Nasihat (1967)

Nasihat double-Daras you not to like it and wins!

Sorry. My brain is addled with grief and self-pity these days and half the time I don’t know what I’m saying. Unsubtitled Dara Singh films are proving most appropriate for my powers (or lack thereof) of concentration, and a loony band of smugglers calling themselves the Golden Gang—based out of the Hotel Mogambo—being infiltrated by CID officers cannot possibly be bad, right? Right. It is, in fact, deliciously campy and entertaining even though several of the plot points escaped me (most notably the CSP which I didn’t care about anyway). What did not escape me is that there are two Daras, one Randhawa, a Helen, a Madan Puri, a faux Chinese henchman, a midget, a plethora of corpulent bald wrestlers, and a Boss with a somewhat pitiful little Desk Lair from which he issues his commands.

The least pathetic thing about the Desk Lair is that it rises up from an underground bunker through a not-that-secret trap door. It holds a black yellow-eyed kitty with a red bow and a small Globe of World Domination (actually, it’s just a globe that Boss spins now and then, but that’s what I fondly imagine he thinks of it as). Attached is a mirror which folds out to reflect the henchpeople in the room (the Golden Gang is a positive celebration of diversity as noted above, and includes women too!). I am not sure what the point of the mirror is, since Boss often turns around in his swivel chair to address his minions face-to-face but please also note the sweet little green fluffy carpet that the Desk Lair sits upon, and the pointless side table beside the desk.

We of course never get to see Boss’s face (until the end) although I will say that I early on knew who he was from the distinctive voice. Desk Lair accessories also include two light bulbs, red and green, which flash to indicate stuff; and a little china fox (?) figurine which, when pushed, summons the beefy deaf-mute wrestler guarding the room outside by causing another red bulb to flash inside a stuffed tiger’s mouth.

Okay, enough with the Desk Lair. It just fascinates me that Boss conducts all his ruthless business of smuggling and murder from this five square feet of space populated with such random accountrements.

Trouble—usually the arrival of the police—is flagged by the man behind the reception desk (Keshav Rana) at Hotel Mogambo, the front for the Golden Gang’s criminal activities. Where there’s a Hotel Mogambo there must also be a nightclub with a cabaret, and we are immediately treated to a lovely Helen song (“Mujhko Deewana”) where she is backed up by four girls strumming ukeleles.

Boss’s main henchmen are Mohan (Dara Singh), who tipples constantly from a silver flask, Singh (Madan Puri in a red wig) and Rajan (Rajan Haksar). Singh is the hotel manager, and the gang’s hideout is accessed from a secret door in his office. Mohan Choti is a bellhop (along with the midget) although his GG activities are limited as he is mostly a foil for Sunder, whom I think is a private detective. They both seem to have very little to do with the main story, and are not funny in the CSP segments which I mostly fast-forward through.

Pinky (Helen) is also part of the gang, but she runs afoul of them when Singh and Rajan suspect her of being a police informant after seeing her getting a little too cozy with the head of the Central Bureau of Investigation (Tiwari! Yay!). She is murdered by Rajan, but the police arrive and he is forced to flee before he can recover her little diary, in which she has written notes telling all about the Golden Gang.

The police are naturally pleased to have this information but need solid proof to arrest anyone (since when, Hindi cinema?).

There are several car chases in which Mohan and company evade the police by inches and we also discover that Mohan lives with a girl named Dolly (Rajshree-South) who disapproves of his drinking and whom he doesn’t treat that well. I should say here that the internet believes this film stars L Vijayalakshmi but her name appears nowhere in the credits, and I am pretty sure that Dolly = Rajshree (South) who was also in Pyar Kiye Jaa.

I also love the decor and furnishings in the rooms she shares with Mohan, even if I do NOT approve of him pushing her over (he also lights candles by shooting bullets at them, which is kind of awesome although it doesn’t make up for his abuse of Dolly).

Boss continues to prove how very merciless he is by killing off some of his assortment of henchpeople with a letter opener knife that has a blackamoor handle, which he dips in a bubbly chartreuse acid-poison and then pokes his victim with.

Eventually the police catch a break and nab Mohan after the small plane he is piloting crashes (or is shot down, I am not sure) during one of his missions for Boss. Randhawa also enters the picture as an undercover police officer following Mohan (who is hideously disguised for the mission and of course his contact is Chinese); and if that weren’t enough Brothers Singh goodness, a CBI Inspector named Naresh who looks exactly like Mohan (because he’s also played by Dara) is called in to take the place of hospitalized-under-police-custody real Mohan.

