A Hitchcockian Bollywood Romantic Thriller
By Ashwin Mazdur
|Anamika (1973) - By Raghunath Jhalani|
I have seen first few minutes of Anamika almost 15 years ago at a relative place, since then I had wanted to watch it, finally I watched it today. Anamika is what you call a Hitchcockian Bollywood romantic thriller film.
The film does not waste any time, like most Indians films do. Within few seconds it is established Devendra is a popular writer who has trust issues with women. Devendra while returning from a felicitation function with his Chachaji ( A K Hangal) and his secretary Hanuman Singh ( Asrani) watches a woman (Jaya Bhaduri) fall from a car. The woman is gagged.
|Sanjeev Kumar as Devendra in Anamika|
Devendra feels that this is a police case, but reluctantly brings her home on the advice of Chachaji and secretary. Next day, Devendra is bewildered, when the young woman claims she is his wife. The doctor and cops are called, the mysterious lady continues to claim she is wife of Devendra. Slowly Chachaji, Dolly, niece of Devendra, all fall in to the charms of this new girl.
Devendra is wary of the imposter and feels she is behind his money. Slowly Devendra is also attracted towards her and both develop affection towards each other. He christens her as Anamika ( the one who does not have name in Hindi). One day when she is being kidnaped from Devendra’s house, Devendra rescues her from kidnappers and on the advice of Chachaji takes her to Shimla. Soon Devendra chances upon Anamika’s photo.
Is Anamika the one who she claims to be? Does she have a past? The more he digs, the less he seems to know about the girl.
Sanjeev Kumar as Devendra is perfect. It also reminds us of a time when our heroes did not look like gym freaks, but characters. The role in hand of lesser actor would have appeared cartoonish. You have to give full marks to Sanjeev who pulls of while wearing orange kurta and suits, both in style.
Jaya Bahaduri is in her elements here; she plays the role with élan and flair, it is a difficult character to play, we as an viewers are always wary of her intention, yet she somehow makes us connect with her character in first half which is very difficult considering we do not know anything about her. It is good to see her rocking in some western wear and ditching her saree in some scenes.
|Jaya Badhuri in and as Anamika|
For any romantic film to strike a chord, it is essential that both the leads have an amazing chemistry. Sanjeev and Jaya have this some sort of magic, which they bring despite two different character graph they portray.
R.D Burman, MajroohSultanpuri, Lata and Asha are in top form here with ‘Bahon Men Chale Aao’ and ‘Meri Bhigi Bhigi Si’ being my favourites.
What makes Anamika a great film is that it asks us the basic question that do we have the right to judge any woman or man because of their past? Who should we believe? The consequences a woman has to face due to some men talking about her character and so on. Unfortunately the society still worships women, but do not treat them as human being. Even today domestic violence remains quite prevalent and women do not have any means to escape.
|A Still from Anamika|
I must admit that I have not watched any of Raghunath Jhalani’s previous movies, but after watching this I am inclined to watch his other movies. Full marks to him for making a taut thriller with duration of 125 minutes, when even today we have films which run beyond 180 minutes testing our patience.
Raghunath also uses the song effectively; not one song is out of the place. The songs takes the narration forward. I especially loved the nail biting climax.
Ashwin Mazdur is social media/online marketing guy and a brand strategist chap otherwise, he is a die-hard fan of Satyajit Ray, Rajinikanth and Pawan Kalyan in no specific order. He is also founder member of Madaboutmoviez.com.
Readers, please feel free to share your views/opinions in the comment box below. As always your insightful comments are highly appreciated!
'Meri Bheegi Bheegi Si Song' - Anamika (1973)
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