Woh Kaun Thi?
|Woh Kaun Thi?|
|Directed by||Raj Khosla|
|Written by||Dhruva Chatterjee|
|Music by||Madan Mohan|
|Running time||140 min.|
Woh Kaun Thi? (Hindi: वो कौन थी, Who Was She?) is a 1964 black-and-white Psychological Mystery film directed by Raj Khosla, starring Sadhana, Manoj Kumar and Prem Chopra. Though the screenplay was written by Dhruva Chatterjee, parts were later rewritten, wherein Manoj Kumar took an active role. Music by Madan Mohan was the asset of this movie. All the songs were popular, picturised nicely but the expressionless face of Manoj Kumar was the weakest part of the movie. The film became a hit at the box office. Its success had Khosla directing Sadhana in two more suspense thrillers: Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967 film).
The film begins on a rainy night, when the highly reputed Dr. Anand (Manoj Kumar) is driving when suddenly he sees a woman clad in a white sari (Sadhana) standing on the middle of the road. He offers assistance to her, giving her a lift in his car. She accepts his assistance and introduces herself as Sandhya. As soon as she steps in the car, the wipers eerily stop working. He's even more spooked when the lady shows him the way when it isn't visible and guides him outside a cemetery. En route he notices her finger is bleeding, when asked, she tells him Mujhe khoon achcha lagtaa hai (I like blood). On reaching the cemetery, the doors open automatically and he hears someone sing the words “Naina Barse Rimjhim Rimjhim”.
Dr. Anand is about to inherit a large fortune from a distant relative under the condition that he is perfectly mentally stable otherwise he would not inherit the property as there had already been cases of mental instability in his family in the past. When he reaches home, he sees that his mother has recruited a new servant, Madhav, who used to sleep on footpaths. He tries to tell her mother not to trust anyone so blindly, but she is too trusting too pay heed.
His colleague, Dr. Lata (Parveen Chaudhary), loves Dr. Anand but he already has a girlfriend, Seema (Helen). Mystery unfolds when Seema is killed by a cyanide injection and the suspects are Dr. Lata and her father, Dr. Singh (K. N. Singh), the head doctor of the hospital in which Dr. Anand and Dr. Lata work. Meanwhile, on a stormy night, his phone rings and a person calls him to a dilapidated mansion on an emergency case. The mansion has no lighting and the only light there is through a candle, which makes the atmosphere even creepier. But unfortunately, he comes to know that the patient in question has already died. He is surprised to see that the patient is Sandhya. When he goes back, he encounters some policemen who tell him that the place has been deserted for a while and that rumours are that the place is haunted. The policemen inform him that what he saw in the mansion was exactly what happened years ago and many a doctors have registered similar cases with the police on many rainy nights. On another occasion, he sees a piece of news paper which says that police was in search of the woman (Sandhya) who unfortunately died in a rail accident.
Dr. Anand is very unhappy after his girlfriend’s demise and as a solution Dr. Singh goes to Anand’s mother to persuade her to marry Anand to his daughter, Lata, but gets to know that Anand’s marriage has already been fixed to a girl whom Anand’s mother has never even seen, but was recommended by her sister. Anand is shocked to see when he removes the newly-wed’s ‘ghunghat’ that she is none other than Sandhya. He starts shouting at her and tells her to leave, but his mother tells him to calm down. He starts staying away from home and avoids her. One day he saw that she had painted the same bungalow in which he was called in the rainy night (mentioned above). Just after that, he hears her singing a part of “Naina Barse Rimjhim Rimjhim” and asks her how she knows the bungalow or the song, but gets vague answers. This fuels his anger even further. Another evening, he is resting near a lake where he sees an unmanned boat sailing in the lake and another part of “Naina Barse Rimjhim Rimjhim” can be heard by him there.
Yet another night, Sandhya reaches Anand’s hospital and asks him why he hates her and tries to impress him with her beauty and singing ability (“Lag Ja Gale Se Fir”). He gets impressed and they sit in the car, where he gets a déjà vu as again the wipers stop working and she can clearly see the way in the stormy and foggy night. He takes her to the aforementioned bungalow and to the room where he had seen her dead and she disappears from there. When he reaches home, she is waiting for him and his mother says that she never left this house!
