remains of a half-torn ticket

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mr and Mrs 55 (1955)

Director: Guru Dutt
Writer: Abrar Alvi
Starring: Madhubala, Guru Dutt, Johnny Walker, Lalita Pawar, Tun Tun
Music: O P Nayyar

Mr and Mrs 55 is one of the best comedy movies directed by Guru Dutt. Aar Paar and Chaudhavi ka Chand were light hearted , Kagaz Ke Phool was heavy and watchers felt themselves in a melancholic state. Mr and Mrs 55 on the other hand is a satirical comedy which is leaving a social message also. Message was against the increasing negative influence of western culture and decreasing traditional Indian values at that time. In fact the poster of the movie also conveys about the movie. It is divided into two parts in the first one hero is tying up madhu bala's shoe, depicting the western influence through the western attire. In the second part madhu bala in saree is touching guru dutt's feet. I am not able to decipher why the movie is titled as Mr and Mrs 55, one of the reason may be, it was released in 1955.

On one side there is Sita Devi (Lalita Pawar, aunt of Madhu Bala) who is increasingly feminist and believes in superiority of women over men. She even considers that women should not marry and become dependent on men. In fact they should remain free and single for ever. But Anita's dad has some other plans. He had left a will which is opened on 20th birthday of Anita and it decrees that Anita has to marry in order to inherit property worth 70 lakhs. If she doesn't marry then the property will be transferred to a orphanage.

Dialogue during the time will was read:
मेरी अच्छी बहींन में जानता हूँ की तुम मर्दों को कितना पसंद करती हो इसीलिए मुझे डर है की मेरे कूच करने के बाद और कमसे से कम तुम्हारे कूच करने तक तुम मेरी बेटी अनीता को कुवारा ही रखेगी इसीलिए ऐसे चटपटी वसीयत रख कर जा रहा हूँ
तुम्हारा भाई
Anita is excited about this legal binding and ask her friend Rajesh a tennis national champion for marriage. On the other hand Sita Devi is looking for a husband for Anita. Preetam (Guru Dutt) a out of job cartoonist who is unable to make both ends meets becomes the perfect target husband for Anita. Preetam is having a great friend in Johny Walker who is a photographer in a newspaper. He is a real friend in need and many times GD drops at wrong places at wrong time (when johny walker is trying to pataofy a girl) to take help from him. GD and Johny many times do a emotional atyachar on Johny mother (Tun Tun auntie) so that she give Preetam food and shelter and not ask for rent and money.

Preetam is hired by Sita Devi as a husband for Anita on 3 conditions. Preetam agrees to three condtions of not to see Anita after marriage, not to tell anyone about this marriage and give divorce when asked for. Preetam and Anita have become good friends, but that friendship is lost when Anita comes to know that Preetam is the hired husband for her.

Things turn bad when Preetam makes a cartoon of Sita Devi incarnated as chariot puller with Anita and Preetam as horses. She is fumed and on hearing ji haan ji haan to most of his questions she says that she will get the divorce procedure started. Here comes a true friend Johny Walker who gives Preetam idea to taking Madhu Bala away to his village. Anita is influenced by his sister inlaw and their interaction portrays to pros and cons of the increasing westernization. They had some lovely dialogues and Anita is slowly coming out of the shackles and learnings of her aunt. However on the other side Anita had called her aunt to rescue her. Preetam feeling that she doesn't love her fabricates evidence against himself with the help of Johny. Will they meet and live happily thereafter .............

I loved Madhu Bala, her cute looking innocent face really lifted the movies many notches up. She is smiling and chirpy and you fall in for the ingenuous face, her dialogues are natural and spontaneous. Is there any other movie of Guru Dutt and Madhu Bala together? They had a wonderful chemistry on screen.

One innocent looking incident takes place when Preetam and Anita chat in the park:
Preetam : अपने को तो रोटी ही नहीं मिलती
Anita : रोटी नहीं मिलती तो अप्प बिस्कुइत (biscuit) क्यों नहीं खा लेते
Preetam : अरे हाँ यह तो मैंने सोचा ही नहीं आप बड़ी होशियार मालूम होती है

Apart from good comedy, awesome acting by all the characters and brilliant direction by Guru Dutt which included use of shadows and closeups, movie had an outstanding music by OP Nayyar. All the songs are sung by Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi.

1. Dil Par Hua Aisa Jadoo
2. Thandi Hawa Kaali Ghata
3. Jaane Kahaan Mera
4. Chal Diye Banda Nawaaz
5. Meri Duniya Lut Rahi Thi
6. Preetam Aan Milo

I liked qawwali medi duniya loot rahi thi, though its not like yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai but still it conveys the message.
मेरी दुनिया लुट रही थी , और मैं खामोश था
तुकडे तुकडे दिल के चुनता , किस को इतना होश था

आँख में आंसू न थे , और जल रहा था दिल जिगर
रो रही थी हसरतें चुप-चाप था मैं बेखबर
कैसे आता होश में जो पहले ही बेहोश था
तुकडे तुकडे दिल के चुनता , किस को इतना होश था

कारवां दिल का लूटा बैठा हूँ , मंजिल के करीब
मैं ने खुद कश्ती डुबो दी , जा के साहिल के करीब
ये ज़मीं चुप -चाप थी, और आसमान खामोश था
तुकडे तुकडे दिल के चुनता , किस को इतना होश था

Must Watch for::
  • Madhu Bala's sweet and comic role. It was really sad for bollywood industry that we lost such a great actor at an early age. She died at the young age of 36.
  • Delightful and Social comedy which will keep the viewers glued to the screen.
  • Another gem of a classic from Guru Dutt
  • Johny Walker and Guru Dutt comic chemistry which i found to be best of the movies I have reviewed.
  • Brilliant Music by OP Nayaar , melodious songs sung by Geeta Dutt and Rafi sahabh, awesome lyrics of Majrooh Sultanpuri.
  • To know how society was getting influenced from western world.
  • After 9 years of movie released we lost Guru Dutt and later in 1969 we lost Madhu Bala at a young age of 36.
Duttilicious Movie indeed :)