DVD Review: Anmol Ghadi (1946)


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Directed by Mehboob Khan
Written by Anwar Batalvi (story)
Agha Jani Kashmiri (writer)
Starring Surendra
Noor Jehan
Suraiya
Music by Naushad
Cinematography Faredoon A. Irani
Release date 11 November 1946
Running time 122 min
Country British India
Language Urdu/Hindi

Technical Aspects On the DVD Disc:

Video Codec: MPEG-2
Encoding format: 4:3
Resolution: 480i (NTSC)
Aspect ratio: 1.44:1
Audio Hindi: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English
Discs Single disc (1 DVD-9)
Playback Region free

Movie Review:

Watched the DVD of Anmol Ghadi (finally). i had acquired this Eros disc a while back and held off watching it, that is until this weekend. My first expectation revolved around the music, and then Noor Jehan and Suraiya.

Off the bat, let me start with the music. Naushad’s score remains precious to me (Not like Gollum, lol), because of its evergreen appeal and its ability to take the singers to amazing heights. Each of the songs are a gem. Mohammed Rafi had his first major break with ‘Tera Khilona Toota’ in Anmol Ghadi. Noor Jehan and Suraiya’s songs are absolutely the highlight of this soundtrack and in the same way i can say the movie Anmol Ghadi.

There are many iterations of Devdas all over Bollywood, and Anmol Ghadi is also one of them. The writers just switched Devdas and Paro’s affluence; in what results in an overly melodramatic adaptation.

The story is really non-existent and the happenings are just for the foolhardy. There are so much unexplained situations, it just frustrated me.

Suraiya steals the film, her character adds so much verve and charisma. I have watched a handful of her films, but i think i am doing myself short if i dont explore more of her films. Films like ‘Shama’ and ‘Mirza Ghalib’ are ones that i heard great things about but i have never watched. In this utterly depressing, melodramatic movie, she rises far above. Noor Jehan was just good, but i guess her Paro-like character was meant to be just that. When Noor Jehan and Suraiya are on screen together, they are formidable. Now comes the reason for the melodrama. The actor Surendra leaves very little impression. His character Chander is always moping around, feeling sorry for himself, and cannot move out of the past. Surendra, the singer might hit all the right notes, but sadly his character in the film, is nerve-grating. The logic of two intelligent, beautiful women falling for this character makes the film more troubled.

What is quite interesting to note is all the actors did their own playback singing, and quite excellent too. Rafi’s lone track is picturised on a street selling toy-Vendor which sarcastically sums up the premise of Anmol Ghadi.

If the soundtrack were just about average, i don’t think this movie would have become such a hit.

DVD Technical Presentation:

Eros has plastered its logo in top left hand corner of frame, throughout the movie. The restoration of the film print is actually decent. There are no blemishes, though a few lines did appear now and then. And now for the joke, it is presented in Dolby 5.1. WTF Eros?? The track has been cleaned excellently, no hisses or scratches, clear dialogues and the songs were presented really nice, but why force a 5.1 track? It sounded very front heavy, almost non-existent surrounds, but then i forced Mono through the amp, and i was quite happy.

Ratings:

Film: ½ /

PQ:  /

AQ:  /

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