Musical Pictures' "Yasmin," premiered on June 10 at the Roxy in Bombay, is an Arabian Nights' fantasy replete with romance, adventure, music and dance, all of which provide delightful entertainment for both the hoi polloi and the beau monde.
Highly reminiscent of the Rudolph Valentino hit, "Son of the Sheikh", this highly polished and beautifully photographed picture is embroidered with a lavish splendour of setting, costume and decor, and in its presentation is visible the admirable attention which has been paid to details of character, treatment and direction.
The story has the element of fancy, the stuff of dreams which satisfies the individual's desires by vicarious fulfillment. There is the rich, gallant prince who defies his father's deadly wrath for the love of a gipsy dancer. His father, the mighty Sheikh, dotes on his son and puts his foot down heavily on the romance. He pursues the errant youth with his sword and every nearly gets him. Then there is the girl's suitor, a villain favoured by her mercenary father, who very nearly marries her by blackmailing her to the prince, her lover, but is defeated and killed by the latter in a duel with swords which is presented in the picture with terrifying realism.
In fact, the fighting sequences in "Yasmin" are the best ever seen on the Indian Screen. There are several of these, and the final climatic duel between the Sheikh and his son has the audience sitting up in their seats.
Finally, one has the satisfaction of seeing the course of true love running smooth after jauntings stormy enough to satisfy the greediest reveller in thrills.
While catering to popular taste, "Yasmin" has no truck with vulgarity and there is not even a suspicion of shabby sentiment in the whole film. On the other hand, there is an abundance of noble feeling and appeal to virtue; the loyalty of true love, fidelity to pledges, filial obedience and parental responsibility, and respect throughout for the values which are the solid core of social obligations.
Under the sure-handed direction of A R Kardar, the cast turn in some fine portrayals. Suresh, handsome in the role of the gallant prince, acts with the poise and vigour demanded by the part. Jayant, as the Sheikh, though tending to be a trifle theatrical, gives a realistic portrayal of the irascible and intolerant father, who makes a fetish of family honour.
But Sham Kumar, as the gipsy suitor, is not at home in his role and one feels this, too, about Maruti, the prince's bodyguard. However, their performances are offset by Rashid Khan's Thingoo and Mumtaz's Queen Mother. The rest or the support is adequate.
Vyjayanthimala, in the pivotal role of the gipsy dancer, is well photographed. She is also beautifully attired and the sparkling sequins on her costume in the dance numbers lend effectiveness to her execution of them
In the matter of settings, decor and mounting, the production values are first-class. Atmosphere is cleverly created by the settings which range from desert scenes and magnificent tented camps to gay taverns filled with song and dance. For the dazzling spectacle in the picture and the spell-binding beauty of its heroine, the photography is responsible.
The music, though reminiscent of some of Ramchandra's hits in earlier films, particularly the popular Tum Tum song in "Namoona," is melodious and the songs are rendered beautifully. The rich background music is well orchestrated and vividly suggests times from the period of the Arabian Nights.
This article was published in Filmfare magazine’s July 8, 1955 edition as a part of 'Filmfare Reviews'.