Mere Hamdam Mere Dost (1968)

mhmd_basking

After the trauma of little Master Bunty’s plight in Aakhri Khat, I needed to bask in the manly warmth of Dharmendra’s strong arms and glorious Greek god looks. And Dharmendra is pretty much the only thing that got me through this nonsensical film (well, him and Sharmila’s and Mumtaz’s outfits). What a criminally stupid waste of a good cast. The story, such as it is, isn’t helped by incredibly choppy editing, which can probably be blamed on KMI since Hrishikesh Mukherjee edited the original film and I can’t imagine that he would have done such a hack job of it. Additionally, each character is totally infantile, lacking any kind of self-awareness or empathy for others; not to mention that none of them seem to have been taught that honesty is the best policy. Plus, they are all as dumb as rocks, seriously. It is pitifully easy for them to keep pulling the wool over each other’s eyes. By the end I felt like I had just spent two and half hours in a nursery school housed inside a mental institution.

Ajit (Rehman) is the villain pulling the strings, although how or why we never come to know. All I understand is that his machinations at the beginning of the film cause a man named Vishwanath to be arrested for the murder of another man named Hariram. Vishwanath doesn’t appear to mind being incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit (?!) and he asks Ajit to please take good care of his vast business empire and his little daughter Anita. Hariram’s demise, meanwhile, is apparently enough reason for his young son Sunil to grow up hating all rich people.

Thus, fifteen or so years on, when Anita and Sunil meet and fall in love, they are on shaky ground from the get-go. And although Anita (Sharmila Tagore) has grown up into a beautiful young women, and Sunil (Dharmendra) into a beautiful young man, Ajit hasn’t aged AT ALL. Not one iota. Frolicking with the devil does pay some dividends, apparently! Lucky for him too, I guess, since he now has designs to marry the girl he has brought up (ewwww) for her money.

In any case, Sunil first lays eyes on lovely Anita posing for his friend Bharti, an artist (can anyone tell me who the actor playing Bharti is?).

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He assumes that Bharti’s model is poverty-stricken, and slips her five rupees behind his friend’s back. Anita is charmed by this gesture; she is accustomed to men throwing themselves at her feet for the sake of her fortune.

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Anita lives with guardian Ajit and her friend Meena (Mumtaz), who is the only person in the film with any brains at all. After Sunil gifts her a sari through Bharti, Anita begins to pursue him, pretending to be as poor as he thinks she is (although she’s not very good at it).

mhmd_necklace

Fortunately for her, Sunil is no brighter than she is. She introduces Meena to him as her landlady and pretends that she lives in her own garage. She continues to pursue him with a Shammi-like fervor, even when one day Sunil confesses to her:

mhmd_moneyed

Their romance is facile and coy and *almost* as deep as these two roses bobbing at each other symbolically.

mhmd_romance

They never actually seem to talk to each other (she doesn’t even ask him why he hates the moneyed!). It comes as no real surprise that when Sunil finally discovers that Anita is actually very wealthy, he’s angry.

mhmd_game

It’s a measure of how clueless all these people are when even Meena—the smart one, remember—doesn’t really get the problem.

mhmd_mumtaz

Uhhh…no. He’s mad because she lied to him. How do Anita and pals decide to fix things? They lie some more, and lure him to a party under false pretenses, and then shanghai him into getting engaged in front of a huge crowd of friends and family! How can that possibly go wrong?

Well for one thing, a scheming Ajit recognizes Sunil’s mother (Achala Sachdev) as the wife of the man he had killed all those years ago (giving him all that dispensation on the aging front):

mhmd_rehman

For another, Sunil is even angrier:

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He sulks through Meena’s musical pleadings for him to forgive and forget—a very wonderful qawwali-type song, “Allah Yeh Ada.” The lyrics are hilarious, all about the stubborn traits of good-looking people. Love. In fact this middle part of the movie is the only part I truly enjoyed, and it was only for two songs and Dharmendra’s formidable talent for comedy.

