Do Anjaane (1976)

Man insists on marrying Woman, although Woman says plainly and clearly that she doesn’t want to get married, to him or anyone else: she wants to dance and see the world. Then he is shocked—shocked!—when she is unhappy and feels trapped.

Man brings home snazzy America-returned Best Friend and encourages Woman to befriend him too.

Man is shocked—shocked!—when Woman likes Best Friend, who supports her hopes and dreams by staging a show for her.

Woman’s resounding success makes Man insecure and unhappy. Best Friend sees lakhs of rupees in her future (and his, too, if he plays his cards right!).

He encourages Man to drink and neglect Woman (and by now, Child). He encourages Woman’s narcissistic tendencies. Neighbors gossip.

Man realizes Best Friend’s true color(s).

Best Friend pushes Man out of train. Best Friend (and Woman, who had nothing to do with it) think Man is dead, but Man only has amnesia for six years. Man recovers his memory and avenges himself on Best Friend, who is now Woman’s manager.

Man is shocked—shocked!—that Woman herself has achieved fame and fortune as a movie star.

He is angry that Woman has put Child *gasp* into an expensive boarding school in beautiful Darjeeling.

Woman is suitably chastised. She watches Man and Child board a plane. She watches as the plane’s doors are shut, watches as the plane taxies and takes off.

Woman is sad.

But wait! Man and Child magically reappear back inside the airport!

Man’s amnesia-years adoptive Ma has intervened. Lucky, lucky Woman is forgiven and taken home.

Memsaab says: (Career-minded Woman + Angry Young Man + Greedy Gaudy Best Friend) x Stiflingly Conservative Mindset = AVOID YAAR.

Except for this song:

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98 Comments to “Do Anjaane (1976)”

  1. lol It’s a good thing I haven’t seen this film recently, ‘coz I seem to remember it as something else, entirely. My vague memories include Rekha being a career-minded woman (in 70s Bollywood!) who actually shoves her pati out of the train so she can have a career in peace. :D And I do not remember her being forgiven, either. I’d much rather remember it like that – so will never re-watch.

    • That would indeed have been a much better movie. Instead, Rekha was portrayed as selfish, shallow and bad—well, what else can a woman who wants her own career and life be?

      The whole point of the film seemed to be: you!..women!..stay at home and be pregnant!!!! and be happy with it! It’s what you are for! Which I know was basically the attitude at the time, but it doesn’t make it any easier to stomach.

  2. Good lord. I’ve seen this and completely blocked all of it out except that Mithun was in it. Apparently the amnesia is contagious.

    VOM, as I have become fond of saying. The only thing that would make it worse is Shashi going around spewing on and on about izzat – in fact, this sounds a lot like Abhinetri plus some soap opera elements for good measure, doesn’t it?

    • VOM? What is VOM? Vomit? :D Cause if so yes. It just made me so mad that Rekha made her position clear to everyone, was ignored and pressured into marriage anyway—and then nobody could understand what her problem was! HELLOOOOO!!!! I didn’t much like anybody in this, which is never a good sign…

      • I have had this DVD for a looooong time! Somehow I am never inclined to see it. Perhaps my sixth sense warning me?
        Poor memsaab, u have tons of my sympathy for sitting
        thru quite a few crappy Indian movies. Lets hope you find
        something really interesting and enjoyable soon!

        Somehow I have never liked Rekha except in a few movies like
        Aap ki Khatir (good comedy with Vinod khanna and good songs), Umrao Jaan (1981), Khubsoorat, Ghar and Kalyug.

  3. That is SUCH an apt review of this film- brilliant! I could never understand WHAT Rekha’s character had done that was quite so bad :S For all her (supposed) feminism, she has done some remarkably regressive stuff- but i guess we all need to earn and fee ourselves …:D

    • She was a bit self-centered, but why not? She SAID she didn’t want to get married, that she wanted to be a famous dancer and make lots of money. I didn’t much like her character, but I also didn’t blame her for being the way she was…I might have reacted in the same way had I been forced into a life I didn’t want to lead.

  4. Having subjected to this kind of c**p, my mother insists the other way around. There must be something wrong if a woman wants to spend time with her child. *sigh*.

    • Well, there are lots of children I wouldn’t want to spend two minutes with (although hopefully I would bring mine up in a way that I would!) :) People of my/our mother’s generation were also forced into living lives they didn’t necessarily want or wouldn’t have chosen for themselves. My own mother didn’t really want to have kids, I think, although she was a good mom to us. But I think that is a big reason why I have chosen not to marry or have kids, and just live my life the way I please. And I’m happy that I could do so.