The Golden Gang and Boss welcome the fake “Mohan” back with open arms and I am thrilled when Madhumati turns out to be his go-between with the police. They communicate through notes planted in jasmine flowers, but then she sadly disappears for most of it although we get the benefit of her dancing skills in a fabulous song blending the western sounds of The Twist with Punjabi drums and dancing.

The dance numbers in this film are fantastic! Actually, all the songs are lovely and courtesy of OP Nayyar (except maybe the wonderful rockabilly title music which could be pilfered). There is a great little ditty with no lyrics picturized on gori background dancer Lino Jones in a black wig; she and her partner basically strut around like graceful chickens and I adore it. All three of my favorite choreographers worked on this film and it shows: PL Raj, Robert/Surya and Herman.

Dolly also welcomes Mohan back, and doesn’t seem to wonder why he suddenly treats her much better and even throws away his silver flask.

Then a mysterious woman called Sudha Sharma From Nairobi (Savita?) checks in to the Hotel Mogambo (I WANT those Air India Maharajahs!).

She purports to have some gold bars for sale but is actually a police plant as well. It doesn’t take long for Inspector Naresh to fall for her, although he also has to keep romancing Dolly to maintain the pretence that he is Mohan.

Will the Golden Gang and Boss figure out that Mohan is no longer “their” Mohan? Will the real Mohan escape? Will Dolly be glad to get the real Mohan back if so? Is the fact that Naresh and Mohan look exactly alike just a random coincidence that we’re supposed to swallow (here’s a hint)?

And most of all, do the police really have a chance against a gang full of wrestlers?! Especially the world famous Sky-Hi-Lee and Klondike Bill?

Tiwari appears to think not.

Like most films of this type, the plot isn’t really the point. The point is the FUN, and this one has that in spades! I loved it.

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35 Comments to “Nasihat (1967)”

  1. I wonder which actor hasn’t had double role atleast once in bollywood. Raj Kapoor comes to mind.Even Randhir kapoor and Raaj kumar have done those dual roles.
    But a good write-up, will look for this film.

  2. Oh! This is where the makers of Don stole their idea from. I want to see these songs. The screen caps are lovely as ever. Even I wonder where the cute Air India Maharaja has disappeared.

  3. This film sounds nothing like it’s title ‘Nasihat’. :) Good for it. Me gonna get it!

    I just love the idea of Boss with his 5 foot space and table rising out of the floor. Lots of work for the art director. I can imagine about a hundred people trying to get pulleys to work, and all of that. Oh, the fun!

  4. Had never heard of this movie before reading the review here. But it does sound like a lot of fun. I have always been hugely impressed by the stupendous effort that B-movie producers/directors put in for their sets. There are a lot of props and objets d’art thrown in for the decor and there is a lot of creativity. And I absolutely love the fact that they have no pretensions of keeping anything subtle :-)

    Thanks to you, I’ve caught the Dara Singh bug too. :-) I remember seeing some of his movies when I was very young (I can only remember wrestling scenes from them). But till I began reading your blog, I’d not seen a Dara Singh movie for at least 35 years! But now, after watching Samson and Thief of Baghdad (and a few others), I totally enjoy watching his movies. He is just so “good” and “warm-hearted” that you cannot but warm to his movies.

    Just caught “teri aankhon ne” on youtube (the song on the ship). Lovely!

    Nice review too, Greta. I got a bit confused at first read but then it got a bit clearer when I read it again. About as clear anyway as a review of a movie of this type can get. :-) And the screen caps are lovely too.
    Thanks.

    • The props are so delightfully random!!! I just re-read my review and it IS sort of breathless with too many run-on sentences…but that’s how the film seemed to me too, mostly because I had no idea what was actually going on :D

  5. Yep, “Nasihat” was crazy, unpretentious fun. That’s all that I really ask of a film.

    It’s a pity that these sort of “B-grade” capers don’t get made anymore. Well actually they do, but they’ve been hijacked by A-list stars who violate the cardinal rule of this class of movies by taking themselves and the film way too seriously. I’m looking at you SRK and Ra.One (or whatever the heck the movie is called).

  6. Memsaab, I usually do not fancy DS in his early movies; he looks more appealing in middle and old age(WARRANT, KARMA). True HE is the original SUPERMAN of the Hindi movie industry, but cannot imagine him as a romantic paramour. Still in a mustache he looks good.
    Another thing in this movie puzzled me: why was Helen not cast as the lead actress here instead of Madhumati? Surely she and DS would have made a more sizzling couple than him and Madhumati/Rajshree. Instead she was murdered early in the film just like in countless other movies she was cast in to suffer a tragic death( TEESRI MANZIL, WO KAUN THI?).
    The title I think offers a good advice: NEVER WATCH A MOVIE WITHOUT SUBTITLES.
    PS: Memsaab, in the second picture, is that a picture of a pale Mongolian/ Chinese on the Boss’s desk? Or is it his reflection in the mirror? Looks eerie, whatever it is.

