Kapoor’s first colour film is presented as a glossy love triangle but can equally well be seen, along with many Indian triangle dramas, as a romance between two men interrupted by a woman. Sunder (Kapoor) is from a lower class than his childhood friends Gopal (Kumar) and Radha. Although both men, bosom pals, are in love with Radha, Sunder ignores the fact that he and Gopal share the same object of desire. When Sunder finally wins and marries Radha by joining the air force and becoming a national hero, Gopal puts male bonding and his passion for his friend above his attachment to Radha and withdraws. However, Sunder is obsessed by thoughts of Radha’s possible infidelity. In the end, Gopal reassures Sunder of Radha’s fidelity and then commits suicide. The film includes a plea by Radha for fairer treatment of women but the logic of the story demonstrates that the most valuable relationship a man can have is with another man. Mahesh Bhatt (1993) commented that the hit song Bol radha bol, sangam ho ga ke nahin, sung by Mukesh, ‘triggers off memories of a beautiful woman in a picturesque setting dressed in a (while) Raj Kapoor, clad in shorts, hangs from a tree with a bagpipe under one arm and begs his beloved Radha for an orgasmic release’. Another hit was Ye mera prem patra, sung by Rafi. One of the early films to use locations in Europe as exotic backdrops as Sunder and Radha honeymoon in snowy Switzerland and ‘decadent’ Paris, where, to the song Main kya karoon ram mujhe buddha mil gaya, Radha behaves like a prostitute to taunt her husband’s virility.
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Raj Kapoor's first color film. Read More