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Parakh (The Test/1960) - (Movies To See Before You Die - Drama)

27 May, 2008 | Movies To See Before You Die / Drama

Bimal Roy’s lesser discussed film about a village, the villagers and their simple lives is a must watch classic indeed, if you still value those innocent times of the past and the loving spirit of togetherness. Admittedly though PARAKH is not considered among the best works of Bimal Roy, but for me, it surely is amongst his most socially relevant and thoughtful works, having the power to communicate the truth in an innovatively entertaining manner. And thus deserves to be rated as a masterpiece, equivalent to the other more famous classics directed by the maestro.
Based on an engaging storyline by Salil Chowdhury and dialogues by Shailendra (a rare feature indeed), the film shows how the simple lifestyle of the villagers goes through a sudden change, when they are informed that a huge amount of money is to be received by one of the chosen persons living in the village at a given condition. Knowing it, everyone tries to prove himself the best contender of the amount and in the process, their inner persona and hidden intensions get revealed exposing their real identities.
It is a simple yet powerful film having a great social message, exploring the human psychology through insightful plot and characters commenting upon social evils such as poverty, superstitions and strong religious associations of the innocent villagers. Directed in a highly thought provoking mode with a pinch of sarcasm, PARAKH truly shows us the vision how subjects were chosen and films were conceived in that Golden Era of Hindi Cinema by the legendary writers-directors and how they magically converted simple story ideas into meaningful ventures. 
Adding to its exclusive features, the film is ironically much more famous for a cult song than the fresh and interesting storyline, and the song unarguably is one of its major highlight with the combination of sensual Sadhana, melodious Lata Mangeshkar, the gifted Salil Chowdhury and the insightful Shailendra together in “O Sajana, Barkha Bahaar Aai”. Interestingly the song happens to be one of the personal favourites of Lata Mangeshkar herself.
Apart from Sadhana impressively winning hearts in an unglamorous appearance as the village girl, PARAKH also has Motilal - one of the most natural actors of Hindi cinema confidently carrying the film on his shoulder along with Kanhaiyalal, Jayant, Nazir Hussain, Asit Sen, Rashid Khan and Keshto Mukherjee in one of his rare appearances as a sober character.
Supporting such a compelling subject, it deservingly won three Filmfare awards as the Best Director (Bimal Roy’s third in succession), Best Supporting Actor (Moti Lal) and Best Sound Recording (George D’Cruz) for the year 1960. 
A highly recommended, not to be missed Bimal Roy gem for all lovers of engrossing social dramas, PARAKH is still highly relevant and relatable even after six decades (more than half a century) in the present times.

So go for it and have a great enlightening time with the masters.

Tags : PARAKH (1960) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bimol Roy Classics, Movies To See Before You die, Must See Movie List By Bobby Sing, Not to be missed Hindi movies list by Bobby Sing,
27 May 2008 / Comment ( 0 )
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