A film meant to complete a trilogy didn’t quite make it to it’s culmination due to unforeseen circumstances must be a hurtful event for an actor-director, albeit close to his heart. Love In Bombay was one such dream for actor and filmmaker, Joy Mukherjee. The film was meant to be the third part of the “Love In” series, two of the earlier films being huge hits of their time. Yes, Love In Bombay is not the perfect film which you will watch, awestruck at the magnificence of the cinematography and the direction. What’s wonderful is that this is just an honest endeavor at fulfilling one’s wish, not one which has an obvious motive of making a profit from the film by marketing it aptly. The story behind this digital restoration of a film that was previously shelved is heartbreaking yet wonderful. Few would know the complete truth. As far as I am concerned, the respect in my eyes grew manifold for the actor and filmmaker, Joy Mukherjee’s family.
One may wonder why this film will work with the rather rational audience of today. However, we mustn’t forget that this film was written & shot in the early ’70s. There will be little resemblance to the films one gets to watch nowadays. Of course, failures are a part and parcel of everyone’s life, what differs is the resilience in a situation when you feel you’re in the doldrums.
This film is a simple story of a village boy, Baadal (Joy Mukherjee) who meets a girl from the city, Preeti (Waheeda Rehman) in the most unusual circumstances and the couple eventually fall in love, and wish to get married only to find Preeti’s scheming father, played by Rehman and her fiancé, Roshan try all methods to separate the couple. There’s a lot of drama, jealousy, and a challenge that ensues, but Baadal ends up triumphant through it all. The most fun element was Kishore Kumar‘s character, Ganpat Rao who effortlessly makes you smile from the time he enters the scene. Then there’s the moment of unity for actor brothers, Ashok Kumar and Kishore Kumar which was heartwarming for more reasons than just their screen presence together.
The film was made on a huge budget which caused ample damage to Joy Mukherjee’s career-graph as an actor and director. It was around the same time that he became a forgotten movie star only to be seen on screen again a few months before his demise. When you watch the film, watch it only with a mind sans any judgment. At this point, I find it unfair to rate the film, however, while I leave a piece of me in a parallel world of vintage films, I’d rate it a deserving three-stars.