Jab Se Tumhen Dekha Hai (1963)

Way back when I wrote my “ten favorite qawwalis” post, someone pointed me to the one from this film (only available on vcd at the time) which features Shammi and Shashi Kapoor plus Bhagwan, Om Prakash, Kumkum and Shyama in guest appearances. So when the movie finally appeared on a dvd with subtitles I jumped at it. Of course one should perhaps be wary when the dvd cover expends much of its available space advertising the “Star Studded Qawwali” but never mind. I cannot resist Shammi.

And I am glad I did not, because this is a really cute movie from director Kedar Kapoor. No great earth-shattering messages or anything, but a simple love story with the usual obstacles and best of all great music (Dattaram Naik). No wait—best of all, Geeta Bali. She is just adorable, sparkly, full of life. Plus feisty and hilarious: she is a natural clown. This is a better vehicle for her than many I’ve seen her in, and she is too much fun.

Shameroo has done us no favors by using a subtitler who seems to have been drinking, and making no effort to fix the murky video quality, but that is business as usual for them.

Pradeep Kumar is the hero—not the best hero material, although he has really grown on me this year; I was pleased to see Siddhu as the villain since I’ve not seen him in much and he’s very handsome in that creepily ruthless way of all the best villains. They are supported by Agha, Vijaylaxmi, Tun Tun, Sunder and Bir Sakhuja, making a very nice cast indeed.

Mohini (Geeta) lives with her father Charudutt (Bir Sakhuja) in a lovely place full of hills. On one of them she hears a man singing one day and falls in love with his voice although she has no idea who he might be. The song is lovely (“Yeh Din Din Hai Khushi”) and I spot Geeta and Shammi’s little son Aditya Raj Kapoor in it too.

He’s beginning his own acting career now too, almost 50 years later, and seems to be focusing on villainy. It’s more than time for a Kapoor Khandaan Villain! But I digress.

The man with the golden voice is Mohan (Pradeep Kumar), an unemployed guy whose best friend is Chandru (Agha). Chandru is in love with Kitty (Vijaylaxmi), but Kitty’s head and heart have been swayed by a new arrival from abroad named Sehgal (Siddhu). The Drunk Subtitler substitutes “I’Mohan” for “I’m” through the entire film, plus he inexplicably uses Chandru’s name over and over too as a verb.

Sehgal is an engineer who has just returned from abroad, with a big contract in hand to build a new road. Charudutt puts in a bid for his company to do some of the work, and Sehgal—who has gotten a look at Mohini at Charudutt’s birthday party (where she performs the awesome “Chand Tale Jhoom Jhoom”)—gives the job to him, and makes it clear that he is interested in Mohini.

Mohan—who is a childhood friend of Sehgal’s—has in the meantime also fallen hard for Mohini, and who can blame him? She really IS the life of the party!

Mohan’s brother and sister-in-law Shobha (Dulari) come to visit him, and it turns out that Shobha is a good friend of Mohini’s. When Mohini discovers that Mohan is the source of the beautiful voice and song she’d heard she falls instantly in love with him too.

He decides it’s time to get serious about earning a living, and gets a job from Sehgal.

Alongside this blossoming romance, Chandru is losing ground fast with Kitty, who thinks that Sehgal is the answer to all her problems—she needs money, and fast. She can’t even pay her poor maid Sundari (Tun Tun).

But Sehgal is romancing other women at the same time (with names like Rita of course), and has convinced Charudutt that he’d make Mohini a good husband despite her obvious coldness towards him. When Sehgal asks Mohini why she doesn’t like him, I cheer. You tell him, girl! Being leered at does not turn us on!

And hooray for Charudutt: when he tells Mohini that he wants her to marry Sehgal, he actually listens when she tells him that she doesn’t see him in the same light as he does. Men, she tells him:

Okaaaay! Charudutt is not dependent on subtitles, fortunately, so he goes to Sehgal and tells him that there will be no marriage between him and Mohini. And he sticks to it even when Sehgal sets out to ruin him financially.

But will Mohini be able to watch and do nothing as her father’s life’s work slips away? Can Mohan convince his bachpan ke dost Sehgal to change his ways? Or will Seghal turn on him too when he finds out that it is Mohan whom Mohini loves? And what about poor Kitty?