Sunil decides to take some revenge: he shows up for Anita’s next party carrying a black and white cat (which Sharmila drops on the floor) and dressed in a loud brocade jacket, hijacking the proceedings with his rude behavior and bad table manners. This traumatizes Anita and a battalion of bored and disapproving gora extras, but makes me giggle helplessly.

mhmd_dinnerparty

His next trick is to bring a band of drunken louts over to Anita’s house, introducing them as his closest friends and leading them in a fabulous fake-pretend (at least on his part) drunk song, “Chhalkaaye Jaam.”

mhmd_sharaab

Anita, dim-witted as she is, doesn’t understand what has happened to her shareef Sunil. Meena explains:

mhmd_payback

mhmd_askhim

Thank you, Meena! My point exactly! Anita makes yet another poor decision: to make Sunil jealous by flirting with her childhood friend Ramesh—who, as she well knows, is also Sunil’s sister’s fiance. Oh Anita. Now mad at Ramesh AND Anita, Sunil takes himself, his mother and his betrayed sister (and some little unidentified boy who lives with them—no idea who he is) off to live in Bombay.

Anita follows him, still trying to get others—Meena and Om Prakash’s ridiculous character Dhand—to get him back for her. But eventually she gets it right with a pretty song (“Tum Jao Kahin”), and Sunil forgives her. It’s actually quite sweet, and I forgive them *a little bit* too.

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But I am exhausted by now, and Ajit hasn’t even begun his efforts to separate them yet. As it turns out, all those events from years before don’t make any more sense than all the events we’ve just been through. Apparently our present-day protagonists come by their stupidity honestly: none of their parents have any smarts either.

Do look up Laxmikant Pyarelal’s songs on YouTube, though, they are nice. And I did get some good Garam Dharam basking in.

Minor Spoiler (in case you still think you can sit through this): There is one bright spot in the story. When Sunil is told that Anita’s mother is a prostitute (I know), he doesn’t care! He still loves her and wants to marry her! Yay Sunil. But it’s a different thing altogether when he discovers that Anita’s father is his own father’s murderer. We are treated to some Dharmendra Nahiiiin! Face:

mhmd_nahiiin

Not a good look for anybody, really, is it? End Minor Spoiler.

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69 Comments to “Mere Hamdam Mere Dost (1968)”

  1. Oh oh oh … first comment!!!! Love love love the songs. Hate the film! Great review – Sharmila looks gorgeous in this movie!

    • One of the dumbest movies I’ve ever seen! So unbelievably stupid! But yes, good songs and lovely Sharmila, lovely Mumtaz and delicious delicious Dharam. Not worth it really though :) I got very exasperated with them all.

  2. After an afternoon spent oogling Rajesh Khanna, I realized that Dharam had the looks and Rajesh Khanna had the charm. That really is kaka’s secret.

    • You and Suhan should stalk him together!!! LOL. I think Dharmendra has charm in spades as well as looks. He’s very different from Rajesh though (who is also good-looking and charming); he is macho where Rajesh is more intellectual I think. If I want someone to sweep me off my feet, I’ll pick Dharam; if I want to have an interesting dinner conversation I’ll pick Rajesh.

      If I want both of those things, I’ll pick SHAMMI! :-)

      Hm. It’s possible that I have spent way too much time thinking about this.

  3. Sorry didn’t want to post off-topic. But somehow I felt a comparison was in order.

  4. The movie was fun, if you overlook all these silly details. The songs were really marvellous. Naja kahin ab na ja. Chalkaye jam was really fab. And then there was hui sham unka khayal aa gaya. Mumu looked lovely too. I love that qawwali, Allah ye ada.

    • I can overlook plot holes or even a very dull plot with this kind of eye candy. But when the characters are so in-your-face dumb and/or obnoxious, it gets to me.

