Jalay Na Kyun Parwana (1970)
Cast: Kemal, Shabnam, Nadeem, Saiqa, Lehri, Santosh Russell
Director: Shaukat Hashmi
Nutshell: Typical yet strange 60’s style Love Triangle with the usual complications.
Jalay Na Kyun Parwana arrived in 1970 when Pakistan was passing through one of many anxiety-ridden phases and a political implosion that would ultimately lead to the loss of East Pakistan in the very near future. The film itself has no political aspirations at all but features a happy go lucky character from a solid family going off for a break to East Pakistan, now of course Bangladesh. He relishes the opportunity and upon arrival finds himself being intoxicated by a local beauty Shabnam who seems to be a free spirit and very easy to get along with.
He finds himself falling hopelessly in love with her and she seems to enjoy his company quite a bit. Love is in the air but things are made confused by the arrival on the scene of Nadeem who plays Shabnam’s childhood friend who obviously has feelings for her but has never been able to articulate them to her. She loves him as a dear friend but doesn’t appear to be romantically inclined towards him which results in Nadeem pulling a long face and behaving like a wet weekend and a typical kebab mein haddi when Shabnam and Kemal decide for the three of them to spend some time together! The situation is awkward to say the least and Nadeem develops an intense dislike of Kemal who seems to have won over Shabnam’s heart.
Shabnam manages to clear any suspicion of a romance with Nadeem with Kemal and they become an official item with marriage down the road. Nadeem is inconsolable and his sulk remains as irritating as ever. At this point Kemal’s mother throws a spanner in the works when she refuses to accept Shabnam as her son’s wife and insists on an arranged marriage from years ago which he refuses outright. The mother has a fit and nearly dies thus forcing her son to sever ties with Shabnam or lose his mother to a blood-clot fit of rage, again. He sacrifices his relationship with Shabnam and she finds solace eventually in the delighted arms of her old friend Nadeem who is quite happy enough to know that he is definitely her second choice.
The tortured Kemal is finally driven to the brink of despair but will his obstinate witch of a mother relent while there is a minute before Shabnam is wed off to Nadeem or will Kemal perish in some terrible accident or by taking some poison? The film reaches its conclusion having failed to build up any real tension along the way. Nadeem plays an imbecile of a man who may look sharp but is an insecure and jealous man who has stalker tendencies. He is supposed to be mild mannered but comes across as gormless instead. Kemal is fairly charming in his role and Shabnam is charming.
The love triangle is an odd one though and the tension that is created just hinging on the mothers fit of rage is a little less satisfying and the film struggles to pick up any momentum after the half way mark and runs out of fizz at a rapid rate. The last thing the film needs is two or three further songs, a comedy sequence or two on cruise control but sadly that is exactly what it gets; some major padding. The result is the viewers interest flags and you start looking at your Forward button becomes more and more tempting along the way.
The films fairly weak box office performance was to be expected because though it is fairly entertaining to begin with, at the half way stage the films itself nowhere interesting to go and gets badly stuck and the end is not nearly dramatic enough for local audiences. There is no rousing drama, nor are the comedy sequences juvenile enough or genuinely amusing to be of any worth. Lehri is on auto mode and getting a little type cast by 1970. In this film he is even given a song such was his popularity in the last 60s.
The film is not bad at story telling but the story itself is fragile and unconvincing and there isn’t enough real melodrama which a film of this nature needs to thrive on. Its an okay film but one gets the feeling Aslam Parvez in his suit and matching muffler is being sorely missed for starters. The music and songs fail to save the day and are nothing to get the pulse racing. Jalay Na Kyun Parwana is unexceptional movie only of note that in a year or two on from its own release, Shabnam and Nadeem would go on to eclipse all the other stars to claim the no.1 position as their own for years to come. The two of them also had a hugely successful pairing on screen and scored some major of Lollywood’s greatest hits along the way. Kemal was popular in 1970 but perhaps his finest days in Urdu cinema may have been behind him.
Jalay Na Kyun Parwana is not necessarily a bad film, just not a particularly memorable one.