|Directed by||Kamal Amrohi|
|Produced by||Kamal Amrohi|
|Written by||Kamal Amrohi|
|Music by||Ghulam Mohammed
|Edited by||D.N. Pai|
|4 February 1972|
Pakeezah (Urdu: پاکیزہ, Hindi: पाकीज़ा; Pākīzā, meaning "Pure") is a 1972 Indian film, written and directed by Kamal Amrohi, who was known for his perfectionism. The music is by Ghulam Mohammed and Naushad Ali. The film tells the story of a Lucknowi tawaif played by actress Meena Kumari. Meena Kumari died shortly after the film was completed.
This movie is about the tawaif Sahibjaan (Meena Kumari), who is born to a courtesan, Nargis (also Meena Kumari). After being spurned by her lover Shahabuddin's (Ashok Kumar) family, Nargis is driven to a graveyard where she gives birth to Sahibjaan secretly. Nargis dies during childbirth and her sister Nawabjaan (Veena), a brothel madam, brings her up as her own. Unable to break away from the vicious circle, Sahibjaan grows up to be a beautiful and popular dancer and singer. The aggressive, Nawab Zafar Ali Khan Kamal Kapoor, wants to make her his own with the help of the brothel madam, and takes her to his boat for the night, which is attacked by elephants, saving Sahibjaan from a horrific fate, but throwing her in the fast flowing river, in a broken boat. Whence here she is taken to the riverside tent of Forest ranger Salim Ahmed Khan (Raaj Kumar), where alone with his dairy, she reads how he was the same man who had written a beautiful couplet on her feet, and left for her to read, while travelling in the same compartment some time before. She sings in rapture and love remembering this beautiful interlude in her otherwise barren life. Salim Ahmed Khan returns to his tent and is pleasantly surprised to find her. Enthralled by her beauty and innocence, he eventually convinces her to elope with him, which she does. But trials and tribulations await Sahibjaan as she is recognized by men wherever she goes in the company of Salim. When Salim renames her Pakeezah (pure of heart) and takes her to a cleric to be legally married, she refuses and returns to the brothel. Salim eventually decides to marry someone else and invites Sahibjaan to dance at his wedding, to which she agrees. During this event, Nawabjaan recognises Shahabuddin and calls him to witness the irony of the situation; his own daughter dancing and entertaining his family. Shahabuddin's brother tries to shoot Nawabjaan to silence her, which leads to a very surprise ending.
- Ashok Kumar - Shahabuddin
- Meena Kumari - Nargis / Sahibjaan
- Raaj Kumar - Salim Ahmed Khan
- Veena - Nawabjaan
- Nadira - Madame Gauhar Jaan
- Kamal Kapoor - Nawab Zafar Ali Khan
- D.K. Sapru - Hakim Saab
Pakeezah took nearly 14 years to shoot because of a change in relationship between Meena Kumari and the director. Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi were married when Pakeezah was first conceived. Ashok Kumar was to have played the part of Salim, but the part was later played by Raaj Kumar. The character was changed from a businessman to a forest ranger to suit Raaj Kumar's more muscular physique. Both the film's composer Ghulam Mohammed and cinematographer Josef Wirsching died during this period. Later, renowned composer Naushad Ali stepped in and composed the film's background music as well as its title track. Over a dozen of Bombay's top cinematographers pitched in when they had time; they however managed to maintain its uniform look.
Due to a variety of different reasons, Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi parted ways and the film remained incomplete. It was only when Nargis and Sunil Dutt saw the rushes of the film that they convinced Meena Kumari to complete it. It was mostly shot in Kamal Amrohi Studios, Mumbai.
Meena Kumari was very ill when filming resumed and one can note the difference in the portions shot in the early '60s with the ones shot during her illness. All the kathak dance sequences were performed by Meena Kumari herself except for the last dance sequencee wherein a body double (Padma Khanna) was used in the long-shots. Meena Kumari died weeks after the film was released. The film, which had been declared a flop when first released, became a success after Meena Kumari's death.
Pakeezah made news during the Filmfare Awards in 1972 when Pran refused to accept his award for Be-Imaan because he felt that Ghulam Mohammed deserved a posthumous Filmfare award for his songs in Pakeezah.
- Screenplay: Kamal Amrohi
- Art direction: N.B. Kulkarni
- Set Design : Kamal Amrohi
- Costume Design : Meena Kumari
- Director of Photography : Josef Wirsching
- Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri, Kaifi Azmi, Kaif Bhopali, Kamal Amrohi
- Music: Ghulam Mohammed, Naushad Ali - Background Score, Title Music
- Singers: Lata Mangeshkar; Mohd. Rafi; Vani Jairam; Parveen Sultana; Rajkumari; Begum Akhtar
|Soundtrack album by Ghulam Mohammed & Naushad Ali|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Sa Re Ga Ma|
|Ghulam Mohammed chronology|
|Naushad Ali chronology|
The soundtrack for the film was composed by Ghulam Mohammed and Naushad, with lyrics by Kaifi Azmi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Kamal Amrohi and Kaif Bhopali. Due to the demise of the composer before the completion of the film, Naushad was signed to compose the background score for the film. He also composed the songs, Nazaria Ki Maari, Title Music - Alap, Mora Saajan Sauten Ghar Jaye and Kaun Gali Gayo Shyam. These renderings are presented in the voices of the veteran singer Rajkumari, Parveen Sultana, Vani Jairam and Naseem Bano Chopra. There were total 18 songs recorded, however only 9 of them were used.
- Song not used in movie
- M.A. Khan (28 March 2008). "Remembering Meena Kumari". Retrieved 26 February 2010.
- Bose, Mihir (2006). Bollywood: a history. Tempus. p. 236. ISBN 0-7524-2835-7.
- Rajiv Vijayakar (9 March 2012). "Pakeezah one of a kind". Indian Express. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- Gulzar; Govind Nihalani; Saibal Chatterjee (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 85. ISBN 81-7991-066-0.
- Awards IMDB.
- Pakeezah: An Underrated Classic. Offering Analysis on Neglected Aspects of the Film at Silver Ambrosia
- Pakeezah at Indian Auteur
- Music Review of Pakeezah at Planet Bollywood
- Pakeezah at Rediff Movies
- Pakeezah at the Internet Movie Database
- Analysis of the movie's ambiguities at Let's talk about Bollywood
- Pakeezahat You Tube