Gumnaam hai koi – Lata Mangeshkar – Shankar-Jaikishan | Gumnaam (1965)

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Movie: This song appeared in 1965 Prithvi Pictures’ hit suspense thriller Gumnaam (Anonymous or Unknown) produced by N N Sippy and directed by Raja Nawathe. The movie starred Manoj Kumar, late Nanda, late Pran, Helen, late Mahmood, late Dhumal, Manmohan, late Madan Puri, late Tarun Bose, etc.

8 people including Asha (Nanda) win a trip to a foreign country in a chartered plane. The others include Barrister Rakesh (Pran), Dharamdas (Dhumal), Kishan (Manmohan), Dr. Acharya (Madan Puri), Madhusudan Sharma (Tarun Bose) and Kitty Kelly (Helen). When they reach an island, the pilot informs them that the plane has to undergo an emergency landing on the island. When all of them including the plane’s crew member Anand (Manoj Kumar) get down from the plane, it takes off stranding all the passengers on the island.

While they try to find a way out, they hear ominous laughter and then a female voice singing this song.

Song: The music of this song was composed by Shankar-Jaikishan and the lyrics were penned by Hasrat Jaipuri.

The gist of the song is, “Someone is anonymous. Someone is notorious. Who knows who it is? Someone does not know it.”

Video: Cinematography is by K H Kapadia.

The video opens with a laugh being heard in the wilderness. It is a female voice. Manoj Kumar, Nanda and others look up in surprise. Nanda had left the group to find a way back home and now runs back to it, in fright. Helen soothes her. Dhumal looks stunned and looks open-mouthed. The female voice begins to sing the song. The whole atmosphere is of fright and desperation.

The members of the group begin to walk with their luggage toward the singing voice. Tarun Bose looks through a fork in a tree, smoking a cigar. Manoj Kumar squints at the diminishing light. They pass some ruins and Manoj Kumar looks at the others with suspicion. Manmohan is smoking a cigarette. Lata Mangeshkar’s voice is so ominous that chills run up and down the spine.

Manoj Kumar walks past Nanda, turns toward her and smiles at her flirtingly, through the cigarette smoke that he is blowing out. Nanda is not interested and moves ahead. Madan Puri is smoking a pipe. The group reaches the rocky beach. Pran is taking swings from his pocket flask. The song peters out and the video ends as the close-up shot of Tarun Bose is shown.

Artists: The playback of this song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and the onscreen performances are by Nanda, Manoj Kumar, Madan Puri, Pran, Helen, Tarun Bose, Manmohan and others.

Cultural Influence: This typically filmi song depicts mystery and the unknown in the patent Lata Mangeshkar way. The picturization of the song is a little different. The song and the artists are very good. The video is watchable.

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