Pagla Kahin Ka (1970)

Movie with a title like this can have only one actor – the one and only Shammi Kapoor!!!


Jenny (Helen), the Dancer; Sujit (Shammi Kapoor), the Singer and Shyam (Prem Chopra), the Musician. They all perform in a night-club that’s owned by Max (K.N Singh)

Jenny lives with an aunty (now I am not sure if she’s really her aunty or she’s just staying as a Paying Guest with her). And somebody please help me with her name.

Aunty somehow doesnt like Sujit and she doesnt appreciate Jenny going around with him. She think’s he’s really mad because that’s what everyone thinks he is.

Sujit is madly in love with Jenny.

He feels blessed to have Jenny and Shyam in his life.  Jenny is his love and Shyam his best friend. Sujit and Shyam live together. He tells Shyam one night that his life is so beautiful now. His mother had died when he was six. His father unable to accept his mother’s death goes insane and gets admitted into a mental hospital. Soon after he dies leaving Sujit all alone in the world. He never had a reason to live until he met Shyam who brought him here and gave him this life.  And now with Jenny around, he doesnt need anything else in life, he’s the happiest person in the world.

They perform to the title track, Log Kahen Mujhe Pagla Kahin Ka, for the New Year party in the night-club. And after the performance, Shyam announces Jenny and Sujit’s engagement.

So long dance-partners are finally turning into life-partners and everybody cheers for them. But Max is not happy about this.

Max insults Jenny and Sujit gets into an argument with him. Situation gets heated up. Max draws his gun, but Shyam hits on his head with a bottle and Max dies. Sujit rescues Jenny and Shyam but gets caught himself before he can escape.

Jenny and Shyam go to meet a lawyer, Advocate S.K. Mehta (Brahma Bhardwaj). He feels that the guards saw Sujit trying to run away, so the case is strongly against him. Even if Shyam confesses that it was he who killed Max, it will look as if he’s trying to save his friend. The only way to save Sujit is to prove that he’s insane (majority of the people anyways feel that way already, so not all that tough a job).

Sujit feigns insanity, almost everyone who knows him tells a tale about Sujit’s insanity. Shyam tells the court that he found Sujit one day and heard him singing. Since he had a good voice, he brought him along and gave him the job of a singer in the band. He used to get fits at times and that’s why they lived together so that he could take care of Sujit.

Jenny claims that Sujit is in love with her but she just acts along because he’s insane and she’s scared of him.

As he’s proved mentally unstable, he’s not punished for killing Max. The Judge orders him to be admitted into a mental asylum until he recovers.

With really insane inmates, Sujit goes crazy in the asylum and tries to run away. When the guards realize that he’s trying to escape they follow him and he ends up hiding in a girl’s wardrobe in a room in one of the houses near the asylum. As it turns out that the girl, Dr. Shalini (Asha Parekh) aka Shallu is Doctor’s neice and when he warns her about an inmate who has escaped, she locks her door from inside only to discover Sujit in her wardrobe. She  tries to catch him and call the guards but on an attempt to free himself, he pushes her, she falls and hits her head on a table. Seeing her hurt, he cant just run away and is caught and taken back to the asylum again.

One of his inmates sells another inmate (Asit Sen) role-paying a buffalo to Sujit and there’s a fun-filled track Meri bhains ko danda kyun maara when the old owner hits the buffalo. Being his usual self he is very entertaining and soon everyone in the asylum grows very fond of him. One of the nurses, Sudha (Kumud Tripathi) even goes on to tell Dr. Shallu that had he been normal she would have fallen in love with him.

The doctors in mental asylum read his file, study his case and reach a conclusion that he’s really insane except for Dr. Shallu. She takes permission from Dr. Shah (Manmohan Krishna) to study this case in depth.

She makes friends with him and when he says he doesnt like the asylum, would love to go out, she takes him out. He likes places that has hills all around, a water body with a lot of turtles in it. He seems obsessed with turtles.

She takes him for an outing to such a place, sans the turtles – to a place that has hills all around and a beautiful lake. He does complain that he cant see turtles but he’s happy to be out.

She confronts him saying she’s convinced he’s perfectly normal but has feigned insanity to so that he doesnt get punished for killing Max.

He himself admits that he’s not insane and he was just putting up an act. But he had done all this for his love. He tells her all about Shyam and Jenny.  Goes on to give a long lecture on love. She’s so impressed by how deeply he feels for Jenny. And decides to help him. In the process she herself falls in love with him (how could she not). She asks him what he’d do if Jenny’s not serious about him or has forgotten him. He says it’s impossible that Jenny forgets him and sings – Tum mujhe yun bhoola na paoge

Finally they declare his recovery at the asylum and time has come for him to leave

He goes to Shallu to take his leave. She sends him aways telling him never to come back to the asylum again . He goes back home but finds the room locked. On asking his neighbour, Mr. Pinto he learns that Shyam has gone for a reception. Curious, he asks what the occasion is and is devastated to learn that it’s Jenny and Shyam’s wedding reception.

He goes to the party confused and angered at this betrayal.  He sees Jenny and Shyam seated and Madhumati dancing to Suno Zindagi Gaati hai.

He loses his faith in love and friendship. He is totally shattered and unable to take the shock, this time he really goes insane. He ends up being re-admitted in the very same asylum. But this time his chances of recovery are very slim and he doesnt remember anything except for Jenny, who he feels muderous about.

