Dil Tera Deewaana (1962)

Shammi Kapoor plays a wealthy man who pretends to be poor while far away from home. He falls in love with the only daughter of a poor blind man. Pran comes along and throws a spanner in the works.

Kashmir ki Kali? Yes, but also Dil Tera Deewaana.

It’s been a long while since I reviewed a Shammi Kapoor film, and considering he happens to be my favourite actor, I decided it was high time I revisited one of his films. I’d watched Dil Tera Deewaana many years back and remembered just the bare bones plot (besides the title song, which I don’t really care for). I did remember, though, that it was fairly entertaining as a film.

The story gets off to a flying start. Mohan (Shammi Kapoor) is the only offspring of very wealthy parents (Ulhas and Mumtaz Begum). While Mummy dotes on her son and is indulgent, Daddy is, with every passing day, losing patience with Mohan. Instead of going to office to work, for instance, Mohan is absconding—and when his father runs him to earth (in the aptly named ‘The Rebel Club’), it’s to find his son singing and dancing along with a friend, Anokhe (Mehmood), who’s in drag.

A scared Mohan (with a gibbering Anokhe, both of them terrified of Mohan’s father) explains that they’re rehearsing a play. This does nothing to endear him to Daddy, who is thoroughly incensed.

Daddy’s anger goes up a few notches that night, when Mohan, having duped his mother into thinking he’s sleeping in his room, slips out through the window and heads for the theatre. Daddy [the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?] quickly exchanges clothes with their driver and sends the man off while he, pretending to be the driver, gets into the car and drives Mohan, who doesn’t even bother to look closely at the uniformed character in the front seat.

Along the way they pick up Anokhe, and the two young men sit in the back and exchange notes on life. Mohan cribs about how his freedom is curtailed, his father doesn’t let him do anything, he is watched all the time, blah blah. Anokhe says he wouldn’t mind all of that if he could live in the sort of luxury Mohan is used to. Oh, how gladly they would exchange places! Daddy, sitting in the front seat and eavesdropping, fumes and decides he’s got to do something.

Having revealed his true form and frightened the wits out of Mohan and Anokhe, Daddy hurries off to put in action a plan he has to set Mohan right: he will send the young man off to stay with Captain Dayaram Jang Bahadur (Om Prakash), an ex-jailor friend who prides himself on being able to beat into shape anyone who comes his way.

Dayaram is more than happy to oblige an old friend. Mohan, accordingly, is packed off to the old jailor’s home, which is in Ooty. Daddy refuses to give Mohan any pocket money for his sojourn, but a sympathetic Mummy sneaks a roll of three thousand rupees, packed into a steel dabba, which she passes off as sweets. She manages to tell Mohan what it really is, so Mohan leaves home happily…

… and picks up Anokhe along the way. Because Mohan has a plan.

The plan is that Anokhe, calling himself Mohan, will land up at Dayaram’s home and make himself comfortable there while Mohan will go off and get a taste of the freedom he so yearns for. Anokhe is sceptical: won’t Dayaram recognize him? No, because he hasn’t seen Mohan.

Anokhe’s other protests are all brushed away, and he, decked up in one of Mohan’s suits and looking relatively natty, arrives at Dayaram’s home. Dayaram may be retired, but handcuffs, whip, and an air of almost tyrannical bossiness surround him. His daughter Malti (Shubha Khote—in just how many films did she star opposite Mehmood?) is quickly given charge of Anokhe, to show him around the house and get him acquainted with the routine he’ll follow (including working in an office that is part of the house).

A string of servants brings in Anokhe’s (actually Mohan’s) luggage, and Anokhe begins to settle in, quickly falling in love with Malti—who reciprocates.

Meanwhile, Mohan is at the hotel where he and Anokhe had checked in for a couple of days before beginning their exchange programme. He realizes too late that along with everything [the key word being ‘everything’] that’s gone off to Dayaram’s, the steel dabba containing the precious money given by Mummy has also gone.

The hotel manager comes along asking for payment, and Mohan has to admit that he doesn’t have a naya paisa to pay for anything. A hairy and nasty-looking bouncer-like character is called in, and Mohan manages to take him along to Dayaram’s, getting him to wait outside while he sneaks in and tries to get Anokhe alone in an attempt to retrieve that precious dabba.