      I think we have to give them a break sometimes for that…

      • I agree with you, memsaab. My mother had limited choices on what she can do, and was in Rekha’s situation in a way. She fought to be a non-conformist, the best she can.

        But I think there comes a time when we realize their world is not our world. We have more choices and more slack for our mistakes er…help with our responsibilities. It is not a personal affront on their struggle if we make choices that make us happy. Isn’t it?

        I love her dearly, but can’t agree to have same priorities. Sorry to have brought in personal troubles here. :)

  5. So all of us who went to boarding school and had a very merry time of it, thank you, had ‘bad’ parents, hmm? Must remember to guilt-trip dad about it. Beth’s VOM it truly is.

    Interestingly they shot the film while school was still in session as opposed to the holidays. And apparently AB was a good sport with the boys, chatting with them, etc. He does look rather delicious here, no? Sorry to see that the director of one of my favoritest Kaka films, Dulal Guha of ‘Dushman’ did this. Doesn’t sound like his cup of tea really.

    Would’ve loved to see a screenshot or two of beautiful Darj and St. Paul’s, the school :-) Incidentally, Shahrukh’s ‘Om Shanti Om’ was shot there too.

  6. This is apparently the first movie where Amitabh and Rekha starred opposite each other. They did appear in ‘Namak Haraam’ (1973) earlier, but not as a lead pair.

    Find it hard to believe that they acted together for only five years their last movie together being ‘Silsila’ (1981).

    • It may have been only five years, but they made a LOT of films it seems like :) I haven’t seen a huge number of them though…

    • Yes, they did work in several movies in this span. ‘Ram Balram’ (1980), ‘Mr. Natwarlal’ (1979), ‘Imaan Dharam’ (1977), to name a few. Rekha has acted in several more movies with Jeetendra, but somehow they were not in the same league as that of Dharam-Hema or Amitabh-Rekha.

  7. I didn’t know Rekha knew how to dance.

    • I don’t know anything about dance other than what I enjoy watching, but I’ve always thought she was a good dancer…

    • @Hema – You should watch ‘Khoobsoorat’ (1980). Rekha has a fab dance number in it.

      AND

      Ashok Kumar himself does some of the playback singing.

      AND

      The music is composed by the immortal R. D. Burman.

      AND

      The song is based on a classical raaga.

      AND….

      well, I’ll leave you with that :-)

  8. Hey i remember this movie for Utpal Dutts Tajuruba/dilruba stuff. I found it amusing. Generally bollywood looks at career woman in disdain – its evolved from gross to subtle. How can a woman want anything other than domestic bliss ? :)

    And yes, no boarding schools- :)

    incidentally, memsaab, have you checked out mahesh manjrekar’s astitva + aruna raje movies – rihaae + gehrayee ?

    • I have seen Rihaae and loved it….don’t know that I’ve seen Astitva or Gehrayee though. Will look for them if they are like Rihaae though!

      • Gehrayee is a bhooth story – para normal, but gripping though. Astitiva ofcourse is one of a kind bollywood movie – hardhitting. Loud and melodramatic, but definitely a great watch. I think you will love it. I do not want to classify it as “feminist” etc, but it presents a womans perspective more effectively, than any other movie I have seen except perhaps Mirch Masala, which also is a great watch.

  9. concise, precise review, hated it when I saw it years back on DD. Good to see that my views haven’t changed for a change!
    Wonder if ma was able to hammer in sense in man’s brain as well!

  10. Short and crisp.

    This was one of DDs favourite movies, and as a result I must have seen it atleast 3-4 times, and hated it. Nothing made sense in this movie.

    And now I want to see it again just to catch Mithun Da in that scene. Must be his earliest appearance in a hindi movie.

  11. For this film.. i expected this review from you!! The film is actually is very indicative of the mindset of Indian people at that point of time. I can say that even at this point of time, many people still think that women who r into dancing/ acting and such showbiz kind of things are bad in character… esp here the hero was shown as a middle class man. Also u wud find references whr ppl think that eating out frequently is socially not acceptable……;)

    I also liked seeing the very young Mithun in the movie…. and Amitabh looked quite handsome. It was believed I hear, that Amitabh-Rekha story started with this film.

    Definitely not recommeded film…

  12. ‘Your heart is labeled black!’ Love it. Wonder if the subtitler was down a peg or two of Black Label by then.

