Blast from the past Reviews

Dil Daulat Duniya (1972)

Ashok Kumar   | Photo Credit: 29dfr ashok kumar

How often would you find supporting actors steal the limelight when the focus is often on the leading pair? True there have been stalwarts, like Ashok Kumar, Om Prakash, Pran, all accomplished performers with a fine repertoire, exerting their presence to match the star value attached to the hero and his lady love. These support actors add substantial substance to the film’s success but are often relegated to the backbench.

Ashok Kumar and Pran have accepted a variety of roles, negative and comic, to come to terms with the genre. An actor loves variety in order to demonstrate his skills and only a few, like Ashok Kumar, Pran and Om Prakash can claim to have adapted and performed to create a niche following. The light roles that they adopted brought out the best of them, especially when pitted against each other. It was a tribute to their acting talent that they rarely let the director down.

In “Dil Daulat Duniya” (DDD), Ashok Kumar and Om Prakash come together to weave a fascinating tale that surrounds a mansion and its occupants. It is not an original though. It borrows the plot from the classic 1947 Hollywood hit “It Happened On Fifth Avenue”. The cast of DDD includes Rajesh Khanna and Sadhana, a very odd leading pair, one a star on the rise and the other a pale shadow of the beauty that lit up movies like “Hum Dono” and “Parakh”.

To have clubbed Ashok Kumar and Om Prakash together was a brilliant move, given their versatility and the fact that they enjoyed comic roles. They complement each other so well when compared to the Rajesh Khanna and Sadhana’s laboured essays to strike an on-screen chord as the leading pair. Jagdeep and Helen hardly help the cause of the movie with their trite acts, not to forget Mehmood (Jr) in a contrived show.

The Kalidas Mansion offers a wonderful world for the homeless. Udharchand Shikarpuri (Om Prakash), with his pet dog in tow, follows an innovative lifestyle, a “home” in the Bombay mansion for a period of six months. This is the period the owner of the mansion, millionaire Seth Kalidas (Ashok Kumar) is away to Mussoorie. Udharchand, masquerading as the owner, oscillates between the two homes in the absence of the original possessor.

The tale here captures the dreams and pursuits of a happy life of two friends, Vijay (Rajesh Khanna) and Raju (Agha), homeless and jobless both. Taking pity of their state, Udharchand invites them to his mansion with some strict rules in place. Gradually, Raju accommodates his wife and son and Rita (Helen) also finds a way into the household. But the story takes off when Rupa (Sadhana), enters the mansion and joins the brigade by concealing her real identity – she is the only daughter of Seth Kalidas.

Vijay and Rupa fall in love and the latter takes it upon herself to convince her father. Kalidas forges his way into the mansion as another homeless and takes a ringside view of the happenings, slowly coming to accept the encroachers for their simple ways. Udharchand and Kalidas take on each other and create some funny situations before it ends in a predictable manner, Vijay and Rupa tie the knot, Kalidas never reveals his identity because he wants things to continue, his mansions on offer for the homeless for six months.

Ashok Kumar and Om Prakash are the soul of the movie and dominate the show with their acting dexterity. Rajesh Khanna, as handsome as ever, is, however, a waste in the movie opposite Sadhana, the only time they came together as the lead pair. Helen and Jagdeep make up the numbers. The most disappointing section of the movie is the music by Shankar-Jaikishan, a very substandard offering from among the finest musicians of all time. It is worth a watch for the excellent presence of Ashok Kumar and Om Prakash.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 11:52:32 PM |

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