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Intezar (1956) Review

INTEZAR A successful experiment

Reviewd By l. A.REHMAN

CREDITS: Banner: Select Pictures. Producers: Kh. Khurshid Anwar and Sultan Jilani. Director: Masud Pervez. Story and Screenplay: Kh. Khurshid Anwar. Music: Kh. Khurshid Anwar. Songs: Qateel Shifiai Tufail Hoshiarpuri. Dialogues: S. Imtiaz Ali Taj. Photography: Nabi Abmad. Audiography: Taj Malik and S. Jilani. Cast: Noor Jehan, Santosh, Asha Posley, Ghulam Mohammad, Ashiq Husain and Majeed.

Released in May 1956

Select Pictures' 'Intezar', marks a welcome departure from the usual film themes and modes of treatment. It is a successful experiment. Leaving aside the unnecessary elements of box-office stories and cutting down all superfluous matter; the scenarist has created a drama with real characters from life. He keeps the audience engrossed not by any extraordinary event but by clever handling of the theme.

For most of our people music means only film music, and that too of the cheapest variety. No one can deny that the IndoPakistan film music has been developed almost wholly on considerations of cheap popularity and monetary gains and has hardly anything in common with the art and traditions of the people. The original music of the people seems to have been forgotten and is in danger of extinction unless something is done to revive it through the mere available medium of films. Every effort towards the purification of film music must, therefore, be welcomed and encouraged by all. Select Pictures' 'Intezar' marks the first bold step in this direction. Khurshid Anwar's musical score, based purely on classical `ragas', alone makes it an outstanding film.

'Intezar' is an undisguised attack on cheap westernised music that one often hears on the screen. At the same time it reveals the finest quality of our own national music. The film starts from the premise that music cannot be considered in isolation from the life of the people. It is an inseparable part of culture and should be taken in its proper context. The argument is built up by contrast on a wide scale. The common and unintelligent mixture of the foreign and the national, and the pure national music are represented by characters. Practically every player is in either of the two camps. The highest grade of contrast is presented by two young brothers. Salim is modest, sincere and considerate, a man of upright character and a lover of `ragas'. Naim is just the opposite. He is violent, unbalanced, very fond of sambas and rumbas and devoid of morality. In Salim's life everything is adjusted in a smooth, rhythmic pattern, while Naim's existence has a distorted and out-of-place look. Both of them love a simple daughter of the soil who, in view of her training in music, can be described as representing the views of the discerning public. Her choice is the choice of the people. She has reasons, some sentimental, others very academic, for liking Salim. His music, she says, works for the purification and propei growth of the human spirit while Naim perverts and degrades it. The former is in keeping with the social conditions and sentiments of the people, their tradition and culture, in fact with the mood of the land itself; the latter is utterly foreign to them. Both schools of music and music-lovers have ample opportunity for showing their art. Naim has a very resolute composer and conductor in Master D'Souza, who tries his best to implant foreign music in a land which already has fine music of its own. The national art has its exponents in Nimmi, the blind girl from the beautiful valley, her father, and Salim himself. The position is so clear that the audience has no difficulty in following the contrast and their verdict is not going to be any different from that of Nimmi's; The success of 'Infezar's' music shows that our classical and folk music is not something to be confined to the assemblies of experts but can, if properly presented, hold its supremacy anywhere, in private gatherings of aestheticians or on the screen and the stage. The musical score of `Intezar', rich, melodious and instantly appealing, is the chief highlight of the film. It marks a departure that other composers would do well to note.

The novel theme makes an interesting film. Told in cold print, the story may not appear particularly impressive. It has no sensational turns and twists, none of the common ingredients that are generally considered indispensable to a successful film. But `Intezar' is nevertheless successful. Told in celluloid, its story never flags in interest and occasionally thrills. While the first half is steeped in sentiment, the second abounds with much gripping melodrama and an intense piecemeal analysis of characters. In fact, it is the clash of characters rather than action which sustains interest in the story. The screen-play is well-conceived and the director deserves praise for extracting the last ounce of interest and emotion out of it. The way he build up a climax with the help of a song a rare, immensely thrilling experience. `Intezar' is an artistic example of how a successful film can be created without resort to the conventional stock-in-trade of the screen writers. The absolute lack of cheapness and vulgarity, which are commonly supposed to be necessary for the success of a film, is another noteworthy feature of `Intezar'. Its comedy is clean and witty, with a rich streak of satire

Masud Parvez has directed the cast efficiently. `Intezar', it must be said, is a competently acted film, Noor Jehan has the innocent charm and dignity of the mountain belle. She has played the role of a blind girl with understanding and concentration and has been beautifully photographed throughout. Santosh Kumar keeps the persons of Salim and Naim distinctly individual. From moral and mental attitudes to physical characteristics they look two different men. That is a tribute to the histrionic ability of Santosh. The two main stars get good support from almost all the supporting cast, but the most surprisingly competent portrayal in a side role comes from Ashiq Hussain. His is a first class villain. With well-controlled and suggestive gestures he builds up the character of the avaricious hypocrite.

The film's photography and sound are good. For a newcomer, Nabi Ahmad's work behind the camera is commendable. Some of the outdoor shots are especially worth mentioning.

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