Barsaat (1949)

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Barsaat is a sweet poignant story about love. Love, which comes like rain, bringing with it, hope, life and the promise of new beginnings. In the years where three or four Barsaat titled films followed, the one and only original has not only excellent and superlative tunes, but tunes that can honestly suffice to say that it is probably the only Barsaat (film wise and music wise) anyone would truly remember.

Cast: Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Prem Nath

Two friends from the city with contrasting beliefs about love take their annual holiday in the country. One is a “love ’em and leave ’em” philanderer, the other is waiting for Miss Right. Whilst Gopal (Premnath) callously uses and then discards Neela (Nimmi), the sensitive Pran (Raj Kapoor) finds the love of his life when he meets Reshma (Nargis). But for neither man will the the consequences of these meetings be without anguish.

The film revolves around Pran (Raj Kapoor), a quietly intense poet for whom the only universal truth is love, and his best friend Gopal (Premnath), a devil-may-care rolling stone, rolling from one moment to another, collecting nothing but his own personnel enjoyment – at any cost, even that of a mother’s heart. Both fall in love. Pran’s love is true and deep and pure for Reshma (Nargis). Gopal’s love, on the other hand is nothing but a careless dalliance, a passing fancy. Ultimately love conquers all and triumphs, in life and even in death.

Shankar Jaikishen in their maiden venture composed truly classical tunes but most of all solos for lead singer, Lata Mangeshkar. In doing so they were able to solidify themselves for years to come as truly excellent musicians in just their first effort. Furthermore they were able to utilize a young vocalist that would grow to heights beyond imagination. Setting a standard for Hindi musicals, the commanding soundtrack features ten tunes of which nine are sung by Lata, seven of which she is singing by herself!

The best and the most memorable (and probably most abused by remix artists today) is “Hawa Mein Udata Jaye”.

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