If you are in the mood for something easy and pleasant to watch, with a good cast and really wonderful songs—you might want to reach for this one. Geeta can carry a film all by herself, but it’s nice when she doesn’t have to! We even get Nazir Kashmiri as a judge! Ooh—why a judge?! I’m not telling. Just watch it yourself and enjoy!

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74 Comments to “Jab Se Tumhen Dekha Hai (1963)”

  1. Wonderful review, Greta.
    I would recommend all people to Chandru this movie ;-) – it is delightful.
    I’Mohan glad I got to see it a few days back, thanks to you. :-)

    I just loved everybody in this movie. Even Siddhu who gave me the creeps, almost like Kuljit. I think this could be a deadly combo to make anybody’s blood curdle.

    Lots of nice things about the movie. The lovely songs, the delightful qawwali, Geeta Bali at her chirpy best, the father actually listening to his daughter instead of using emotional blackmail…lots to like.

    So guys, please do Chandru this. :-)

  2. I’Mohan going ROFL at the subtitles. Everyone must Chandru this movie just for the subtitles. :D

  3. Seriously, quality control is not even part of Shameroo’s business plan!

    Raja, Siddhu and Kuljeet were part of the same gang in Apradh—where they both hit my radar because they were so superbly creepy and scary! Unfort. they were only in the first half, which was kind of a crime in itself, they were so good. Or bad. Made my skin crawl!!!!

  4. I had a good laugh at the subtitles..Do you think Shemaroo is intentionally trying to be very funny?Ha Ha

  5. I notice you have a lot of text up there but I have no idea what it is all about because I was immediately Chandru’d by those amazingly Chandru subtitles.

    @ Shameroo – And I’ll take a check for my hot chocolate-soaked keyboard, thanks very much!

  6. Wah wah, I think Shammi and co have chandrud very well.
    That’s the only part of the film I’ve seen
    I’Mohan definitely seeing the film.

    I chandru you memsaab for the review. :-)

  7. Shammi and Shashi were the reason why I bought this – and when I realised that they were not to be found in the film (outside the most awesome qawwali, ever) I quickly gave up on it. So I am glad to know what I missed since I’Mohan probably not going to Chandru this film – no interesting subltitles on my VCD!

  8. i just chandur your review!
    loved reading it!
    saw all the songs, wonder why they aren’t widely known.
    And Geeta Bali looks wonderful as usual, just loved her in her dance ” Chand Tale Jhoom Jhoom Thirak Rahi Hain”.
    looking forward tomore reviews of Geeta Bali films!

  9. He’s not drunk he’s angry. Its sabotage. Every occupation has someone like this who’ll do a Chandru. It’s one reason I’m scared of eating at restaurants.

    • I hear ya—I never send food back to the kitchen for the same reason :) But sabotaging Shameroo seems like an exercise in futility since they are so adept at sabotaging themselves!

  10. @Memsaab,
    I’Mohan thoroughly enjoyed reading this review. These subtitles just made my day. Each time I’m at your website, I try to dig deep to locate my movie of the week. This time I got Chandru’d in one glance, literally as I did not even have to scroll down :)
    Thanks so much. Keep them coming .

    • I’Mohan so glad you did :)

      • I could not help noticing that you referred to Shemaroo as ‘Shameroo’ in the third para, while talking about the subtitler. Makes me wonder if it is just oversight or rage at the quality of subtitling :)

        • Shameroo is actually their proper name, they just don’t know it.

          Like fIENDS, who like to call themselves fRIENDS. But we know!

          • One can hardly argue with that :) Maybe you should go easy on them for giving us this gem.

            On a different note, is Dattaram Naik, the music director of this movie, the same as Dattaram Wadkar who is well known for the Dattaram Theka (beat)?

          • No, my days of going easy on these people are OVER.

            I don’t know if they are the same Dattaram. Names are so very nebulous in Hindi cinema :)

        • Yes, we would be robbed of so much fun if you went easy on these folks.

          Speaking of Dattaram I have seen him variously referred to as N. Datta. Methinks N Datta must be the same as Dattaram Naik. However, one has also heard of a Dattaram (Wadkar?) who was Shankar -Jaikishan’s assistant. Maybe others here could enlighten us.

          • There has been much disinformation going on in internet because everyone relies on the same sources which themselves are poorly researched and downright wrong.