  13. I never did like the Amitabh-Rekha jodi, except in ‘Mr. Natwarlal’. Amitabh did some really angsty roles, which I have no patience for. :)

    • Hey, I liked Mr. Natwarlal too, for them. But I don’t think I’ve seen a whole lot of their films together. Hated Silsila :)

    • Thanks for saying this, Banno.
      When I say I cannot stand the Amitabh-Rekha jodi, I get all sorts of looks (well, I get them anyway given my rather unconventional views on many things ;-)).

      People think Amitabh-Rekha was Bollywood’s gift to mankind.

      I guess they are entitled to their opinion but I am entitled to mine too.

      Could not stand them together. More so, because it was hyped up like crazy. “Unbelievable chemistry”, my painful right foot!

      Not surprisingly, given my intense dislike for this jodi, I hated “Salaam-e-ishq meri jaan” from Muqaddar Ka Sikandar. It was a massive hit – which may be one reason I hated it.
      Hated the movie, btw. Only saving grace was Vinod.

      • ‘Mukaddar ka Sikandar’ was torture. Yes, true, Vinod gave that film some relief, and Amjad Khan. I hated everybody else in it.

      • I am also one who heartily dislike Amitabh Bachchan-Rekha pairing. But sadly, majority of movie going public at that time differed from my (and Raja’s and Banno’s) opinion.

      • Make it four for me on MKS! Although I don’t dislike Amitabh-Rekha I don’t really seek them out either. I like Amitabh best paired with Parveen Babi and Jaya but mostly he doesn’t strike me much as a romantic hero at all.

        • I agree.. even i do not think highly of d jodi. Looks like they r tryin hard 2 prove smthing!!!

        • Very true! In fact, as a kid I thought he only did “angry man” roles which he was very famous for. Imagine my shock when I heard about Silsila. =O But despite the shock, I still don’t buy him as romantic- just ridiculously sappy.

          • Oh yeah and also “Kabhi Kabhi” (knew I was forgetting something)- but at least it’s much much better than Silsila.

      • I too only liked MKS for VK! I dislike the salaam e ishq song
        too. So Raja and Atul you have company there!

  14. Isn’t there a film with a similar plotline with Zeenat and Rajesh? Instead of a dancer Zeenat is a fashion model I think.

  15. Dear Memsaab,
    I think you missed two star attractions of this movie: the nipper in the movie playing hide-and-seek with AB, and the Bengali-speaking Movie producer, the one and only UTPAL DUTT. Both gave spectacular performances alongside AB. The mirror-trick at the climax scene was also superbly presented.
    I think Hema should update her knowledge a little bit; she should watch MUQADDAR KA SIKANDAR, UMRAO JAAN, SUHAAG and KHUBSOORAT. Her dance number “SALAAME ISHQ MERI JAAN” is still greatly popular all over India.
    In addition to this movie and Mr. Natwarlal, the lead couple also acted together in SUHAAG, ALAAP and SILSILA.

  16. @Memsaab – I loved the comic book style review.

    Like others have mentioned, this was aired on DD several times, so a good number of TV watchers in those days must have watched this movie especially since Amitabh was the biggest draw.

    Though it comes across differently in the film, I have heard people say that the short story on which it was based, was more about how the Man felt when his best friend and wife had betrayed him and how he avenged this, a la Monte Cristo. Too bad they had to use self serving cliches to make the point.

    • Hi Faldo :) If that was the intent, the filmmakers did really mess it up—because Rekha doesn’t betray Amitabh at all, she is perfectly aboveboard in her dealings with Prem Chopra’s character. He is only mad at her at the end because she is famous and put their son in a (very nice!) boarding school! So dumb. It is a pity too because (love the term “self-servicing cliches”—I might have to repurpose it some day!) without them, it could have been a good film. Cast was good, director has made other films which were good, story slightly modified could have been much better…

      • Agree totally. Self serv(ic)ing :) Can’t wait to see how you use it.
        It might have been more convincing had they actually shown a betrayal. Methinks that the director feared that the audience would not have accepted the ending if he had potrayed the wife’s character too negatively, given that the middle class was conservative. So he flogged the old theme about bad successful (sic) working women.

  17. The ending of this movie just drives me batty – everyone would have been better off if Rekha had remained “unforgiven.” That said I didn’t like Rekha’s character much (liked Amitabh’s character even less) and I *do* think putting a young child, who has just lost one parent, in a boarding school is pretty awful.

    • The child is of school age and its been 6 years after the father’s death. I think boarding school would be a blessing to forget the single parent home situation. If Rekha is indeed evil, boarding school is way better than being alone and neglected at home.

      I haven’t seen the movie (nor intend to..although memsaab’s reviews often have the effect of making me extremely curious). So, I don’t know the exact circumstances in this movie.

