Even after 38 years post-release, Mausam continues to be the story that most contemporary filmmakers dare not narrate.
#Gulzar’s #Mausam is a spellbinding movie — a gem of a film. It had everything, a brave story, a mind-blowing screenplay, probably one of the best performances by #SharmilaTagore, #SanjeevKumar, and veteran #DeenaPathak, realistic narration, and the whole cinematic craft effortlessly blended into the movie.
In the year that was dominated by giants, such as Sholay, Deewar, and Jai Santoshi Maa, this timeless classic stood its ground like a true warrior. It is said, when Mausam was being shot, Gulzar was also making ‘Aandhi’, another timeless classic from him, so much so that their scripts too were being written at almost the same time by #Kamleshwar, #BhooshanBanmali and #Gulzar. It can be said the sheer talent that was ‘in the air’ on both these sets only helped enhance each other’s creative quotient.
Gulzar’s craft is such that little subtleties of life and emotions are captured with an unspeakable brilliance. The same way, social messages are embedded in his portrayal of human emotions that seem to be his priority, especially interpersonal relationships. Mausam is an extremely powerful commentary on, not only the emotion of love or lust, but also the changing patterns of social and cultural thoughts. Such movies are rare in the history of Indian cinema, because they bring out the often ‘unspoken’ taboos in a culturally conservative Indian society. As it is true with all Gulzar creations, Mausam too needs to be watched with utmost intensity and being undisturbed by the outer world — perhaps then you get the feel of Gulzar’s ingenious art and craft.
Some portions of the movie leave you in the state of shock. For instance, when Amarkant finds out his lover’s daughter has become a prostitute, he finds her and sits next to her to comfort her to develop a father-daughter bond. However, Kajli, with her habitual wary approach brushes his ‘fatherly’ advances and snaps, “Ye beti beti kya laga rakha hai? Seedhe dhande hi baat kar na yaar!”
When he goes to buy her so that he can free her from a life of shame, he tells mausi that Kajli is a nice girl and he would like to take her away. Deena Pathak as Mausi calmly replies, ‘Acchhi nahin hain sahab, randiyaan hain sab ki sab’. (No one is good enough to be taken to a home. All are whores.)
The climax scene, the most powerful scenes as we feel, shows a girl who laments the effects of an unknown man who did not only cause her mother to live the life of insanity, but also inflicted the life of shame and degradation upon her. When the same man approaches as a customer, she falls in love with him. After finding the truth, she finds it hard to forgive and forget. Gulzar here gives a heart rendering end to the movie…The man tells his lover’s daughter, “Mere saath chalogi? Peeche mud ke dekhne ke liye hum dono ke paas kuchh nahin bacha hai.” (Will you come with me? Both of us have nothing to look back upon.)
The movie is worth watching a hundred times. It is not only brave and edgy, but it is brilliantly ahead of its time. Its music lingers on, giving a bitter-sweet nostalgic feel. The music that has survived through through decades. Some glorious mentions are ‘Ruke ruke se qadam’ and ‘Dil dhoondta hai phir wahi’. This movie’s musical score is marked by #MadanMohan’s last music direction. Gulzar has rightfully and justifiably dedicated this film to the legendary musician himself. Other accolades that Mausam garnered where the National Award for best actress for Sharmila Tagore and Filmfare best film and best director award in the year 1977.