Shakti Samanta and bollywood films.
Shakti Samanta had entertained the viewers of bollywood films with romantic films from the 50s to 80s. He created a suspense thriller in the late 50s titled Howrah Bridge where the main roles were played by Ashok Kumar and Madhubala. OP Nayyar contributed a lot for the music of the film with Asha Bhosle’s song “aiye meherba” and Geeta Dutt’s song “mera naam chin chin chu” becoming great hits.
In the early 60s, Shakti Samanta created coloured film Kashmir Ki Kali, where the entire film was shot in the exotic locations of Jammu and Kashmir. The songs composed by OP Nayyar in the film created milestone in Indian playback history. Rafi’s songs “diwana hua badal”, “yeh chand sa roshan chehra”, “kisi na kisi se”, “isharon isharon”, “yeh duniya usi ki” became super hit and the western and eastern blend of music enchanted the listeners for over 20 years. Shammi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore were sublime in their respective roles.
Shakti Samanta experimented with same team in the film An Evening in Paris,where Sharmila acted in double role. This time the music composed by Shankar Jaikishan again amused the audience. The songs of Rafi including “raat ke humsafar”, “akele akele”, “aasman se aaya farishta”, had loud orchestration and French music embedded in them. Pran also did well in the negative role given to him.
In the late 60s and early 70s, Shakti Samanta gave musical blockbusters like Aradhana and Amar Prem, and SD Burman and RD Burman’s music in these films were great assets. Rajesh Khanna acted opposite Sharmila Tagore in these films and the romantic stories appealed to the cinematic audience. Sharmila even acted in a double role in the film Aradhana. Amar Prem was the hindi version of Uttam Kumar’s successful Bengali film Nishipadda.
In the mid-70s, Shakti Samanta experimented with Uttam Kumar in the films Amanush and Anand Ashram. Amanush dealt with the life of the fishing community in the sunderbans. The exploitation of the people by the middlemen and the role played by the local police officer was also shown in the film. Anil Chatterji as police officer and Utpal Dutt as the middleman played their roles to perfection. The music composed by Shyamal Mitra was appreciated with Kishore Kumar’s song “dil aisa kisi ne” becoming big hit.
Anand Ashram was equally successful. It related to the story of Uttam Kumar losing his wife Sharmila Tagore when she gave birth to her child. He was a successful doctor and sacrificed his life for the benefit of poor villagers. He ultimately met his father Ashok Kumar at the end of the film when his son Rakesh Roshan bridged the gap between father and grandfather. The music of Shyamal Mitra was successful once again with KK’s song and Asha’s song “sara pyar tumhara” becoming record hit.
Shakti Samanta also used Big B and Rakhee in the film Barsaat Ki Ek Raat, where the same team of Utpal Dutta and other actors were used. The action film had good music composed by RD Burman and powerful performance of Amzad Khan in a negative role.
Shakti Samanta’s films should be remembered for romantic stories, colourful locations and melodious music which had drawn the viewers to cinema halls in the 60s and 70s.