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Neela Parbat (1969)

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Neela Parbat

The basic pattern of the themes of Pakistani productions is more or less fixed and few directors would dare to venture into variations outside it. All stories have a built-in fairy-tale like quality. Problems of various kinds are created without regard for realism. As unreal problems do not call for realistic solutions, the ‘problems’ created in the films are solved just as extraordinarily so that in the end the audiences can go home without anything to think about.

Badnaam (1966), Lakhoun Mein Aik (1967), and Neela Parbat (1969) were three important milestones in the history of Pakistani Cinema not only because they deviated very much from the usual conventions but also because their directors dared to do what others did not. Their themes were also laid on the same basic pattern with star-cast and all that. But they made unusual twists at points where the spectators anticipated the conventional. In other words, they tried to make the audiences think, even if momentarily, something that is dreaded by other directors as suicidal.

Neela Parbat – a harrowing tale of lust, greed and sexual infidelity – dealt with the Freudian aspects of love in which an old man secretly falls in love with his adopted daughter – a rather daring theme for the Pakistani cinema. In this film, Komal had a really interesting foray into the parallel cinema. She portrayed the sensual play thing for Mohammad Ali, both of whom did fine, but the whole film was dominated by that unparalleled character-actor of Pakistan, Talish.

The film also had innovations in music and dance. Roshan Ara rendered a raag and there were Kathak and Bharat Natyam numbers, instead of the dancers doing the body gyrations that now pass for dance. The film was directed by Ahmed Bashir and proved to be too much of an experimentative genre in our commercially dominated industry. It flopped mainly because it was extremely slow paced and very few could understand the psychological movie and its symbolic connotations.

Neela Parbat was the second local release to be awarded an “Adults Only” certificate. Mohammed Ali and Husna were in the lead, but it was because of the steamy scences of the side heroine Komal that the film was tagged only for grown ups. The first film to carry the “Adults Only” tag was Pakistan’s first horror film Zinda Laash. The practice of putting “For Adults Only” warning tag has been discontinued as many of the films released in the last decade, including Sangeeta’s blockbuster Khilona and Jan Mohammed’s Kuriyon ko Daley Dana, though deserving the status, were released without it.

Cast and Production Credits

Year – 1969, Genre – Drama, Country – Pakistan, Language – Urdu, Producer –Ahmed Bashir, Director – Ahmed Bashir, Music Director – Pia Qadir & Akhtar Hussain, Cast – Husna, Mohammed Ali, Komal, Talish, Kamal Irani

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