      Songs are lovely though. And Mumtaz’s character was by far the most bearable! :)

  5. I’ve been trying to remember the “Chalkaaye Jaam” song since I saw your best drunken song posts – I loved this song (or maybe it was its repeated playing on an ancient songs program on TV called Chitrahaar) – I absolutely think it belongs on the best drunk songs…

    • Someone (raja I think) linked to “Chalkaaye Jaam” in a comment on that post, which was what galvanized me into looking for this film! It might have made it to the list had I seen it before I wrote that post, definitely would be in the top 20 anyway!

  6. Pretty much the same reasons why I watch the film everytime I catch it on TV. And perhaps the reason they run it so much too. Gorgeous Dharam, Sharmila and Mumtaz. I don’t even care what the plot line is, or isn’t. :)

    • Yes, eye candy all the way – everybody looks so beautiful! And I like the songs a lot. Frankly, this is one of those films where one should switch off one’s brains and just sit back and enjoy the spectacle – very pretty but so irritating if you start analysing it.

    • See my comment to Ava above :) I don’t mind plot stupidity, but when I can’t find anything to like in any of the characters it’s harder for me to overlook. I’ll watch them looking pretty elsewhere!

  7. They all looked gorgeous and the songs were absolutely great. That was enough for me! I really dont remember the story, I know Omprakash was funny and Rehman was good, Mumtaz is a darling always, Sharmila was all ‘nakhras’.

    And did you notice, Dharmendra wears the same kurta t-shirt in the song ‘Na ja ab kahin na ja” from this movie and ‘Suno Sajna Papihe Ne’ from the movie ‘Aaye din Bahar Ke’?!

    • I didn’t understand Om Prakash and the CSP in this at all. It seemed to me that he was supposed to be some sort of stereotype or something, but it went over my head (not that I minded, it didn’t seem that important). Rehman is always fun to see, I agree! He just wasn’t in it that much (the entire middle kind of went by with him just lurking on the fringes).

      I LOVE that kurta! Was thinking all the while I watched the song that I wanted to just rip it off and wear it myself, all warm from his body :) (too much information?)…did not recognize it from Aaye Din Bahar Ke though! Good eye!

  8. haha.. I understand that feeling – where you just want to reach in through the screen and slap some sense into the stupids on screen.

    Man that Dharamendra was something else!! Even his nahiiiin face is awesome. Ekdum garam ;)
    Could never tolerate the simpering Sharmila especially with that ridiculous head gear. Once she got rid of it and her nakhras she was lovely – mid and late 70s
    And of course, Mumtaz – very young here and cute as a button.

    • Dharmendra can do very little wrong. It’s true.

      Sharmila has not ever been one of my favorites. I think she’s stunning, and a good actress when required to be, but there’s nothing about her that makes me WANT to see her, unlike Mumtaz or Asha P. I guess it’s just one of those chemistry things :) Different strokes, etc.

      • Different strokes indeed!! ;)

        An on that note I have to part ways with you on your selection of Asha P as your fav heroine.
        It is a sad day when one’s fav blogger declares that she likes Asha Parekh and not just that; thinks that shes the top of the tops ;)
        I pulled the mother of all nahinn faces when i read that and I am sure the neighbours must have heard it too. Sadly no one came to console me ;)

        • LOL! Wish I had a screen shot of your Nahiiin! Face then! I love Asha P. and will never retract it! Kabhi Nahin! Who is YOUR favorite actress? :-)

          • Would be a toss up between Waheeda Rehman and Nutan. And Meena Kumari is a big favourite too. Next gen is Hema Malini ;)

      • Gotta agree with you Srinivas, I don’t really like Asha Parekh. I don’t she looks good in a lot of the 60’s styles and also for reasons unknown… *shrug*

        Anyway, I love Nutan, Meena Kumari (sometimes), and Hema (for “Seeta Aur Geeta” alone).

