While, in the world of Hindi films, songs are often sung on trains, alas – trains too are occasionally dangerous places to be in. And I’m not simply talking about a train in which a heartbroken and lonely hero or heroine is travelling [such trains invariably have frightful accidents in which the hero(ine) is about the only person left alive and whole, though he/she has lost his/her memory, leading to interesting complications].
But that’s another story (or lots of other stories). This one is about the Calcutta Express, from Bombay to Calcutta. A terribly dangerous train if you happen to be a rich merchant travelling on it with a briefcase full of money.
…a briefcase which, soon after the train crosses Igatpuri, is seen in the hands of a nasty-looking goon (a very scarred Shetty).
He leaps off the train into a river, and is picked up by a less nasty-looking but very smirky accomplice (Madan Puri). They drive off, while on the train, a railway employee discovers the dead body of the poor merchant who made that fatal train journey.
Soon after, the accomplice, now wearing (besides that smirk) also a wig and fake beard and whatnot, passes himself off as a wealthy Nawab at the shop of a jeweller, Hiralal (Sundar). The Nawab Sahib asks to see Hiralal’s best diamond – what looks like a bit of glass to me, and not very sparkly either – and on discovering that it’s worth a lakh, doesn’t bat an eyelid. Instead, he opens his briefcase (brimming with currency notes) and gets ready to pay Hiralal.
At this point, a phone call comes for the Nawab Sahib, whose Begum it is. Begum Sahiba tells her ‘husband’ that she wants to buy an imported American car, and she’s seen the perfect one. Only, the seller wants cash – a lakh. He won’t take a cheque. When Nawab Sahib decides he’ll buy the diamond later and give this cash for the car instead, Hiralal (who’s been eavesdropping avidly on the conversation) sees a big sale slipping away, and offers to accept a cheque for the diamond.
So the deal is done, and Nawab Sahib goes away with the diamond and Hiralal rejoices over his cheque – before the writing on it disappears, taking with it all Hiralal’s happiness.
Quick switch now, to a garden where CID inspector Shyam (Rajesh Khanna) is romancing his girlfriend Neeta (Nanda).
A group of cops arrive just as Neeta and Shyam finish their cavorting and the last verse of their song. [How considerate of the cops to wait]. Shyam bundles Neeta into a cab – he, by the way, has told her he’s a student of art, not a cop – and then shows his ID to who are, in effect, colleagues. They tell him that someone using Shyam’s car number plate has pulled off a jewellery heist – the one at Hiralal’s – and so could Shyam please come to office.
[About time, too. My father was in the police, and he was in office all day long, hard at work. I have never seen a police officer who got the time during office hours to go partying the way cops do onscreen].
Back in office, Shyam’s boss (Iftekhar) tells him all about the heist and assigns the case to Shyam. While they’re at it, the smirky baddie phones Shyam and makes some vague threats about doing away with Shyam. The conversation goes on just long enough for the cops to:
(a) Discover that the call was from a public phone booth in Juhu
(b) Record the call, which allows Shyam to listen to it over and over again
[Why did the baddie really phone Shyam? No self-respecting cop, especially if he’s a Hindi film hero, will be deterred by such milk-and-water threats. The only point seems to be that it gives our hero a clue].
The clue being a distinctive car horn beeping in the background. Why and how this leads him to a certain hotel is not divulged [Shemaroo strikes again?], but the next thing we know, Shyam makes his way to the hotel and watches a floor show where the lady in the limelight is Lily (Helen, who else?).
Her dance over, Lily comes over to meet Shyam. “Hi, handsome,” she says [good 20/20 vision this girl’s got], and we discover they’re old friends from college. Lily’s story is a sob one: her father, a drunk and a gambler, died leaving behind lots of debts. Lily was driven to take up a job as a dancer, and has been at it now for a while.
It’s obvious she’s quite infatuated with Shyam, and he indulges her by flirting mildly with her too.
Unfortunately, while Lily briefly goes off to the cloakroom, a bunch of baddies come out of nowhere and the next thing we know, Shyam is chasing them (or they’re chasing him; it’s all very confused) all across the beach next to the hotel. They finally bash our hero over the head and leave him. Why they don’t kill him – since they obviously have no compunctions about this kind of thing – is beyond me.
