Guru Dutt’s 5th film as director is a classic social comedy relying on a familiar plot: the heroine must fulfil the terms of her father’s will to inherit his wealth. Dutt uses this plot to satirise the reformism of India’s urban upper class. Anita (Madhubala) must marry quickly to inherit her father’s estate. Her aunt, the authoritarian champion of women’s rights, Seeta Devi (Pawar), plots to find a needy bachelor who will marry Anita for money and divorce her immediately afterwards. A poor but lovable scrounger and cartoonist, Preetam Kumar (Dutt), agrees to the plan but he and Anita then fall in love. Pressured by Seeta Devi, Preetam eventually goes through with the divorce and even furnishes faked photographs compromising himself. When Anita discovers the truth, she and Preetam decide to stay together. Dutt’s inventiveness is given free rein, esp. in the song picturisations. As the British critic Geoff Brown pointed out: ‘Dutt realises the cinematic advantages of India’s playback system. The camera never stands still. The first, in which Preetam tells his friend about meeting the heroine, starts in a bar, proceeds to a bus stop and continues on the bus, from which the couple are eventually thrown off. Another song - an argumentative duet between hero and heroine - is imaginatively performed among women drying and shaking out saris. But the most exhilarating number is the heroine’s swimming pool song, performed with a smiling chorus line of girls twirling umbrellas, parading around the pool in deliriously tilted shots.’ The film included hits such as Udhar tum haseen ho, Jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji (both sung by Geeta Dutt and Mohammed Rafi) and Thandi hawa kali ghata (sung by Geeta Dutt).
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This was Madhubala's only film with Guru Dutt productions. Read More