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Sabira (1956) – Review


Judging from the nature of its contents, Anis Pictures’ Sabira is a most moving tragedy. There can be few more touching scenes than those presented in it. The losses it characters suffer and the ordeal they go through cut deep through the spectator’s heart. But not even the greatest disaster can be effective tragedy unless it reflects upon some human qualities and emotions and communicates to the audience the poignancy of the situation, to at least claim their sympathy if it cannot inspire them. In Sabira this aspect of tragedy has not received sufficient consideration. The result is obvious – a record of patient suffering.

Broadly speaking, Sabira exemplifies man’s devotion to those whose interest he feels duty bound to serve. Once again Nazir plays the role of the faithful servant, a servant who sacrifices everything in order to protect his dead master’s honor and look after his descendants. Though weak from age and grief he works hard to support the widow and the small daughter of his master when they are driven out of the house by the jealous wife of the surviving brother. The hardships Mir Sahib (Nazir) suffers are of immense magnitude. He loses his only son, undergoes severe physical distress, and spends 14 years in jail. Bahu Begum suffers no less. Widowed in the prime of youth, she has to put up with insults, has to work and even beg for her living and is confined for 14 years to a lunatic asylum.

That all these deaths, misery, weeping and wailing do not overwhelm the audience is due to the loose structure of the scenario. The premises on which the whole tragedy has been built up is not only frail but slightly unreal also. The treatment of the plot is not uniform. Partly the approach is serious and partly not without a touch of farce. C.M. Rafi is an experienced director and now and then he gives a good idea of his knowledge and skill but he does not appear to have asserted himself fully, especially when either Nazir or Swaranlata is occupying the stage. Both of them grossly overact and when Swaranlata repeatedly knocks out Nazar it is high time that a director took over.

Nazir interprets the main character in the style which has now become familiar. Mostly he is restrained and dignified and on this level any other actor can hardly equal him. Swaranlata’s performance also is of the same standard.

Technically, the film is satisfactory. Masudur Rahman has handled the camera efficiently, showing some improvement over his past efforts. The sound is clear.

Year – 1956

Language – Urdu

Country – Pakistan

Producer – Nazir

Director – Rafi Choudhry

Music Director – Safdar

Box-Office Status – Flop

Cast – Swaranlata, Nazir, Ilyas, Nazar, Ajmal

Miscellaneous Information

Songs List

Music Director(s)
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