Pehle pehle pyar ki mulaqaten yaad hai – Asha/Kishore – R D Burman – Neetu/Amitabh | The Great Gambler (1979)

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Movie: This song appeared in the movie The Great Gambler (1979). This movie, which has attained cult status, is an action thriller produced by C V K Shastri and directed by Shakti Samanta. The star-cast includes Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman, Neetu Singh, Prem Chopra, late Madan Puri, late Jagdish Raj, Helen, late Roopesh Kumar, late Utpal Dutt, etc.

Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) has been an expert in gambling for a long time and has never lost in any game. His skills are noticed by the underworld Don Ratan Das (Madan Puri). The don wants Jai to win large amounts from rich people and then compel them to do whatever he wants. Jai agrees to do so and is successful enough to trap Nath (Jagdish Raj), who is a government employee. Nath loses large amounts of money and is blackmailed to reveal the blueprints of a top secret weapon. When the Indian police come to know about this; they hand over the case to Inspector Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan again).

Vijay catches up with Monica (Helen) as the video of her dance is captured by the police. The dance is some kind of code for smuggling. When Vijay takes her for questioning, she is shot by one of the goons Sethi (Roopesh Kumar). Ratan Das with his boss Saxena (Utpal Dutt) then, is on the lookout for a new dancer. They find one in Shabnam (Zeenat Aman), who is Ramesh’s (Prem Chopra) fiancée. Ramesh is a henchman of Saxena in India. Jai and Vijay are sent to Rome at the same time by their bosses.

Having found out about Vijay, the goons send Shabnam to entice him. But, Jai meets Shabnam and they have to stay back in Cairo because of a bomb threat in the plane they had boarded. On the other hand, Vijay’s flight is delayed and meets Mala (Neetu Singh), who was supposed to meet Jai, at Rome airport. Vijay realizes that he has a look-alike and should be careful from then on. He decides to go with Mala and she takes him with her for sight-seeing. When asked about Mala marrying him, Vijay attributes it to amnesia. It is at this time that Mala sings this song and Vijay joins her in it.

Song: Music by late R D Burman and lyrics by late Anand Bakshi.

The gist of the song is the girl is trying to remind the man that they are betrothed. But, since the man is not the one initially chosen for the girl, he pretends to have amnesia.

Video: Cinematographer Aloke Dasgupta. Dance choreography is by Surya Kumar-P L Raj.

The video opens with Neetu Singh thinking about ways to make Amitabh Bachchan remember her and other things connected to them. The music begins and she holds his arm to shake a few legs. They go to a garden and she begins the song. When she asks a question, he replies in the song.

The scenic beauty of the flowering plants is really bewitching. They visit historical sites.  They run on a street and he meets some girls. Neetu Singh pulls him away from them and he continues the song. They visit the beach and run into the sea. They travel in a large boat and go to the upper deck. The song and the video end abruptly.

Artists: Asha Bhonsle and Kishore Kumar sing on the playback, while Neetu Singh, Amitabh Bachchan and others perform onscreen.

Cultural Influence: This is a typically filmi song, sang by one of the heroines to try to make the hero remember about their betrothal. But, this hero blames it on his loss of memory. The song and the artists are very good. The video is watchable for the same.

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