While driving his car on a rainy night, Anand's car breaks down, and he goes to seek shelter in a nearby house. He is let into the house by the servant, and he is permitted to stay until ...
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While driving his car on a rainy night, Anand's car breaks down, and he goes to seek shelter in a nearby house. He is let into the house by the servant, and he is permitted to stay until the rains stop be able to get his car fixed. It is here that he will find out about his previous birth, his true love, Madhumati, their ill-fated, star-crossed and tragic romance, and how events in his previous birth are going to effect him in this life-time.Written by
Unlike other films, shot indoors, Roy decided to shoot Madhumati outdoors and at a hill station. It had six-week schedule in Ranikhet, Nainital. Some scenes were shot in Ghorakhal, near Nainital. In those days there were no monitors, so when the negatives were developed, it was found that the most of the footage was foggy. Since a re shoot in far-away Uttarakhand wasn't possible, sets were created near Vaitarna Dam, Igatpuri, near Nashik. Art direction team, led by Sudhendu Roy, created fake pine trees, which were planted to matched the location in Nainital. One particular scene where Dilip Kumar looks for Vyjayanthimala in the woods was actually shot in Igatpuri.Subsequently, a large part was also shot in Aarey Milk Colony, a small forested area in Mumbai. The foggy effect was recreated by employing gas bombs. See more »
Dilip Kumar is Anand, a man who is rushing to the train station to meet his wife and kid. On the way his car breaks down and he has to seek shelter in a dilapidated mansion. There he begins to have memories from a past life and remember and retells his life as Deven an accountant for the rich and cruel Ugra Narayan (Pran). Deven meets the shy village belle Madhumati and a romance grows. But there is past bad blood between Madhumati's father and Ugra Narayan. Ugra Narayan's nefarious plans involve separating the two lovers and the outcome is dire. Deven is devastated until he meets a girl who resembles his Madhumati. Who is she? What role will she play in his life? Will Madhumati and Deven be united in this or a future life? The movies weaves a beautiful tale of the past and the present and has a twist on the reincarnation story.
I was never a huge fan of Dilip Kumar but here he is stunning. Exceptionally good looking, understated in both the romance and the sadness but never wooden. Vyjayanthi as Madhumati uses the finger to the lip and wide eyes to convey her innocence and it does work to a certain degree. But in her other personas she is fabulous, and can she dance!! Johnny Walker is kind of annoying, but strangely enough he is the only actor who won an award in this film! Pran is the quintessential villain in the era when a villain was needed in every film. He plays the bad man quite well and with a certain emotional depth - he first invites Deven as a friend but is spurned and you are left to wonder if he and the story could have taken a different trajectory had his offer of friendship been accepted.
The direction is superb. Bimal Roy tells the tragic tale of Madhumati in a very matter of fact way that still manages to engage the viewers' emotions - the moody way the mountains are shot with a mist enveloping the tragic lovers, the shadows and light in the forests, the precipice that immediately tells you bad things will happen. Hrishikesh Mukherjee edited the film, Rajinder Singh Bedi and Ritwik Ghatak wrote the story and dialogs - this is an assemblage of talents that delivers the goods in an exceptional way.
A discussion on Madhumati is not complete without talk of the songs. Shailendra wrote the lyrics and Salil Chowdhary composed the music. The movie almost begins with that mother of all road songs Suhana Safar Aur ye Mausam Haseen. Then, in a very unusual twist, as it ends there is the start of another number - the haunting Aaja re Pardesi! There is the folksy Daiyya re Daiyya re Chadh Gayo Paapi Bichua (you might laugh at the lyric subtitles - they do not get the point) and the stage number where the scorpion is imagined! Then there are the peppy Dil Tadap Tadap Ke and the Zulmi sang Aankh Ladi, the soulful and sad Toote hue Khwabon Nein. Each song is a gem and the soundtrack is worth buying.
This is a fine golden oldie, worth many a repeat watch.
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