Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Movie recommendation: Dosti (1964)

Note: I tend to revisit this movie whenever I am in mood for a classic:) This is easily one of Hindi cinema's most cherished but less heard classics. The legendary music and Rafi's voice is just an added bonus.

Genre: Classic, Drama
Language: Hindi

First a slightly amusing story about how I happened to watch this movie. When I was a kid, I loved watching commercials (crazy I know!) over anything else. So when this movie was played on the television I got up to leave. But my parents coaxed me into watching it. How you ask, would they achieve a rare feat like that? A little girl in the movie (who plays a small but pivotal role) goes by the name Manju. And presto, I fell for it. I was mighty amused (and proud) that they would use my name in a full length feature film. 

Alright, that might not have been so much amusing after all. But anyways. You MUST watch this movie if you are into long lasting friendships and all (who isn't?). This is the single most awesome movie on friendship and will ever be in Hindi Cinema. And please, I don't mean Dosti - Friends Forever, a 2005 Bobby Deol movie. Sigh. This is a 1964 classic with unknown faces but who will melt your face with their acting and emotions. Also, for those who think Sholay is the greatest friendship movie ever - b**** please.

Btw, full movie is available on YouTube (yay!)

The movie follows a rare friendship between a blind boy (Mohan) and a crippled boy (Ramnath) who live in extreme poverty and meet each other by fate. Mohan leaves his village in search of his sister (he doesn't know her address) while Ramnath is homeless and orphaned and has the passion to study. Penniless and poor, they roam the streets of Bombay. Mohan has a gifted voice. Ramnath plays the mouth organ and both of them make little money off their street (singing) performances. Rest of the story is how both brave hardships but find what they want - Mohan helps Ramnath achieve his dream to study while Ramnath helps Mohan find his sister.

If you are an Indian, you would've definitely heard atleast one track from this movie. The music of this movie is legendary and has some of the most melodious tracks rendered by the lethal combination of Laxmikan- Pyarelal and Md. Rafi. You will also happen to recognize a young and bright Sanjay Khan (the guy who played Tipu Sultan in the 90's, remember?) in a miniscule role. The rest of the cast is pretty much unknown. 

What makes this movie so endearing is the sanctity of it all - a no frills story, poverty in post independence Bombay, the general apathy towards the poor (yes, this has always been there, not just a modern day malady) and above all the rare friendship between two young men who depend on each other for survival initially but form a strong bond later. You will be really embarrassed for modern day Bollywood - the storytelling in this movie is so pure and human relations are depicted so accurately (no over-the-top drama and no ill-conceived characters). If there was an IMDB list for top 100 bollywood of all time (is there), this should be in it - no exaggeration.

If you want to watch a Black and White Bollywood classic, please make it this one. Worth the 2 hours, if not for anything, atleast for the music. I bet you won't forward the songs in this one.

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