Heer Raanjha is a tragic romance originating from Punjab (part of this state is in India and in Pakistan). There are several versions of the story, the most famous being the poem by Waris Shah written in 1766. It tells the story of beautiful Heer (from the village of Jhang, in modern day Punjab, Pakistan) who falls in love with Raanjha but the liaison is cut short by Heer’s jealous and crippled uncle, Kaido. Heer is forced to marry another man but the wedding is annulled when she tells her ‘husband’ that the marriage was against her wishes (the kadi, or priest was bribed by her uncle) and that she loves another. To cut a long story short, both Heer and Raanjha were to marry with the blessing of both families, except Kaido, who was not willing to accept his ‘lost of face’ due to Heer’s first marriage fiasco. Kaido poisons Heer on her wedding day and Raanjha, not being able to save her, also takes the poison (which was in an Indian dessert called a laddu) and the lovers die side by side. Heer and Raanjha are buried in Heer's hometown of Jhang and till today, it is said that lovers often pay respect at their mausoleum.
Not only have there been several versions of the Heer Raanjha story, there have also been several versions of film adaptation too. This version, filmed in 1970, is by director Chetan Anand (brother of actor Dev Anand) and stars legendary actor Raaj Kumar as Raanjha and Priya Rajvansh as Heer. Actor Pran plays the villan Kaido. This film is unique than the other adaptations that its dialogue is all in verse. Chetan also used the Waris Shah version as the basis of his adaptation.
The music for Heer Raanjha is by Madan Mohan and lyrics (also some of the verse-dialogue) is by Kaifi Azmi, who also wrote some of the lyrics for the movie Pakeezah (see my review HERE). The film also showcases some of the best dialogues from the actor Raaj Kumar and in my opinion, one of Mohammad Rafi’s best songs ever, “Yeh Duniya, Yeh Mahifil”. I am surprised that this song did not win any awards. I have inserted some of the more notable dialogues (which I have copied from the movie) as bonus tracks to the album. Hope you enjoy them.
My rating: Four star plus….one of my favourite ‘tragedy’ movies and song albums although Priya’s acting in this movie is quite abominable! She makes up for it with her beauty though...
Heer Raanjha 1970: The Original Soundtrack
1. Meri Duniya Men – Mohd Rafi , Lata Mangeshkar, Raaj Kumar and Priya Raajvansh
2. Yeh Duniya Yeh Mehfil – Mohd Rafi
3. Doli Chadhte Heer Ne Bain Kiye – Lata Mangeshkar and Chorus
4. Jo Mama Mera Aa Jaega – Hemlata, Krishna Kalle, Usha Timothy, Balbir and Chorus
1. Milo Na Tum To – Lata Mangeshkar
2. Tere Kooche Men Tera Diwana – Mohd Rafi
3. Do Dil Toote Do Dil Hare – Lata Mangeshkar
4. Naache Ang Ve – Shamshad Begum, Jagjit Kaur, Noor Jehan and Chorus;
1. Dialogue: Heer Raanjha Opening Dialogue and Title Song – Chetan Anand and Instrumental
2. Dialogue: To Have You Is Life (M) – Raaj Kumar
3. Dialogue: We Will Die Together – Raaj Kumar and Priya Rajvansh
4. Dialogue: To Have You Is Life (F) and Fair (Mela) Music – Priya Rajvansh and Instrumental
5. Dialogue: Heer Denounces Her Marriage – Priya Rajvansh
6. Dialogue: Closing – Chetan Anand