Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977)

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When I see Nasir Husain’s name on a film, I am pretty sure I will be entertained. When I see Rishi Kapoor blowing on a trumpet on a DVD cover, I am pretty sure I will be entertained. When I see go-go boots that I covet within the first 5 minutes of a movie, I am pretty sure I will be entertained. And so it was that I was entertained by Hum Kisise Kum Naheen.

Rajesh (Rishi Kapoor) is in Delhi to get his sister married, per his late father’s wishes. His father, a multimillionaire living in Kenya, had died of a heart attack on a stopover in Beirut while carrying his lifetime’s wealth, which he had converted into diamonds.

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Rajesh has no idea where the belt is, and has taken a job singing in a local hotel to make ends meet. He is positively dazzling in a white sequined jumpsuit with big red hearts on his silver belt, and a big red heart pendant around his neck. He is also backed by what appear to be the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.

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During the song, he sees a newlywed pair come in and thinks of the girl he left in London, Sunita. I love the groom’s hair. My high school yearbook is full of such hair.

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Anyway, after the show Rajesh is met backstage by two older men, one named Saudagar Singh, who ask if he ever received his father’s diamonds. They tell him that his father gave the belt to a wealthy businessman called Seth Kishorilal—who also happens to be a smuggler—and asked him to deliver the belt to Rajesh. Kishorilal has also sent Saudagar Singh a (very polite) letter after kidnapping his son for a ransom of 3 million rupees.

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Saudagar Singh says that he can never raise that much money. Rajesh suggests that they take Kishorilal’s daughter Kajal and hold her until they get Singh’s son and his diamonds back. He says that he will romance Kajal, and she will come with them of her own free will. They concoct a plan where Rajesh will introduce himself to Kajal while posing as the rich guy he used to be.

Meanwhile, Kishorilal has hired four bald guys in blue jumpsuits to guard his daughter.

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Kishorilal tells his manager that he fears that his enemies will kidnap her, and tells the story of getting a belt full of diamonds from a dying man in Beirut. He was chased by three goons upon arrival in Delhi who wanted to steal the belt from him. He hid in a warehouse full of bicycles, and stashed the belt in a box strapped to one of them.

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While he was hiding from the goons, the bike’s owner came in and took the bike away. He has no way of finding it; it was an ordinary bike except for the initials “S.K.” on the box—but of course those three goons don’t know that.

Cut to that very bike, parked in front of a gas station with its owner strumming away on a guitar beside it. His name is Sanjay Kumar (Tariq) and he lives with his father Ram Kumar (Om Shivpuri). His father disapproves of his guitar playing and his flirting with girls. He reminds Sanjay that he is supposed to marry Kajal, the daughter of his old friend Kishorilal, a promise made when Sanjay and Kajal were children. They’ve heard nothing of Kishorilal for many years, but that’s not going to stop him!

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Of course he will! There’s nothing like Kismat in a Hindi film.

Sanjay too remembers Kajal. He still has a photograph of her and gets lost in memories. Little Kajal (Baby Rani) looks like I think Farida Jalal might have at that age.

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She is cute as a button! We flash back to her, Kishorilal and his sister living with Ram Kumar and young Sanjay because they are all so desperately poor. Kishorilal is ill with flu and thinks he might die. He makes Ram Kumar take an oath before God that Sanjay and Kajal will get married, and they have Sanjay put sindoor in Kajal’s part. Awwww. Or ewwww. Whichever.

Meanwhile in front of an adoring crowd which includes Rajesh, grown up Kajal (Kajal Kiran) has won the Miss Young India Beauty Contest. Rajesh is not displeased by the task in front of him.

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Sanjay’s father gifts him a car for his birthday, and he puts his toolbox (with the belt still in it) in the car. I love the car. You can just barely make out the Dennis the Menace decal on the door.

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So now we have three threads in the plot converging together. I am somewhat puzzled, since I had assumed Rishi would be the hero; but I’ve seen enough Hindi movies to know that the whole vermilion-in-the-part thing is a lifetime commitment, even if you were only seven years old when you made it. There have been vague references to Sunita in London, but now the plot looks to be more about Sanjay and Kajal than about Rajesh.

Ram Kumar sees a notice in the paper about Kajal’s victory. He is thrilled to recognize his old pal. Back at home, Kajal is looking at the same photo which Sanjay has in his possession.

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She tells her aunt that she doesn’t care if Sanjay isn’t rich, but that she will marry him anyway (as soon as she finds him). She’s off to Nainital with her aunt and her four bodyguards for a holiday. When Ram Kumar and Sanjay come to see Seth Kishorilal though, he insults them and throws them out. Ram Kumar does deliver a stinging speech about loyalty and friendship before he goes though (it’s awesome).

Meanwhile Rajesh and Saudagar Singh’s friend are posing as a wealthy father and son to make a business deal with Kishorilal. Kishorilal likes them and is pleased when Rajesh confesses that he’s in love with the winner of the Miss Young India beauty pageant. He tells Rajesh that she is his daughter, and suggests he go to Nainital to romance her. After he leaves, they hire a manager to go with Rajesh to Nainital—Sanjay.

Okay, so now in Nainital we have Rajesh, who plans to romance Kajal in order to get his diamonds back; Sanjay, who loves Kajal; and Kajal who loves Sanjay but doesn’t know where (or who) he is.

And who are Saudagar Singh and his friend, really? Will the diamonds be found? Who is this Sunita person in London? Do we ever get to meet her (here’s a hint)?

