Exploring the complex nature of a friendship between a man and woman wasn’t the characteristic of many films of the golden era. One such film, however, tread in the territory and did quite well – Andaz – which featured Nargis, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor.
First a little backgrounder to explain what I am talking about – Dilip Kumar befriends Nargis, who is the daughter of a rich businessman and starts visiting her frequently and predictably, falls in love with her. Nargis, meanwhile, is oblivious to Dilip’s feelings but the twist arrives in the form of Raj Kapoor, who, unbeknownst to Dilip, is Nargis’ fiance. The look and feel of the film is very western, very unlike other films of the period. It aims to explore the dynamics of a platonic relationship between men and women.
Moving on, this is the only film that Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar acted in together. I suppose they emerged as actors of very different kind of personalities – with Kapoor playing a naive man (Shree 420, Anari) and Kumar playing the role of a lost-in-love kind of man (Devdas, Madhumati) in films following this one. Maybe there was also the fact that either man was entirely capable of carrying a film on their own, very capable shoulders.
We also know that Mukesh’s voice was perfectly suited to Kapoor’s and Md. Rafi to Kumar’s, for this film the director decided to switch the playback singers. It was something Kumar had objected to but all’s well that ends well! In fact, Mukesh seemed to have come into his own with this film, especially since many believed he imitated K L Saigal’s voice for a long time. Good for him 🙂
Speaking of imitating styles, for one of the songs, ‘Uthaye ja unke sitam’, Naushad told Lata to imitate Noorjehan. Apparently, he said, “Achha Latabai Ab Apni Pakistani Behen Ko Yaad Kar
Ke Yeh Gaana Gayiega.”
Beautifully said, don’t you think?