WOW! I saw the classic Naya Daur (New Age) this week and LOVED IT! It’s a drama of man vs. machine. I threw out every machine in my house after seeing it, but then I went out and replaced them all when I understood, if used correctly and without taking away human dignity, they’re OK.
Naya Daur is a 1957 Indian drama film starring Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala, Ajit and Jeevan. The film is set in post-independence India where Industrialization is slowly creeping in. The focus is on Tangawallahs who earn their living transporting people from place to place on Tangas (horse – carts). Their livelihood is threatened when the son of a rich landlord (Jeevan) begins operating a bus service in the town,which he subsidizes heavily with the sole intention of first driving the Tangawallahs out of the down and then making profits. Dilip Kumar plays one of the Tangawallahs who petitions the landlord over this injustice.Then, Jeevan’s character proposes a competition to decide which service is the best – The Bus or the Tanga? It is then decided that there will be a race between both the vehicles. The highlight of the film is definitely the heart stopping final race where the underdog wins and how? (wikipedia)
Check out what upperstall has to say about this movie. There’s also an official website since the 1957 film was colorized and re-released in all its glory in July, 2007. The fancy re-release of the classic has a supplementary disc where you can see Yash Choprā interview the film’s director, his brother, B. R. Chopra, who he calls, “bhai sahib” in the interview, which I loved. So formal! He even wishes his brother the oh so Indian, “All the best!” at the end of the interview. I’d love to interview my own brother and call him brother sir, he’d be so confused. Anyway, the supplemental disc has lots of nice tidbits, like Yash Choprā saying, “43 years ago, a time when people made films with their head and hearts and not just with calculators in their hands.” B. R. Chopra laments that “today’s artists are business men, not so much passion, artists only reworking the same story over and over.” B. R. Chopra speaks of hiring a large group of bangra folk dancers for the movie, worth every rupee I’d say. He also talks about how Vyjayanthimala‘s role was originally intended for Madhubala, but her father refused her participation in the film for fear she’d romantically reinvolve herself with heart-breaker, Dilip Kumar. The musical launch segment has both Chopra brothers, Aditya Chopra, Vyjayanthimala, Dilip Kumar, and Asha Bhosle, all looking great in 2007!
The music in this film by O. P. Nayyar is spectacular! As upperstall writes, “The film is a musical triumph for OP Nayyar and lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi. Each of the songs in the film was a raging hit and won OP Nayyar the Filmfare Award for Best Music.” I especially liked the devotional song “Aana Hai To Aa” by playback singer Mohammed Rafi. This song offers that Bollywood wisdom that I love. Here are the lyrics in English, but I bet the Hindi is richer, more meaningful and more beautiful:
There are no turns in the path
There is delay but no denial
Come if you have to
When you can’t solve your problems
Your wishes are fulfilled without asking
Those whose hearts are pure get to take shelter here
This is the court where you get justice
He is the ultimate master of the world
We’re lucky enough to have BFC’s favorite remix artist, Dr. K Chaudhry post a version of the same beautiful song:
I’ll have to come back and post a bit more about this fantastic movie later.