Baarish (1957) no rain, but drenched in beauty and fun

Publié le 2 Juillet 2013

Kehte pyaar jisko 1

I’d been wanting to watch Baarish (1957, Shankar Mukherjee) for a long time, but as there were no subtitles, I knew I was in for a more strenuous viewing than usual. Still, this film was a little like the missing link in my Nutan experience! It’s a pleasant movie, inspired, I think, of Kazan’s On the Waterfront, which explains why we have all those kabootars in it (Sunheriyaadein was wondering… BTW, thanks to that blog’s author for the story!), but also accounts for the film noir atmosphere. The only important aspect Baarish doesn’t adopt is the character of the Catholic priest, Father Barry. But otherwise, there’s Ramu the young thug (our lovable Dev Anand), his purifier Chanda (equally lovable Nutan), Ramu’s brother, and the Underground Boss, who in Kazan’s film was played by the fearsome Lee J. Cobb, and who’s Jagdish Sethi here. Please do as I did, go for the full story at Sunheriyaadein’s blog. Oh, don’t worry (s)he stops at the right moment to leave the suspense intact in your mind…


Baarish of course is a showcase for the two lovable ones: it’s here to entertain their fans and guarantee their interest will be sustained for two hours. It did that for me very effectively! When Ramu, sent by his brother, arrives in Chanda’s village, for example, everything’s exquisite from the start: she’s perched in a tree, spits, pouts and tinkers with monkeys (see A nutty Nutan, where a number of caps come from this scene). He frowns, glares, and pretends a lot. Apparently she believes he’s some kind of tax officer, and she’s going to do her utmost to divert him away from the house, all this to the tune of Yeh muh aur daal masoor ki. She tries by scowling at him, which doesn’t work, then she writes a false message near the entrance door (“all gone to Kashi – back next year”), but Ramu can’t read (he supposes their names are written), and finally she locks the door on him, but he peeps through from above, and spies on her! All this is delightful, and gloriously funny thanks to Nutan’s comic talents and Dev Anand’s Gregory Peck-like charms. Communications-wise, they actually bleat at one another!!


The rest of the film is very predictable, because it plays on the various moods necessary for the fan base to appreciate their heroes from the various classic perspectives: after the opening distrust, we have the love scenes, then comes danger, and there’s a great moment when Nutan is seen through the besotted eyes of the village suitors: whereas they look at her, busy drawing water from the well and waiting for her pail to fill, she suddenly becomes a dovey-eyed belle who’s entranced by their singing and trite words, comes closer to them, lends her cheek to their lips, and then, bubble-like, springs back into her previous form as the incensed maiden who’s straight out from Seema! The scene is also an opportunity to laugh at human faces, brought together as in some Rembrandt or Leonardo paintings. The film, BTW, is full of them:

     Faces   Wooer

I think Nutan was still busy asserting her actress’s skills, and her physique enables her to perform masterfully: she had a face she could twist into grimaces, and which could also melt into any smile! It’s a pity that the Youtube version seems cut at certain points, for example we don’t get to see the precise moment when the pair make up… A real pity, because if this moment exists, it would have been very interesting to observe! Nutan’s youthfulness as usual makes one shrink in utter wonder. I don’t know whether that “kind of well-endowed” nature, “with her puppy fat” (as Sharmi playfully suggests) has anything to do with it? I’d say yes, because her ravishing face had a fullness and a pliableness then which turned into a more straight and longish type of features later in life. Have a look:

Mrs Ramu Mrs Ramu 1What’s absolutely wonderful is her impersonations of loving motherly feelings in this film. I don’t remember if this struck me as powerfully in other movies. I strongly believe that Nutan’s femininity expressed itself very deeply in her motherliness. Here she hears about children for the first time:


And here she tries to make Ramu understand she’s going to be a mother:


She does it almost without being able to tell him in so many words – she believes in her joy that the man she loves and who has enabled her to become who she wished so very deeply to be, will understand her, understand the change which isn’t one, because she’s always wanted to be a mother, but which is a fantastic change nevertheless, because it’s finally real:

Maa banungi2

And then the scene where she ties herself to him by smearing on her forehead some of the blood from a wound he got in one of his scuffles (he reprimands her for doing so – I wonder if he means it could be a bad omen, which her love had disregarded?):


