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15 August 2014 | ashtray25
7
| 40s Masala Rom-Com
An dying zamindar bequeaths his property equally among his two sons: the elder, irresponsible and hedonistic Mahesh (Shah Nawaz) and the dutiful adopted son Ramesh (Ashok Kumar).

Disgusted with his adopted brother, Ramesh leaves the house in a huff. He goes to live in a village called Jharnaghat where he falls in love with a young lady called Geeta (Leela Chitnis). Unknown to him, Mahesh too has a crush on the young lady. Ramesh is also unaware of the fact that his adoptive father was the zamindar of that village and that Mahesh had a love affair with Kamala, a close friend of Geeta who lives in Jharnaghat.

Predictably, there are misunderstandings and confusion until the inevitable 'happy family' ending.

In an age when socially conscious or mythological films dominated, a rom-com must have come as a breath of fresh air. If you're willing to overlook the stilted dialogue delivery and the unusual music (largely due to the primitive recording technology and the compulsion to use non- singers), Jhoola is a pretty entertaining movie with its fair share of lively moments.

Having hitherto been in the shadow of his leading ladies, Ashok Kumar became a star in his own right after the success of Jhoola. Still a boyish looking youngster, dadamoni looks far more comfortable and natural than he did in his earlier movies like Achut Kanya or Janmabhoomi. Leela Chitnis is excellent, given the limited scope the script offered her. Mumtaz Ali (father of 60s comedian Mehmood) is convincing. his 'main Dilli se dulhan' song was a cult song in its era.

To conclude: Jhoola is an excellent family entertainer when you consider the fact that the movie was made in the early 40s and as such, reflects the technology, the values, aspirations and insecurities of a very different age.

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Drama

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