Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)
If you think, Bollywood lacks the kind of mystery and chills like Hollywood Thrillers then you should unravel the classic black and white reel racks.
Definitely these days Bollywood is not churning out sensible and thoughtful murder mysteries, recent releases like Game, Karthik Calling Karthik Calling are some of them but still those movies lack the kind of thrills & chills along with haunting music that classics ones had.
Raj Khosla‘s Woh Kaun Thi ? is one of the best example of suspense musical thriller with captivating cinematography and dynamic performance by the cast. The movie matches Alfred Hitchcock’s Pyscho in terms of superior presentation and drama, Plus its music by Madan Mohan is till date echoing in FM stations and music channels. Even Lataji considers, her songs rendered (Lag Ja Gale…) in this movie is one of the best songs that she sang in her life.
Starring Manoj Kumar, Sadhana, Prem Chopra in major roles, the movie is about a mysterious girl whom the actor meets.Dr. Anand is the sole heir to millions and quite naturally a very eligible bachelor. One night, while driving home he comes across a young woman in distress, and decides to assist her. She accepts his assistance and introduces herself as Sandhya, and asks him to drop him off near a graveyard, which he does. Shortly thereafter Sandhya disappears. Shaken by this incident, Anand decides to investigate further and gets drawn into a web of lies, deception, and an apparition who continues to appear and disappear at will. He gets entangled so very deep in her mystery that even the woman he decides to marry, Seema, looks like her. But is Anand hallucinating or is he really living through this nightmare?
The movie became instant box office Hit after release and established Sadhana as a mystery girl. Raj Khosla made two more successful mystery movies (Mera Saaya & Anita) with her to complete his mystery trilogy. Everything from music, cinematography, performance and even attire became during those days. Girls started styling their hair like Sadhana, the hari style was christened as Sadhana cut. Even decades after her Sadhana era, bollywood actress follow her hair style (like Neelam, Katrina).
Many people believe that the song Lag Jaa Gale Ki Phir Ye Haseen Raat Ho Na Ho (meaning: Please take me in your arms,…this beautiful night may not come again…) is the best song not only of this movie, but also of the Lata-Madanmohan combination. This song, incidentally, features in Lata’s own selection of her favorite songs.
The haunting song Nainaa Barase Rimjhim Rimjhim (meaning: Eyes weep like a drizzle, waiting for you… ) sung by Lata Mangeshkar appears several times in the movie. Since Lata could not travel at the time of recording, Madan Mohan sang “Naina Barse” for shooting purpose, himself. And Sadhana lipsynched it during the shooting. That piece of his song is available on his CD ‘Legends’ produced by HMV.
Click on Play to listen…
A famous ghazal from the movie Jo Hamne Daastaan Apnee Sunaaee Aap Kyoon Roye is also sung by Lata Mangeshkar
Asha Bhosle has sung the song Shokh Nazar Kee Bijailiyaan Dil Pe Mere Giraaye Jaa
The duet Chhod Kar Tere Pyaar Kaa Daaman Ye Bataa De Ki Ham Kidhar Jaayein, picturised on Helen & Manoj Kumar, was sung by Lata Mangeshkar & Mahendra Kapoor
The music became very famous and it was also nominated for the Filmfare award that year.
Sadhana was nominated for the best actress category, while K.H. Kapadia won Best Cinematographer award for this movie.