        Used to be a huge fan of Waheeda till I saw a lot of her late 60’s movies after “Teesri Kasam.” I cannot see her in the same way anymore in her good movies! =(

        • I’ll leave you guys to your hating on Asha. She is MY BAHEN and I will stick by her through everything! :) I LOVE HER (Nutan and Meena were too weepy for me in so many roles, although they did come through on occasion!)…

  9. Nice review, Greta.
    I remember watching this many years ago.
    The thing that I remember most is a lot of “negative emotion” through most of the movie.
    Somebody is either lying (Sharmila) or somebody is angry (Dharam).
    In any case, just negative.
    I did not like the lying – though I understand that was pretty much the basis of the movie.
    Also, as a result, I did not like the forced romantic scenes – like a volcano waiting to explode.
    Sharmila’s character comes across as so thick and insensitive in this movie, it is unbelievable.

    In general I am a fan of Dharam, esp in movies before he got his “truckdriver” image.
    I think he was a far better actor than he got credit for.
    Personally I would prefer to see a Dharam movie of the 1960s before an Amitabh movie.
    For him alone – and for the songs, I would watch MHMD – certainly not for Sharmila or for the story.

    • Yes, you have exactly said why I didn’t like it—the characters were almost universally people I would AVOID having in my own life. I have no patience for people who inflict themselves AND others with pain through their sheer stupidity and/or self-involvement. Who needs all that negativity and trauma-drama-o-rama, really? I guess some people might, but I don’t want to hang out with them.

      There was lots of pretty, not enough to make it worth sitting through again though. A disappointing waste of lots of talent.

  10. I wonder in how many films has Dharmendra made that Nahiiiin Face. And is it a coincidence that Hema used to say Nahi in a most peculiar style.

    • haha..schooled by Dharamendra you say? possible ;)

      There is one thing about Hema Malini tho’. Even now, off screen she speaks Hindi and English with a very strong Tamil accent. Which manages to spoil the entire effect combined with the rather rough texture of her voice. But in the movies, she spoke her dialogues pretty well – without a trace of any accent – barring these nahins ;). Dont you think so?
      It does point to a lot of discipline in the dubbing room IMO

      • “off screen she speaks Hindi and English with a very strong Tamil accent… in the movies, she spoke her dialogues pretty well – without a trace of any accent ”

        I’ve been wondering about that. That *is* her voice in the movies. In Kudrat, for instance, when she is hypnotised, a trace of the rough Tamil accented voice comes back.
        I’m extremely green about Bollywood–Hollywood too for that matter. Is most of the diaglogue recorded in the dubbing room? Looks like Hema had to practice real hard since her real accent is so different.

        • Yes..to the best of my knowledge, all Bollywood movie dialogues are recorded in the dubbing room. Its only in recent times that they have started recording the dialogues on the set – sync sound is what they call it I believe.

          Looks like Hema did her work in the dubbing room pretty well.

    • I have never noticed that Hema’s Nahiiiin! style is different…but although I *might* be able to tell if she started speaking Tamil itself, her accent is lost on me (trust me, mine is worse!) :) But I have heard from quite a few people that she spoke better Hindi in films than she does/did in interviews etc.

      • I don’t know if it is a Tamil Nahiiiin or not but it is certainly there. A Nasal Nahiin. At times her real accent does tend to come out strong in some scenes, but being from a non-Hindi belt, it never really bothered me. To me it was just another form of Hindi.

      • O yes..her nahinnn is one of her trademarks actually..never loud..kinda weepy..some voice modulation involved. That is invariably one of the points when someone is doing an imitation of her acting.

        Her off screen accent has to be heard to be believed. You will appreciate the work she puts into her dubbing ;)

        Shes hardly the one with the honey laced vocals but the effect is quite jarring when she speaks – that beauty and that voice. ;)

  11. This seems like the right kind of script to suit the acting abilities of Dharmendra. I suppose the only standing pillar here is Rehman, but obviously gone wasted.

  12. Agree with you memsaab; some films are so stupid that even this switching off ones brains/beliefs/etc. just doesn’t work.

  13. ‘For another, Sunil is even angrier”

    Dharam is even more garam when he gets err garam. Oh wow, and there is a whole song for him to do just that–get garam. I think the director knew what he was doing.

