Gumnaam (1965) Movie Review
Written By: SR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Raja Nawathe
Producer: N.N. Sippy
Writers: Dhruva Chatterjee
Date Released: December 24, 1965
Nanda as Asha
Manoj Kumar as Anand
Pran as Rakesh
Helen as Kitty
Mehmood as the butler
Dhumal as Dharamdas
Madanpuri as Dr. Acharya
Tarun Bose as Sharma
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Asha wins a plane ticket for a trip abroad with six strangers. The pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing on a deserted island. Suddenly, the plane takes off leaving the entire group stranded! An overfriendly butler welcomes them into a mansion nearby and they agree to stay there till they are rescued. This decision soon has deadly consequences.
The film is family friendly and has only a few bloody scenes.
The special effects are at par with movies of the 60’s. Interestingly, Gumnaam has the distinction of being the first Indian suspense thriller in Eastman color unlike the earlier Technicolor processing.
The Grave Review
Directed by Raja Nawathe, Gumnaam (1965) is a Filmfare Award winning movie which blazed a trail in cinematic art direction. The film’s trailer hints at thrills, shrills, laughter and chills and the director does not disappoint in at least one of the parameters. With the flimsy and downright predictable storyline of travellers being abandoned at bay, the director creates a comedy semi-horror with an obscene amount of Bollywood song and dance. This horror is 100% laughter guaranteed!
The actors lack expression except for the butler who hoards all the attention with his eccentric and unbelievable antics. Each actor gets their fair share of the screen time so it becomes difficult to feel any connection because there is no main character. Though, Gumnaam excelled in art direction at that time, the cinematography and backdrops are unlikely to amaze you today.
A strong main character with a meaningful backstory would have done wonders for this film. There is a gigantic story abyss (not gap) because the director does not bother to give us an ounce of a reason or history about why poor Asha has landed in this hilarious hell with her co-passengers. The plot is presented in a lame manner and the ending is lukewarm.
Overall, I recommend this film for those who would like to pass some time with a few good laughs. In fact, this film is even better to practice a Bollywood dance routine on and one will get plenty of opportunities to do so – song after song after song…
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Gumnaam (1965) two graves out of five graves.
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