songs List

Song
Year
Singers
Music Director(s)
Lyricist(s)
Thoda sa dil laga ke
1955
Shamshad Begum, Mohd Rafi
O.P Nayyar
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