Films that are 50

Films that are 50: ‘Do Badan’ is an overlooked Raj Khosla tragedy

Best known for crime and suspense films, the director worked well across genres, as is evident from the Asha Parekh-Manoj Kumar starrer.

The mid-1960s saw actress Asha Parekh court success in a big way. Having started out as a child actor, Parekh had to suffer the ignominy of being replaced by Ameeta in Vijay Bhatt’s Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959) before filmmaker Nasir Husain gave Parekh her first leading lady role in the musical hit Dil Deke Dekho (1959). Parekh subsequently became a regular in Husain’s films, starring alongside Dev Anand, Joy Mukerji and Shammi Kapoor in the musical extravaganzas that were Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai (1961), Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963) and Teesri Manzil (1966). The period between 1964 to 1967 saw Parekh work with almost every top-notch filmmaker in the industry as she starred in a spate of hits such as Ziddi (1964), Mere Sanam (1965), Love In Tokyo (1966), Aaye Din Bahaar Ke (1966) and Upkar (1967).

One such film that Parekh starred in alongside Manoj Kumar, Pran and Simi Garewal in this golden phase of her career was the Raj Khosla-directed Do Badan (1966). The film was a moderate hit of its time. It doesn’t get anywhere near as much attention as some of the bigger films from that year, such as Teesri Manzil or Phool Aur Patthar, but deserves a relook nonetheless for its fine performances in what was essentially a doomed romantic drama.

Play

Do Badan had all the classic staples of Hindi cinema from that time. Vikas (Kumar) and Asha (Parekh) fall in love with each other, following very much in the tradition of romantic liaisons between poor boy and rich girl. The villain in the puzzle, Ashwini (Pran), gets in the way of their relationship and engineers a chain of events that leads to Vikas meeting with an accident and losing his eyesight. Ashwini first tells Asha that Vikas is dead, but then persuades Vikas to convince Asha that his love for her was a sham in the first place. Ashwini gets married to Asha. But Vikas’s exit from her life is too much for Asha. When she realises Ashwini’s devious ways, she turns into a recluse and withers away.

The film played out predominantly in the picturesque Kashmiri countryside. It had all the familiar themes of Hindi cinema’s encounter with modernity, class conflict amid a feudalistic backdrop and almost all the lead characters (except Ashwini) willing to sacrifice their own love interest for someone else’s sake. The comic pairing of Dhumal and Mohan Choti gave a few laughs, but were all too episodic in their appearance.

Do Badan’s appeal, nonetheless, lay in its sensitive storytelling within the melodramatic genre. Instead of resorting to the usual routine of the villain receiving his comeuppance at the hands of the hero, Do Badan made a rare departure by highlighting a change of heart in Pran’s character. Parekh, Kumar and Garewal came up with nuanced performances, with each of them ably demonstrating the pain and anguish each that their characters experience through the vagaries of life and love. Garewal took home a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.

The film’s dialogue gives a maudlin and emotional tinge to the film without allowing it to degenerate into a hackneyed, over-the-top weepy affair. Lines such as “Hum ko toh gardish-e-haalaat pe rona aaya, roney waaley tujhey kiss baat pe rona aaya” borrowed suitably from the world of high Urdu poetry to bring out each character’s pathos.

Complementing the emotive storyline was a strong musical score by Ravi. The lyrics were penned by Shakeel Badayuni. Why didn’t the film’s producer, Huda Bihari, get his brother, the lyricist Shamsul Huda Bihari (of Kashmir Ki Kali fame), to write the songs? Nonetheless, with numbers such as “Jab chali thandi hawa” and “Lo aa gayee unki yaad,” Badayuni was able to do full justice to what was expected of him.

Play

The pièce de résistance of the film was the Mohammed Rafi sung, “Raaha gardishon mein har dum.” In Rafi’s voice, the song evocatively captured the tragic essence of the film.

Play

Ultimately, Do Badan was yet another triumph for ace filmmaker Raj Khosla. Although known most for his noir films and crime dramas such as C.I.D. (1956) and Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971), Khosla seemed to be at ease working across genres. That he made an intense, melancholic film like Do Badan right in the midst of his three suspense films, Woh Kaun Thi (1964), Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967) showed his remarkable dexterity. Do Badan makes a great case for revisiting Khosla’s work and putting it through a more detailed examination.

Akshay Manwani is the author of Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet (HarperCollins India 2013). He is currently working on a book on the cinema of writer-director-producer, Nasir Husain. He tweets at @AkshayManwani.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

A phone so stunning that it deserves its own photoshoot

Presenting the Moto X4, crafted to perfection.

Precision-crafted glass and metal design, an anodised aluminium frame, easy to hold and featuring beautiful contours, the Moto X4 is crafted to perfection indeed.

With the distinctive placement of the rear cameras, this phone makes a great subject for a photographic series.

Gaurav Sawn Photography
Gaurav Sawn Photography

The light reveals the fluidity of its body; curves that fit perfectly in the contours of a palm.

Gaurav Sawn Photography
Gaurav Sawn Photography

Reclining on a bed of satin, the glass-encased phone blends into the folds of the luxurious fabric.

The slimness, seamlessness and solidity of the phone make for a great profile shot.

A stunning design which is IP68 rated water-resistant too, it is as beautiful as it is strong.

We partnered with photographer Gaurav Sawn to create this series. Says Gaurav, “The glass sandwich design looks extremely good and the reflections on the back panel make the phone stand out. This is a phone that is best used without a case. The curved corners were also very comfortable to hold. All in all, really enjoyed shooting this phone!”

While this phone is elegant and crafted to perfection, it is also extremely tough, being protected from scratches with Corning® Gorilla® Glass that stretches all the way around.

You don’t need to sacrifice of performance either. It’s packed with a 2.2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 630 processor and comes with a TurboPower™ Charger which means hours of power in minutes!

For the music lover, this phone is a boon. With simultaneous connectivity of up to four Bluetooth® audio devices at the same time, you can build your own stereo system without worrying about cables.

The dual rear cameras – a 12MP that lets you focus faster and get great results even on dark, cloudy days, and an 8 MP camera, with wide angle lens makes your most ambitious photos look all the more impressive.

To get your hands on the Moto X4, and experience perfection, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Motorola and not by the Scroll editorial team.