Shri 420 by Kailash Mundra

by (left is the writer)
'Nandu Chavathe with me'

Shri 420 : a movie which is etched in me since I saw it in the mid 50s as a kid ! This film title referred to as fraud, had taken all film buffs by a storm … The story of an educated simpleton who migrates to Mumbai & juggles between being successful & at the same time remain honest ! He is trapped between honesty (Nargis as Vidya ,knowledge , an epitome of goodness) , and money plus glamour (Nadira as Maya, a socialite without any reluctance) . His journey is from a simple man proud of his honesty, to the disillusioned & unhappy man, who later discovers that his conscience is still alive & his change of heart … RK’s planning of “Mera naam Joker” started with this movie, when he made a crying & a laughing mask on Vidya’s school blackboard & said “Dil ka dard aur aankho ke aansoo chhupane ke liye yeh bewaqoof maskarey ka bhes, bade kaam ki cheez hain ” … There is the club scene of Nargis, who is shown uncomfortable & is humiliated by Nadira (in the club) & runs away, RK repeated this scene in his later film “Bobby”, where Dimple is shown uncomfortable in the club & runs away ! But the best scene is when rich RK stands in front of the mirror & the reflection of earlier poor RK appears, the earlier Raj was poor, but he was happy, and proud of his honesty. The present day Raj confirms, that he is not happy (what a lovely acting by RK in that scene …. simply superb ) ! Besides these characters , two important characters played a major role in shaping RK , one was the kind hearted Gangamai (the kelewali Lalita Pawar) and the other, the opportunist evil Sonachand Dharmanand played by actor Nemo ! Rest of the points have been nicely written by my friends in their post , so I shall not discuss them !
Regarding SJ’s music , SJSH were at the peak those days, and every
song in the film came at a point in the script where the narrative needed it ! In the annals of Hindi films Shri 420 will remain one of the finest creations of RK banner !! Seen here are Shailendraji & Jaikishanji in a cameo in Shri 420 …

Kailash Mundra's photo.
Kailash Mundra's photo.

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