My Creative Corner
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My Creative Corner

Bollywood Appreciation Class: Lesson 3 — Gumnaam

Damn. We’re back again?

At this rate, you’ll just end up getting tired of me and my writing. That’s not good.

(disappears again) tee-hee.

Nah. I’m not going anywhere. Not for a while. I hope. Fingers crossed.

Edit: Precisely a day after I said this, my father came down with Covid, and a day after that, so did my mother and I. Because we:

Definitely not health.

So I may not be able to churn out more blogs for a while, but wish me luck. And stay safe, y’all.

Today, we’ll be covering Gumnaam, a box office hit based on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (which I reviewed here), starring Manoj Kumar, Nanda, Pran, Helen, and many more. Gumnaam literally translates to anonymous, which could perhaps be used to refer to the murderer, or maybe it was the people themselves, to each other, as none of them knew each other. This movie leaves a lot to introspection, like how much it could be better. It could be a lot better.

We see the movie open with the murder of Seth Sohanlal, who was killed by his rival, Khanna. Khanna, while informing Sohanlal’s niece of the death, is shot by an intruder.

A few days after this, Asha (the niece), wins a lottery with six other people for a foreign trip. The plane transporting the passengers has to suddenly make an emergency landing, but as soon as all the passengers have deboarded, the plane takes off after throwing their luggage back to them. Now stranded on an unknown island, they forage for a day until they find a mansion, where they all decide to stay for the next few days. They find a butler there, played by Mehmood, and they find a diary, which details why all of them are there. They are all, in one way or another, connected to Sohanlal’s murder, hence they had been brought here. And suddenly, one by one, day by day, they start dying.

Dun-dun-dun.

The movie itself, follows a good storyline. The original Agatha Christie was much better, but you cannot compare a book written by one of the most famous suspense authors of all time to a Bollywood movie of the 1960s. There was one element, which added to the eeriness of the movie, and I personally liked it the most. There was a song, the title track, and whenever it played, another person would be found dead, which was immensely spooky.

However, the ending was boring, to put it simply. It was revealed that one of the people traveling with Asha to the island, was in fact Madanlal, who had disguised himself to kill everyone else, as he was the mastermind behind the whole plan, including the emergency landing, them finding the mansion, etc. He tells Manoj Kumar (who was on that flight as the co-pilot but was actually a police inspector) that him, Khanna, and Sohanlal were partners in the smuggling business, but when Madanlal was thrown in jail, Sohanlal and Khanna cheated him. After Khanna killed Sohanlal, Madanlal killed Khanna, which we saw in the beginning of the movie.

There was way too much build up for not enough payoff, and that irritated me a whole lot. The ending fizzled out, and as I said for the other movies, the theme continues on. My mother describes me as 13 going on 73, and by the time this movie got over, I probably did turn 73. That’s how snail-paced it was.

So, in the end, with all said and done, the plot was decent, the acting was decent, but the movie just didn’t fly. I think it needs an emergency landing too.

That is it for today! After all my jokes about disappearing, I may actually be doing it now. School opens in a few days, and with Covid and all, life doesn’t seem to be looking up right now. But stay safe, all of you, and take care.

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Agastya Sharma

Agastya Sharma

A random nerd who reviews books and movies, and travels way too much.