Bandhe Haath (1973)

May 3, 2009 at 1:45 am 1 comment

Directed by: O.P. Goyle

Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Mumtaz, Ajit, Ranjeet, Madan Puri, Tun Tun, Pinchoo Kapoor, Asit Sen



The plot doesn’t sound original. A thief decides to change his ways, after stealing a fortune worth of jewels…he poses as a poet, and finds out that he happens to look exactly like said poet. He falls in love, and an inspector is out to prove that he’s not the real poet, but a thief instead. From such a description, I expected something mediocre at best…but since I love duel role movies, I gave it a shot. At first, I won’t lie…I was somewhat bored by the events, but once I got past the 40 minute mark…it really picked up.

Shyamu (Amitabh Bachchan) is a famous thief, who has been raised on the streets by a greedy man credited only as ‘Shyamu’s Mentor’ (Madan Puri.) After a failed robbery attempt, Shyamu and his mentor flee from the police…but his mentor ends up getting his foot caught in a vent in the street…he ends up injuring his leg pretty badly, but they both escape. Shyamu tells him that he doesn’t want to be a thief anymore…and he is called ungrateful.

Agreeing to do one more robbery, Shyamu steals from _______ () and ends up getting chased by Inspector Kumar (Ajit) into a theater…Shyamu hides in a dressing room, and then the story flips over to the current show being performed onstage…a wonderfully entertaining bit with Mala (Mumtaz). If you don’t want to watch Bandhe Haath at all, based solely on the fact that the plot doesn’t interest you, but you’re a huge Mumtaz fan…go ahead and watch it, at least for the dances and songs.vlcsnap-1900191

While Shyamu hides from Inspector Kumar, he puts on a wig and starts tossing bits of women’s clothing over a dressing screen…Inspector Kumar enters the room and thinks that a lady is changing…so he leaves. Shyamu takes off the wig and stuffs it in his jacket…then realizes it’s a stupid idea to steal a wig (at least, that’s what I believe he was thinking…) so he takes the wig out and drops a ring from his stash of stolen jewels, without realizing it.

Just as he’s about to leave, Mala finishes her show and heads towards the dressing room…she is stopped at the door by the theatre owner, Sethji (Asit Sen). Sethji is obviously out to get some romancing from Mala, though she isn’t interested in the least. Here we find out that Mala is tired of the drama they’ve been doing, and wants something new…and that is why Sethji got an old acquaintance, Deepak, a writer…to come to the theater and write a new drama for them. Shyamu all the while is hiding behind the couch in the dressing room…so when Mala enters and gets dressed, Shyamu heads towards the door-but just as he opens it…Mala catches him. So, in a fit of panic…he says he’s Deepak. Oh boy…

The next day when Shyamu speaks with Sethji and Mala…and the cowardly theater manager…a letter arrives for Sethji. It is from the real Deepak, explaining that he was too sick to come. Shyamu hesitatingly replies that he WAS sick, but then got better and came after all. There is no further questioning…

Eventually, Shyamu falls in love with Mala and decides to find the real Deepak…then murder him. So it’s off to Deepak’s house in Pune. Deepak is deathly ill, and Shyamu recognizes his face immediately…they both look exactly alike! That’s when he decides to kill Deepak and steal his identity, so he can get out of crime for good…but his conscience wins over, and he decides he just can’t do it…thankfully Deepak dies anyway, so Shyamu switches clothes with him and tells a doctor that the man in the bed was the famous thief Shyamu who had followed him home…he shows the doctor the jewels, and Shyamu is ready to live his new life as Deepak…vlcsnap-2065481

Before I go any further, I found that Amitabh’s voice was incredibly high in this movie…it almost sounded like he was dubbed. I don’t know why, maybe for the character…but it was a bad choice (in my opinion) simply because I spent a good deal of time wondering why the heck he sounded like he hadn’t hit puberty yet.

Returning from Pune, Shyamu…er…’Deepak’ encounters Mala and her family. He is invited to spend the night at her house, returning his ring, which she found on her bedroom floor…he gives it to her. Here we find that he has fallen in love with Mala, after he gives a speech to her picture in the guest room…Mala overhears, and is also quite smitten. Cut to a flower field love song, surprisingly original. This struck me about this movie, really…I mean, it wasn’t as if the themes of the songs were particularly striking…but the dancing of Mumtaz, the choreography of the dancers in the background, the camera angles, and the songs themselves all combined to make this wonderfully unique list of musical numbers.vlcsnap-213727

Inspector Kumar sees ‘Deepak’ and isn’t fooled at all. He decides to investigate and prove once and for all that the writer is really Shyamu. Shyamu meets a girl, Rajni, (Kumud Chuggani) he had no knowledge of, who was apparently writing and receiving love letters from the real Deepak…he realizes he has to get those letters so nobody will realize that the handwriting is different…so he pretends that he loves her. That’s when Ranjeet (Ranjeet), Rajni’s husband-to-be gets mad…but Rajni breaks off the engagement with Ranjeet and tells her father she wants to marry Deepak. He’s completely fine with this…but Ranjeet isn’t. And we all know that when Ranjeet’s out for revenge…he generally doesn’t get it, but makes a pretty evil attempt to do so…vlcsnap-2130601

I think the picture speaks for itself. Anyway, if you want to find out more (and get some goods on the subplots/extra details that were left out so this didn’t run into a 50 page review) watch the movie yourself. Where could you go wrong? Honestly…Mumtaz…Ranjeet…Amitabh…it’s a combo that just couldn’t go wrong. Well, I’m sure it could…but it didn’t. As a result, I’m giving this 8 of of 10 bindis. Why so high? The music mainly…I mean it was really wonderful…

On one final note…doesn’t Amitabh just look dashing in this?vlcsnap-2193071

(Would you believe this is my favorite number in the movie, too?)


Entry filed under: 5 and more Bindis, Exceptionally good (8-10), Film Reviews, Hindi, Languages. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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