Skip to main content

Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955)

Starring: Gopi Kishen, Sandhya, Keshavrao Date, Bhagwan, Manorama, Madan Puri

Story and Dialogues: Dewan Sharan

Cinematography: G. Balkrishna

Choreography: Gopi Kishen

Audiography: A.K. Parmar

Art Direction: Kanu Desai

Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri

Music: Vasant Desai

Produced and Directed by: V. Shantaram

Synopsis

Neela (Sandhya), a dancing girl, is seen doing a cheap dance by an old time Guru (Keshav Rao Date) and his son and disciple Girdhar (Gopi Kishen). Chastised by the Guru and shown what real dance is by Girdhar she sees a new meaning in dance and begs the Guru to teach her. He tells her it will be a hard task but she is willing. Girdhar and the Guru stay in her place, where her maintenance is paid for by one of her admirers Mani Babu (Madan Puri). As Neela and Girdhar begin their training for a prestigious dance festival, the two of them also fall in love. The Guru is furious as he is totally against any display of any emotion by the artist other than devotion to his art. Neela withdraws from Girdhar's life making him hate her and even tries to kill herself but survives. She gives up everything so that Girdhar may excel in his art. Now that Girdhar needs a partner, the Guru and Girdhar decide on Roopkala, a dancer who had trained under the Guru but had corrupted his art. Holding Girdhar responsible for Neela spurning him, Mani Babu buys off Roopkala who refuses to dance. As Girdhar is alone and about to be disqualified, Neela reaches there and performs the Shiv-Parvati dance with him. The Guru relents as he realizes the hardships Neela has undergone and he reunites the lovers.
.
JHANAK JHANAK PAYAL BAAJE 1954

The film


With Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, V. Shantaram once again proves his ability as a master filmmaker as he combines an extremely well written screenplay with the dance element of the film. With this film, his first foray into technicolour Shantaram, proves that you can turn to your own culture and come up with a superb, engrossing, thought-provoking and well crafted film. Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje is a film which propogates that India must preserve her artistic purity and not be swayed by 'westernization'. . The film is a tribute to the Classical Dances of India. From lessons in Kathak to Yaman Raag to Dance of the Seasons to the Shiv Tandav sequence, the film is a series of sparkling vignettes and gorgeous ensembles of Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Manipuri. The nascent romance is keyed to the performance of the romantic Radha-Krishna number in traditional Kathak style and as it grows it exposes itself in the wild joy of the Bhil dance staged in association with the late Thakkar Bapa's Varanasi Seva Mandal Troupe. It blossoms amid the ecstasies of Bhartanatyam in Mysore's famous Brindavan Gardens. True, the film is a feast of Indian Dance but never moving away from the story and is in fact an essential part of a tender romance of the Guru's disciple, which ripens into love and is turned into drama and near tragedy before resolving itself happily at the end. Certain sequences intermingling with the dance and drama are extremely well conceptualized and carried off with flair. This intermingling of life with art also heightens the drama and gives the film more depth and layering making for enriched viewing.

The highlight of the film is the Shiv Tandav sequence as Gopi Kishen sets the screen ablaze. Gopi Kishen and Chaube Maharaj create a virile dance crowned by the best that the glory of dancing, youth, beauty and vigour can give it. It is enhanced immeasurably with its perceptive camera angles and skilful use of spot lighting. Gopi Kishen is the life and soul of the film as long as he sticks to what he knows best - dancing. His dances are the films's strengths as he makes the viewer realizes the richness and artistry involved in Indian Dance. Shantaram who was a perfectionist made Sandhya train for two years before he began the film. Sandhya tries hard but lacks the natural talent in both acting and dancing and one cannot help thinking what wonders a seasoned actress - dancer like Vyjayantimala could have worked with a role like this.

The brilliant choreography, sets and costumes of the film deserve a mention even if admittedly the team did get carried away with the fact that the film is in colour and admittedly the look is garish with saturated colours reminding one more of Indian Calender Art but Shantaram makes great cinematic use of it with dynamic camera movements and takings that highlight his mastery over the medium.

The other strong point of the film is its lyrics and musical score. Hasrat Jaipuri has done some of his best work in this film with soulful lyrics like Nain so Nain and Ae Mere Dil Bata and the film is a triumph for Music Director, Vasant Desai. Vasant Desai was a regular with Shantaram. He began his career at Prabhat as an actor and a studio hand in 1929. He became assistant to the music directors there like Keshav Rao Bhole, Master Krishna Rao and Govingrao Tembe. Desai is best known for mainly adapting traditional Maharashtrian musical modes of Powada and Lavni and made several polemical statements calling for Marathi Cinema's return to regional music traditions. It is said that following the success of Baiju Bawra (1952) where Naushad so successfully incorporated Indian Classical music Shantaram was advised by well-wishers to take Naushad to score the music for the film but Shantaram was adamant and stuck to Vasant Desai who responded with perhaps his career's best score! The music mingles the rhapsodies of the flute and soft outpourings of the sitar to highlight and subdue as the case might be the interludes in which the lovers hold the stage as lovers. An interesting point is the absence of Raag Bihag which is actually associated from time memorial with separated lovers and here the film refrains from using it even though the lovers do get separated before reuniting at the end. Vasant Desai proves how accessible Indian Classical music can be and repeated his success story in Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959) which had the great Bismillah Khan playing the shehnai!

Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje was written off by some critics but the public responded most favourably to the film as it ran for over two years at a theatre in Mumbai and even went on to win the President's Gold Medal for Best Feature Film of 1955. In 1959 Shantaram returned to another film combining dance this time with fantasy - Navrang about an artist who glamorizes his wife in his fantasies as his muse. Though critics like Baburao Patel of Filmindia dismissed the film as 'the mental masturbation of a senile mind', the public once again responded enthusiastically to the film making it a success at the box-office! Oh well...To each his own!

.
HINDI MOVIES: GEMS OF THE DECADES:

Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje

˜Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje' beautifully incorporated story line up to support some marvelous dance performances by Gopi Krishna. This V.Shantaram film has dramatic loud mannerism that might get irritating for the youngsters. But, the classical dances by Gopi Krishna and Sandhya depicting different moods are worth watching. Kathak, Bharat Natyam and Manipuri, such remarkable sequences keep you spell bound. No wonder the film did good business.

Classical dance requires years of patient practice and a much disciplined life. Continuous unperturbed efforts have to go in.

The guru-father is determined to see his son at the heights of success, being honoured with the title of Bharat Natarajan. The guru is angered by the thought of his son being deviated from his goal.This frustration is announced with a slap. Spare the rod, spoil the child- was a saying of the past, you can see the guru – father use it here. Though, today parents would think a thousand times before raising their hands. Terms have changed between parents and children, your fortunate if your kids show the same kind of gratitude and allow you to mend their ways.

.
asj..great write up on the movie Janak Janak..Shantaram had Sandhya in his movies as he fell in love with her and she became wife #3...It is true that she is no fab dancer like Vyjanti..who would have done a better job....also Sandhya is in a movie name Sehra...there are some beautiful tunes in this movie....part of my collection....got it for the song...pankh uthe urjate hai...
quote:
Originally posted by RQ:
asj..great write up on the movie Janak Janak..Shantaram had Sandhya in his movies as he fell in love with her and she became wife #3...It is true that she is no fab dancer like Vyjanti..who would have done a better job....also Sandhya is in a movie name Sehra...there are some beautiful tunes in this movie....part of my collection....got it for the song...pankh uthe urjate hai...


Yes Bahenji, Shantaram was one of the early filmmakers to realize the efficacy of the film medium as an instrument of social change and used it successfully to advocate humanism on one hand and expose bigotry and injustice on the other.

Well about his wives? he had three, but then the great Kishore Kumar had three Beauty Queens as wives.
.
HINDI MOVIES: GEMS OF THE DECADES:

Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje (V. Shantaram, 1955): Song and dance extravaganza, JJPB is one of India's premier classics. Despite being a dance musical with two non-stars, the film was a landmark hit. There couldn't have been a more befitting testimony of Shantaram's foresight nor a better reward for his spirit of adventure. There was a standing ovation for Shantaram in every show when the screening ended. The film earned him President's Gold Medal for Best Film, besides Filmfare awards (1957) for Best Film, Best Director, Best Art Director (Kanu Desai) and Best Sound Recordist (A. K. Parmar). Sandhya never bettered her performance in JJPB. The role of a keen learner and a dedicated disciple fitted her like a glove. Gopi Kishan holds you spellbound as a chareographer and dancer. In the climax, Gopi Kishan visibly revels in the Shiva's famous 'tandav' dance with the magnetism of the blend of energy, undiluted anger and immance grace that draws in not just the dance-literate but every genre of viewers.
.
HINDI MOVIES: GEMS OF THE DECADES:

SONGS FROM JHANAK JHANAK PAYAL BAJE:

Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje: MP :
Singer : Amir Khan, Khan Sahib

Jo Tum Todo Piya
Singer : Lata Mangeshkar

Kaisi Yeh Mohabbat Ki Saja
Singer : Lata Mangeshkar

Mere Ai Dil Bata
Singer : Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey
Lyrics : Hasrat Jaipuri

Murli Manohar
Singer : Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey
Lyrics : Hasrat Jaipuri

Nain So Nain
Singer : Hemant Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar

Suno Suno Suno Ji
Singer : Lata Mangeshkar
.

Add Reply

Post

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×