All of these attempts are in vain, and Mohan is finally obliged to give the bouncer the slip and race off, climbing into a bus and finding himself sitting next to a pretty stranger (Mala Sinha). Although she’s not kindly disposed towards him, she—out of the goodness of her heart—pays for his ticket when she realizes he’s not got the money to even buy himself a ticket.

When she gets off the bus, Mohan realizes that his fellow passenger has left her purse behind. He alights immediately, but she’s already gone, and within moments, Mohan has made the acquaintance of Raja (Mohan Choti), who informs him that the girl’s name is Meena, and that she is Raja’s neighbour.

The purse is duly returned; Raja tells Meena what a good and honest man Mohan is, to insist on returning the purse; and Meena is suitably impressed. Raja also invites Mohan to stay with him—an invitation Mohan immediately accepts, given that it means Meena (whom he has already fallen for) lives right opposite. The accommodation is very basic…

… and Raja doesn’t even have tea to offer his ‘guest’, but Mohan is happy simply because Meena is nearby. She too is not oblivious, and very soon, a romance has blossomed.

Meena’s father (Manmohan Krishna) is blind and owns a taxi. This is driven by Ganpat (Pran), who’s always complaining that the taxi is ramshackle and keeps breaking down, making him spend whatever he earns from it on repairs. He cannot therefore pass on any earnings to Meena’s father, but continues to demand (and nastily, too) wages. Meena, who teaches dance at a school, tries her best to manage all by herself, but it’s difficult.

Eventually, matters come to a head. Meena hands Ganpat the money he’s demanding and tells him to get lost. Ganpat goes, muttering threats all the way, and Meena tells her father to sell off the taxi. It’s no use to them, and its sale could bring in some much-needed money. But her father gets all melodramatic and refuses: Meena’s dead mother’s jewellery was sold off for this taxi, and this taxi has seen many years of sweat and toil from him. It’s as much an offspring of his as Meena herself is.

Fortunately, a chance remark from Mohan makes Meena realize that he needs a job desperately, and that he also knows how to drive. So Mohan gets hired as the new taxi driver.

All seems happy and well. Two romances—the Mohan-Meena one and the Anokhe-Malti one—are flourishing, Mohan has a job, and Dayaram’s frequent reports to Mohan’s parents about his progress are glowing (since Anokhe, as Mohan, is being good).

But there is, after all, a good deal of deceit at work here. Mohan and Anokhe, between them, have fooled several people, not least the women they love. And things are going to get much more complicated before the resolution arrives. Because, besides all the expected consequences of their farce, there’s also something Mohan and Anokhe don’t know yet: that there’s a Dakkani-speaking lookalike of Anokhe’s, by the name of Sohan, who also lives in Ooty with his wife (Kammo) and three children.

What I liked about this film:

Shammi Kapoor, of course. For someone who’s a Shammi Kapoor fan, this film is satisfying when it comes to Mr Kapoor’s role. He’s handsome, he’s clownish and suave and whatever is needed to be the somewhat comic hero. Plus, I love the fact that he has so few inhibitions—the way he sits on that broken charpai, for instance, is made especially hilarious by the fact that this is our hero here, not the comic supporting actor…

And talking of comic supporting actor, Mehmood deserves a mention for his role as Sohan. He’s relatively unfunny as the timid Anokhe, but utterly delightful as the loud-mouthed Sohan.

That said, it’s not as if the film lacks humour even when it comes to Anokhe. The deceit practised by Mohan and Anokhe comes with its pitfalls, and one of these, threatening to reveal all, is the basis of a funny sequence with Shammi Kapoor and Mehmood rapidly switching roles and behaviour in order to fool two different sets of people simultaneously.

Last but not least, the songs, by Shankar Jaikishan. While the title song is possibly the most famous of the songs of Dil Tera Deewaana, my favourite is Nazar bachaakar chale gaye, followed by Mujhe kitna pyaar hai tumse. And yes, I must make a special mention of the picturization of Nazar bachaakar chale gaye, which is shot mainly across the many historic monuments at Hampi. Having recently visited Hampi, I was glad to be able to see so many of its monuments all over again, through this song.

What I didn’t like:

The waste of what could have been a good comic plot, but is reduced to a side plot. With talents like Shammi Kapoor, Mehmood, Om Prakash, and Shubha Khote, there was plenty of scope here for a really good comedy, what with the Mohan-Anokhe impersonation scheme, and the Sohan angle. But throw in the blind father-self-respecting girlfriend-jealous villain angles, and instead of being a fine comedy, it becomes a mishmash of genres, with melodrama coming to the forefront in the last half-hour or so.