Anyway, Shyam comes to after a while, and the next couple of scenes consist of him doing (and about time, too!) some police work – meeting colleagues, making enquiries, phoning people.
When we get back to his love life, there’s a revelation: it turns out Neeta, though she loves Shyam, is not keen on marrying him at the moment – more so when he tells her he’s a police officer. “I have some responsibilities,” she tells him ambiguously, but finally agrees to let him come and meet her mother.
Back home with mum (Mumtaz Begum), we discover the reason for Neeta’s reluctance to get married.
It emerges that Neeta’s father Ram Dev (Chaman Puri) is a jailbird, in prison for murdering his employer. Wrongly accused, of course – he was found standing next to the corpse, bloody dagger in hand and screaming “Khoon! Khoon!” (“Murder! Murder!”). Neeta’s aim in life is to quickly finish college, get a job and earn enough to set in motion the process to get her father proven innocent. [Hmm. How? Bribes? Or actually, maybe a private eye].
Shyam, who (as per his promise) has dropped by to meet Neeta’s mum, overhears this damning conversation from outside the window, and is even more aghast when there’s a thunderous knocking at the front door and Neeta opens to find – daddy! Ram Dev has escaped from jail, and has come to collect his wife and daughter so that the trio can run away together, somewhere where they won’t be traced.
Their plan is foiled by the ever-conscientious Shyam, who walks over to the front door, is let in – and immediately arrests daddy. He promises Neeta that he will dig up the case and ensure that Ram Dev is cleared of all charges, but Neeta is so angry, she yells at Shyam to never come near her again. Oh, dear. Another love story seemingly come to a sad end.
[But look at the silver lining: this allows Shyam more time to attend to work.] – and he soon has a lot to do, what with digging up files on Ram Dev’s case.
We’re treated to a brief glimpse of Lily – who, of course, as has been obvious from the beginning, is mixed up with the baddies. She and the smirky baddie (who disapproves of Lily’s association with Shyam) are summoned by their boss to his dark den, and given their instructions…
…which revolve around a wealthy diamond merchant who’s arrived in town and is staying at the same hotel where Neeta (after much searching for jobs) is finally a receptionist. This job she owes to a man who comes one day to visit her and her mum, telling them that he’s an old and dear friend of Ram Dev’s, and that he’d like to help the two ladies out any way he can.
Anyway, back to the merchant. Having made a deal (and pots of money), he asks the hotel proprietor to get a train ticket booked for him on the Calcutta Express so that he can go back home. The proprietor, who’s oilier than a canned sardine, is all obsequious and eager to please. The ticket is booked and handed over to Sethji, who goes off to the station to catch the train.
Once seated, he finds that he doesn’t have the compartment to himself; he’s joined by a somewhat loud but good-natured man named Pyarelal (Rajendranath). And that isn’t all; shortly after, another passenger enters. This is a blingy, overtly flirtatious girl who calls herself Kalavati (Nanda, again). She soon sets about flirting with Pyarelal and sharing an orange with him.
When the train stops at Igatpuri, while Sethji is eating the dinner he’d ordered, ‘Kalavati’ asks Pyarelal to come with her to the station refreshment room so they can grab a bite to eat. While Pyarelal is busy washing his hands after their meal, the girl disappears – and the train leaves, leaving Pyarelal stranded at Igatpuri.
…and when the train arrives at the next station, Sethji is discovered dead.
What is going on? Why is the Calcutta Express such a dangerous train for rich merchants to travel in? And why has Neeta become a part of the gang that’s doing away with the merchants?
Watch. This isn’t one of those all-time great suspense films – not by a long shot – but it’s enjoyable enough.
What I liked about this film:
R D Burman’s music. Lots of very peppy songs here, including Gulaabi aankhen jo teri dekheen, Meri jaan maine kaha (in which RDB himself sings), and Kis liye maine pyaar kiya.
