Saturday, January 23, 2010

Aarti was a musical blockbuster of early 60s.

Aarti was a musical blockbuster of early 60s.

Bollywood films reached its zenith during the 60s. Director Phani Majumdar directed a classic film Aarti in the early 60s with Pradeep Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari.

Meena Kumari and Ashok Kumar became doctors together. Ashok Kumar went abroad for further studies and after return opened a clinic in West Bengal. Pradip Kumar saved Meena Kumari when she fell in a river in West Bengal while going to a relief camp after a natural calamity. From that time Meena Kumari was impressed with Pradeep Kumar.

Meena Kumari married Pradeep Kumar even after knowing that she had to live in a joint family along with Pradeep Kumar’s father played by Jagirdar and brother played by Ramesh Deo. Ashok Kumar wanted to marry Meena Kumari but due to disinclination showed by Meena Kumari the relationship did not mature.

At the end of the film Pradip Kumar met with a serious accident and required operation. Ashok Kumar was the only competent surgeon in the region to do the operation. Meena Kumari inspite of her differences relied on Ashok Kumar. Ashok Kumar had the scope of showing negligence and killing Pradeep Kumar. Instead he fulfilled the liabilities and responsibilities of a responsible doctor. As part of consideration she asked Meena Kumari to live happily with Pradeep Kumar and his family.

The most striking feature of the film included its superlative music. Roshan composed the tunes and Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote the lyrics. Rafi’s songs “ab kya missal doon mai tumhari shabab ki”, Rafi Lata’s duets like “baar baar mohe kya samjhaye” and “aapne yaad dilaya to mujhe yaad aya” stormed bollywood in the early 60s. Rafi was at his best and the lyrics were written by Majrooh Sultanpuri.

Pradeep Kumar was known for acting in historic films like Taj Mahal, Anarkali, Anandmath, etc. When he was cast in a social drama, Pradeep Kumar depicted the character of a middleclass Indian very well. He later got a job and showed his submissiveness before Meena Kumari. Meena Kumari was probably the most powerful actress of the classic age, that is the 50s and 60s. She as usual reached the depth of the character. Ashok Kumar was sublime in his individual role. The character artists in the film like Shashi Kala, Rajender Nath, Mehmood played their role in style. The film did great business. The film should be restored for its superlative music and powerful performances of the artists in the film.

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