An architect’s must indeed be the cushiest of vocations. The architect hero of “Tere Ghar Ke Samne” goes romancing with his girl friend up and down Kutub Minar. He frolics about, goes on picnics, spends long hours at night clubs, the like of which we have never seen in this land. He scooters all the way from Delhi to Simla, in hot pursuit of his girl. Office he attends mainly to straighten out his romantic entanglements. The closest he gets to a blue print is the drawing of a heart pierced by an arrow. And houses? Houses he leaves to come up of their own accord.
This fun and fancy-free architect finds himself in rather a peculiar predicament. He is under contract to build a house for his beloved’s parents when, owing possibly to the very grave shortage of architects in India’s capital city, he is called upon to build another and even better one for his own parents. There would be nothing remarkable in this except that in this particular case the two fathers happen to be sworn enemies. And to make matters worse, they have out-bid each other at a public auction to purchase neighboring plots of land to build upon.
The situation is set for a really luscious comedy. The scenarist, however, lacks the comic touch. The hero’s character has no depth. Supposed to be an architect, he might as well be a travelling salesman. The fact is, he is and remains Dev Anand. Fortunately for the film, the other characterizations are happier, particularly of the two fathers. We are not taken into confidence as to the exact nature or the cause of the deadly feud between them. To make the hero’s acceptance of the rival family’s contract acceptable in turn to us, we are supposed to swallow that he had been originally driven out from his own home by his father. But this and the subsequent reconciliation do not ring true. The very necessary circumstantial details are not supplied.
The auction sequence is painfully overdone. The cabaret sequence too, while not helping the story to move forward a step, betrays a bankruptcy of ideas. The architect is almost superhuman: He is involved in a scooter crash so terrible that the camera tilts and somersaults photographing it. But the hero emerges with all his bones intact and a song on his lips, and even the scooter shown to us in a pitifully damaged condition resurrects itself a little later for him to ride merrily away on!
It is only after the interval that the story gains momentum and grip. The situation in which the two fathers come to blows and at the same time discover the identities of each other’s son and daughter is truly comic. Young and talented Vijay Anand has with courage maintained the comic tradition in the denouement without bringing in the usual melodramatic twists.
Dev Anand is his charming self. It is when he brings the two families together that he is given an opportunity to show his histrionic capabilities. Nutan’s part is more difficult in that she is given a role to interpret, and she acquits herself creditably. Om Prakash makes an uproarious Montagu to Harindranath Chattopadhyaya’s more subdued Capulet. Rajendranath makes a phoney army officer, which perhaps he was supposed to be. Rashid as the companion-in-love to the architect hero raises a few laughs.
Burman’s music is not up to his usual standard; maybe comedy is not the genre for him. Two songs are already popular, but the very moving climactic song “Sun le to dil ki sada” is rendered ludicrous because of the situation in which it is sung by the groom, on his wedding night, in front of all the guests who do not appear to register surprise, not to speak of any stronger emotion.
Comedy is so rare a thing on our screen that we would have liked to say more, but the most we can say of “Tere Ghar Ke Samne” is that it is a welcome attempt at comedy.
Year – 1963
Language – Hindi
Country – India
Producer – Navketan International Films
Director – Vijay Anand
Music Director – S. D. Burman
Box-Office Status –
Cast – Pratima Devi, Rashid Khan, Harin Chattopadhyaya, Om Prakash, Dev Anand, Nutan, Parveen Choudhary, Jankidas, Rajendranath
Miscellaneous Information – Not Available.