Singapore (1960)

I accidentally came across a song Tum lakh chhupana chaho on youtube few months back and with Shammi in it I had to watch this movie. Till then, I didn’t even know that a movie named Singapore existed. I had Bigflix (Movie Rental) subscription back then, so I ordered for it and sat down to watch but there was some problem with their DVD and I couldn’t watch the whole thing. And it being a pretty mysterious movie, I was too restless till I got hold of it and watched it fully.

Directed by Shakti Samanta, it’s an Indo-Malaya production.

Ramesh (Rajan Kapoor) and Shobha (Shahikala) are in love. They meet at a club for dinner where they are followed by two men – Chang (Madan Puri) and his aide, who eavesdrop them. Shivdas (K.N. Singh) even taps their table to find out what they are talking about.

We learn that Ramesh is in charge of the Singapore office that deals with Rubber export. He was planning to sell the firm and come to India, as per Shyam’s (Shammi Kapoor)  advice. Shyam is his friend cum employer who lives and takes care of the rest of the business in India. But now he says he has come across something and he might change his mind about leaving Singapore. He also mentions that he might even call Shyam there to Singapore. But he changes the topic when Shobha enquires about what he’s upto, saying he doesn’t want to talk business over dinner.

As it turns out, Shivdas is Shobha’s father. And when he sees Ramesh and Shobha leaving the club he says that Lata (Padmini), his neice is alone at home waiting for Shobha. He invites Ramesh to join him after Shobha leaves but Ramesh says he has booked a call to Bombay at 9 and goes to drop Shobha home.

Lata is worried because it’s so late and tells Shobha to keep track of time when she goes out in the night. Shobha tells her that Shyam, whom she introduces as Ramesh’s boss, is very good looking and is coming to Singapore. And she worries Lata saying once he comes and she meets him, she also might lose track of time.

Ramesh goes back to his office to take the call. He tells Shyam that he’s convinced about  some hidden treasure in their estate and he has also found a map that would lead them to it. Shyam is rather surprised. He thinks Ramesh is drunk and is talking rubbish. When Ramesh asks him why he didn’t reply to his letters, Shyam says he never got any letters from him.

It looks like it’s a trend between them that Ramesh always records his conversation with Shyam. This entire thing is getting recorded when Ramesh sees shadow by his door. He puts the map in his musical cigarette case, the VAT 69 bottle on his table and hides it in the drawer. Then he gets up and goes to the door. He’s hit on his head by two faceless men making him unconscious and then Ramesh disappears.

Shyam, unable to understand what happened to Ramesh who left the call abruptly and went, gets worried. He decides to go to Singapore and check it out for himself when he’s not even able to reach Ramesh again.

He meets Maria (Maria Menado) in the flight to Singapore and they become friends.

One of Shyam’s employees Cha Choo (Agha) comes to the airport to receive him, takes him to his office and gets him introduced to all the other employees. Cha Choo takes him around and they sing and dance to Yeh shehar bada albela.  Next, they go to police and report Ramesh’s disappearance.

On their way back, Cha Choo tells Shyam about a girl named Shobha, who Ramesh was in love with, thinking she might know of his whereabouts. But he doesn’t know where Shobha lives. All he knows is that she is Shivdas’s (proprieter of another Rubber estate) daughter. And on a second note he adds that she’s a very good dancer and is performing at New India Club that evening. So, off they head to New India Club. Unfortunately or fortunately, it’s Lata performing at the club that night and not Shobha but Shyam is unaware of this fact. She dances to Aane laga jeene ka mazaa.

Shyam follows her to the greenroom after the dance and after learning who he is she invites him home. After a lot of confusion he finally figures out that she’s Lata and not Shobha. And he sees Chin Chin Choo (Lilian), one of his employees with Shivdas just as he’s leaving.

He summons Chin Chin Choo to his cabin the following morning and tries to find out indirectly where she was the previous night. She makes up a story and Shyam is convinced that he was mistaken and it was someone else who he ad seen with Shivdas.

He’s still confused about it when he gets a call from Maria who wants to meet him. After noting down the address, he leaves. Maria reveals her feelings for him (I’ve added that part also in the video) and then they sing to Dekho ji dekho sunlo yeh baat.

They go to Maria’s house for dinner and somebody attacks Shyam there – he’s shot at. He’s more surprised than worried thinking about why anyone would want to kill him.

He comes back to his office and narrates everything to Cha Choo. They find the tapes of his conversation with Ramesh and play it. With its help they find the musical Ciagarette case and hence the map.

He meets Lata, and offers her a lift one evening. They are attracted to each other (how could they not be?). They flirt a little and end up singing Hat jao deewane aaye.

He suspects Shivdas is upto something, so he makes a copy of the map to find out his intentions. The next day, he sets out on a picnic with Shivdas, Lata and Shobha. But before leaving he shows the map (duplicate) to Shivdas, puts it in a file and takes it along saying he’s going to the police station with it directly afterwards.

Shobha leaves the two lovebirds together and goes on her own. Shivdas tries to steal the map from Shyam’s file, which he has left in the car and Shobha witnesses this.

