In this weekly column, we will revisit the gems from the golden years of Hindi cinema. This week, we return to Bees Sal Bad, released in 1962.
“Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil …” The voice, music and lyrics of this song can still create a haunting effect in the minds of Hindi film lovers. The famous song from Bees Sal Bad is 59 years old at the time, but its impact on its listeners is quite strange.
Released in 1962, produced by Hemant Kumar, the Bees Sal Bad music composer of Biren Nag, the film tells a lot about timeless music. Starring Waheeda Rehman and Bishwajeet in his first Hindi film role, Bees Sal Bad is a classic story of a haunted building under the spell of a mysterious soul. After the victory 1958 film Madhumati, The horror style found many takers and when the 60s came, it saw many experiments, and most of them were accepted with interest by the viewers.
The Bees Sal Bad storyline written by Dhruva Chatterjee and Dev Kishan may seem a bit simplistic today, but with all its bells and whistles it is a classic. The film follows Kumar (Bishwajeet) who returns to Chandangadh after the suspicious death of his uncle. When he enters his family building, the servant informs him that two generations ago the men in his family were cursed after his grandfather raped a young woman in the village. Kumar may fall into the same death trap as his uncle as the soul vows not to leave the men in this family.
While unraveling the mystery next door, Kumar falls in love with Radha (Waheeda Rehman), and it is part of the film that gets the wonderful music that makes it feel worth watching. “Zara Nazaron Se Keh Do Ji”, “Bekarar Karke Humein”, “Sapne Suhane” and others have created a wonderful album with lyrics by Shakeel Badayu.
In the beginning, Bees Sal Bad creates an atmosphere that sucks you instantly. The background score, lighting and camera angles also give an ominous feel here and director Biren Nag continues to build on that foundation. “Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil” appears in many places through the film and every time you hear its sound, you sit back and watch the events unfold, because the lyrics also have hidden clues regarding the murder mystery.
Like many other films of this period, the film relies on comedic breaks to breathe from the intense storytelling and Asit Sen’s Gopichand may have worked back that day, which now pulls the film. The effect of Madhumati, in terms of creating the right mood, is evident here and in many respects, Bees Sal Bad creates a more compelling horror story.
Bees talks about a woman who was raped and unjustly murdered in the central courtyard of Sal Bad, but while the film was running, no sympathy was seen for her. The characters are wondering how Kumar will die and even when the mysterious killer is caught red handed, no one talks about the injustice his daughter faced 20 years ago. Instead, a character tells a man who is seeking revenge on his dead daughter that “the crime will never pay off.” Makers make the adversary a complete villain without presenting a subtle argument for his actions.
Bees Sal Bad is not as old as most of its contemporaries, but the approach of creating a scary atmosphere can teach most filmmakers one or two things.
Bollywood Rewind | Put Mughal-e-Azam | Mother India | Anari | Chaudhvin Ka Chand | Boot Polish | Make Bigha Zamin. Devdas | Baiju Bavra | Shree 420 | Pyasa | CID | Madhumati | Naya Daur | Awara | Sharada | Du Ankhen Bara Haat | Hostage | Sahib Bibi ur Ghulam
Bees Sal Bad Eros is airing on Now and YouTube.