Movie – Choo Mantar (1956)
Raat nashili rang rangeeli was featured in Sadiq Productions and Shree Sound Studios’ romedy Choo Mantar (1956) directed by M Sadiq and produced by P B Billimoria. The movie starred Johnny Walker, Anita Guha, Gajanan Jagirdar, Shyama, etc.
Baijnath or Baiju (Johnny Walker) is an unemployed, slacker and flirt. He sings beautifully and all women from his village are attracted to his singing. The men always complain to his father and often, beat up Baiju for his supposed troublemaking. One day, the village Panchayat decides that they would boycott the entire family and burn down their house if Baiju is not thrown out of the village. Baiju himself decides that it is time for him to leave the village and leaves the place bag and baggage.
As he travels through a forest, he catches 2 dacoits trying to loot the belongings of an elderly stranger (S N Banerjee) and saves the older man. Baiju travels to another village with him protecting the old man and his belongings. They part ways at the outskirts of the old man’s village and he takes off further, on his own. Within minutes, he hears a girl (Anita Guha) singing a song. The girl is Princess Ratnavali of the kingdom and as usual, Baiju has fallen in love with her. He keeps looking at the balcony of the princess’ room. When the King (Gajanan Jagirdar) finds out that this stranger is watching the princess’ room, he gets Baiju beaten up and thrown in the jungle. But, Baiju returns and sings a song.
Again, Baiju is beaten up and this time he is thrown in the river. The elderly stranger, he had helped turns out to be a fisherman and the old man catches the unconscious Baiju while fishing. The old man has a daughter Sawli (Shyama) and she is in love with Mahesh (Karan Dewan), the son of a rich man, who is always ill. As Baiju recovers, he begins to call Sawli as his sister. It turns out that Mahesh’s father is in the process of marrying his son to Princess Ratnavali for the big dowry she is expected to bring.
On the wedding day, Baiju and Sawli visit the venue with a plan. But, the King’s men catch the pair. The King challenges the penniless, non-earner Baiju to get 10 lacs (1 million) rupees to prove that he is eligible to marry the princess. Baiju counter challenges that he would get 15 lacs (1.5 million) in 3 months. The princess’ marriage is stalled for the time being.
However, the minister is not happy with the turn of events. He orders the arrest of Baiju, Sawli and her father. Somehow, the brother and sister escape. But, the minister catches Sawli’s father and tortures him in the dungeon. However, Mahesh supplies him with food. Having escaped imprisonment, Sawli loses her will to accomplish the task they had taken up. On the other hand, Baiju keeps his positive thinking intact. Right then, they find a group of gypsies, who earn money by performing in front of crowds in markets and fairs. Baiju and Sawli join them. The leader of the gypsies takes them to a theater owner in the city.
There within a few days, they realize that they have been taken for a ride. Post a performance, a theater-owner from Bombay (Mumbai now) approaches them and promises better pay. They trust him and follow him to the big city. Baiju continues to lament that again no big money have been seen by him and his sister. The theater-owner promises more income after the next performance.
A lecher sends his man to invite Sawli to his home. Baiju realizes his intention and beats him up with his slippers. The man threatens and leaves. Right then, Baiju looks at the moon and talks to it. He is missing his beloved. The princess, on the other hand, is also yearning for him and sings this song.
Song – Raat nashili rang rangeeli
O P Nayyar and Jan Nisar Akhtar have composed the music and penned lyrics of Raat nashili rang rangeeli, respectively.
The girl sings, “The night is beautiful. O Moon, go and find my beloved and bring him back.”
Video – Raat nashili rang rangeeli
Cinematography is by Minoo Bilimoria. Dance choreography is by Surya Kumar.
The video opens with the camera focusing on the moon, hidden by the curtain on the window. The music has already begun. Anita Guha begins to sing and her friend performs a few dance steps. Soon, the song peters out and the video ends as the lead artist sits on a garden seat.
Geeta Dutt sang Raat nashili rang rangeeli… for Anita Guha.
This is a typical O P Nayyarian song for a Bollywood movie. The trumpet and violin sounds make the song create an atmosphere of longing for the beloved. The song and the artists are good and the video is watchable for the same.