Shyam and Lata, on the other hand, are busy singing  Tum lakh chupana chahoge. This is followed by lots of twists and turns. Shivdas is shot dead, Shobha goes missing and Chang and his men are behind Shyam’s life.

Running from them, Shyam reaches a village where the villagers are dancing. Disguised as one of them, he joins lovely Helen and dances to Rasa sayung re rasa sayung sayung re. He somehow escapes from them and goes home.

Lata is desparately waiting for him, unaware of what happened. She asks him about Shivdas and Shobha. She’s grief stricken to learn that her uncle is no more.

At this very moment police come to arrest Shyam. They are informed that it was he who had killed Shivdas. They search the house and find Shivdas’s deadbody in the bathtub. Lata is so shocked that she passes out. She is convinced that Shyam killed Shivdas and asks the police to take him and go.

Maria comes just in time to hear and see Shyam accused of Shivdas’s murder. He’s thus arrested. When police start investigating the case, they find Cha Choo locked in office washroom, gagged and tied. Even the original map goes missing!!!

Cha Choo is taken to the police station where he narrates how few people locked him up in the washroom and raided Shyam’s cabin.  Even police find everything fishy and suspicious. Maria comes to Shyam’s rescue and bails him out.

There’s one more number which Lata dances to Tu kahan kho gaya.

Maria manages to bail him out, but is he really innocent? How did Shivdas’s deadbody end up in the bath tub? What happens to Ramesh and Shobha? Who is Chang? Who does he work for? Who’s Chin Chin Choo? Was it really her with Shivdas that night? Why is Lata so much against Shyam? Is she also a part of the conspiracy? And who’s Maria? What’s she actually upto?

What I liked the most about the movie –  Shammi, of course!!! He was such a feast to the eyes 🙂 This must have been one of his best looking roles.  Shankar Jaikishan’s music – though it sounded a little wierd listening to Mukesh singing for Shammi in Yeh shehar bada albela.

Helen…in the little role she has, it’s not even a role, she’s there just in that one song, but she looks so gorgeous and adorable! And the song Rasa sayung re rasa sayung sayung re is such a catchy number.

Pretty and elegant Padmini, charming Shashikala,  mysterious Maria, K.N. Singh and Madan Poori (in chinky getup), wonderful Agha, missing Rajan Kapoor and lovely Lilian 🙂

Not to forget, the lovely and petite ladies dancing in the background (if only I could have been one of them…*sigh* ) clad in such beautiful attires. I loved their dresses.

Most of the characters are well sketched and significant, but the story goes haywire, especially towards the end. I didn’t like the way they reveal the mystery, in fact, it’s not even kept a big secret in the first place. It could have been done better. Not something that would keep one on the edge but it’s a fun watch.

on the whole, it’s an entertaining package. If not for anything else, I could watch this movie again for Shammi and one glimpse of Helen.

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8 Responses to “Singapore (1960)”

  1. dustedoff Says:

    Yes, the story does go pretty haywire, doesn’t it? Not one of Shammi Kapoor’s best as far as substance goes – but he looks so fabulous, I’d see it again all over just for him. 😉 Also for Rasa sayang re: love that one.

    P.S. Little bit of trivia: In those screencaps about the musical cigarette case, the T-shirt Shammi’s wearing is the same he wears in the climactic scene of Professor. I’d noticed that when I watched Singapore, and I guessed there couldn’t have been two T-shirts like that!

  2. sunheriyaadein Says:

    Exactly!!! Nothing much to remember storywise but Shammi looks so dashing!!!
    I found the t-shirt familiar but wasn’t sure which other movie I had seen it in…Thanks 🙂
    I’ll take a screencap of that scene in Professor and put it up 😉

  3. bollyviewer Says:

    I started watching this but spent so much time wishing that Shashikala was the heroine and that Padmini was confined to just dancing, that I gave up about half an hour into the film! Your screencaps remind of the reason why I got this in the first place – yummy Shammi. The plot does seem unusually convoluted, but for Shammi I’ll give it another try.

  4. sunheriyaadein Says:

    Yeah…unfortunately Shashikala didn’t have much role in it. I too wished she and Helen had some more screen time. Thank god it was a Shammi movie. His presence alone made up for all that. And that too when he’s looking so deliciously yum…one look at him and I forgot all my complaints.

  5. Richard S. Says:

    Hi, there. Nice review of this film. I enjoyed this movie and I was so glad that Padmini was the heroine! 🙂 Well, she’s the reason I got this film, actually, though Shammi was all right too. I’ve watched the Padmini dances over and over again. Also appreciate her acting. And just looking at her. Yum!

  6. Aadhi Raat Ke Baad (1965) « Bhooli Bisri Sunheri Yaadein Says:

    […] form the Travancore Sisters, I found a striking resemblance between this and Singapore – the plot was very similar, but handled much better here. The suspense is kept intact till […]

  7. Rafi Sings for Shammi Kapoor – Part I « Bhooli Bisri Sunheri Yaadein Says:

    […] Rasa sayung re (Singapore, 1960) : Awwww….I simply love this track! Initially I was thinking of Rahi mil gaye raho mein […]

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