Monday evening review: Professor (1962)

A simple storyline, dismal acting skills and fine music – this week I dared to write about a movie that truly tested my patience.

Professor, directed by Lekh Tandon, was perhaps the first movie that made me question the quality of Hindi cinema of the past. Indeed, the locations (depicted in the movie) were scenic. But, was the scenery worth those precious three hours?

The story

Pritam (played by Shammi Kapoor), is a highly qualified professor who is desperately in search of a job. Despite multiple applications, he failed to acquire a respectable position. His concerns, however, multiply the day when discovers that his mother is suffering from tuberculosis. It was then that he decided to take a chance and pose as an elder tutor to home-school a few students in Darjeeling. The venture leads to Pritam finding his lady love and the tale begins to take many ‘unpredictable’ twists.

What did I like?

The movie was shot entirely in Darjeeling, making it rather a joy to stare at the screen. There were a few elements of humour as well. The music, by Shankar Jaikishan, was indeed lovely.

A test of one’s patience

Having watched older and more entertaining movies of the past – such as Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Professor was an absolute disappointment. Moreover, a plot that seemed so simple to present – especially with the many talented actors of that era – turned out to be too slow and ineffective. Neither of the leads actors, including Kalpana Mohan and Lalitha Pawar had done justice to their roles.

My take

If you ever wish to explore ‘lullaby’ land, this movie could transport you there is less than a 1.5 hours.