Froth, Frills And Fun
Nasir Husain Films' "Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon"
The "dil" is the one every producer of Hindi films seems to have left behind in Hollywood but if ever a producer has succeeded in transplanting it here, it is Nasir Husain.
"Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon" breathes and thinks Hollywood. That it does not speak it as well is due solely to the language barrier. Dialogue writer and cast alike make a brave effort to introduce English in exclamations, interjections, clauses and sentences with varying degrees of failure. Even in Urdu seems at times like a translation. Cliches like "Has anybody told you, you are beautiful?" sound vaguely funny in Urdu; and a lurid sunset sky does nothing to help the illusion.
For the rest, the colour photography is exceptionally good. Much of the humour depends on the photography no less than on the direction. Who will forget Rajendra Nath's spectacular entry heralded by the "shot" of flushing a toilet cistern?
Rajendranath like everything else has acquired an American varnish down to spectacles, crew cut and begin expression. But he is, in the best sense of the term, a clown with a very personal brand of humour.
Joy Mukherjee too proves a fine comedian. That "Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon" succeeds in entertaining is due to the humour more than to the deft direction, the dances and the colour.
If the film comes close to failing it is because it cannot resist bringing in villainy, violence and melodrama. It's bad enough having a villain in every film. When a film has three villains, it's sheer murder-for the audience.
A film that sets out to be a comedy should be nothing else. "bad men" are permissible only in so far as they contribute to the fun. Joy being beaten up by three thugs and an iron chain, in the midst of an admiring crowd-it just isn't our idea of entertainment.
The last scene shows a battered hero, three a battered hero, three trussed up thugs and a crowd of dancers sight would be hard to find even in a script-writer's imagination.
Asha Parekh looks pretty and is unaffectedly natural, but brings little imagination to her role. Tabassum is that rare thing-a woman clown. Ram Avtar-another good clown. Veena is a fine actress given a passive role.
A straightforward, pleasing entertainer with melodramatic overtones but minus the usual pretence of off-beat themes and "purposeful" values.
This article was published in Filmfare magazine’s December 13, 1963 edition as a part of 'Filmfare Reviews'.
The images and captions appeared in the feature are taken from the original article.