Top 5 films of Madhubala

Madhubala - the ethereal beauty, the innocent smile and the eyes to charm stones. Born as Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehlavi, Madhubala never wanted to become an actress, but somehow entered Bollywood at the age of 9 as a child artist to support her family. During the course of her short but a dazzling life, she acted in more than 70 movies setting the screen on fire with her surreal charm and natural acting abilities. Her resume includes the envelope-pushing characters from a 16th century court dancer to a ghost to a modern woman who changed the norms

We celebrated her birth day a week back. Today we are going to look at her top 5 performances in films

Before we start, I would like to do some honorable mentions to some really great films like Chalti ka naam gaadi, Half Ticket, Amar, Dulari, Howrah Bridge and Jhumroo where she set the tune by her brilliant acting. But where she shone even more and took away the breath of audiences is some paramount work. So here we go

5) Kala Pani - 1958
Produced by Dev Anand under the Navketan banner, Kala pani was a major success when it released. Jeweled with magisterial music by Dada Burman, the film showed the on-screen romance between Madhu and Dev like never before. The movie’s script was based on A.J. Cronin’s novel, Beyond This Place. Madhubala played the character of a journalist Asha who helps Dev sahab to prove his innocence and also solve a murder mystery. The film also has this 'chanchal' side of Madhubala with the song 'Achha ji mai haari' sung michieveously by Rafi and Asha

4) Mr & Mrs 55 -1955
Despite being famous for making melancholic sad dramas, Guru Dutt perhaps made one of the pioneers of rom-com genre in Mr & Mrs '55. In a romantic saga engulfing the lead actress played by Madhubala to be rich heiress who is forced to live the simple life of a traditional woman. This film is refreshing particularly with Madhu playing the role of a rich, snobbish 20 year old. The film had brilliant music by O.P.Nayyar and lyrics by Majrooh saab.One of the most iconic moments in the films is when Lalita Pawar asks Guru Dutt -  “tum communist ho?” (are you a communist?) with Preetam replying “ji nahin cartoonist” (no, I am a cartoonist).

3) Barsaat ki Raat - 1960
Barsaat ki raat is a classic in all aspects. It was a revolutionary film at its times. Although it got more notice for 2 major reasons - it came head to head with K Asif's Magnum Opus - Mughal e Azam and secondly for its divine soundtrack composed by Roshan saab. But beyond that the film was a breakthough for many other reasons. Madhubala plays a muslim girl in Hyderabad who takes the bold decision of running away from home and marry a 'shaayar' Bharat Bhooshan. The film is full of melodic scenes and somewhat like Pyaasa is drenched with 'shaayari' and 'qawwali'. The film reaches a crescendo at the end with a qawwali competition in Lucknow where Madhubala comes running after hearing Bharat Bhushan's voice. Immaculate, touching and musical. Almost perfect

2) Mughal e Azam - 1960
Mughal e Azam is definitely the most famous film of Madhubala. It was a film of grandeur, surprising and shocking the audiences with the brilliance of K Asif and his vision to make a film which can not be made again. The film took almost a whole decade to be complete and broke all box office records on its release. The film stars Dilip and Madhu - the best pair possible (on screen and off) but even there Madhubala steals the show with those eyes, smiles and tears. Voiced on by Lata ji on some of the most memorable soundtracks ever created in Indian cinema (tuned by Naushad), Madhubala looks in a league of her own. Whether it's the shy Indian lady in Mohe panghat pe Nandlal or the lady fighting for love in qawwali - Teri mehfil me kismat aazma kar. But the highest point in the film is achieved, not surprisingly at' 'Jab Pyaar kiya to darna kya'. It is often said that she suffered abrasions on her skin and fainted during the filming of the movie due to its harsh demands and her delicate health. But she was determined to finish the film at any cost.She ended up giving one of the most sterling and memorable performances in history of Indian cinema

1) Mahal - 1949
If someone has Mughal-E-Azam up her sleeve, its almost impossible to think of something that could better it, but then Madhubala had Mahal as her pathbreaking film. Released in 1949, when she was only 16, Mahal was a phenomenal film and first of it's kind. The genere of gothic-noir-fiction in India was pretty much unexplored before Kamal Amrohi made this legendary film for Bombay Talkies. Madhubala stormed into the filmy scene of Bombay with this film and pretty much stole the show in the film too. There has been word round the campfire that Madhubala outscreened Suraiya for this film and the role was pretty much written with Suraiya in mind. Once Madhubala appeared on-screen and dazzled the viewers, any thoughts of someone else playing the role, went out of the window. This song made 2 stars - Madhubala and Lata mangeshkar. With the hauntingly brilliant melody - Aayega aanewala, composed by legendary Khemchand Prakash, both of them shot to fame and glory.The film has become etched in the memories of the viewers and the ghostly white face of madhubala appears everytime one thinks of the film.

Hope you like the list. Let us know which is your favorite Madhubala film

And here is a bonus song - look at the facial expressions during the whole song, worth killing for


{ Aisha Qaisar } at: December 23, 2017 at 12:15 PM said...

Thanx for sharing..

{ Nav Sikand } at: March 14, 2018 at 9:34 PM said...

Very nice. But worth an honourable mention also: Tarana. Worth a look if you haven't seen it.

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