Dulhan Aik Raat Ki (1975)
Starring: Badar Munir, Nimmi, Mussarat Shaheen, Neimat Sarhadi
Director: Mumtaz Ali Khan
Nutshell: Damsel in distress has several near misses with being dishonoured…
Dulhan Aik Raat Ki was the sleeper of 1975-6, arriving as somewhat of a nonentity with no name stars or banner to project it. However it had gained a certain amount of notoriety (Due to its vulgar dances) and people lined up outside cinemas country wide to get a glimpse just to see what the talk was all about. The film, basically a Pashto hit remade quickly for the national market, became a smash and went on to score a “Platinum Jubilee” with a run in cinemas lasting a year or so.
Dulhan Aik Raat Ki made stars out of the intrepid Badar Munir and brought the sublime talents of Mussarat Shaheen to the fore. The film begins with the handsome, dashing but careless young man being scolded by his father for being reckless and not paying attention to the one last business they have remaining, a ramshackle guest house which is usually occupied by hallucinating young hippies. Badar falls for young village belle Nimmi who entrances him with her heart-stopping beauty. Unfortunately she has a wicked uncle who is in the business of providing girls to the local sleaze ball for their sinful flesh trade racket and he is tempted into selling his own niece, blinded as he is by his lust for money. In a ghastly moment of mounting horror he pours Nimmi’s ailing mother a new “medicine” which kills her in an instant…putting the old bat out of her misery once and for all.
The girl is abducted to be taken and sold to the brothels but Badar, by habit, arrives just in time to rescue the damsel in distress and carry her home to safety where he plans on wedding her himself……but then things go horribly wrong because on his wedding night just when he is about to “enjveye” himself with his shiny new bride, his dad asks him to attend to some shady looking guests. Of course the moronic dad has gone and told the sleazy guests that his son has just got married today and they naturally send the son on an errand that will take him enough time for them to ravage the new bride. This time Badar arrives but a moment too late and a long chase scene ensues with him battling his foes on a fast moving train rattling along to its destination at break neck speed.
Exhilarating fights and stunts ensue (yawn!) and the ladies virtue is saved, if only momentarily as she appears to be perpetually under extreme peril. Anyway, all sorts of mayhem ensues with Nimmi having several close shaves and nearly having her “izzat lootoed” (virtue compromised) on numerous occasions, but the venerable and rather charmingly dapper Badar Munir can always be counted on for saving the day. The film became a smash hit due to the several vulgar songs that introduced the hefty, fleshy delights of Mussarat Shaheen on unsuspecting audiences outside the wild frontier for the very first time…evidently audiences just couldn’t get enough as lusting young men thronged to cinemas time and again to catch the waves of voluptuous fat that was thrust at them by the muscular and shapely Mussy.
Otherwise the film was utterly run of the mill stuff, with tens of potential rape scenarios, tens of chase scenes, several hit Madam Noor Jehan songs, numerous fights, and an awful lot of posturing and shouting. I suppose there is a certain amount of freshness to the film in that it at least featured faces that were new to the majority of the country’s film-goers. Badar Munir got his first break in Urdu movies carved out a solid career for himself while Mussarat Shaheen is destined for great things and her talent was immediately evident as she burns up the screen with her seductive temptress routine – a sight for sore eyes. One has to admit feeling a little short changed as only one sleazy dance materialised over the entire movie and one suspects that one or two of the more risque ones might have been given the chop by the prude element, thus denying the film of what was undoubtedly its “charm”. By the standards of current Pashto cinema, Dulhan Aik Raat Ki is nothing short of a subtle, lyrical masterpiece. By any other standards it’s a steaming piece of shite!