Blast from the Past Columns

Bullet (1976)

The Dev Anand-Vijay Anand combination gave us many memorable film like “Hum Dono”, “Guide”, “Jewel Thief” and “Tere Mere Sapne”. With the former moving on to becoming writer-director the partnership came to halt for a time being. The brothers came back soon enough to a hit like “Johny Mera Naam” and also the obviously less successful “Chhupa Rustom”.

Celebrating Navketan’s 25th anniversary, the duo combined to make films like “Janeman”, “Bulltet” and “Des Pardes”.

“Bullet”, inspired by a James Hadley Chase thriller, had some flashes of brilliance. The film is about Durga Prasad (Kabir Bedi), owner of a shipping company but whose main business is to cheat innocent people. He is pursued by Inspector Dharam Dev (Dev Anand). Dev is trying to nail him for his misdeeds. He befriends his personal secretary Sapna, (Parveen Babi) to meet his goal.

Initially hurt and annoyed Sapna decides to help him when Durga Prasad urges her to please one his associates. Dharam Dev gets hold of some confidential files of Durga Prasad but on the way is overpowered by his goons and falsely implicated in a murder case.

Dharam Dev’s track record and timely help from inspector Rajesh (Rakesh Roshan) facilitates his release after which he vows to finish Durga Prasad with a bullet he keeps exclusively him. “Is bullet pe tumhara naam likha hai,” Dharam Dev warns Durga Prasad. With the entry of Mala (Sonia Sahani), lover of Durga Prasad, Seth Ghanshyam Das (Shreeram Lagoo) and Roshi (Jyoti Bakshi) there is a twist in the story with suspense enveloping the narrative.

Dharam Dev is initially suspected but later it is revealed that Durga Prasad is the murderer with the climax shot at Bombay Hospital where the former shoots the latter.

Based on Suraj Sanim’s story, written, directed and edited by Vijay Anand, the film does impresses in snatches but after the first hour the script goes haywire. It clearly shows Vijay Anand losing form, focus and interest in direction. However, his editing is noteworthy.

Dev Anand and Parveen Babi perform well in their romantic and emotional scenes are well supported by Sonia Sahani, Shreeram Lagoo and Rakesh Roshan. However, Kabir Bedi is the scene stealer with a confident and mature performance. Jyoti Bakshi does not impress while Jagdeep’s comic efforts go waste.

The lyrics by Anand Bakshi and music composed by R.D.Burman are average and the only song which stands out is the Lata Mangeshkar’s solo, “Jab Tum Chale Jaoge”. Burman’s background score is superior just as Jal Mistry’s cinematography is.

Had Vijay Anand refrained from from using a climax which is highly influenced by Guru Dutt’s, “CID”, “Bullet” could have been a better watch.



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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 2:33:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-columns/blast-from-the-past-column-bullet/article7481893.ece

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