The eye candy. Or, more specifically, Rajesh Khanna and Helen. Both of them look gorgeous, despite the sometimes unflattering 70s clothes. I must confess to hating those horrid sleeveless jackets Rajesh Khanna is made to wear in songs like Ni soniye; awful! – he looks so much more delectable in a good suit.
What I didn’t like:
All the holes in the plot. Okay, this isn’t riddled with holes like some of the other so-called ‘suspense films’ that I’ve seen, but it’s not completely intact, either. The Train has its fair share of mysterious motives (why does the gang target only jewel dealers, and nobody else who’s rich?), pointless turns of story, and elements that make little, sometimes no, sense. Oh, and the end is such a let-down. Not just the revelation about how and why Neeta was masquerading as Kalavati, but also the revelation about who actually committed the crime for which Ram Dev had been imprisoned – that was just too pat, too convenient.
And you cannot, cannot have a woman look like this in profile:
Then have her turn around and look like this:
Even her hairdo is so obviously not the same as that of the woman’s in the first screen shot. An utterly pointless turn of plot too, I may add – its only significance in the story being that it allows a song.
I’d seen that song Gulabi Aankhen and I kept thinking why the two actors were moving like there were ants on their pants!!!
ROTFL!! Sharmi, your description of that is hilarious. :-)) Whoever did the choreography for Gulaabi aankhen probably needed some lessons in less energetic dancing.
I loved it when I saw it as a teenager. The songs are great. What with Pancham as music director. Nanda looks lovely and so does helen and so does Kaka too.
“such trains invariably have frightful accidents in which the hero(ine) is about the only person left alive and whole, though he/she has lost his/her memory, leading to interesting complications”
Or she/he finds herself/himself to have a different identity, mostly married or for a heroine widowed.
“How considerate of the cops to wait”
How considerate of the viewer to accept the cavorting as romance. But the song compensates for all the contortions and convulsions by Rajesh and Nanda!
“I have never seen a police officer who got the time during office hours to go partying the way cops do onscreen”
No wonder he was transferred quite often! ;-) He was getting in the way of other police officers and havaldars who would have loved to party around.
“Why did the baddie really phone Shyam?”
Yeah, I know it is always an one-sided love. The hero never rings up the baddie. Poor baddie has to wait for a phone call from the hero all the time.
“Why they don’t kill him – since they obviously have no compunctions about this kind of thing – is beyond me”
Because Rajesh is the long-lost Beta of Madan Puri?
There is logical answer to this but it would be a spoiler
Lily doesn’t allow it!
“bloody dagger in hand and screaming “Khoon! Khoon!” (“Murder! Murder!”)”
Oh, he is one of those fathers. Such fathers abound the Hindi film screen a lot! There should be extra courses for them!
Perry Mason or in Hindi Cinema Dev Anand. But since Dev Anand charged too much, they took Rajesh Khanna.
“its only significance in the story being that it allows a song”
And what a song! Asha gives it her all and the percussion! Wow! Aruna dances good too!
*going away to watch ‘saiyan re saiyan’*
Harvey, you have such a brilliant set of answers to all my questions – or, such brilliant comments on all my comments! :-D
Yes, the ‘interesting complications’ in the wake of a train accident invariably have something to do with being married or widowed, or whatever, isn’t it? (though Kati Patang was slightly different in that respect – the heroine retained her memory there, but found herself saddled with a baby and a new identity)
Oh, my goodness. I think my father still hasn’t realised why he got transferred so often during his many years of service! The riddle has finally been solved. I must tell him, the next time I phone. :-))
And I absolutely, especially, LOVE your reason(s) for the baddie(s) not doing away with Rajesh Khanna. Of course, that must be it.
I am so rapidly realising that my verdict on this film – that it was riddled full of holes – was ill-founded. Sorry, Ravee Nagaich; sorry, scriptwriter. I should’ve been a more intelligent and perceptive viewer!
“I should’ve been a more intelligent and perceptive viewer”
Realisation of one’s mistakes is the first step on the path of improvement! ;-) *ducking to avoid the thrown chappals and joothe*
:-D Now I will be more careful! Perhaps my next review of a film will be the result of a more cautiously-thought-out process. ;-) No chappals and jootas coming your way, friend – after all, one should be grateful to friends for showing one the way, isn’t it?
