- 2 hr 6 min
Pakeezah is a Hindi drama film from 1972 directed by Kamal Amrohi. The movie was in production for over 14 years and is renowned as a classic masterpiece in Indian cinema. The film's story is a beautiful love story of a courtesan named Sahibjaan, played by Meena Kumari, and a forest ranger named Salim, played by Raaj Kumar. The plot of the film revolves around the life of Sahibjaan, who was born out of wedlock to a famous courtesan named Nargis, played by Vijayalaxmi. After her mother dies, she is raised by her aunt, and Sahibjaan becomes a courtesan herself, destined to continue the family's legacy. She works in a brothel owned by Madame Jaan, played by Veena.
One day, while on a train journey, Sahibjaan meets Salim, a forest ranger, and the two begin to fall in love. However, due to the social stigma attached to Sahibjaan's profession as a courtesan, Salim is hesitant to pursue their relationship. But, Sahibjaan is determined to break free from her life as a courtesan and live her life with Salim.
Pakeezah is a visual treat with its beautiful cinematography, stunning sets, and breathtaking costumes. The film's director, Kamal Amrohi, is known for his attention to detail, and it shows in every frame of the movie. The background score by Ghulam Mohammed and the songs composed by Naushad are still considered classic pieces of Indian music. The film's soundtrack features several melodies and ghazals that have been immortalized by legendary singers, such as Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi.
One of the defining aspects of Pakeezah is the lead actress, Meena Kumari's, stunning portrayal of Sahibjaan. Her performance is hauntingly beautiful and has a timeless quality to it. She captivates the audience with her grace, beauty, and poise, making Sahibjaan one of the most memorable characters in Indian cinema history. Her chemistry with Raaj Kumar, who plays Salim, is palpable and adds another layer of emotion to the film.
The film's supporting cast is also noteworthy. Ashok Kumar, who plays Sahibjaan's father, delivers a powerful performance. His character is torn between his love for Sahibjaan and his social status, which serves as a reflection of the societal pressures faced by Sahibjaan and Salim.
Pakeezah addresses themes such as love, societal norms, and the hierarchies of class and caste prevalent in Indian society. The film delves into the inner workings of the courtesan culture prevalent in India at that time and offers an insight into the lives of these women. Pakeezah also highlighted the societal prejudices and how it restricts the freedom and choices of individuals, especially women.
In conclusion, Pakeezah is a cinematic masterpiece, and it's not just a film, it's an experience. It's an ode to love, the timeless longing of the human spirit, and the ever-evolving dynamics of societal norms, signifying how art transcends the boundaries of time and culture. Even today, Pakeezah remains a classic and continues to inspire many filmmakers and storytellers around the globe. It's a must-watch film for everyone who appreciates cinema and the art of storytelling.
Pakeezah is a 1972 music movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 6 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2.