Hindi films and generally speaking, Indian films in all languages, have been so much dependent on songs, right since the time of "Alam Ara" that a film without them appears something like a revolution. It is astounding that from more than four thousand Hindi films, made in the last four decades, hardly four can be mentioned which did not carry any songs. The first bold attempt was made by JBH Wadia in a film made in 1937 called "Navjawan." This was a fast-moving 'crime thriller' and the producer thought that it did not need any songs. But the audience thought that it was cheated of its due quota and strong protests were reported from many places. After that nobody dared to try such a thing.
And so, when "Munna" made by K A Abbas arrived in 1954, it again appears like a daring venture, that could dispense with songs, by keeping its other aspects strong. Abbas, who has always challenged the rigid formulas of the Hindi screen and tried to swim against the current, found an ideal opportunity for a songless movie, in this story of a lonely child and the several characters he comes across, while searching for his mother. The film was not only songless but also starless, in the sense that it did not employ any leading stars of the day but revolved completely round a series of character artistes, old and young.
Thus, the film was also an experiment, in doing away with a regular plot and building up the screenplay merely on the basis of the different encounters, which the child has with the characters, from different strata of life. The writer-director also utilised these episodes to make his own observations on life and show how the simple innocence of a child can bring a change in people of all kinds, from the footpath-dwellers to those occupying palatial mansions. Most of the characters were drawn in life-like shades, so that altogether they went to form a rich portrait of life itself.