Not terrible, but not as good as it could have been, either.

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31 thoughts on “Dil Tera Deewaana (1962)

  1. while reading the post i had a strange sense of deja vu. Until I got to the line “Dakkani-speaking lookalike of Anokhe’s, by the name of Sohan,” Then it struck me of course it is the well loved Sabash Meena. Naturally I had to look up and see which came out first . It was the tamil version in 1958. It was remade by the same producer- Director B R Panthulu ( Remember Karnan.. which you had reviewed)
    How I missed this movie in Hindi I do not know… being a great Shammi fan myself!
    the tamil film is extremely funny in patches but the romance is not too good. sivaji ganesan was subdued for the most part while Chandrababu who played the dual role was OTT funny especially as the rickshaw puller.
    The rapid switching role scene was a blast.
    Decades later C Sunder ( husband of Kushboo) had the idea of putting this movie with Andaaz apna apna in a blender and came out with another blockbuster ” Ulathai alli Tha”
    Now don’t you feel it is time to take another look at Tamil cinema. I would like your perspective on a good fifty or sixties tamil movie.

    • I’m not surprised this was a remake of a Tamil film. A lot of Southern-based film houses made a number of Hindi films those days, based on Southern hits, didn’t they? And one of my favourites, too – Pyaar Kiye Jaa.

      “I would like your perspective on a good fifty or sixties tamil movie.

      I would love to – if you can point me to an online, subtitled version! I have gone berserk trying to find films (Thillana Mohanambal is one I’ve looked for, repeatedly) recommended by readers.

      • Well there are a few choices
        Veerapandiya kattaboman… On the plus side it is a bio pic on a freedom fighter, fantastic songs of Barathiyar but again Sivaji Ganesan and Padmini Pictures.
        If you have not done MGR you should try Anbe Vaa a breezy film from AVM or the Tamil “Original” of azaad malai kallan / early rollicking robinhood adventure of MGR
        If you want a film By K Balachander try the early ones .. characterizations were good… ethir neechal or Navagraham. On second thoughts may be not they were basically like stage plays shot on camera. But still you can give it a try
        You can also try kalaiarasi India’s first space adventure. The first two should have subtites I am not sure about the rest.
        The choice is yours… but do post one sooner than later!

        • Someone had given me the link to Ethir Neechal and I’d begun watching it some months back, but I lost interest too quickly.

          Of the other films you’ve suggested, the only one I could easily find (on Youtube) with English subs was Veerapandiya Kattaboman. While searching for Anbe Vaa and Azad Malai Kallan (neither of which I found with subs), I found this one instead:

          Have you seen this one? Is it any good?

            • There is another one on freedom fighter a tad too long perhaps but well worth a watch it is Kapalotiya tamizhan. It does exist with subtitles. it is about a lawyer VO C Pillai who ran the first swadeshi ship company from tuticorin.
              as a eleven year old kid I was returning home from library when I saw a government information department van with a 16 mm screen showing it in a street corner. i stopped for a few minutes but became so engrossed in the movie.. half an hour later i rushed home told that i was watching this movie and will have dinner once the movie finishes and rushed back and watched the rest.
              Of course I was very innocent and very patriotic and was sad at the sad plight of the freedom fighter. i found it a tad dragging on rewatches but immensely watchable and mostly accurate .

  2. Madhu,
    Your review makes very nice reading, and tempts me to see the film. We can count good comedies on fingers. One knows 60s Bollywood would be a mishmash of entertainment package.
    AK

    • Thank you, AK. This one isn’t a pure comedy, either – it’s just that there’s a scattering of (fairly long) comedy scenes, which make it slightly more comic than the average Hindi film back then. Not like Pyaar Kiye Jaa, Dekh Kabira Roya, Dholak or Biwi Aur Makaan, but funnier than the average masala movie.

  3. Ah, Shammi Kapoor. I haven’t watched a Shammi movie for ages. I need to, pronto. My internet connection is patchy (when it’s available) so this will have to wait awhile. Until then, I shall make do with your review. :)

  4. You say the last half-hour or so is a mix-up. But not the rest. I will
    watch it for the rest.
    “(Shubha Khote—in just how many films did she star opposite Mehmood?)”-
    Why don’t you do a post about it yourself, even though you sometimes find them tiresome.