    • As I said, I did plenty of basking in his Garam-ness! Felt very warm and cozy indeed sometimes. Should perhaps have left the subtitles off, except it probably wouldn’t have helped :)

  14. For me watching Mumtaz in these second fiddle roles is an interesting experience – like reading a book after you’ve read the last page[something I frequently do :-)]. I don’t spend the movie tearing my hair out wondering why she isn’t the heroine of the movie…I know vindication is coming.

    Oh, about the movie? Didn’t like it at all. :-)

    • You are clearly a woman of discernment and taste. I often read the last page before I start a book too, LOL. I hate an unhappy ending, although I do it with biographies too which makes no sense when it’s the bio of someone like Marie Antoinette. Can’t help myself though.

      And Mumu is NEVER second fiddle, even when she’s supposed to be :) Am watching Rustom Sohrab now. LOVE.

  15. Oh did you have to post that GORGEOUS screencap of garma garam Dharam’s at the very top? *sigh* An inordinate number of films from that era had unbelievably stupid characters tho. (Mumu especially has done a lot of romantic movies where the level of miscommunication really is amazing) It’s really quite exhuasting watching grownup juveniles :-p albeit utterly delicious looking ones :)

    • Yes, yes I did have to put that at the top. He’s the reason I sat through this horrible film after all. I just wanted to shake them all until their little pea-sized brains fell out through their noses (“I’ll give you a reason to be so stupid!”) :) Except Dharmendra, he just really can do no wrong. Or very little wrong.

  16. Sob! Sob! And I invested in a brand new DVD of this!!!

    I saw this years ago and have only good memories of it – especially the scene where Dharam-Sharmila meet which is lifted out of Oscar Wilde’s The Model Millionaire. Sigh! Wish I could have seen your review a few weeks earlier. Or maybe not – for Dharam and Sharmila (I think I love her as much as you love Asha P) I might still have risked it. O well, there is nothing for me to do but to bite the bullet and watch the darned film…

  17. Hema was asked which dialogue she had mouthed the most. She replied, “Nahin!”. :)

    Appros of nothing:

    http://passionforcinema.com/disco-dancer-prabhu-leela-ki-jai-ho/

    http://passionforcinema.com/blast-from-the-past-meeting-usha-khanna/

  18. Greta, on the song “phir tumhaari yaad”, I have just tried to come up with a translation.
    I know it is a rather poor effort and I do think a lot gets lost in the translation, but anyway for whatever it is worth, here is a try.
    I am sure others here will be able to improve on this.

    Once again I am thinking of you, my beloved
    Once again I am thinking of you, my beloved
    I will never forget you, I swear by God
    I will never forget you, I swear by God

    How can I describe to my beloved the (sorry) state of my heart
    I am not able to get my hand away from my heart
    How do I describe to her my sorrow, my beloved
    How do I describe to her my sorrow, my beloved
    I will never forget you, I swear by God
    I will never forget you, I swear by God

    You are in my heart, you are in my eyes
    You are in my dreams, you are in my sighs
    Though separated we will never be apart, my beloved
    Though separated we will never be apart, my beloved
    I will never forget you, I swear by God
    I will never forget you, I swear by God

    From the moment I saw her face, I have forgotten how to light a lamp/candle
    What to say of her red face/complexion, it makes me forget the tales of flowers
    All I can say is that when our eyes met I lost all consciousness
    You could not break yourself away, I forgot to regain consciousness
    How endearing are these trials of love, my beloved
    How endearing are these trials of love, my beloved
    I will never forget you, I swear by God
    I will never forget you, I swear by God

    What enjoyment I did feel then
    What enjoyment I did feel then
    At the teasing of my beloved
    While her eyes were on me, her pardah (veil) hid her from me
    What a beautiful picture that was, I swear, my beloved
    What a beautiful picture that was, I swear, my beloved
    I will never forget you, I swear by God
    I will never forget you, I swear by God

    • Oh you are way ahead of me, my friend!!! Thank you so much. I have always loved the song, but had never seen it pictured until I watched the film this weekend. Even without the translation it made me cry—Mumtaz is so lovely, and Premnath looks so sad thinking of her, and the whole situation is so so terrible. This is wonderful, thanks :)