You are a big dilwali!
No dear, you don’t look at all like Pran!
But bade dilwali, you are for sure!
Thank you :-))
Had lots of fun reading this. The songs are really lovely, specially ‘Kis liye maine pyaar kiya’. I thought Nanda was really good in that song, particularly at the end of the song when there was a knock, she opens the door expecting Rajesh Khanna and it is her mother. Her blush, and her awkwardness was really good. But the screenplay gave me a headache. It was such a let-down, and it’s true, I just couldn’t figure out whether it was the original or thanks to Shemaroo. :(
BTW, I found Nanda’s sari in that song very beautiful! But tell me are such saris worn even now in India?
Not really. That was very 70s, no? The sort of saris that seem to be popular nowadays in North India at least are the really ‘disco lights’ ones (as my husband calls them): bright synthetic cloth, decorated with lots of gota, sequins, tinsel and whatnot. More sophisticated women – especially in the cities – tend to wear traditional saris like Kotas, Maheshwaris, Chanderis, and so on.
Well, I visit India every year, but I had suddenly a black-out and couldn’t really remember the saree patterns. Next time I’ll watch properly. Hope I don’t get beaten up. ;-) ‘I was just looking at the sare-pattern’ wouldn’t be accepted, I think!
Certainly not!! You’d probably get a closer look at chappal patterns, then!
Yes, that particular expression of Nanda’s was very sweet – and it more or less gets repeated a short while later, when she rushes to the door (her mother behind her) on hearing a knock – only to have that shy smile change to shock when she sees her father.
The last time I’d watched The Train, it was on Doordarshan – too long back for me to remember whether all these hiccups in the plot were there in the film then too.
I know the songs and I even have them but the movie has always escaped me though i’d rectify that, the eye candy looks sumptuous here, plus I’m loving the colour palette
Have you had a close look at that screenshot of Helen with Rajesh Khanna, where she’s dressed in orange? The dial of her watch, and her nail polish, are exactly the same shade as her clothes! :-)
Glad you picked a 70’s masala movie to review, I thought only 50’s & 60’s were to be chosen. LOL @ the review and the comments. I remember the posters of this movie being plastered all over town, and they & the movie stirring up plenty of excitement.
“(why does the gang target only jewel dealers, and nobody else who’s rich?)”
Because the filmmakers had recently seen “Jewel Thief” and not “The Adventures of Robin Hood”.
“Because the filmmakers had recently seen “Jewel Thief” and not “The Adventures of Robin Hood”.”
Though this blog is more or less restricted to pre-70s films (and that means films of any era – even the 20s), I do make occasional exceptions, where a film is more 60s in flavour than 70s. There’s just something about this one – the cut of Rajesh Khanna’s suits (as opposed to the wide lapels and huge bow ties of later years), that is pretty 60s. Come to think of it, Pakeezah is completely 60s, though it was released well into the 70s.
For me Pakeezah is completely 50s. Lata and Ghulam Haider give me that impression.
The music in that film is absolutely sublime.
Just a small correction – Ghulam Mohammad, and not Ghulam Haider.
[About time, too. My father was in the police, and he was in office all day long, hard at work. I have never seen a police officer who got the time during office hours to go partying the way cops do onscreen]. Loved this observation and very true. I had seen the film soon after it released, to be honest found it entertaining, though did not much like the Nanda – Rajesh pair, she looked older than him.
I agree with you about the profile shot, I felt the same, but then don’t Hindi film makers always take some liberties, you may have noticed how easy it is in a Hindi film to impersonate another person, all one has to do is don a mask and who cares if the physique, height and voice are totally different.
Arre baba, don’t give away the plot! ;-)
Now it’s done! ;-)
Actually I said in a Hindi film, did I name a film? of course not, you cannot see me now but I can actually see the halo of innocence hovering over my head, you will understand what I mean by the halo bit if you have been an avid reader of comics like me. OK, I do feel a bit sheepish, I am very sorry, I thought I was being careful by not mentioning names.