    • Certainly Rekha would have been better off “unforgiven”…agree, did not like her character but we were not supposed to like her. We WERE supposed to like Amitabh, but as you say—I liked him even LESS.

  18. I always found the plot erroneous whenever I saw this film. But my bro and I loved the little boy and the song Luk chhip jao na…

    • None of the songs really appealed to me, except the spectacular dance number that I linked to at the end. Well, pretty much nothing about this appealed to me (except the very beginning shot, where Amitabh shoves an 8-track into his car stereo—nostalgia!!!!) :)

  19. The problem with the film was the forced so called ‘happy ending’, I remember the film was not so successful because nobody wanted Rekha to be forgiven. I heard — do not know how true this is —- that Dulal Guha was compelled to end the film in this way for the financiers and distributors feared that the film might flop if the hero and heroine go their separate ways. But the film flopped anyway. As for MIthun, as far as I remember this was Mithun’s worst period. He did this film after already having done Mrigaya ( if I am not making a mistake as far the year this film was made that is before or after Mrigaya) and also having won the National award. I remember reading somewhere that despite an award he had no films and there were days when he was so depressed that he just wanted throw it (the award) away. Then Surakkasha happened and changed his life.
    As for Utpal Dutt this was one of his best performances. What I liked about his character was he was a Bengali playing a Bengali who cannot speak Hindi at all, unlike other films where non- Bengali actors play the Bengali and it ends up being a a caricature because they are neither able to speak Bengali nor are they able to speak Hindi with the correct Bengali accent. In this case particularly for us Bengalis it was hilarious to watch Utpal Dutt, he got all the nuances right. Yes of course non-Bengaliswould not be able to understand some of the jokes, for instance there is one Bengali word which Dutt uses and when he sees that Amitabh is confused all he does is to pronounce the word in a different way that is a in more Hindi way for he is clueless about the equivalent Hindi word; obviously only Bengalis could understand the humour in this scene.

    • Thanks for that info on Utpal Dutt’s character—that is the sort of thing that goes completely past me usually :) I don’t think this movie would have worked for me even had the end been different, though.

    • Thanks for reminding Mithun’s Surakkasha (Gun master G9) one of my fav childhood movie.He start with good movie than late 80′s and 90′s he gave all B to Z grade movies.I still remember in 1997 one friday his three movies were released together.

  20. i had picked this for My rekhatober, but i do agree with your criticisms but this was the movie that made people sit up and take note of Rekha as a serious actress not just arm candy and for that reason it will always be quite memorable for Rekha fans. Rekha herself lists it as one of her favourite films of her career

    • The acting in it was good, mostly—it truly is just the story which was so disappointing. Same old, same old.

      • Like Bollywooddeewana, I was also considering this for my rekhatober contribution, since I took some great screen caps of the film that have been on my computer for ages. Here’s one: http://twitpic.com/2ofyuw

        What I did like in the filum was the struggle on the train between the men and the Johnny Walker black label comment, which you captured in the image above, since I track all thing Johnnie Walker in Bollywood. Do Anjaane has a lot of Johnnie Walker action, so perhaps sometime I’ll do a simple post focusing only on that only. I also did like how shapely and healthy Rekha was in the first number in the film which you included here. I appreciate that the industry allowed for more realistic figures in that era. Nice to see your post on the film. :)

    • I would be inclined to believe that Rekha considered this movie her favourite due to….ahem….well……..personal reasons :-)

  21. Just wondering: is it the first film where Amitabh and Mithun appear together?

  22. Rekha & Amitabh’s were signed first in movie Duniya ka mela(1974).They shoot only one song together than Amitabh was out and Sanjay Khan was sign.Dulal Guha gave so many superhit movies this one don’t even look like his movie.Young Mithun looks handsome he did guest app in movie Phool khile hain gulshan gulshan too.

  23. oh, oh…This movie was perhaps “old fashioned”, “MCP” and unfair to women in Western sense..But that was Hindustan ( not India) then in 70′s….But there were a couple of hummable numbers- luk chup jaao naa and others…

    • I know it’s a product of the mindset of the time, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it! :) Maybe I will try listening to the songs again…they didn’t really make much of an impression on me.

    • So weird that conventions were still so repressive considering based off of one of Memsaab’s earlier posts, Durga Khote did break the mold that a respectable girl could enter acting and still be respectable and this was decades before the 70′s! Looking at the transition from 50′s/early 60′s-late 60′s, it seems like Bollywood just can’t make up its mind.

