Mother Shanti (Indrani Mukherjee) and son Ajay survive the shipwreck together; father Rai Sahab and the son with a trident-shaped birthmark (Vijay) are separated from each other and from the other two.
Years pass…as do the credits, and the two good Samaritans above.
Seriously. There’s never any back story on how Rai Sahab met Vikram (didn’t recognize him), hired him to work for Khanna & Khanna and mentored him. Or on Ajay’s childhood and how he and Shanti have survived. We just arrive in the middle of the story with no explanation. Oh well.
I wonder if he even looked for his wife and kids?
Ajay cons a chauffeur into giving him a ride (instead of having to take the bus). They bond over bad poetry.
Turns out that he is Sheetal’s driver.
Pathological liar that he is, Ajay plays along. Meanwhile…
Aaj ki taaza khabar!
Ajay for some reason decides to run with it even though common sense might dictate otherwise.
Hours pass (not in the movie, but for me) as Sheetal pretends to be Anita and barely prevents the truth getting out a number of times, while Ajay remains obliviously oblivious.
Poor Mala! Her taste in men is abysmal.
The only person who is surprised when Prem begins blackmailing him is Vikram.
Hours pass (not in the movie, but for me) as Prem milks Vikram’s income from him, Vikram works on convincing Rai Sahab to marry Sheetal off to him, and Sheetal and Ajay run around with little hearts popping up around their heads although he still thinks she is Anita the Press Reporter and she still thinks he “loves” the real Sheetal Khanna. Plus:
(or sometimes Faryal.) Helen still looks totally awesome at 40 years of age.
Another bright spot is Preeti Ganguly (Ashok Kumar’s daughter) who plays Sheetal’s best friend and is lively and funny as usual, and a plethora of character and comic actors punctuating the interminable lack of plot.
What will happen if/when we eventually get around to the murder mystery part of the plot (Iftekhar is also now sneaking around trying to solve Mala’s homicide)? What will happen when Ajay realizes that he has been romancing the actual Sheetal Khanna this whole time? Is a motor mechanic good enough for a rich girl? Will the Rai family ever be reunited? Or will Ajay and Vikram beat each other to a pulp first?
For all the answers, and not much more, watch Jhoota Kahin Ka. It’s cute, but it meanders on for ages without ever gaining any traction until long after I’ve lost interest. The songs are nice, there is a liberal sprinkling of comedy which is sometimes even funny, and Neetu is always a joy to watch (and she elevates Rishi, at least for me). If you are a rabid Rishi or Neetu or Rishi-Neetu fan you might enjoy this. Or, you can pretend that you’ve watched it now and thank me.
This plot was also used in 1969’s Sajan with Asha Parekh and Manoj Kumar (except gender-reversed and without the separated-by-shipwreck scenario), and I’m guessing it originated in Hollywood (although not necessarily!). Does anyone have any guesses (or the answer)?