  19. You are welcome. :-)
    Actually I should be thanking Atul – I picked up the Hindi lyrics from his site and just tried to translate this into English.
    http://atulsongaday.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/phir-tumhaari-yaad-aayi-ai-sanam/

  20. [QUOTE] You and Suhan should stalk him together!!! LOL. I think Dharmendra has charm in spades as well as looks. [END QUOTE]

    Is this your subtle way of RENEGING on this Rajesh stalking agreement that you and I had? I’m sure Shammi won’t mind :-)

    As for Dharam. How I love the Dharam of “Blackmail” (great review of yours by the way), and “Anupama” and “Satyakam” and “Chupke Chupke”. Dharam through the mid 70s was something else altogether. And he and Sharmila and Mumtaz are enough eye candy to gladden my shallow little soul so will catch MHMD soon.

    • NOOOOOO!!! Just thought that you might need a backup. But I’ll be there, outside Aashirwad right along side both of you :-)

      MHMD is a BAD movie. You have been warned.

  21. I think the song “chalo sajna jahan tak ghata chaley, laga kar mujhey galey” is from this movie. Am I right memsaab? I remember sharmila in a green saree and a handsome Dharam I saw this movie ages ago and remember enjoying it for the songs, Dharam and his comedy scenes plus mumtaaz. I guess most of us are attuned to blocking out idiocy.

    I p

  22. Nice review memsaab. But why have you singled out this movie for it’s portrayal of the stupid. This is standard Bollywood fare, actually, better than standard with three very good looking players center stage and some nice songs.
    Besides if I were to strike this movie and others like it from my to-watch list, I’ll run out of Dharmendra movies very soon. i have even endured Chandan ka Palna where Dharam plays zombie and Meena is unsightly.
    Also in this movie we are treated to Sharmila-lite and I haven’t seen her in this incarnation. It rather suits her since she is not otherwise a good actress.

    • I have not singled this film out alone for its stupidity. I’ve singled out plenty of stupid films! :) I don’t agree that this is better than “standard” fare, either, I think it’s worse. But it has plenty of company, that is true!

  23. I agree with you Memsaab. Bad movie despite having a couple of classic songs (Chalo Sajna, Chalkaye Jaam). Why can’t they just communicate!

  24. Ah, I am watching this right now, and just had to see if you had posted on it. I’ve noticed too
    the VERY choppy editing and the ageless Ajit (made me say “wow”) and how gorgeous everyone looks and how equally simple they act. And the random little boy…

    I really really like Dharmendra in that black kurta with the white or silver trim. So attractive!! Off to watch a bit more…

  25. Omg thismovie was so incredibly stupid but so Hilarious to watch. My friend and I watched this with a lot of wine on stand by and we basically just made fun of it the whole time.

    You hit it spot on, the characters were really petulant and infantile. I hated Om Prakash’s character–so annoying! Dharmendra’s character isn’t very bright at all he ate up the lies that were thrown his way. And Sharmila and Mumtaz’s characters came up with the most idiotic plans ever. (Your fiance’s being an jack ass by trying to embarrass you in front of your fancy friends? No problem! Get back at him by pretend flirting with your friend who also just happens to be his sister’s fiancee! Who cares if you risk ruining an innocent bystander’s relationship!)

    By the time the final scene rolled around I didn’t even know what was going on –Ajit is trying to kill the witness but it’s actually a sting operation and every Character is there and WHAT MOMMA’S GOT A GUN! I’m Just happy I had I had my trusty pilot not at my side lol.

    But my favourite parts by far were the murder in the train. There JUST happened to be another train going by at the EXACT moment Rheman decides to commit the murder. The witness’s reaction when she sees the murderer LOL. And when Anita manages to track down Sunil in Bombay and the first words out of her mouth were “Sunil mein bilkul nirdosh hoon!” it really takes a special kind of idiot to have that logic when she’s the one who caused all of this in the first place.

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