He doesnt recognize anyone at the asylum. Shallu goes on to sing the same song Tum mujhe yun bhoola na paoge with a hope that it might remind him something, trigger something atleast,  but in vain.

The lively Sujit who everyone was almost in love with during his earlier stay has become a total stranger now. He sings a song, more to himself than to anyone else, when one of the inmates, Ramu dies – Ae mere dil yahan tu

Will Shallu be able to bring him back to normal again? What happens to Shyam and Jenny? Was Jenny ever in love with Sujit? Or was killing Max  just a trap?

I wont say this is one of the best movies of Shammi Kapoor but it’s a typical SK movie, thoroughly entertaining. And it did make my weekend.  I usually dont find faults when Shammi Kapoor is around and I have always liked Shammi-Asha chemistry. Not much of chemistry here but Shammi’s make-up in the second half when he comes back to the asylum the second time looks really wierd. He’s shown with a little stubble on his cheeks but it looks more like kajal/coal smuged on his face.

Oh, btw, Helen looks very very pretty in this movie.

And if anyone has watched this movie and knows why he’s so obsessed with turtles, please enlighten me ;-D


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14 Responses to “Pagla Kahin Ka (1970)”

  1. dustedoff Says:

    I saw this too long back to remember why he’s so obsessed with turtles, and though I agree it’s not one of Shammi Kapoor’s best films, it’s okay for entertainment value. I like Tum mujhe yoon bhula na paaoge – lovely tune.

    The aunt is Praveen Paul. She also appears in films like Ek phool do maali and Chhoti si Mulaqat.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      First when he goes to the beach with Helen, he says he loves turtles and that they will have lots of turtles in their house – big turtles, small turtles (in typical Shammi style) and goes on and on about turtles. It reminded me of Ross’s obsession with dinosaurs in FRIENDS.
      yup, tum mujhe yun bhula na paaoge is a nice song.
      Parveen Paul…thanks. Just saw her in Ek Phool Do Maali on Zee Classic now.

  2. bollyviewer Says:

    After pretending to be pagal for so long (remember Rajkumar and Aiyaya karoon main kya sukoo sukoo?) Shammi finally had to do the real stuff! I saw this too long ago to remember much except for him loving Helen (how could he not?) and Tum mujhe yoon. Is it out on DVD/VCD?

    And hey! You cant compare Shammi with mopey, dorky, Ross!!!! 😦

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      yup, he finally did the real pagal stuff….and some of the scenes are amazing, esp the ones in court where everyone’s trying to prove him insane. U should see his expressions and actions…even few lines that he delivers….he looks and sounds so convincing.
      It was a VCD, cudnt get DVD
      Oh God, I love Shammi too much to compare him to Ross!!!! It was just the obsession or rather the turtles that I was comparing to Ross’s Dinosaurs 🙂

  3. Archana Says:

    Why do u always end it with suspense…..grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Anyways U write it so well that even if the movie is not the best of Shammi i am tempted to watch it 🙂

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Hee hee….cant help it…and i figured out this was the only way I cud make more people want to watch old movies 😉
      And thnx a lot!
      My 15 year old cousin was sitting with me and watching this movie on Saturday night but he fell asleep half way through (till Sujit is brought back to the asylum). Following morning he asked me :
      Him : What happened at the end?
      Me : Well, lots of twists and turns
      Him : Like?
      Me : After Sujit goes back to the asylum (this time really insane), they show that the entire plot was a set-up. Sujit had quite a lot of wealth in his name and Shyam comes to know about it one day. So he brings Jenny into Sujit’s life. Sujit falls in love with her almost immediately and Jenny plays along (as a part of the plan). Killing Max was just a trap laid for Sujit. Max turns out alive at the end!
      Shyam and Jenny plan to prove Sujit insane and send him to an asylum, which they succeed in. Now, the next step was to acquire his wealth. So Jenny goes to the asylum and meets Sujit asking him to sign some papers saying they are some legal documents, which he signs without even reading.
      With all his wealth in their name, Shyam and Jenny decide to get married. And this time around, Sujit’s really gone out of their lives, back to the asylum for good. It’s like a dream come true for Shyam and Jenny. But Jenny meets with an accident and dies on the spot. Shyam cant take the shock of her death and he goes insane and is brought to the same asylum where Sujit is. But in the state they are in, they both dont recognize each other.
      Him : The movie ends after that?
      Me : No, not yet. Shallu, trying to treat the two of them goes mad herself and they all are put in the same ward!

  4. bollywooddeewana Says:

    Wow, its my first time here and i love your blog. I haven’t seen this yet but Jerry Pinto did quote this film in his book on Helen (have you read it). I’ve never come across it on dvd, i hope they do it on dvd with subns soon

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks a lot! It’s really encouraging. I’m just a beginner here. Nope, I havent read the book yet but have heard about it a lot
      Trust me, Helen looks amazing in this movie.
      I hope it comes out on DVD with subtitles soon

  5. bollywooddeewana Says:

    please what does bhooli bisri sunheri yaadein mean

  6. memsaab Says:

    Oh I’m so glad to find a synopsis of this, I have watched it but was very confused without subtitles.

    🙂 Thank you!!!!! 🙂

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      You are most welcome 🙂 And thanks for dropping by. I hope you find a DVD with subtitles soon. Though not the best, it’s still a nice movie.

      Cheers to Shammi and Shammi’s fans!!!

  7. PD Says:

    Sammi Kapoor no more now.. 😦

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