Bara-Dari (1955)

Since I couldn’t find a single synopsis of this film’s story online, I figure I might as well tell it. So reader beware, because I am giving away practically the entire plot.

The movie starts with a woman visiting her husband in jail. He is a Rajput lord from the town of Ajaygarh named Ranvir, imprisoned by the King because he refuses to pay tax. She pleads with him to compromise with the King for the sake of their unborn child. He says that he will not. Cut to palace, with Ranvir in chains before the King and court. Ranvir gives an impassioned speech about being a Rajput and not bowing to some King even though they were formerly friends, blah blah, and although the King pardons him, he is beheaded by the King’s army commander Karan Singh.

A few months later, Ranvir’s widow gives birth to a son (Ajit) at the same time as the Queen gives birth to Prince Vijay. The Chief Minister of the court consults an astrologer, who reads the Prince’s chart and declares that he must be kept away from the King until he is eight years old. The King agrees but says that the prince must be raised by someone of “equal status” (more Rajput pride) and the CM says that the only woman suitable is Ranvir’s widow. They take the prince to Ranvir’s widow and after some argument she takes him in and raises him with her own son, because:

Ma hai

Surprise!

The boys grow up together as brothers until the prince reaches the age of eight, when the Chief Minister comes and retrieves him and promises that the town of Ajaygarh will no longer be raided or taxed by the King’s army. Tearful goodbyes, Ajit’s friend Gauri comforts him; and segue into Ajit and Gauri ten or fifteen years later singing a song and obviously in love. Of course, their peaceful existence is about to come to an end.

Gauri runs into Karan Singh Jr (Pran) one day, and slaps him when he is disrespectful. He is both outraged and attracted to her, and pursues her. She runs to Ajit and a scuffle ensues:

slaves

make me

Ajit wins for the moment but he has made an enemy just like his father years before. Karan Singh sets out to poison the King against Ajaygarh and Ajit in particular. The King sends Prince Vijay (Chandrashekhar) (and his advisor Tira Singh*) to Ajaygarh to find out what is going on there. On his way, Vijay sees Gauri singing with some water-girls and he in turn also falls for Gauri:

love-struck

To be fair, it IS Geeta Bali and she is very beautiful:

geeta

He doesn’t find out who she is, nor does he find Ajit since Ajit’s mother has taken him into hiding when she hears the King’s army is coming (they have accompanied Vijay). Can’t blame her, since the last time the army approached she lost her husband. So Vijay returns to the palace but he is a changed man. He is sick with love and sings a beautiful song about Gauri (“Tasveer Banata Hoon” sung by Talat Mahmood) (incidentally echoing a feeling that I–and most artists–have had many times):

portrait

The Queen is worried about him, and asks the King to get Ajit to the palace so that they can find out who the girl is**. Ajit is duly summoned, and comes; he meets with his brother and vows to help him find his love. They go back to Ajaygarh, where Vijay identifies Gauri as the object of his affections. Ajit sacrifices his love (and, needless to say, Gauri’s too) to make his brother happy, and persuades Gauri to marry Vijay.

I won’t divulge the ending although any true Hindi film fan can predict it with 100% accuracy. Suffice it to say, Karan Singh gets his comeuppance and everyone else gets a happy ending.

I liked this film; I can’t help but like any movie with lots of Pran in it, and Geeta too. The music is wonderful, with beautifully choreographed dances and a lovely qawwali. The quality of the picture and sound is not great, but it’s more than 50 years old. If you enjoy swashbucklers, you will like Bara-Dari.

*Tira Singh possesses one of the finest mouches I’ve ever seen
**I am leaving out some subplots with sword-fighting and Pran being evil for the sake of space and time

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15 Comments to “Bara-Dari (1955)”

  1. Just saw today, that the beautiful song “bhoola nahin dena i bhoola nahin dena” is from this movie. Geeta Bali is so adorable.
    Geeta Bali was a great actress and I think she must have been surely fun with her around.

  2. I guess I am replyin ages aftr u hv posted d review.. nevertheless.. cant stop myself..;)

    I too wish 2 join u in ‘Pran affection’.. i just looooove him.. m dyin 2 get hold of d film now! d song dat u mentioned ‘Tasweer banata hu’ is a real gem from Talat M and one of my favs. m a BIG fan of Talat M.. m sure u like him too!

  3. Name the music director of this movie please, i think it is KUMAR BARABANKI

  4. According to earthmusic, Khumar Barabankvi was the lyricist and Shaukat Delvi Naushad was the music director. IMDB says that “the” Naushad (Ali) was the MD but usually earthmusic is more reliable than imdb. In all cases Khumar Barabankvi is credited as the lyricist though.

    • I just reviewed
      this movie last week. I happened to come across this post today. And as I have mentioned in my post :
      “imdb lists that Bara-Dari’s Original Music is by Naushad as Nashad. But Naushad and Nashad are two different people (though most of us tend to think it’s a typo). Nashad was born in India who later on migrated to Pakistan. He was a famous Music Composer out there. He’s composed music for few Hindi films as well (out of which Bara-Dari is one) sometimes as Nashad, sometimes as Shaukat Ali and sometimes as Shaukat Dehelvi. Where as Naushad is the MD of Mughal-E-Azam, Mother India, Amar etc.

  5. Nashaad and not Naushad is the music director of “Baradari”. Khumar Barabankwi is the lyricist.

  6. Earthmusic spells it as Naushad too, which is why I did :) I know they are two different people and figured that earthmusic was probably the more accurate source.

  7. I have come to realise that Earthmusic is not all that accurate, and in many case , not even all that exhaustive.

  8. he is my grand father and i love my grand father he was a great md in a world

  9. Hi memsaab,

    I possess 2 songs of this movie, both are excellent. I am very much eager to see the movie. Any download link for this movie available?

    Regards,

    JG Paul

  10. I really liked and felt nostalgic whenever I heard the song “tasveer banata hoon……” and while searching for details of the movie and background of the song, I stumbled upon this piece.

    You have written this review pretty well. Maybe you are a celebrity writer by now as piece was written long back.

    All the best.

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