Heh!!! Shilpi, I can just imagine that halo hovering about your head – it’s time you changed that profile photo of yours on your blog. ;-)
Besides which, really – in most Hindi films, if you’ve seen enough of them, the film end won’t come as a total surprise, even if it’s a suspense film!
Yes, Shilpi – I thought the Rajesh Khanna-Nanda pairing wasn’t great either, because she looked older than him. Come to think of it, I don’t really care for her pairing with Shashi Kapoor either, despite the fact that they worked in so many films together; there too I thought she looked a lot older than him.
You are so right about Hindi film makers taking such liberties with impersonations – have you seen Paying Guest? That’s similar, too. In any case, wouldn’t it be frightfully difficult to make a mask that, even close up, looked like real human flesh? Seems very farfetched to me!
I was wondering if I was the only one less than satisfied with Nanda’s casting in “The Train.” She seems to lack the spark, the chic quality that a wannabe stylish thriller like this needs. She is so…gharelu. Tanuja would have been better.
I loved your desciption of Nanda in The Train as gharelu, Shalini! Perfect. :-) Yes, she does look rather homey – Tanuja would certainly have been better. And she and Rajesh Khanna worked well together – Haathi Mere Saathi, for instance, or Mere Jeevan Saathi.
Yes I have seen Paying Guest but that was long time ago so have forgotten most of it.
And Paying Guest has a similar, utterly illogical, end to The Train! ;-)
And now I can sit back with an innocent smile on my face and that halo flickering over me too!
The film leaves me cold, but loved the review and the accompanying observations :-)
I can’t bear to see those mountains on top of the heads of heroines. On some it may have looked tolerable but on many, including all my very loved stars (nanda, Asha, Waheeda) it was ugly, and I’m not going to mention Sharmila at all.
I’d prefer to watch broad lapelled men anyday. :-D
Now I’m thinking of the link. Is it;
-something to do with jewels/jewellery (though I’m sure you won’t review Jewel Thief. Will you? :-/
-Train accidents – and their repurcussions?
I think I would put my money on jewels or jewel thieves and this time in an english or hollywood movie or something more ‘phoren’!
But mostly my predictions are completely off the mark, so I’m bound to lose my money!
Harvey, you’re very perceptive (or do you know me very well by now?) One of your guesses is certainly right!
Arre kahan ji! ;-)
Wait and see! The post should be up within a day or two – maybe even today.
Pacifist: I used to have a school friend who’d say “I hate those madhumakhi ka chhattas (beehives) that Hindi film heroines of the 60s wore on their heads!” I think Sharmila Tagore was hard to beat in that department – hers were easily the most exaggerated!
I think we’ve had enough of trains – this post, the train songs one, and then the North-West Frontier one before that. :Let’s try something new, hmm? :-) Oh, and I’d already reviewed Jewel Thief once, so wouldn’t do it again.
Madhu, *LOVED* the review and the comments gave me some much-needed laughter! (Thanks, Harvey.) I saw this movie in the dark ages on Doordarshan and remember waiting with bated breath for the suspense to end. And even then, I was disappointed at the pat way all the loose ends were tied up. And I never liked Nanda, so I kept closing my eyes trying to visualise Sharmila or Mumtaz in the role. (Failed quite miserably, but still…)
I love Nanda! She is so cute!
And I think she she very much suits every hero with whom she was paired from Shashi to Sanjay.
But, yeah, she didn’t have the glamour and charisma of Sharmila or Mumtaz or Sadhana. She always had a sort of a hesitant air about her. As if she could give a bit more to it, than she did, except in Ittefaq, where she really did give it her all!
She excelled in Ittefaq because it required ‘acting’. It was a challenging role. The others where she seemed hesitant was due to the frivolous roles which perhaps she wasn’t very comfortable with.
I think it was the fault of the beehive(good word)/mountain on top of the head that made her look older.
I agree with you, pacifist. Ittefaq required her to put her acting skills to use, instead of just looking glamorous – which was why, perhaps, she was so good in that. In The Train, for instance, I thought she looked rather uncomfortable in those short skirts and black stockings… not her style at all.
That sounds like a good plausible argument.
Agree with you and she did look sexy in her own way in Ittefaq.
