For all the zany masala and bombast of Hindi film in the 1970s, there is a subtler side as well, a delicate strain of films that explored the raw places where human emotions intersect. Setting the standard in this kind of sensitive cinema are films by the likes of Hrishikesh Mukherjee and the brilliant Gulzar, who was the auteur of Mausam (“season”).The Movie is loosely based story “Weather”, from the novel, The Judas Tree, by A.J. Cronin.
Cast: Sharmila Tagore, Sanjeev Kumar, Om Shivpuri
Mausam is a dramatic love story of Dr. Amarnath Gill, who falls for Chanda, the daughter of a local healer, Harihar Thapa, when visiting Darjeeling for his medical exams. Amarnath is called back and promises Chanda to return, though he never keeps his promise. Twenty-five years later, he returns as a wealthy man and searches for Chanda and her father. He learns that Harihar has died and that Chanda was married to a crippled old man. She gave birth to a daughter, became insane and passed away.
Finding Chanda’s daughter, Kajli, he sees that she closely resembles her mother and later discovers that after having been molested by her mother’s brother-in-law, she ended up at a brothel. Amarnath takes Kajli home and tries to change her into well refined woman to make up for what he did to Chanda. Unaware that Amarnath is indirectly responsible for her mother’s death, Kajli begins to fall for him.
Finally, Mausam is rounded out by some truly wonderful songs, especially “Dil dhoondta hai,” in which the middle-aged Gil reminisces, watching a younger version of himself frolicking in the woods with Chanda. There is also an adorable song in which Kajli tries to entertain Gil with a jaunty mujra. Her dance is both sensuous and a little bit graceless; by Kajli’s own admission she is not a very good dancer, but she is clearly in her element performing for Gil, and it makes for a charming scene.