And finally that lovely moment of bliss when she realizes she’s finally secured her lover:

      Bliss 4   Bliss

Bliss 1

Nutan was at the height of her charms - when wasn’t she? - that lanky body which her relatives complained about, or so the legend goes, being then beautifully fleshed out. Later she thinned, and her face became more grave, more interiorized. During the late 50s her fuller shape corresponded to the generous feelings which appeared on her features, and it starts in Baarish. The downside is that her skills were still a little unhoned, if one compares with her Bimal Roy roles, for example. In Baarish she excels at expressing outrage and irony, and a little less grief and loss, as in Bandini or Sujata:

the fiery Nutan

As for Dev, I agree with Sharmi, he wasn’t yet “the charismatic debonair who made all of us weak in the knees”!! His almost British phlegm had not yet become his trademark. He was still a little too brittle, a little too hurried. But then later (very British-like!) he buttoned all the shirts he wore! So yes, I don’t mind saying it was rather cool to see him shirtless and to swagger about in front of a demure Nutan who didn’t seem to notice 


See the rest of the film's photos here

Rédigé par yves

Publié dans #Film reviews

Commenter cet article

sbasu 17/06/2015 12:45

Could you get the subtitled version yet? Since I see some errors in assumption.
1- The fellows were deep in debt due to father's treatment and Nutan expected (not tax officer) but goons of money-lender, any way the effect of the tax-men and the money-lender's goons don't differ by much. So this error doesn't matter.
2- The make-up point is missing in even my DVD version. So unlike Sujata, I don't blame the Youtube loading person. It would have been a nice quarrel there, before the mother (Lalita) interfered (I assume), but as you said, their squabbles, whether here or in Manzil were just delightful. They were actually never too much lover like, rather they were friendly.
3. The putting the blood of the husband on forehea- hey you had been to rajasthan (as per your blog). thet is the tradition there. There used to be a time, they husband would cut (not fully of course, just a gash) on his finger and put the blood on her forehead- and that is the final solemnisation of marriage. Later they put the vermillion (else the husband, in the daily activity would die of anaemia)
Here since she is a widow (She thinks) and gets the husband as well as blood, she decides that let me have my conjugal life (which never started) back. And since Dev is acting as dead and thus could go undercover, if his wife sheds even this much of her widowhood appearance, and leaks that he is alive, they would search for him (which they weren't at the moment, till the police officer told that the body was some one else's)
I won't like to really talk of the movie - for example in a few days (nights) of conjugal life she became pregnant? Neither her mother nor she realised it, and of all the neighbours did? Of course the amount of covering she has and almost till end she continued, we can't she her abdomen, but her mother?
But I look at it as a bollywood nonsense.. and as far as Nutan is there, no questions asked of why did I watch it , like Dilli Ka Thug, another lovely Nutan (not movie).


yves 19/06/2015 13:12

Thanks Sbasu for the detailed answer.

sbasu 19/06/2015 05:12

It has to be logically 1983, since 1985 was the Nache Mayuri - Dancing Peahen- (Sudha Chandran)- the south Indian movie remade - on actual life incidence (of the heroine herself) who lost her leg in an accident and still became an acclaimed classical danseuse. So in one year having two movies by the same name isn't probable. What Lalita mentioned may be right, since if 1983 is canned, the 1985 another may be released with (almost) same name. Since both were big banners (one due to heroine, the other was under big banner of south) , they won't try to use manipulations, trying to cash in on named. 1985 could be music release, since though they decided to can the movie, may be they wanted to go ahead with vinyls?
The reason why movies are not released are simple- they don't get distributors. This movie I don't think except Nutan, had anyone else of significance. The Hero Director was from Orissa. And not a superstar of that area either. The story was a bit complicated, and distributors must have thought of not getting money back? That's what I can assume. Since the movie, till I did the thorough check, wasn't listed anywhere, in fact a lot of her filmography doesn't show this (and show Kranti and a few others where she isn't there at all).

yves 18/06/2015 16:32

Mayuri is indicated 1983 on IMDb, whereas the various self-sung songs on Youtube say 1985: do you know which is true? So this is a film which has not been released? Do you have any idea why?
Yes, I've seen you've rounded off your series of "Nutan's men": I've still to read the post about her dad! I'll tell you what I think once it's read!

