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‘Aap Ki Kasam’ still going strong at 50

Cast: Rajesh Khanna, Sanjeev Kumar, Mumtaz, Asrani, AK Hangal, Rehman, Dina Pathak, Ranjeet The early 70s saw Kaka on a roll with a string...

Cast: Rajesh Khanna, Sanjeev Kumar, Mumtaz, Asrani, AK Hangal, Rehman, Dina Pathak, Ranjeet

The early 70s saw Kaka on a roll with a string of super-duper hits to his credit. His pairing with good friend Mumtaz was another feather in his cap as that ensured good BO returns. So when producer J Om Prakash’s directorial debut “Aap Ki Kasam” released on May 3, 1974, it becoming a hit came as no surprise, even though the film was not your regular Bollywood romantic films where boy meets girl, get married and live happily ever after.

A remake of the 1970 Malayalam film “Vaazhve Mayam” which had a different ending,”Aap Ki Kasam” was a classic example of how a man can destroy his happy marital life just based on suspicion and jealousy. It was later remade in Telugu by Dasari Narayan Rao as "Edadugula Bandham" in 1985 with Mohanlal and Jayasudha.

Kaka plays Kamal a middle-class hardworking man who falls for the rich Sunita (Mumtaz). They tie the knot and life seems to be just perfect for the couple till the sympathetic Sunita befriends Mohan (Sanjeev) Kamal’s friend who is leading an unhappy marital life. Matters become so serious that the couple land up in court and are divorced. By the time Kamal realizes his mistake and turns up to apologize it is too late as a pregnant Sunita has been married off again by her parents for the security of her unborn child. Years later, a broken wandering Kamal lands up at his daughter’s wedding.

Shot in picturesque Manali, every song composed by RD Burman was a gem in itself. Be it the liquor-soaked naughty “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” whose idea and tune came from Kaka himself to the romantic “Chori chori chupke chupke”, “Paas nahin aana”, “Suno kaho kaha suna” and “Karwate badalte rahe” to the poignantly tragic ditty of regret “Zindagi ke safar main guzar jaate hai” penned so thoughtfully by Anand Bakshi, RDB excelled himself, earning the film’s only Filmfare nomination that year.

Coming to the performances, Sanjeev Kumar brilliantly underplayed as Mohan while Ranjeet in a friendly cameo (for once) left a mark. The rumours of Kaka’s ex-girlfriend Anju Mahendru’s trysts with Sanjeev gave impetus to Kaka to slap Sanjeev really hard in a scene.

Despite playing college sweethearts at a time when both were neither spring chickens and had actually been there done that in their respective careers, speaks a lot for the lead pair’s acting prowess. Incidentally, Aap Ki Kasam was among Kaka’s last superhits during his glorious uninterrupted reign from 1969-74 as along came a juggernaut in the form of Amitabh Bachchan. Mumtaz too gave it all up in 1974 to settle down with Mayur Madhvani. 
Aap Ki Kasam is nostalgic trip down memory lane about love lost and never found, resonating with lovers of good cinema and great music.

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