Finally, he is successful in persuading his mother to let her go back to her home and gives her the train’s ticket. Next day he comes to know that the train suffered an accident, but he saw her roaming on the terrace the same night. All these things took a toll on his mental health and he is advised medically to take some rest in Shimla with Dr. Lata and his mother. There, while roaming, he meets a monk on a hilltop who tells him that 100 years ago at this very spot a boy and a girl were having romance when the girl lost her balance, fell down and died. From then, her spirit is roaming, waiting for her lover to return, who has been re-incarnated in Anand’s form. He then sees Sandhya far down the hillside and she sings the last installment of “Naina Barse Rimjhim Rimjhim”. Persuaded by these things, Anand jumps down, but is saved in the nick of time by Lata, who takes her back to their town. There she is told to keep constant vigil on him, but when he sees Sandhya trying to lure him out, he manages to give Lata the slip and follows Sandhya, who lures him to the same old bungalow, where he sees Sandhya on the stairway at one instant of time and beside him at another instant!
She then lures him to the roof, where suddenly he sees a duplicate of Sandhya, who shouts and says that she was the real Sandhya but she is gagged and taken away. Strengthened by this sudden revelation, Anand is confirmed that this woman is not a ghost and he confronts her, but she accidentally falls down and dies. Then comes there Ramesh (Prem Chopra, already introduced earlier twice in the film), Anand’s cousin. He reveals that this was his plan so that Anand is termed as mentally unstable and that his entire inheritance would pass to the next cousin, i.e., to Ramesh himself. A duel follows and then the police reach there guided by Dr. Singh, where Sandhya and the police reveal how the graveyard gate was already attached to a string and how the unmanned boat was also already equipped with a tape recorder. There it is also revealed that Madhav was also involved in this. The other woman was Sandhya’s twin, of whom even Sandhya didn’t know, but Ramesh came to know by chance. Sandhya’s parents had separated them years ago when her father took away the other girl. He passed away and she was forced to adopt unfair means for her living. The “Sandhya” who had lured him in the hospital (the Lag Ja Gale Se and the sequence that followed) was also the other girl. This explained Sandhya’s presence at 2 places at the same time. Hence, the mystery is solved and at the end of the film Sandhya and Anand hug each other, thus indicating that they lived happily ever after.
- Manoj Kumar as Dr. Anand
- Sadhana as Sandhya
- Helen as Seema, Anand's dead girlfriend
- Prem Chopra as Dr. Ramesh, a co-worker of Anand and his distant cousin.
- Parveen Chaudhary as Dr. lata, a coworker of Anand.
- K. N. Singh as Dr Singh, Anand's boss and Lata's father.
- Mohan Choti as Sher Singh, servant of the Simla quarters.
- Dhumal as Madhav, the new servant in Anand's home.
- The film was remade into Tamil as Yaar Nee by Sathyam (1966) with Jaishankar and J.Jayalalithaa (who later became Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu).
- J.Jayalalithaa also starred in the Telugu remake Ame Evaru?(1966) with Kongara Jaggayya.
|1||"Lag Jaa Gale Ki Phir Ye Haseen Raat Ho Na Ho"||Lata Mangeshkar||Believed to be the best song of Lata-Madan Mohan combination; Features in Lata's own collection of her favorite songs|
|2||"Naina Barase Rimjhim Rimjhim"||Lata Mangeshkar||Appears several times in the movie; Since Lata couldn't travel at the time of recording, Madan Mohan sang this song 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.|
|3||"Jo Hamne Daastaan Apnee Sunaaee Aap Kyoon Roye"||Lata Mangeshkar||A ghazal song|
|4||"Shokh Nazar Kee Bijailiyaan Dil Pe Mere Giraaye Jaa"||Asha Bhosle|
|5||"Chhod Kar Tere Pyaar Kaa Daaman Ye Bataa De Ki Ham Kidhar Jaayein"||Lata Mangeshkar & Mahendra Kapoor||Picturized on Helen & Manoj Kumar|
The music became very famous and it was also nominated for the Filmfare award that year.
Awards and nominations
- Filmfare Best Cinematographer Award for Black & White Film-K.H.Kapadia
- Filmfare Nomination for Best Actress-Sadhana (actress)
- Filmfare Nomination for Best Music Director-Madan Mohan
- "Blast from the Past - Do Badan (1966)". Indian Express. October 14, 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
- "Woman in white". Indian Express. May 28, 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
- BoxOffice India.com
- 1st Filmfare Awards 1953