Zamana Kya Kahega (1961)
Year – 1961
Language – Urdu
Country – Pakistan
Producer – F.M.Sardar
Director – lqbal Yusuf
Music Director – Muslehuddin
Box-Office Status – Average
Cast – Kamal, Shamim Ara, Rukhsana, Lehri
Miscellaneous Information –
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Director Iqbal Yusuf, offering his second film, loses no time to get down to business. Accompanied by suitably ominous background music, a shadow glides through the lighted corridors of a bungalow. Apparently it is a thief but before he can do his job the occupants of the house are awakened and all he can do is to fire his revolved once.
Soon it is established that murder is being planned; the old man is to be killed by someone who has an eye on his wealth. The old man knows this and is not slow to take precautions which mean depositing his will with a private detective who presumably operates a safe deposit service as a hobby. That does not help, as is presently seen and the murderer can get rid of the Seth by simply pushing down his car down the slope and the victim obliges by walking into the vehicle’s path. The only snag is that a young woman happens to be around and she happens to have a good look at the murderer, or so it is said.
The criminal has now two things to do before his scheme can succeed – to get the deceased’s will and to silence the witness of the murder. The will is in the private detective’s safe and the witness in a building guarded by a whole regiment of policemen. Yet both disappear. He who gets the documents keeps quiet but the girl is at large. She is pursued by more than one party and the game of abduction and “counter-abduction” and “precautionary abduction” begins.
The private detective catches up with her first of all, then comes a man who can be suspected of being a crook because he is in disguise and then another who must be a crook because he has his face masked. Perhaps there is no third man, it is only the second man in another garb. This is the doubt the director works to create in the spectator’s mind. In the meantime the private detective has plenty of time to fall in love with the pretty witness.
Pretty soon things become hot for everyone and there is a great confusion because nobody knows who is doing what. All mystery dramas must end with a chase. The private detective follows the criminal trying to escape in a car and he not only overtakes him but has also occasion to show some tricks on the motorcycle. The criminal caught, it is time for the police to come in and the inefficiency of, the custodians of law can be counter-balanced with appeals to the public to be their own policemen.
In spite of all the confusion created by a misunderstanding of suspense, the story line is not difficult to follow. And taking the shots individually it may not be easy to find fault with the team. The cameraman knows his job and the director handles the artistes fairly well. There are some interesting situations, supported by bits of enjoyable dialogue. The music director has worked diligently, perhaps harder than was necessary. The artistes have done quite well. Indeed in the trolley fight sequence Kamal excels Cornel Wilde who too had a similar problem. One can feel there is material that could be moulded into a commercial film that would not have strained the spectator’s mind beyond the safe limit.
Apparently the film-makers have made one mistake. They forgot that crime thrillers and fantasies do not mix well. The more close to acceptable facts and recognizable characters one remains the more thrilling suspense will be and vice versa. In the film, the writer begins with fantastic premises. These are: a modern city without any facility for safe deposit or bringing wills on official record; a country with a strange climate, winter in the plains and summer in the hills; a place where there is no law, where the police works underground, and where gangsters can pursue innocent people through crowds without causing a stir; and where nobody seems to think about anything. From a sensible moviegoer, it is perhaps too much to ask.