  5. The film owed it’s success to terrific music and Shammi’s dedicated fans. Kapoor was on a roll after Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Deke Dekho Junglee etc. It was a must see. In retrospect Shammi looked distinctly rotund. Mala Sinha as always was a pain. A physical mismatch for the hero in any case.
    Mehmood too was a big draw and had not yet degenerated to his Aruna Irani, double meaning dialogue stage..
    All in all as kids we had fun and the songs were great. In the sixties there was nothing else to do in any case.

    • Personally, I think Shammi didn’t look really rotund here. Yes, his face had started getting bulgy, but his physique was still pretty good, not the bloated body to be seen after Geeta Bali’s death. Mala Sinha is one actress about whom I fluctuate – she finds it easy to overact and be really irritatingly melodramatic (in far too many movies), but can be a lot of fun in movies like Aankhen. Perhaps she was one of those actresses for whom the right director was very important.

      Thank you for sharing your memories of this! I wish I had been around when these films were shown in cinema halls.

  6. It is one of the first films that I saw in my life. With all its limitations, to me, it remains a thoroughly enjoyable movie. It’s another duet that is a wonderfully melodious and my all-time favorite ‘ masoom chehra ye qatil adaaen ‘ . I must heard it several hundred times!
    Thanks for taking me down my personal memory lane !

  7. Having recently seen Kashmir ki Kali, it seems identical as the premise for this movie, and you mention this in the beginning but I could see a Shammi movie just about any time..

    Manmohan Krishna is a near-perfect blind character; why would you buy a taxi if you are blind, but hey, we are not supposed to think too hard. :)

    Also, Omprakash character looks similar to Chupke-Chupke, where Omprakash is overconfident to be fooled only by handsome heroes..

    I found Dil Tera Deewana on YouTube and will try soon. Thank you for the lovely review Madhu..

      • So I watched the movie and agree with you. Last half hour is forgettable and too chaotic for my taste too.

        Shammi looks good and the songs are nice. Thanks for reintroducing nazar bachakar to me. I had almost forgotten its existence.

        Dog barking and donkey screaming were annoying in between songs.. totally unnecessary. Comedy was decent. I liked it.

        Your link to nazar bachakar takes you to color version of the song which is nice though reengineered I believe.

        I still do not understand the rationale for a blond person to buy taxi from his life savings when he can’t drive.. anyway..

        • Yes, I found the barking and the braying very annoying – why did they have it in the first place?

          I personally didn’t much like the colourised versions of the songs. Hindi cinema, at least, doesn’t seem to do colourisation too well. The one film I’ve seen colourised – Hum Dono – made me long to see the original, in soothing black and white. :-(

          I think Meena’s father is supposed to have bought the taxi when he could still see, and has only had to resort to hiring someone to drive it when he’s gone blind. That was my take from his blabberings when she asks him to sell it off. That is also perhaps the only way it makes sense. But I agree that they could have made it clearer, perhaps explained, too, how he became blind.

  8. I remember having watched ” Dil tera deewana ” on Doordarshan .
    A movie in ‘ one – time ‘ watch category.

    But Ur review is more interesting than the movie.

    Yes , the songs were good.Besides all those mentioned by U , there was the hilarious no. ” धडकनें लगता हैं मेरा दिल तेरे नाम से , ऐसा लगता हैं के अब हम गये काम से ” ( screen cap no.2 )

    I agree with U that if they had concentrated on the comic part , it wud hav been more enjoyable movie.

    Thnx for the review Madhu G.

  9. I had seen DTD as a child, and decided to see it nearly 50 years later after reading your review. The songs are good and Shammi Kapoor is fabulous. Mehmood’s Hyderabadi Sohan is the prototype of a lot of his later roles and songs. Definitely worth a Dekko.
    Just a question… who made those barking noises in the song Dhadakne Lagta hai mera dil? Surely not Mohammed Rafi?
    Nitin

    • “Mehmood’s Hyderabadi Sohan is the prototype of a lot of his later roles and songs.

      I agree. Gumnaam is, for me, the most stellar of those later roles.

      I have no idea who made those barking noises! That was one thing I hated about that song. I don’t think it would be Rafi. At least, I hope it wasn’t Rafi. Possibly Shammi Kapoor himself?

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