(Last Updated on : 15/01/2009)
Andaz (1951) is a film by Mehboob Khan
and it stars Nargis, Dilip Kumar
, Raj Kapoor
, Cuckoo, VH Desai, Murad, Sapru and others. Andaz is a critique of the 1940 society. The director made the film to put across the message that western culture is leading to Indian social disintegration. He addresses his film to the contemporary Indian youth who are mimicking the western fashion, culture and conducts mindlessly. Andaz is looked upon as India's first film that takes a close look at the country's wealthy urban class. The film is considered a classic not only because of its script and acting but also because of its production value and technical gloss. Such technical expertise was unprecedented in Bollywood. The photography
for Andaz was done by Faredoon Irani.
The plots of Andaz revolved around three main characters: Neeta (Nargis), Dilip (Dilip Kumar) and Rajan (Raj Kapoor). Neeta (Nargis) and Dilip (Dilip Kumar) meet when the heroine is saved by Dilip as her horse loses control. They become friends but Dilip falls in love with Neeta. He mistakes her friendly gestures as love. Unaware of his feelings Neeta continues her acquaintance and even shrugs off her father's warnings regarding her friendship with Dilip. It is through Neeta's father that Mehboob Khan voices his concern for the changing social values. In the meantime Neeta's father passes away and it is Dilip at this point of time who emotionally supports Neeta. She also includes him in their family business. The twist in the story comes when Neeta's fiancé, Rajan, appears in the story. On their wedding night Dilip confesses his love to Neeta. She is flabbergasted and tells him that she had always looked upon him as a friend.
As the story proceeds the audiences come to know that Rajan is suspicious of Neeta and Dilip's friendship. He doubts that it is because of Dilip that his wife is staying away from him and their little daughter. On the other hand Dilip's pent up emotions have made frustrated. Things sour even more when Rajan and Dilip fight. Enraged Dilip goes to Neeta and tells her that it is he whom she loves and not Rajan. In order to save herself from Dilip she shoots him. She is tried for his murder. In the courtroom Rajan testifies against her and she is imprisoned for life. Rajan's misunderstandings are cleared and he realizes that Neeta had loved him all through but it was too late. He goes to jail to meet and apologise to Neeta. She is worried about her daughter and asks Rajan not to bring her up the way she had been brought up.
Andaz is considered to be the one of the first love triangle stories that had so much impact upon the audiences. Films based on love triangles were made earlier too but they did not go on to become such huge hits. Andaz had a sensational star cast of Nargis, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor. It will always be remembered for bringing together the two biggest names in the Indian cinema together: Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar. However it must be remembered that both these legendary actors were new to film industry at that time.
Andaz did wonders for Nargis' career. The film shows some of the most outstanding performances from the lead characters. Andaz was one of the many films for Nargis where she played a heroine caught in a dilemma between two leading men. Amazingly films with tragic ends were wholeheartedly accepted by the audience in the 1950s and 1960s. One glaring example being Andaz and the other being Mughal-e-Azam
. Andaz also consolidated Dilip Kumar's mage as a tragic lover. But the best and difficult role was of Raj Kapoor's. He essayed the character of a suspicious husband. His role-playing is in total contrast to Dilip Kumar's subtle acting. Such contrast goes extremely well for Andaz.
The music for Andaz was composed by Nuashad and the lyrics were provided by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Tu Kahe Agar, Jhoom Jhoom ke Nacho Aaj, Tootena Dil Tootena, Hum Aaj Kahin Dil Kho Bhaithe, Uthaye Ja Unke Situm, Tod Diya Dil Mera are among the finest songs of that era. Songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar
are still considered classics. Andaz has two heroes and Naushad uses two separate voices for them. Mohd. Rafi sang for Raj Kapoor and Mukesh sang for Dilip Kumar.
What gives Andaz its timelessness is modern theme. The argument over following the traditional and modern methods seems never ending. Andaz, as a result, remains a cult film. Apart from the technical aspects it, for the first time, presented Dilip Kumar in a role with negative shades. In an industry where leading men did not like to be in a villain's shoe, Dilip Kumar begged to differ and played a different role at an early stage of his career. The experiment, however, paid off. In Andaz Mehboob cleverly develops the 'romance' between Dilip Kumar and Nargis. Just when people are anticipating a love story that the director introduces a fiancé and the budding romance comes to an abrupt halt. Such a twist in the script helps to build the drama even better. Consequently what comes out is a highly charged and volatile love triangle rising to great levels of Greek tragedy. Andaz emerges as a timeless classic - a rich, complex journey into the very depth of the human heart.