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And finally: who on earth is the hero of this film?????

Watch Hum Kisise Kum Naheen to find out. There’s plenty more heartfelt emotion and action waiting. And a fine qawwali—the music by RD Burman is FAB-u-lous. It also includes a Rajesh-Sanjay dance-off in front of a giant sparkling eyeball!

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Enjoy.

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20 Comments to “Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977)”

  1. I love the music from this film and have been meaning to see it for a long time.

  2. Yes, the music is definitely one of its strongest points. I’d watch it again with you, come on over!

  3. That kid is certainly adorable :)

    I have seen this movie about a million times, and would repat that # as frequently- not sure why, though it is certianly entertaining- I think its simply v addictive. The music is cool, and the fashions rock!

    I think the movie was meant as a launch vehicle for Tariq, who has done some pretty awful movies; it helped that Nasir Husain was his uncle (which makes him 1st cousin to Amir Khan!) I’d guess that’s why they roped in Rishi Kapur- to add to the movie’s billing.

  4. Ah, it all makes sense now. I’ve never seen Tariq in anything else; he looks a little bit like Sanjeev Kumar, if Sanjeev Kumar were slightly developmentally disabled.

  5. Memsaab! Yet another must see now! This looks great.
    I added a link to your blog on our blogroll, hope that’s teekay with you.

  6. P.S. I’ve seen Hussain’s “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar” and need to also see “Caravan” and this one too. Why don’t you have a list of all the movies you’ve seen? Your lists seem to only be the movies you’ve written up a review for, correct?

    • ‘Caravan’ was made by Tahir Hussain, who is Nasir Hussain’s brother and Aamir Khan’s father. Aamir remade ‘Caravan’ as ‘Mela’ (2000) but failed miserably.

  7. I can’t possibly list all the ones I’ve seen…I actually DO have a spreadsheet with all the ones I either own or have seen from Netflix etc., because I started buying the same films twice (I do that with books too). The current count is almost 800 (although I haven’t seen all the ones I own yet)…

  8. I fell in love with this movie about a year ago, when I saw it listed to be shown in a park in Brooklyn. The songs are stupendous, and I also fell in love for awhile with Tariq, in particular when he performs Kya Hua Tera Wada [what happened to your promise?], to me a really moving song that is apparently on many people’s “best of” lists.

    And Rishi in that jumpsuit made entirely of white irridescent paillettes!! and the qawaali in this movie is I think the best movie qawaali I’ve ever seen, in particular because of the terrfic virility of Rishi’s performance, the force of his gestures really powers it up.

  9. Qawwalis seem to be a Rishi forte—the one he performed in Amar Akbar Anthony is the first time I saw him and finally understood why he was a star. Before that, I always just thought “eh”…but he really lit up the screen during that.

  10. “who on earth is the hero of this film ?????

    Hahahaha, good one.

  11. Kajal with the balloons — and those big shoes. And sad love songs. Lots fun.

  12. Memsaab

    Tariq was first introduced by Nazir Hussain in Yaadon ki Baraat – he is the guy paired with Neetu Singh – singer in the club.

    Tariq became very popular with that movie. Hence he was cast again in this movie which was a super hit in the late 70s for its songs and all the things u have mentioned

  13. Like I have said before, I love reading reviews here. Invariably every review has something that makes me chuckle. This one is no exception.

    And this is what really made me ROFL :
    ” I am somewhat puzzled, since I had assumed Rishi would be the hero; but I’ve seen enough Hindi movies to know that the whole vermilion-in-the-part thing is a lifetime commitment, even if you were only seven years old when you made it.”

    You’ve really cracked it, memsaab. ;-)

    Love this movie. Saw it when it was released in 1977. Brings back lots of memories. Including the “experience” I had just to get a ticket to see the movie. For a non-Amitabh movie of that time, it was a HUGE hit in India.
    Have described a bit of my experience here.

    http://rajaswaminathan.blogspot.com/2008/01/my-experiments-with-truth-black.html

  14. hey
    can someone please tell me that in this movie, which is that english song on which kajal kiran dances at the time her entry?

  15. During the song Bachna Hai Haseena, you say that Rishi thinks about the Zeenat Aman character, when in actuality, he thinks about his sister and future brother-in-law when he sees the newlywed pair come in.

  16. RIsham
    Kajal Kiran dances to ‘Dance little lady dance’ by Tina Charles

  17. The movie was a great hit, but Kajal, as per her own admission, did not pander to Rishi’s ego and flirting and lost out on a lot of other movies with him. Sadly, despite being such a big success, neither Tariq nor Kajal Kiran could ever make it.

    Kajal later on married Rajan Sippy and settled in Dubai.

    She even acted in a mARathi movie ‘Sawwasher’ and did lot of sleaze flicks with the likes of Mithun and finally ended her career with some porn movies. So sad, isn’t it ?

  18. The film is remembered due to the music by RD Burman. Nasir Hussain gave blockbusters in 70s like Yaadon ki Baraat and this film. Almost every song was a huge hit, Kya Hua Tera Vaada, the medley, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Humko to yaara

  19. I love this movie since my childhood. I was of 8 years when I saw it first time, on television. Since then I was looking for it and find it 2 years ago. Since then I saw it more than 10 times. it has a very simple story and nothing special, but I don’t know why I like it so much. May be its music, songs, environment or combination of all.

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