Gumrah

Gumrah

Gumrah is a 1963 Hindi film produced and directed by B.R.Chopra. Meena (Mala Sinha) and Kamla (Nirupa Roy) are two daughters of a wealthy Nainital resident. Meena is in love with artist-singer Rajendra (Sunil Dutt). Things take a turn when Kamla and her two kids come to visit them from Bombay.  Meena’s father (Nana Palsikar) suggests Meena marry her sister’s husband Barrister Ashok (Ashok Kumar) since a new woman might not take to the kids. Meena ultimately agrees to marry Ashok and then moves down with him to Bombay. All this happens without her even informing Rajendra.  After some time, she meets Rajendra again, and this brings to a renewed relationship. Gumrah was one of the earliest hindi films which tackle the issue of extra-marital affair. B.R. Chopra’s Gumrah must have been perceived then as a bold and forward film of the times. But then again,some aspects of this film can be regarded as sexist. The film makes the point of the woman being the moral centre point of the family. It treats extra-marital affair as crime especially when it is done by women.  Beside that ,the film is well-made. The music was composed by Ravi while the lyrics were by Sahir Ludhianvi.  All the songs are hauntingly beautiful, ‘chalo ek baar phir se’, the beautiful arrangements and melodies in ‘aap aaye’ the haunting ‘aa bhi ja’ wonderful kiddies song ‘Ek thi Ladki and my favourite one ‘tujhko mera pyar pukare’ where we’re treated to lovely shots of Nainital. Gumrah is overall Mala Sinha’s show, and she is plain excellent in a demanding part which requires her to work a lot with her inner self.  Ashok Kumar is competent in the role of the happy-go-lucky husband who is far more sophisticated than it seems to be. Sunil Dutt was strictly average as tormented lover.  Gumrah is overall an enjoyable film. It could have been a great film if it was devoid of apparent sexism.

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