And she fitted that role to a T. One could imagine her as the wife of a travelling sales manager who was rarely at home…
Thank you, Anu! I saw The Train years ago on Doordarshan too, and remember feeling rather let down by the somewhat contrived end. :-( It was just so unbelievable… and though I won’t go so far as to say I don’t like Nanda (she suits some roles, like in Usne Kaha Tha), this was certainly not a fit for her. Sharmila or Mumtaz would’ve been way better. Or Hema Malini, actually – I loved her in Johnny Mera Naam!
So much fun though, no? The music, the good looks ;-) made for an entertaining package despite the silliness of the plot. Atul in his blog (atulsongaday) sagely notes that they must’ve had Shammi Kapoor in their minds when choreographing ‘Gulabi aankhen’, and someone else is reminded of Jeetu in his Jumping Jack persona. Memsaab reviewed this film too a couple of years back.
I’ve actually developed a great fondness for the Nanda-Rajesh ‘jodi’–Ittefaq, this one and Joru Ka Ghulam. In the last one especially, the chemistry was charming, both seemed so much at ease. And the heroine looking older than the hero has never bothered me much especially when for the most part the shoe’s on the other foot!
By the way, in case you haven’t come across it earlier, see link below for how this film was used to illustrate why 70s Bollywood was more up Al Gore’s alley :-D
Ah, well – back in those days (or, actually, in just about every era in Hindi cinema), the plot has more or less been secondary to other stuff like glamour and music and so on. That’s the case with this one, I’d say. Entertaining, great eye candy, but that’s about it. If one tries to dissect the plot, it’ll only be to one’s own distress!
Delightful post, that one – thank you!
Well, for most of the Hindi films, I shut out the logic and then it is a good ride.
It is like looking at bad props on stage and just think of what it is trying to tell you rather than how it looks like.
And one can always make fun of it and it is like parallel plot to the plot in the film which keeps you and your friends engaged.
Madhu has outlined the parallel plot in the text in italics.
“Madhu has outlined the parallel plot in the text in italics.”
Agree with you Suhan re: Joru ka ghulam. I think they looked good together. I don’t mind the heroine looking older (not old).
I had seen this movie long ago, during my school days on Doordarshan. I don’t remember much of it except for the impersonation part and Rajendranath’s misery at it.
The plot was very predictable and everything was just put together at the end to make a happy ending. I would rank it with the likes of Jewel Thief – One time watchable, not something like Teesri Manzil.
But even after having said that, I would love to watch this movie again now.
1. The questions that you had asked and the parallel plot are very intriguing
2. Harvey’s response to them is so interesting
3. I had quite forgotten how dashing Rajesh Khanna looked in it!
4. And Helen, of course!!!
5. Music is good too.
Gulabi aankhen’s choreography is so hilarious. We try running and jumping around the hall like Rajesh and Nanda do everytime we see the song on tv. But after reading the importance of trees @ meghalomania, I think I should get one tree in my hall, even if it’s just for fun. Never realized that serves tree serves so many purposes ;-)
I had more fun reading this post than I had while actually watching the movie. Thanks everyone!!!
@ Harvey : And one can always make fun of it and it is like parallel plot to the plot in the film which keeps you and your friends engaged.
Your previous post on Chatri Na Khol has just proved that! ;-D
Thank you, sunheriyaadein! Yes, I’d put this in the same category as Jewel Thief, though I think the latter had better music – for which I just might see it again. Otherwise, yes, both are good for a one-time watch, their plots are either too riddled with holes and far-fetched (The Train) or too memorable (Jewel Thief) to merit repeated viewings! What I love about Teesri Manzil is that there’s a lot to enjoy there – even though I know who’s the culprit and why, I still love seeing it all over again. :-)
@ sunehri: now I think I have to post a sequel to chatri na khol…!