            There are two people, namely N Datta and Dattaram. N Datta (erstwhile assistant to S D Burman) gave music in around 50 plus movies as music director.
            Dattaram (assistant to Shankar Jaikishan) gave music in around 19 movies.

            sites like earthmusic.net have invented names viz Narayan Datta and Dattaram Naik, though no such music directors ever existed.

            N Datta (actual name Datta Naik, never Dattaram Naik) was from Goa. Likewise Dattaram (actual name Dattaram Wadkar) was also from Goa.

            N Datta died in 1987. Dattaram died in 2007.

            There were never any music directors called Narayan Datta and Dattaram Naik, notwithstanding what sites like earthmusic.net mention.

          • So, who is the MD of this song??? Dattaram Wadkar or Datta Naik??

            Memsaab has mentioned it as Datta Naik (in 2nd para), so she must have seen it in credits of the movie itself. However Atul ji (squarecutatul) has mentioned Dattaram as MD on his blog.

  11. This sounds like great fun. Is it coincidence that all these early 60’s movies are so fun and fem-friendly?

  12. Oh yeah, I forgot to ask. There is so much Geeta love going on here and I’m missing out!

    Can anyone recommend me GB films that best set off her “vivaciousness” and shining personality?

    Preferably comedies, but dramas are good too, as long as they’re not ridiculously melodramatic like some BW films tend to get, thanks.

    • It is great fun, and it’s my opinion that it was in the mid sixties that films started going downhill on the feminist front. Before that they were often (although not always by any means) pretty progressive.

      Try Albela (1951) with Bhagwan—very cute film. I LOVED her in Mr. India too (review is here) and Raj Khosla’s first directorial endeavour Milap too (also on here)…

  13. Since you like Geeta Bali so much you must watch “Bhanvre Nain” (1950) in which she was cast opposite with her future brother-in-law Raj Kapoor.

  14. Since you like Geeta Bali so much you must watch “Bhavre Nain” (1950) in which she was cast opposite her future brother-in-law Raj Kapoor. Music was composed by Roshan.

    From what I remember, the movie was directed by Raj’s mentor, Kidar Sharma. Raj used to be his assistant before he got his break in Neel Kamal (1947) co-starring Madhubala.

  15. I am reading this in my office, and had to control my laughter at the subtitles. Looks like someone hit Ctrl-F Replace and created a comedy.

    I am begining to like Pradip Kumar too. In a write up his acting style was described as Royal. That really made me snigger. But I saw him sneaking around in a shot in the Tequila video, and he looked almost cute there. Plus anyone who acts in Wahan Ke Log get automatic brownie points from me.

    • Yes, he actually was pretty cute in this–he was a happy-go-lucky type, which suited him more than some of the melodramas I’ve seen him in. Maybe that’s what makes him so great in those B movies I love–Wahan Ke Log, Sinbad Alibaba Aur Aladin, etc. :)

  16. I’m glad I understand Hindi and don’t need to depend on subtitles! If I were in your place, I’d have gotten totally distracted by the Drunk Subtitler’s work and wouldn’t have known much of what was happening in the film! But, seriously: what could lie behind the I’Mohan and Chandru business? A badly managed case of Find and Replace?

  17. Shammi in just a qawwali…hmmmm… I think I can just see it for that :)

  18. So, do you think Geeta was actually present when Shammi and Shashi shot for the qawwali? I noticed that they always cut to shots of her in the audience and she cycled through the same set of expressions. It makes sense for them to have filmed the audience separately from the qawwali, but it would have made the song so much better if they had figured out a way to incorporate Geeta in it.

    • I wondered about that too…and agree, wish she’d been more present “in” the qawwali, like she was in Mujrim doing a dance in front of Shammi (meaning, they were in the same frame from time to time….) :)

  19. The qawwali is just awesome. I have gone through this qawwali some twenty times or so, and I am more and more amazed at the lyrics of Shailendra.This has to be one of the best qawwaalis ever in a Hindi movie. And I was not aware of this qawwali till now.

  20. I’Mohan LMAO at both this post and all the comments. I can’t wait to Chandru this movie. Looks like this Drunk Subtitler liked using C for see & Chandru and M for Mohan, and then just ran a quick find and replace without realizing the consequences!

    • I didn’t really get what Kitty’s big booty was all about either, it didn’t seem to be what I would normally accept it as. I am sure Vijaylaxmi would not be thrilled with the Drunk Subtitler’s work there either.

