A Man Looks Back – Filmfare reviewDec 26
How much the man yearned for far away things ? Second in his “Door…” triology ( first one reviewed by Filmfare here ), Kishore Kumar is a triumphant “soul” ! He has channelized his emptiness in life, into a social message, something that came from within. His son, Amit Kumar says “this film depicts the real Kishore Kumar”. How closer can we get to the Real Kishore Kumar ? The film was launched on 1st Jan 1966, just after completion of his comedy film production “Hum Do Daaku” ( though planned/conceptualized in 1965 ). It took quite a while making this film and the songs. Some of songs were re-recorded and some were cut from the film !
Ok, let us come back to the review of this film , appearing in Filmfare ( Dec 17 1971 ). This time the reviewer’s name was printed : S J Banaji. Not sure what values Mr Banaji expects from life, or his general views on entertainment in films, or where his mind seemed away while writing this review, or why did he not understand that this was a never-ending journey and had not stuffs of happy-endings …….but again an important piece of document, for it gave general impression of the film ( a fair rating for this “Door…” too ) , to the media-deprived public of those times :
Door Ka Rahi
A Man Looks Back
The camera stares at the empty expanse of snow, then a man enters the foreground. A series of quick shots of his panting face and tired manner then, as he falls into the snow, the scene shifts to the past. The rest of the way, “Door Ka Rahi” is a series of interludes, uneven, often crude, almost totally lacking in a feel for rhythm yet effectively linked by that lone figure in the snow whose story it is.
He hears a voice call his name, looks up and sees a friend from the past. The scene shifts again – the man is still there calling him, but the background has changed. He is back with his memories.
He goes to stay with the friend ( Abhi ), gets to know the boy staying with the family, sharing the youngster’s enthusiasm for his new plant, his surroundings and his life. After the boy dies, the man stares at the plant – the buds have opened at last. The camera cuts to the man in the snow – gently he caresses those little plants that peep out of the ice.
Side by side with these touches, there’s a deal of naivete in the interludes : The crude villain playing Zamindar, his brother leering in alternate scenes in one of those rape-every-heroine-around-for-miles roles, the familiar fight scenes. And then despite those cut backs to the dying man, the interludes never dovetail to suggest that flow, that sense of continuity that characterises life.
Kishore Kumar could have made his script far more interesting by fragmenting his interludes and shifting back and forth between them. It might have been tough on the audience, even tougher on the film maker, but it would have made for a more interesting story. He could, for instance, have let the girl’s ( Tanuja ) image recur from time to time before the film gets round to her story. He could have let the dying man’s memories stray from the dead youngster to the other children he had known, to the little girl (Deepa) he meets after her papa’s death, effortlessly simple in her reaction where the average child star would have bawled for minutes.
The first girl ( Bambi ) is so curiously dismissed you wonder why they dragged her in at all if the man was totally uninterested in little things like love. You wonder if they made the second girl a Christian just so they could have that familiar sentimental scene from Hollywood where she visits her fiance’s grave. And then there’s Kishore walking away from her because of a promise given to a dying ‘rishi’ who seemed off his mind anyway. One film where a happy ending would have looked more natural.
It’s far too gloomy, there are too many death scenes, Kishore round whom the story’s built, doesn’t have nearly enough to sustain the role, his clothes have a habit of veering to mod belts in between playing the ‘rishi’ and too too do-gooder. Yet, there’s an over-all sincerity, too. Kishore’s scenes with Tanuja have that quality of communicating by a word or a quiet look that characterised his earlier film, ‘Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein”, and the background score is surprisingly good.
“Door Ka Rahi.” Written, produced and directed by Kishore Kumar. Dialogue : Irshad. Lyrics : Shailendra, Irshad. Music : Kishore Kumar. Photography : Alok Das Gupta. Sound : B. N. Sharma, Edulji, Suresh Kathuria. Editing : R. Tipnis. Cast : Kishore Kumar, Tanuja, Ashok Kumar, Amit Kumar, Ganga, Abhi Bhattacharya, Bambi, Iftekhar, Hiralal, Ashit Sen, Yograj, Keshto Mukherji, Padma Khanna.
Note : The film finally got to see the light of the day this year, when Shraddha Video released it on DVD !! Thus two of the greatest creations of Kishoreda ( other being Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein ) are now available for general public’s home viewing !!