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Saturday, November 12, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW - CHITRALEKHA



Certain movies never make it to the super-hit status but certainly to must watch list; ‘Chitralekha’ (1964) is one of them. It is a classic example of soulful cinema. It is based on a Hindi novel by the same name, written by the great author Shree Bhagwati Charan Verma. The lead actors are late Meena Kumari as Chitralekha, Pradeep Kumar as ‘Samant Beejgupta’ and Ashok Kumar as head priest Kumargiri, known as ‘Swamiji’. Mahmood also plays an important role as ‘Brahmachari Shewtank’. The story is set in the ancient Mauryan period when Emperor Chandragupta Maurya ruled the nation.

This story is about the clash of opinions and ideologies of a hermit and a harlot; ‘yog’ and ‘bhog’, the two schools of salvation. While the former takes the path of salvation through celibacy and meditation to reach God, the latter believes enjoying every pleasure to be the right way.

The story is as follows:

Chitralekha is a high profile court dancer, who comes to the city of Patliputra with the troupe she heads. She wins a royal dance competition and hence meets Beejgupta and eventually falls for him. Beejgupta too, starts feeling an uncanny attraction towards her and starts visiting her daily. Incidentally, Beejgupta is engaged to Yashodhara, the beautiful and religious daughter of a prominent courtier of the emperor. Slowly, the friendship between the dancer and Beejgupta takes the form of a deep platonic love. Meanwhile, worried about his daughter’s future, Yashodhara’s father requests the head priest, Swamiji to show Beejgupta the right and pious path of marriage and family. Swamiji visits the place of Chitralekha and gives her a hard hitting lecture on morals and ‘karma’ on which she too retaliates and justifies herself, something quite unimaginable for the swami. Later, lives take curious turns; Chitralekha starts deviating towards religion and decides to take ‘sanyas’ while Swamiji gets enamored with her. I will not disclose the climax here as it will spoil all the fun. The story is beautifully woven with interesting dialogues.

This movie is a far cry from all those frivolous and cheap Hindi flicks that are usually released these days. A complete family movie and very beautifully directed, Chitralekha makes us ponder about life, love, duties and spirituality. Lyrics are written by the great poet, Sahir Ludhiyanvi and music is by Roshan. I loved two songs in particular, ‘sansaar se bhaage firte ho’ in which Chitralekha justifies her point of view and ‘mann re tu kahe na dheer dhare’ that consoles the heart stung by separation.

This movie is definitely a must watch!

16 comments:

  1. very nice review ...looks like worth watching I like hindi movies specially the classics ...
    and menna kumari movies are always good and has good story line ..

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  2. I am glad young people like you are still interested in golden oldies...They were poetry in picture.

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  3. Wow, seems to be a good film..The way you've written makes one feel like watching it..:)

    Please do post more reviews on movies!

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  4. hi Harman,

    yes, these classics are unbeatable. yes, I agree!

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  5. hii mOhan,

    yes, do watch it. It is a far cry from nonsensical and vulgar things we have in the name of films these dayz

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  6. I just love this movie and all of its songs are so melodious.

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  7. hii Renu

    yes, movie and songs, both are outstanding!

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  8. good review..it would be interesting to watch .. something like this

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  9. hii Sankoobaba

    yes, sure..u'll like it!

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  10. Hello. Thanks for the comment on my blog. I like your review. In Indonesia, we somehow watch Bollywood movies. Keep posting :)

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  11. hii Bella

    thanks a lot!

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  12. Another beautifuly enunciated review.The language is simple,concise but beautifully embellished in thoughts and stark simple in meaning.your review has made me eager to watch this movie.

    Regards:)
    Ivan Drago

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  13. thanks for introducing this movie..will watch this soon...nice review btw

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  14. Hi Ivan

    Thanks!

    yup watch it and i am sure u won't regret :)

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  15. Hi Nikhil

    Thanks a lot!

    :)

    ReplyDelete

Kindly copy your comments (using the right click) for it seems there is some issue with the blogger. Sometimes comments do not go through in the first attempt. :)