Friday, September 28, 2007

Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain (1960)

An almost magical movie from Raj Kapoor, it seems a very simplistic movie. In these cynical times, you would think that such a thing is impossible. However, the fact is that in reality, Acharya Vinoba Bhave did indeed cause dacoits to see the error of their ways and surrender. The movie portrays Raj Kapoor as a very simple man, not used to the complication of life, not very clever; but very honest, very much in love with the country and the fact that humans are not bad, and if they are acting wrongly, they can be shown the error of their ways and come to the right track.
The movie was released in 1960, and was a big hit. It was directed by Radhu Karmakar under the banner of R.K.Films and also starred Padmini, Pran, and Lalita Pawar. The music was by Shankar Jaikishan and the songs were a great hit. The movie won the Filmfare Award for Best Movie in 1961, and perpetuated Raj Kapoor's image as the simple, uncomplicated, not calculating film persona that he had been carrying along since Awaara and Shree 420.

Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain

The movie stars a group of dacoits living with their families away from civilization, much hunted by the police. They are naturally suspicious of most things, and fear coming into contact with the police. One day, by accident Raju (Raj Kapoor) lands in their midst and only the sardar manages to save him, since the others suspect him to be policeman. Pran is the rebellious second in command and does not like Raj Kapoor.
Over a period of time, Padmini develops a liking for the simple ways of Raj Kapoor and falls in love with him further enraging Pran who had always thought that he would marry Padmini. Raj Kapoor somehow does not ever seem like becoming a dacoit and is mocked by the others for his seemingly gentle manners and lack of toughness, although many of the people start liking him.
Things take a sudden turn for the worse when the sardar is killed and Raj Kapoor admits that he is a policeman (even though he is not) and is imprisoned by Pran for eventually being killed. Padmini goes off to get the police, and at the same time, Pran kills one of the elder females (Lalita Pawar) by mistake when Raj Kapoor is persuading the other dacoits to surrender; they are after living a life of nomads and not being able to bring up their families properly. They set out to surrender and at the same time the police has assembled a huge force to capture them. There is a confrontation where Pran almost manages to have a shootout, but Raj Kapoor manages to save the day and prevent any bloodshed.
The depiction of the lives of the dacoits seems very realistic; I was also very impressed by the sets in the closing scene where the shooting was done in a very large partly hilly space, and you get a feeling of incredible vastness and a massive number of people assembling for a confrontation.

Songs from the movie:

O Basanti Pavan

Hum Bhi Hain Tum Bhi Ho

O Maine Pyaar Kiya

Hoton Pe Sachai Rehti Hain

Aa Ab Laut Chale (an incredibly beautiful song) - The final song about the path back to civilization

Begaani Shaadi Mein Abdullah Diwana

Mera Naam Raju

1 comment:

Arjun said...

A good review. I watched this movei a few years back and still ofndly remember it