  24. I watched this movie yesterday after reading your review. And I couldn’t agree more with you. The plot was so illogical! Every time Amit would start his self-righteous rant about women-babies-home-husband, and “what will the neighbors think?”, and of course, those miserable interfering neighbors, my skin would crawl. One thing I can’t get over is, Amit falls in love with Rekha when he sees her dancing. And I feel, for such a conservative man as Amit, Rekha’s dancing costume must have felt really racy. It was more or less an embroidered bra that left her back and tummy exposed, and she had a suggestive bell-shaped thingie hanging between her legs! Also, am really curious what the 70s public thought of the movie, considering that was the time of the “hippies”, and sultry Zeenat Aman and Parveen Babi.

  25. I’m late :-( but a very very happy birthday Greta.

  26. Better late than never :-). Many happy returns of the day, Greta.

  27. Is it so ! Happy birthgday, Greta.

    Note to myself- I should remember that Greta’s birthday falls around the same time as that of Shammi Kapoor and Helen.

  28. Oh…Happy birthday to you memsaab!

  29. memsaab: now you can imagine why i felt about most hindi cinema the way i did/do……and then to hear friends and teachers, go round staying..such an interesting movie, really showed a woman’s heart, etc. etc. etc… blearrrgghhhh!

  30. Thank you all for the birthday wishes :) Atul—indeed: me, Shammi, and Helen is all you need to remember! :D

    Bawa: if I had been a theater-going movie watcher in India at this point in time I very well probably would have stopped watching Hindi movies myself…but thank goodness now I have six decades of them to choose from and can soothe myself with other types after I stumble across one like this! :)

  31. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!

  32. Mithun Chakraborty was there in a very small role (see the sixth picture)!

  33. “Memsaab says: (Career-minded Woman + Angry Young Man + Greedy Gaudy Best Friend) x Stiflingly Conservative Mindset = AVOID YAAR.”

    Congratulation Memsaab

    You nailed it right on!

    All shots of Amit is “anger” and then stoic face.

  34. This film is so ironic since the Bachchan bahu is still continuing her career. Although I wouldn’t call the Bachchans totally feministic. Why did the Ash/Hrithik kiss have to go whereas the Amitabh/Rani kiss in “Black” stayed? Beyond his angry man roles, I don’t care for Amitabh much (awaits to be stoned), but that makes me dislike him even more.

    Anyway, will definately avoid this film.

  35. I don’t believe nearly everything I read about the Bachchans and their “influence” but certainly this movie is one to stay away from :)

  36. Hi Greta,
    Loved it all, your smart innuendoes and aloofness – I suppose this is what happens when heavy ideas are pushed onto the screen without thinking about their context: “only a mother can understand another mother”…! But you’re right, that video… what did you like in it though? (just to see if it was the same thing that I liked)

  37. Awesome plot!

    [ I started with "Surakksha" (which I found via Google search, after seeing its poster in a Cracked.com list) and now I am a fan of this blog... All in about half an hour!]

  38. Yes it is a misogynistic piece of clap trap! Loved your review “shocked!” :)

  39. Just saw this review and agree with you all the way – if AB knew that Rekha didn’t want to get married but was pressurized to do so, then why complain that she wanted to dance and if you don’t want your wife to go into movies and the stage, then why are you introducing her to your friend who wants her to do just that? I also had a question – did no one look for his body? How did they conclude that he was dead? Hubby’s friend says that hubby jumped out of the train, so she just agreed and said, How convenient! Now let’s see what we can do about my career! That’s one huge, gaping pothole in this story.
    As regards the woman not being allowed to work after marriage, I have seen plenty of people who said they didn’t want their wives working after marriage. This was in the ’70s, but things seem to have changed these days. Somebody told my father (this was the mother of a prospective guy for me!) that if her son found their family life suffering as a consequence of my working outside the house, he would put his foot down and I would have to quit my job, and my Dad said that his daughter would quit if and when she wanted to, and not because someone put his foot down! Needless to say, the guy didn’t make it to the mandap with me!
    Can’t stand such stories and films – you have my sympathy, memsaab!

  40. What a wonderful, wonderful review! @Memsaab, you not only have great writing skills, but a great sense of humor too! Just love the use of ‘Man’, ‘Woman’ and ‘Shocked’

    Please keep watching Bollywood movies so we get to read these reviews.

  41. U know whenever my gal is sad i sing the song luk chip luk chip jao na………
    aao mera gale lag jao na
    ARE AAO NA
    surprised that it was not a good movie (never watched the movie]

    bdw have u seen ek paheli starring feroz khan & sanjeev kumar
    do gv it a try

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