    • Oh he is so handsome in his early films. Madhumati was not a lead actress, her part was actually smaller than Helen’s. Rajshree and Savita were the main female characters in the film. I have watched and enjoyed a lot of films without subtitles, too! :)

      Are you looking at Boss’s globe? I am not sure which frame you are referring to…

  7. Aww memsaab you might be grief strcken but your reviews are just as entertaining.
    My favorite accoutrement (and there was plenty to choose from youir screen caps) is Sudha Sharma’s fluffy white hat. Like cassata ice cream –which btw was very popular in India in the 70s.

  8. Does this film also have a lost and found angle to it, in which the two Daras are actually brothers separated during childhood? And is there a tear filled reunion at the end? And does the mother (Leela Mishra?) spend every waking hour pining for her other son? And does their role interchange cause the two Daras problems with their love interests?
    Sorry for all the questions:) but this was an honest attempt to answer your poser about why the two Daras looked alike!

    • Ha ha! I KNOW the answer, and you can figure at least one of those questions out in the hint I provided too ;-)

      • Ah! I was only trying out the lost and found ‘formoola’ which always goes with any story about identical twins in Hindi films ;) To add a further twist – does the bad (if only due to circumstances) Dara get killed in the end giving him a chance to pay for his evil ways? Isn’t there also the mandatory fight in the villain’s den with both Daras beating up the Boss?
        And yes. I’m having a lot of fun as well just reading your review.

  9. madamji

    the chinese(or nepalese looking) girl who wear red ribbon on her top of head in 18th screen cap, appeared as a dancer in many hindi films of late 60`s, she was there in shammi kapoor`s manoranjan(song”dulhan maike chali”)Can you identify her name for me.

    Further your selection of films for reviews are outstanding,

    lot`s of regards
    prakash

    • I don’t know who she is…there was a long list of credits for this one with lots of names I hadn’t seen before (at least that I can remember, although that isn’t saying much).

      I’m glad you share my taste (or lack thereof) in movies :)

  10. I am referring to the picture in which the Boss is visible for the first time, Memsaab. The odd object is just below the red light.
    OOPS! Actually I was actually referring to Savita as the lead actress, but mistakenly wrote Madhumati. Still I stick to my opinion: HELEN OF TROY should have been cast as the lead.

  11. As I have said before, the only Dara Singh movie I have seen (on a re-run during school days) was Sikandri Azam – both Dara and mumu were good and the songs were fab. It is good to know more about other Dara movies from Memsaab.

  12. hi everyone. this a very rare film. so can you pls rip out the asha-helan song mujh ko diwana na ker aa mere karib aa and send to me in my email? pls pls pls dont say no. it’ll break my heart. i was really very searching that song. it starts with sth boy-boy. its very peppy. pls pls? m a verrryyy big helen lover.love her appearance, dance, costume everything….looovveee helen..

  13. I’d never heard of this film until now.
    From your review, it sounds just spy-flavuored enough for me pick it up.
    Cheers~
    John

  14. I haven’t caught up with this film yet (I don’t know why!), but the colors are just amazingly beautiful! This is gonna be one eye candy filled 2 1/2 hours for me, when I do watch it!

  15. Sorry to hear about your double loss – not quite an appropriate quote but I always loved my Dickens:

    “There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say, Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, — apart from the veneration due to its sacred origin, if anything belonging to it call be apart from that, — as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to thank of people below them as if they really were fellow-travellers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!

  16. Can we imagine Vindoo Dara Singh in the remake of Nasihat?:-))

  17. There is no L.Vijaylaxmi in this film , its Rajshree (A grade heroine in Tamil Films, but second only to Jayalalithaa and Saroja Devi) and Savita. Although can any one tell me whats the full name of the other Rajshree( Janwar 1965, Brahmachari)?

  18. That guy who is standing next to air india maharajas , is that Keshav Rana?Who is the girl opposite to him – her full name? Who is that Police man – there are two people who look the same and have acted in many hindi films – both are called tiwary’s – one looks elder – (in this picture its that elder one) and other one can be seen in Kuwara Baap – one who rapes Mnaorama(Mehmood’s heroine). Am i correct?

  19. about 2 tiwari`s:
    Ramayan tiwari(kaajal) is father and
    his son is Bhushan tiwari(Kunwaraa baap).
    Both are credited in movies sometimes as TIWARI or R.Tiwari or Bhushan tiwari

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