In his entire oeuvre of work, one film which Dilip Kumar must be really proud of is Ganga Jamuna -a dacoit drama which initiated the formula of brothers on opposite sides of law in Hindi films.It was a film produced by him and some allege was directed by him too though the credits has Nitin Bose as the director.
There is nothing novel about the story (you must have seen umpteen number of good brother-bad brother kind of films by now) but the novelty lies in the way the story is told.Thats why cinema is such a great medium where you can tell one single story in countless different ways..the number of ways only limited by your imagination..
Ganga(Dilip Kumar) is a poor illiterate villager who works hard to educate his younger brother Jamuna(Nasir Khan-incidentally he is Dilip Kumars real life of our reviewers recommend us brother) .He sends his brother to the city for higher education.However Ganga gets wrongly implicated in a case by the landlord and is send to jail for 6 months.He returns and circumstances force him to join a gang of dacoits.
Jamuna by then has joined the police force and as it happens-in-films only gets posted to the same area where his brother is now a dreaded dacoit.. Brothers on opposite side of the law always brings out delicious confrontations(remember Deewar!!!).This film too has similar moments but they are much muted and restrained as the focus and sympathy of the film firmly remains on Ganga. The film has a tragic end with Ganga being shot dead by his dear brother Jamuna.
Ganga Jamunas lustre even after all these years comes from the sheer brilliance of its performances . Dilip Kumar literally lives the role of a village rustic..be his body language or the fluency with which he speaks the awadhi dilaect. (oh btw most of the film is in awadhi dialect which gives the film a very real and earthy feel).
Vyjyantimala in one of her career best performances(she won another best actress award for this film) plays the role of a village belle with elan and you completely forget that its a city-bred girl who is playing this role. Unlike in several films where irrespective of the role the actresses play, they find it oh-so-hard to get rid of their LOreal make-up, perfectly coiffured hair and their chic ethnic designer dresses:).
Nasir khan who plays Jamuna is deadpan most of the time but seems to complement the flamboyance of Gangas character with his restrained acting. The supporting cast is good especially Kanhaiya Lal who continues from where he left in Mother India-only this time he plays a positive, sympathetic character.
The scenes to watch out for is:
The Kabaddi match in the film and the song thereafter Nain lad jaihen where Dilip Kumar professes his love to Vyjyantimala whose name incidentally is Dhanno in the movie. Were Salim-Javed paying tribute to this character by naming Basantis ghodi as Dhanno in Sholay?..lolol..hehhehehe...
The bickering and bantering scenes between Ganga and Dhanno where they fight like kids!!
The way Ganga beats up the lecherous landlord and Dhanno goading him to beat him up even more-Maar Ganga..Aur maar
The court-room scene where Ganga is implicated in the false case and his absolute frustration and anger at the system.The way he confesses a crime he never committed when he is repeatedly provoked by the lawyer- Haan sahab..Hum chori kiya...Baraabar chori kiya..
The manner in which Ganga is chased by the villagers and when Ganga finds a gun,the way Ganga dares them to chase him then..
The scene where the two brothers meet and Ganga starts telling him the bad days that had befallen him and the way he stops when he senses Jamuna unmoved by his plight..
The climax where Ganga is shot by Jamuna-heartrending!!!
Ultimately Ganga Jamuna is a showcase for Dilip Kumars talent as a performer-par-excellence.It shows a what a consummate performer Dilip Kumar is..He effortlessly glides from one shade of emotion to the other..be it comedy..be it romance..be it playfulness..be it action..you name it and he has done it all in this movie..However shockingly he lost out the best actor award that year to Raj kapoor!!!
The film has some excellent camera work..specially note-worthy is the train dacoity scene and the song Dhundo Dhundo re. The music by Naushad blends wonderfully with the theme of the movie with some chartbusters like Rafis Nain lad jaihen, Latas Do Hanson ka joda and Dhundo dhundo re and Hemant Kumars Insaaf ki dagar par.
Ganga Jamuna is a Classic and if you have not seen it till now..then go for it and revel in the majestic acting skills of Dilip Kumar!!! CHEERS!!!
P.S-This movie has a very similar structure to Deewar; though the settings and tone are very different!!!