Monday evening review: Chitchor (1976): For music that never fades

A fun tale of mistaken identities and ever-lasting melodies are the perfect cure for the fatigued soul. Indeed, not many understand the power of the simple yet charming silver-screen presentations.

Chitchor, a movie released in the year 1976, is an example of the above-mentioned genre. Directed by Basu Chatterjee, the movie is known for its priceless melodies by Ravindra Jain. Interestingly, the music also featured the Gaana Gandharvan – K J Yesudas.

When Geeta met Vinod

The movie is set a village in Madhupur (situated in present-day Jharkhand). Pitamber Chaudhri (played by A K Hangal), the father of a tomboy, Geeta (Played by Zarina Wahab), finds out that an acquaintance of his eldest daughter (who lives in Bombay), will be visiting the village. Chaudhri also learns that this acquaintance would be an ideal life-partner for Geeta. However, Geeta seems least interested in being married to anybody.

The story takes a turn when Geeta meets Vinod (played by Amol Palekar), a young engineer from Mumbai. Assuming that he is likely to be the new son-in-law of the household, Pitambar Chaudhari behaves rather courteous and helpful. Over a period of time, the young engineer grows fond of the family and of course, Geeta. However, it isn’t long before the family discovers that this is not the person recommended by the eldest daughter.

But, like many of stories, there is a happily-ever after moment!

Simple, funny and enjoyable

Chitchor is similar to many tales of that point in time. It talks of a simple family and their small pleasures. It also throws light upon the importance of being good, honest and genuine human beings. This, according to me, was the USP of the movie.

The film’s charm could also be attributed to the talented cast that included AK Hangal, Dina Pathak, Zarina Wahan and Raju Shrestha (aka Master Raju).

Perhaps another ‘competitor’

The tale would have been more hilarious had it been another person playing the role of Sunil ( Vinod’s boss and the apparently ‘ideal son-law’ of Pitambar Chaudhri’s household). The actor failed to create any impact with his absolutely child-like display of theatrical skills and blank expressions.

The music steals by heart

True to the title (Chitchor means the one who steals the heart), the music of this movie lingers in the minds of the people till date!

Songs such as Gori tera gaon bada pyaar, Tu jo mere sur me, Jab deep jale aana, not only won accolades but also showcased the musical talents of one of India’s finest composers – Ravindran Jain.

These songs demanded the need for formal training in Indian classical music. As a result, the unique compositions sung by K J Yesudas and Hemalatha are truly unforgettable!

My take

The movie flows at a medium pace. But, it is worth a watch or two.