Amrohi’s least-known but most elegiac film. Sheetal (Kumari) is married to an old, ailing man repeatedly mistaken for her father. She has an affair with Sharan Kumar (Nasir Khan) and eventually commits suicide. From the outset, when the mismatched couple arrives at the dark, windswept scene where they will face their destiny, the symbol-laden film deploys a baroque style of lighting with sparse dialogue and obsessive characters in the grip of their desires. As in Amrohi’s Mahal (1949), the soundtrack is exceptional, from the opening Mukhtar Begum bhajan introducing Sharan to Sheetal, to the hush marking Sharan’s fall from the balcony as the camera cranes over the crowded chaos below into Meena Kumari on a distant terrace.
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There is a 6 minutes 30 seconds close-up of lead actress Meena Kumari - the longest close-up on film. Read More