Pawan (1956) – Review
Year – 1956
Language – Urdu
Country – Pakistan
Producer – Eid Mohd
Director – Aslam Irani
Music Director – Nazir Jaffery
Box-Office Status – Flop
Cast – Shammi, Sudhir, Zareef, Nazar, Asha Posley, Nighat Sultana, Ajmal
Friends Film Service’s “Pawan”, running at Palace, is the story of a woman whose life is made a long tragedy by unhealthy social conditions. In the beginning it appears that the writer is attempting an exposure of the seamy side of our society. But soon the film settles into the grooves of a conventional love story to which an unusually strong element of boisterous comedy and a bit of farce is added. Once robbed of its social purpose, the plot appears common place.
Pawan (Shammi) has the misfortune of falling, early in her childhood, into the hands of a woman who is running an organized band of pick-pockets. Pawan is also taught the arts of the trade and by the time she grows up to be a pretty young woman she is not a bad pick-pocket. The activities of the group and their methods of working are described in detail. After some time Pawan falls in love with a young man, Sawan (Sudhir), who is trying to overcome the grief of his fiancé’s death. The feeling is mutual and there is a hope of Pawan’s regaining her freedom. At this stage the rich villain, Daleep (Ajmal), who has been trying to get hold of Pawan makes a daring move. He has her drugged and carried to his house. Sawan fails to understand and thinks she is unfaithful. However, Pawan succeeds in escaping after killing Daleep. The police suspects Sawan. He is arrested and tried for murder but Pawan reveals the facts of the incident and gladly accepts the sentence of transportation of life.
In this plot the writer touches on the inner working of evil rackets and the support they get from high social figures, the degradation of human personality under the influence of narcotics and in an atmosphere of crime, and the inherent nobility of the soul which can sometimes retain its fine qualities even in a most vicious circle. Had the writer and director developed these ideas and presented them methodically the film might have become not only good entertainment but a valuable source of instruction as well. As it is these ideas make no strong impression because of the film-makers’ preoccupation with making it a success at the box-office. Sequence after sequence of irrelevant proceedings are presented and the clowns taxed to their utmost for funny anecdotes but the vital theme is not given due attention.
However, the film has some fine technical qualities. The sets, their decoration and properties are impressive. This side of the production has been handled with efficiency and taste and, apparently, money has been no consideration.
Aslam Irani’s direction is a mixture of competent and amateurish work. In certain scenes he gives ample proof of his skill and takes a good deal out of the subject, but in other he appears quite off the mark. He could have done much better in direction the cast which has some of the best artistes of the Pakistan screen.