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  • 'Dhool Ka Phool', Yash Chopra's amazing directorial debut is a classic of classics. The film is about the social norms of those times, showing their effect on people of that time. This is the story of Meena (Mala Sinha), a young and orphaned woman who lives with her aunt and uncle. Meena meets Mahesh, and the two fall in love. However, when she finds out that she is pregnant, Mahesh leaves the city and the next time she meets him is on his wedding with a rich girl in the big city. Meena is thrown out of her uncle's house and upon giving birth to a baby boy, her despair and Mahesh's further rejection cause her to abandon him in a dark forest. When she comes back to senses and runs to take him back, she is too late: the baby was already collected by an old and kind Muslim named Abdul. Abdul decides to adopt the kid, much to the charging of the Hindu/Muslim communities. He re-locates to the city, but is unable to shake the stigma of bringing up an illegitimate child, Roshan. Meanwhile, Meena has got married to a lawyer, but her son Roshan is often subjected to all kinds of taunts by fellow classmates. He has only one friend, and it is Ramesh, who happens to be none other than his biological father Mahesh's son.

    A powerful and poignant picture, 'Dhool Ka Phool' shows how destructive social prejudice can be, mainly through the characters of Meena and Roshan. The fear Meena feels when she discovers she is going to be a single mother, the insults Roshan has to bear every time he goes to school - all show that something is very wrong with our society. I still remember the scene when Meena comes to reproach Mahesh with the baby in her hands and threatens to scream that it is his son for all to know, and he replies that she has no way to prove that and that she can throw him as far as he is concerned. That's what prompts her to do something that will torment her for the rest of her life. When Abdul Rashid takes the kid, he gets excommunicated by the people because the boy's religion remains unclear. In one wonderful scene, he sharply criticises them for their double-standards and leaves the neighbourhood. The stories of Roshan and Meena get intertwined in the form of a court case in which the boy is accused of a theft for no fault of his own, and the judge is none other than Mahesh.

    The film is brilliantly written, narrated and acted, and is done realistically with almost no exaggerated dramatisation. It starts as a romance and then turns into a moving drama. Mukhram Sharma's dialogues are exceptional and Narayan Datta's music is wonderfully composed with fantastic lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi. One great song that remains relevant even today is "Tu Hindu Banega Na Musalmaan Banega", which is pictured on the Abdul Rashid character when he decides to take the boy despite his neighbours' opposition, meaning "You will grow up to be neither Hindu nor Muslim; you will grow up to be a human being." Another song I like is "Jo Tum Muskura Do", pictured on the romantic sequences between Mahesh and Seema early in the film. Towards the end, the film becomes increasingly more intense and touching. There are many moving scenes, and what I find particularly good about them is that they are never overdone, enhancing the emotional impact.

    The acting is roundly excellent. The film belongs to Mala Sinha, and she is absolutely astonishing. She displays the fear, the confusion and the pain of a wronged woman, and later the suffering and the guilt feelings of a mother who has lost her child with total conviction. Sushil Kumar, the child artist is amazing as Roshan. This is according to me one of the best performances by a child actor in Indian cinema. Speaking of child actors, Daisy Irani is fantastic as Ramesh. Manmohan Krishna is a show-stealer. He makes Abdul Rasheed, the simple and kind Muslim man, a memorable character which should set an example to all of us of how important it is to be a good human being rather than a religious person. Rajendra Kumar's character is not sympathetic, and he is appropriately hateful. The great Ashok Kumar, on the other hand, is very likable, delivering another brilliantly restrained and elegantly understated performance as Meena's loving husband. Other cast members include Nanda and Leela Chitnis, both of whom lend excellent support in smaller parts.

    The most disturbing scene in the film, which remains symbolic even today, is when Meena abandons the baby in the forest. The crying baby instinctively grabs her saree, as if pleading not to leave him. But she does. This is followed by an impressively miraculous moment when a snake approaches the baby, and while one would worriedly expect it to attack him, it instead stops by to guard his life. It is particularly heartbreaking to see Meena hurriedly returning to take him back, only to find he is not there anymore. But the best scene in the film happens later, when Meena and Roshan meet for the first time, obviously not knowing that they are actually a mother and son. The moment the boy breaks down as he tells her of his loneliness post a very tragic incident (see the film to understand which one) and accidentally calls her "mom" when she hugs him, is so deeply moving. This is one of the most powerful scenes I've ever seen on film, and Chopra captures it with great intensity. The film's ending is bittersweet. It is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and the same can be said about the movie itself. 'Dhool Ka Phool' is Yash Chopra's ultimate masterwork, his first and perhaps his finest. It is one of my all-time favourite films. I highly recommend that you see this gem.
  • Spondonman19 April 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    I just watched this little gem again as a reminder of Nanda who recently died – her delicate beauty was perfectly captured by Yash Chopra in his first directors role. It was a glorious first film for him, full of hope and panache, and of romance and music of course.

    An accidental collision of bicycles on their way to college brings Raj Kumar and Mala Sinha together, culminating in a night of passion, a baby, the father marrying his father's choice, the mother sliding into a "sinful" position, abandoning their baby and eventually marrying her boss. And plenty more besides! The scene where she leaves her baby in the woods coming as it does at 65 minutes in is pretty harrowing stuff, she takes the easy solution but finds almost instantly it was the wrong one and ultimately nearly impossible to live with. On the other hand her ex's original decision to walk out and marry another is not considered as inherently wrong and is something he could live with. There's all kinds of social, political, religious and personal commentaries going on, too many to mention – the previous excellent comment covered it all well – and everything dovetails at the end to a fairly logical conclusion. The only minor niggle I ever had was that no matter how logical the last section dragged on for far too long. The songs were by Sahir and Dutta, my favourites being Tere Pyar Ka Aasra, entrancingly sung by Mahendra Kapoor and Lata; and the beautiful Jhukti Gaata Gaati Hawa sung by Asha with an unusual middle section by Mahendra - and Nanda seldom looked more exquisite or regal, the whole song being a wondrous piece of poetic sound and vision. I freely confess to preferring happy songs with no dark clouds!

    All the leads seemed incredibly photogenic with some marvellous photography and generally excellent production values; in fact some of the sets and costumes would have looked gorgeous in colour. Sinha's anguish was perfectly portrayed, especially with Lata's Tu Mere Pyaar – how is it she never achieved wider recognition? Although filmed a couple of generations ago now, the concepts and lessons of To Err Is Human that are expounded in here are sadly still to be learnt today by huge sections of humanity.
  • santoshtiwarih3g13 December 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    This movie depicts a very heart touching story of those times where a girl fears a social stigma and leaves her kid before marriage. This is an old story and has been depicted in many movies but the treatment here is excellent and quite touching.

    The acting of manmohan krishna is especially very good when he takes the responsibility of kid. Mala sinha has also done a good job is representing a girl fighting between emotions of revenge, cross loves between old boyfriend , kid and fear of stigma

    The other highlight of the movie is songs . All the songs of the movie is just wonderful. If you like old songs then this movie is a collectors item for you. Specifically for old generation people this can be a very good gift.

    A good watch