indian cinema heritage foundation

Superb Entertainment in "Insaniyat", Gemini's Romantic Melodrama

28 Feb, 2023 | Archival Reproductions by Cinemaazi
Dilip Kumar in a scene in "Insaniyat" (1955) with Zippy in the background. This image is from the original article.

The long and eagerly awaited Gemini production, "Insaniyat," produced and directed by S S Vasan and starring a tremendous cast comprising some of the screen's most popular and accomplished artists, is a magnificent and lavishly-produced film. The film was premiered in Bombay on November 10 at the Roxy and released simultaneously at the Jai Hind and Rivoli Cinemas the following day.

The excellence of the direction and the production values compensate adequately for the inordinate length of this romantic melodrama.

The melodrama, alive with gorgeous spectacle, is vibrant, thrilling and exciting and, although the social value of the story far outweighs the entertainment it provides, it is pointed subtly, with no mawkish sentiment.

The narrative is packed with homely incident and the nostalgic appeal of childhood friendship and romance revolving around a village youth Mangal and his childhood sweet-heart Durga.

When the village raided by Bhanu, captain-at-arms of Zangoora, the local tyrant, Durga's courage and beauty and the villagers' demeanour make Bhanu their friend and champion.

Then follows the romance of Bhanu and Durga, culminating in their marriage, and the big-hearted humanity of Mangal who accepts Durga's choice with heart-broken generosity.

A thrilling climax brings an exciting denouement to this romantic drama when Zangroo advances upon the village with his army. Bhanu and Mangal lead the assault on the tyrant's castle, and spectacle, comedy and tragedy intermingle as Bhanu's child is rescued from the tyrant's clutches by that delightful chimp, Zippy, and Mangal, mortally wounded, restores the child to its mother before he breathes his last.

The film is triumph for Dilip Kumar, the star of the picture, who is admirable in the outstanding and well-written role of Mangal. He dominates the picture from start to finish.

Dev Anand does extremely well in the sympathetic role of Bhanu-a portrayal both sincere and dignivied.

Bina Rai is beautifully photographed, but her acting falls far short of the dramatic talent demanded by her part.

The supporting cast, including Jayant, Shobhana Samarth, Vijayalaxmi, Mohana and Jairaj, contribute good performance.

The comedy scenes with Agha and his side-kick Zippy are some of the best ever seen on the Indian screen.

Zippy has the audience rolling in the aisles with his antics. He very nearly steals the picture from Dilip Kumar.

The photography of "Insaniyat" is one of its greatest assets and the sets and decor are equally admirable. The music by C Ramchandra is melodious.

This is a commendable picture, and it is all the more pleasing because its moral is cloaked with superb entertainment.

This article was published in Filmfare magazine’s 9 December, 1955 edition as a part of 'Filmfare Reviews' of the film "Insaniyat" (1955).

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