wiki:Sone Ki Chidiya

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Sone Ki Chidiya

1958 171’ b&w Hindi d Shaheed Latif pc Filmindia Corp. s/p Ismat Chughtai lyr Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Kaifi Azmi c Nariman A. Irani m O.P. Nayyar lp Nutan, Balraj Sahni, Talat Mahmood, Altaf, Amar, Bikram Kapoor, Pratima Devi, Chandabai, Sarita Devi, Baij Sharma, Hammad Jafri, Zebunissa, Dhumal

The orphaned Lakshmi (Nutan), unwanted by either of her two aunts, suddenly becomes a film star. Her relatives now vie with each other to exploit her new-found earning capacity. Lakshmi falls in love with Amar, a gossip journalist (Mahmood), who ditches her when he realises that Lakshmi’s wealth is controlled by her greedy family. On the point of committing suicide, Lakshmi hears the hope- filled song Raat bhar ka yeh mehmaan andhera [Darkness is only a guest for the night] (written by Ludhianvi and sung by Mohammed Rafi) and meets the radical poet Shrikant (Sahni) whom she has idolised for years. After a long digression stigmatising the way the film industry exploits its workforce, Shrikant falls in love with Lakshmi, but when Lakshmi’s brothers offer him money to abandon her, he accepts the money and donates it to the Junior Artists’ Fund. Lakshmi, believing herself betrayed yet again, realises the truth only at the end of the film when she rejoins Shrikant to the refrain of the ‘new dawn’ song. Writer and producer Chughtai contrasts the popular cinema’s romanticised narratives (cf. the soft-focus film-within-the-film song between Amar and Lakshmi) with the hard- edged reality of industrial exploitation underpinning them: the Saiyan jab se ladi tori akhiyan song is rapidly followed by the documentary-type Junior Artists’ episode. Sahni’s imposing presence enhances the film’s realist aspirations, e.g. when he reads his poem to a bored producer or when he discovers the reality beneath the industry’s glamour.