  21. Cheers for that lovely review, memsaab!
    This post was doubly enlightening – first for making me want to see this film and secondly because I now know where all the out-of-work subtitlers went to after Hong Kong reverted back to China! After a long day of work and worries (not to mention shoebite) I like nothing more than to settle back and read your blog. Carry on!

  22. I’ve finally cracked the code of why there were times when almost everyone was amused by some word, and I was left wondering (perhaps there were others as well).
    I blamed this on my being ill informed in many things, and moved on.

    I couldn’t understand the ‘BOOTY’ amusement, till raja translated another version of it as;
    >“Kitty, you’ve snared a prize catch”.

    …and I thought, isn’t ‘booty’ another word for prize catch/treasure?…so why is raja’s version the right one, and the other not? Then enlightenment dawned.

    The confusion is between AMERICAN and BRITISH English, which has been causing quite a confusion among English speaking people everywhere.
    Those of us who grew up learning British English in school and reading adventure stories of pirates with sunken treasure (booty) will know that the word means *treasure* used by sailors and pirates, and gradually by people too.

    In American English the word is a slang for buttocks (I found out online).

    I confess *blushingly* that there have been other instances where I couldn’t understand the joke about certain subtitles and wondered.
    Of course by and large the subtitles are ridiculously funny no doubt.
    If it hadn’t been for raja’s translation I would have remained in the dark, so thanks a lot raja :-)

    Here’s a link discussing a ‘booty’ found.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn8054-robot-claims-treasure-island-booty.html

    • Well, the fault lies with me probably at not being “truly global” (as they like to say at work) :D Booty means treasure in American English too, but as with many words has also come to have a completely different meaning—especially in context with “big”…

      If you don’t ever understand the joke and want to, just ask!!! :) After all, I am constantly asking questions here myself!

  23. oh, so that is the joke. Even I was wondering what the laughing was all about.

  24. Urdu language was extensively used in the “hindi” film industry till the end of 90’s.I get blown away by the lyrics of many qawwalis when I hear them.

    I had one trivia q. did Shammi Kapoor ever work with Dilip Kumar in 50s/60s?
    Just imagine them in one movie at that time with their contrasting styles of …. or is it moods of acting…

    now read this….
    I came across this movie with some rare things happening maybe for the 1st time- tis is in the 80’s btw.
    Shammi and Dilip together in 1 movie,
    Amrish and Madan Puri in one movie and guess what Amrish is the main villain , Madan is his sidekick.- these are the main actors.

    Kishore Kumar sings for ………. Shammi Kapoor – when did that happen before this movie? and …. this song created a big controversy (history repeated itself a decade later with same director ,lyricist and one of the main actors whose name I have not mentioned here ) I didnt figure this controversy thing out until I heard the song. But Shammi singing a song and controversy???? he was very good though.
    then there the great Sanjeev Kumar in the movie.
    Name of the film ? well that movie was apparently a big hit.So may be someone can guess it?
    I somehow always missed this film and it really surprised me with the aforementioned things.
    I wonder how many people knew these facts.

  25. memsaab, this review was awesome. I was laughing incessantly as I read the “chandru” subtitles. :-)

    I was reading an older post of yours – of “Mere Huzoor”. Reading what you liked about the movie, I have a recommendation for you: “Nikaah” starring Salma Agha, Raj Babbar and Deepak Parashar. Enjoy!

  26. I’Mohan Chandru’d. This is fab. Chandru is a good verb to have around, don’t you think?

    Anyway, really, really want to see this film now. Haven’t seen enough Geeta Bali.

  27. BTW…this was the last film of Geeta Bali to be released

  28. I can readily imagine a version of the Hungarian Phrasebook sketch involving Shemaroo subtitles in a Shammi film :)

    The dance — posted earlier — was just too much! Geeta Bali rocks!

  29. The music of this movie is by Dattaram Wadekar, popularly known as Dattaram. There has not been a music director called Dattaram Naik. So I think that the music director should just be called Dattaram in the writeup (and not Dattaramr Naik) as is mentioned in the second para of the review.

    • There was a music director called N Dutta (sometimes called as N Datta or Dattaram Naik) who was an assistant to Shankar Jaikishan. I am not sure about this movie but N Datta has scored the music for a large number of movies in the 1950s and 60s which include several films produced by BR Chopra. This is his wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datta_Naik.

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