Friday, February 12, 2010

Deewar (1975) - Superstar Amitabh Bachchan along with Rishi Kapoor in this great hit

Deewar, released in 1975, is considered by many to be a benchmark of what a good commercial film ought to be all about. The film scored highly in all the components that go into making a brilliantly successful film-directing, writing, acting and music.
The strength of the film lies in the fact that it talks of a problem common to us all- the problem of sticking to the path of good and truth at the cost of all.

Anand Verma (Satyen kappu) is a moralistic and upright trade union leader who works hard to better the lives of his fellow workers. His family consisting of his wife (Sumitra Devi-Nirupa Roy) and two songs (Vijay Amitabh Bachchan and Ravi, Shashi Kapoor) is small and happy. Anand however is blackmailed by his corrupt bosses who threaten to kill his wife and sons if Anand does not comply with the terms and conditions set down by the management. Left with no choice, he agrees and the workers turn on him believing him to be a traitor to their cause. He flees from the place, abandoning his family. His family is also persecuted by the angry mob who brand young Vijay’s arm with the words “My father is a thief”. Sumitra Devi is forced to bring her children to Mumbai where she struggles as a day labourer to care for her now homeless boys.

Vijay grows up with a sense of acute victimisation. He sacrifices his education and starts working from a very young age to help out his mother. Soon he catches the eyes of an underworld boss who offers him the opportunity to leave behind his impoverished lifestyle by joining the world of crime. Ravi’s life follows an exactly opposite direction. He is an excellent student and grows up to become an upright police officer. Soon Vijay falls for Veera (Neetu Singh), the daughter of the Police Commisioner, while Vijay falls for Anita (PArveen Babi) a “loose” woman. When their mother comes to know of Vijay’s nefarious activities she leaves him. The brothers have a famous confrontational scene (“Mere Paas Maa Hai”-Our mother is with me) considered to be one of the best written scenes of Hindi films. The climax sees Vijay repenting for the wrong choices he made in his life and his mother forgiving her errant son as he lies dying in his arms.

Deewar is a must watch film on many counts. First of all Salim-Javed’s story and screenplay is very powerful and thought provoking. Secondly, Amitabh Bachchan’s portrayal of Vijay as the wronged son who strays off the right path is superlative. Parveen Babi as the liberated working, smoking, drinking and sleeping with her lover before marriage is also very good. But the film belongs to Yash Chopra who as the man wielding the baton does a marvellous job.


Directed by Yash Chopra
Produced by Gulshan Rai
Written by Salim-Javed
Starring Shashi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Neetu Singh, Nirupa Roy, Parveen Babi
Music by Rahul Dev Burman
Cinematography Kay Gee
Editing by T.R. Mangeshkar, Pran Mehra

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