Please! Oh, yes, please! :-)
Thank you, sunheriyaadein! Yes, I’d put this in the same category as Jewel Thief, though I think the latter had better music – for which I just might see it again. Otherwise, yes, both are good for a one-time watch, their plots are either too riddled with holes and far-fetched (The Train) or too unforgettable (Jewel Thief) to merit repeated viewings! What I love about Teesri Manzil is that there’s a lot to enjoy there – even though I know who’s the culprit and why, I still love seeing it all over again. :-)
Nice review, Madhu – and thoroughly enjoyable comments too, thanks largely to Harvey. ;-)
I remember first seeing this movie when I was about 10 or so. The most striking scene for me was Shetty killing the merchant and jumping into the water.
A week after seeing the movie, we (my parents and siblings) were travelling to Bombay on the very same Howrah Express. When the train reached Igatpuri station, there was a certain nervous excitement/concern amongst some of us. :-) I laugh when I think about it now.
Coming to the movie itself, I saw it again a couple of years ago. I had no recollection of the plot at all from when I’d seen it as a boy of 10. Like you, I felt quite letdown by it. I was expecting a high-quality thriller and it turned out to be quite lame. I see a comparison with Jewel Thief – I think that was a much better thriller, though it drags on and on. (I agree it is a one-time watch film).
I also agree that Tanuja would have been a better choice than Nanda for a movie like The Train. Or even Sharmila. I can’t help feeling that Nanda may have been a stand-in (maybe the role was offered to somebody else and it did not work out). Or maybe Ittefaq gave Nagaich the idea of another Rajesh-Nanda thriller. Ittefaq is of course a classic, this one does not even come close.
Maybe I’m being a bit harsh on the movie – it has its moments and the cast (despite Nanda being miscast) isn’t bad (I’,m a Rajesh fan, even if not quite in the Suhan league :-)). But the end is so contrived, it makes a mockery of the plot.. You rightly mention Paying Guest – that ending was a big letdown too. This one also left me with a very WTF feeling at the end.
“This one also left me with a very WTF feeling at the end.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself! After having built up that entire mystery surrounding the flirtatious Nanda character in her short skirts and trendy little handbags, it actually turns out to be — ! Just not done, so terribly lame. I recall having seen The Train on Doordarshan ages ago, and the only thing that actually stuck with me was the end – I had forgotten the rest, except that people got murdered on the train. I suppose as a kid I must have been way more forgiving of illogical endings than I am now, so that didn’t bother me… which was why I bought this DVD from Induna a year back, deciding I wanted to add it to my thriller collection. And, oh, what a disappointment. :-(
I watched this movie when I was 11 and loved loved loved it. The songs are lovely. I think the whole Nanda-on-the-train thing happens because Helen has fallen for Rajesh and wants to turn him against Nanda. In fact, Helen seems to be quite a mover and shaker in this movie, getting the boss to agree to her plans over the ones of Madan Puri/Shetty.
I am really intrigued about how Nanda turns up at the fag end of the movie when the vamp is finally caught. She just runs up there as if it was company bagh instead of murky train tracks.
“She just runs up there as if it was company bagh instead of murky train tracks.”
Heh! Well put, Ava! Yes, and there wasn’t any particular reason why she should be there, was there? Just in time to see that Rajesh Khanna had got the wrong end of the stick because of a genuine mistake, and not because he thought ill of her…
I loved this film too the first time I saw it (which was years back, as a teenager) – that’s why I bought the DVD – but now, watching it as an adult and with less patience and more ability to spot holes, I do see that it isn’t quite as perfect as I’d imagined.
Lol, is this Rajesh Khanna trying to pull off a James Bond? If so, must check this out. Have a feeling he can pull off a better Bond as opposed to someone like Jeetendra due to his sophisticated image.
I’m not a huge fan of Rajesh Khanna, but at this stage of his career, he was definitely more suave than Jeetendra! Actually, pretty much anybody was more suave than Jeetendra…
Saw this now after reading your review. What can I say, oh my god, Tom Cruise should be sued for stealing the idea for Mission Impossible!!!
But eye candy all around, and being a Rajesh Khanna fan, I dont know how I missed this film!! Must have seen it on Doordarshan, forgotten all about it.
Great play of words while narrating the story, you have talent!!
All in all a great read and a great movie to have watched, disappearing ink and all!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed thus one! It’s been a long time since I watched this, but I remember it as being quite entertaining.