Review: Sheeshay Ka Ghar

By Esther Das

The story and plot

It is interesting to note that the story of the film is partly borrowed from the famous short story of late 19th century, ‘The Necklace’, by the French writer Guy De Maupassant and partly by Shakespeare’s Hamlet. An ambitious woman Sonia (played by Mumtaz) who associates her self-worth to the social status succumbed to the pressures and borrowed a diamond ‘Necklace’ for a Christmas ball. The necklace is lost, and she had to accept an offer to become a film actress which she initially turned down.

Hamlet’s plot of ‘Play within a play’ is borrowed to recreate a death scene in front of the murderer to coerce confession. In the film, Sohail (Sonia’s husband played by Shahid) is perceived as dead when he comes back to the scene with a new identity and plenty of wealth. Rather than confronting his enemy, he prefers to torture him psychologically to the point of confession. 

The Philosophy

It is a story of disillusionment about life. Every one of us has succumbed to some kind of pressure to accept somethings that wouldn’t have been our first choice. Compromise is a reality in life. Another reality is that everything in life has a price. We have to pay a price for every choice we make. In addition, intentions seldom translate into the desired end. Human plans go wrong or take unexpected turns all the time !

The Appeal

The story has an element of suspense and novelty. The main character is depicted as a Christian, probably to justify the ‘Necklace’ story.

social message is conveyed through the ‘Nikah’ scene when the ‘Nikah Kwan Maulvi Sahib’ tells the Christian bride that she can keep her faith if she desires so as Islam accepts a marriage of a Muslim with those practicing the Abrahamic Faiths. A strong message of peaceful co-existence and respecting the human right to choose!

The idea of an interfaith marriage and a merged culture evokes interest and curiosity. Nevertheless, the culture depicted is more of an Anglo Indian culture than general Christian family norms, for instance in Punjab.

Waheed Murad as a negative character feels a bit odd yet stirs interest and curiosity. He pulls it perfect ! A sophisticated, educated and accomplished actor who falls for a young lady and allows himself to be manipulated by the girl’s greedy mother. People have accepted #WaheedMurad as a hero so well,  that even when the heroine is not attracted to him, the viewers justify his advances to her. The #ChocolateHero deserves it, it is deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness, isn’t it?

Two best songs of the film: a love song picturized on #WaheedMurad ( vocalist was Asad Amanat Ali Khan) and Mumtaz ‘Teray Roop ka Pujari, Teray Husn ka dewana’ and the conclusive song by Mehnaz: main nay sheehay ka ghar banaya hai.

What puts you off

The death of WaheedMurad especially when his eyes are shot by the heroine coupled with a dialogue ‘I’ll destroy these eyes so that they may never allure another woman’ is a blunder. Firstly, the dialogue clashes with the story as the heroine herself was never allured by those eyes ,according to the story. Secondly, people love THOSE EYES …. References to #WaheedMurad’s enchanting eyes had become a common idiom. Who would bear this treacherous act of shooting those eyes !!!! This moment puts you off !!!!

The actors:

Mumtaz looked electric and proved herself to be an outstanding actress, especially in the shoot scene and the last song : main nah sheeshay ka ghar banaya hai. Nevertheless, a little grooming would have enhanced her character for uttering the few English words she had to utter, especially: Darrrrrrling !!!

Shahid seemed convincing in his usual role of a lover and a husband but the fitness was definitely a problem as shown by the distressed buttons of his shirt. His role on the second half doesn’t seem very convincing due to his mannerisms in those scenes. He’s playing a rich sophisticated business man but couldn’t pull it through convincingly. However the last scene compensates for that. His agony at losing Sonia is very touching and convincing.

#WaheedMurad is a joy all through to watch and listen to. He conveys the intrigue in his dialogues with pauses at meaningful places and annotation. Only in the rape scene his expressions were a bit short of perfection and probably were covered with a lot of sweat beads and a blurred face. His eyes ( those eyes !!!) could not fake that vulgarity and evil desire. 

Why was it a flop?

The poor match of characters with actors is the most dominant reason. Using real life references of Waheed Murad to the character playing villain was not convincing at all. Emaran, the villain of the film, who happens to be a film hero is called: Chocolate! When the idea of a classy, sophisticated and noble chocolate hero is resonating with the audience how could he be seen and accepted as a villain. To make it worse, those two beautiful eyes are shot to kill the person. Who would bear this sight. Sheer treachery!






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