Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hum Dono aur Tum Dono!

Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD for this ancient movie that I hated. Well, I didn't really hate it but I thought it was soooooo boring. Anyways, since it is about to be colorized and re-released, I dug up this old review and am re-posting for your viewing pleasure.

Hum Dono could have been much better than it actually was. I'm a big fan of Goldie's screenplays in general and I love double roles - "How could this possibly be bad?" I thought.

Two Dev Anands, but only one moustache and pompadour between them.

Dev Anand #1 - "Anand" - loves his Ma. He also loves a young lady named Mita who is wealthy. Anand is not. Mita's father thinks he's a gold digger and throws him out of Mita's life. Anand is so upset about being poor and unemployed that he joins the army.

Dev Anand #2 - "Major Verma" - also loves his Ma. He also has a wife and a moustache. Major Verma is well adjusted and if has any problems, it's that he took his perfect life for granted.

They meet and there are fewer "we both look alike" hijinks than one would expect. For reasons I do not understand, instead of the "we look alike" hijinks I was hoping for, the director decided to give us about 45 minutes worth of war sequences: fighting, people dying, machine guns going off, etc. It's not too clear who the other side is, either. I got the impression that they were in Burma.

Major Verma sacrifices himself in a very noble manner for Anand and the enlisted men to escape. Anand feels very sad about this.

Anand returns home to find that
his MA died while he was away in the army! OH NO! And Mita has been living in his house as kind of a proto-Bahu. Anand doesn't quite understand this at first, though. He's too shell shocked about his Ma's death and insults Mita with questions about how much money her husband makes and how nice it must be to be rich.

The real interesting part of the story doesn't happen until Anand decides that it is his duty to tell Major Verma's family about Major Verma's heroic death. When he gets to Major Verma's house, however, his family mistakes Anand for Major Verma! And in a moment of weakness, Anand gives in to Major Verma's mother's love and hugs - missing his own mother and feeling guilty that he left her.

Anand gets stuck in his lie when it is revealed that Major Verma's wife has drama disease and CANNOT hear any shocking news or else she will have a heart attack and die. So, Anand must continue the charade.

This goes poorly for all involved. Major Verma's wife doesn't understand why her husband is so changed and will no longer give her the "love" she considers part of his husbandly duties.

However, 5 minutes to go before the end, Major Verma shows up alive but missing a leg. He and Anand cook up a plan to get everyone to admit their true feelings and THE END!

See, it sounds so promising in theory. The double role lets us explore how men change when they come back from war - as if they are
different men. Mita had a nice subplot, too, giving up her wealth for love. Mita's father gives up his wealth when he realizes that it does not bring his daughter happiness.

Maybe it's that Dev Anand is too weak of an actor to carry the melodrama to the fullest or the wasted time spent on all the dead bodies and fighting during the war sequences, but I never really connected with the story. The one character I really loved was Major Verma's poor wife, played by Nanda. Anand was so cruel to her - not that he meant to be.

I also really tired of the phrase 'hum dono,' which was used all the time!

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I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

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xoxo Filmi Girl
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