sbasu 18/06/2015 13:20

Well I am now in next zone, having come out of the men (the last in the series was a more serious, on director analysis) Now I am back to the annual part. Of course they are all long. And still I am on Pre-Seema. The disgusting Bolly would start after a few further steps. And what they did to her.. hate would be a small word. In fact what I always think is what they did to her is minor. What they did to the heritage, the art, is a bit like what the middle-east people are doing- mindless destruction This is a statement one shouldn't use in open forum, since it might hurt the sensibility of people, but I can't find any thing remotely similar, than say destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, just because well... just because, stop, there is no reason why.
By the way I am waiting for bengali movie, just released, of Soumitra, pre-booked the DVD- it is called Bela Seshe- in the end of the day.. it seems like her un-released movie Mayuri, only gender changed (required, since Soumitra can match the histrionics, we don't have a female to match it now).. it is as per review a man (Soumitra) who after a happy and stable life, at the age of seventy or so, informs his children, children in laws, grand children.. and wife that he is divorcing his wife of 50 years plus. And of course it isn't a light film, a poignant one. It is released this year only, the seller site is "Coming soon" on the DVD. Mayuri too was like this, where Nutan was supposed to have walked off from a happy family, when she was to bask in the successful offsprings and their children's company. Mayuri would be a superb movie, who bothers whether others were actor or not, since the story would be her central character. In this the songs were again sung by her and also she was the lyricist. Movie was completed, so I hope some one releases it on her anniversary.

yves 18/06/2015 01:00

Yes, I suppose you're right! I'm torn between my admiration for this Indian cinema which has enabled such a glorious actress to be known, and my disgust for the same cinema industry which, mostly, hasn't been able to give her the films and the roles she deserved. Come to think of it, it's a pity she didn't play in Bengali movies... I would have liked to see her paired with Utpal Dutt or Soumitra Chatterjee...

sbasu 17/06/2015 20:11

Basant was horrible, to say the least, but for me, Nutan was there. As I read in a review- I think of Saajan Ki Saheli - entirely useless movie made watchable by Nutan, that means there are some people there than the handful who are silent admirer? In fact there would be more than a handful which were made watchable (even at box-office) by her.

yves 17/06/2015 18:42

Yes, so do I (look at it as a Bollywood nonsense), but then many movies from mainstream Bolly are nonsense - at least sheer entertainment! It doesn't matter much! Another one with Nutan (on top of Dilli ka thug) is Basant!
Thanks for the corrections!

Suhan 10/07/2013 20:38

Ah, had to go back to watch the scene. He says: "Chanda your husband commands(!) you" i.e., "Chanda tera [your] pati [husband] tujhe [you as in the french 'tu' not 'vous'] hukum de raha
[commands] hai".

yves 10/07/2013 21:45

Great! Thanks again for your efforts!

Suhan 10/07/2013 06:08

Yves, I left this answer to your question in Archana's site on the film. Cheers! By the way, love your posts and especially love the Dev-Nutan pair.

yves Says:
July 2, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Reply

Hello, just to let you know I’ve been more than pleased to find your summary of the film – at least its beginning, since I had to see it without subtitles! And I have a question: what does Ramu
say, to stop Chanda from going back, which means Chanda understands he’s finally hers??

Suhan Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
July 8, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Reply

Yves – When Ramu tries to stop Chanda and her mother from leaving and she doesn’t listen, he says “Your husband orders that you listen” i.e. referring to himself of course and she is

yves 10/07/2013 19:12

Dear Suhan,

Thanks so much for taking care to come here and copy your answer! And of course give me the answer I was expecting, that remark of Ramu which had caused such an excitement in Chanda! So, what
would the sentence have been in hindi: tumhara pati adesh diya ki tum sunna ho??

Yves (happy person**)

Ashok Vaishnav 03/07/2013 05:45

The review does excellent justice to bring out the story in so greater details and succeeds in presenting the lighter side of Nutan's on-screen persona.

In fact she was one of those actresses, who were not glamorous by the going standards. But her histrionics more than made up this 'shortcoming' so well. She did not get type cast, too.


yves 03/07/2013 11:40

Thanks Ashok for your appreciation!

Have a nice day.