HAMRAZ A clean and well made film
CREDITS: Banner: Auriga Pictures. Produ- cers: Sh. Abdur Rashid and Kh.
Khurshid Anwar. Director: Kh. Khurshid Anwar. Story and Screenplay. Kh.
Khurshid Anwar. Music: Kh. Khurshid Anwar. Dialogues: Kh. Khur- shid
Anwar. Songs: Qateel Shifai. Photogra- phy: Nabi Ahmad. Audiography: S.
Afzal Husain. Cast: Shamim Ara, Mohammad Ali, Nabila, Lehri, Tariq
Aziz, Meena Shorie, Rangeela, Changezi, Ajmal and Talish.
Released in November 1967
KHURSHID ANWAR'S `Hamraz' provides an excellent example of a film
artist's ability to make a clean and engaging film even when compelled
to compromise in the selection of theme. Hamraz is a thriller, but
vastly differ- ent from the thrillers made in Pakistan be- cause the
characters symbolise the contest for supremacy in a cognisable social
system. Moreover, having set this story going the writer does not try
to introduce everything considered essential for a thriller but follows
the demands of the characters and their interests, incorporating only
such action as is compatiable with them.
Briefly, the film describes a conflict generated by a man's demoniacal
lust for possession and power which he disguises as a mission to
preserve the values inherited from his feudal forefathers, and for
whose gratification he does not hesitate to intrigue and kill. Some of
the people who come in his path are ruthlessly felled, some escape by
sheer ingenuity, and over them all rules the natural laws of balance
and retribution. The story began long ago, perhaps when the Nawab of
Qaisarabad died and left the jagir to his three sons, one of them a
sophisticated mixture of Macbeth and Richard III. The film begins when
both of his brothers have died, one leaving an imbecile (who, quite
suggestively, sports a cowboy costume and constantly plays double
agent), and the other leaving two girls (again, suggestively. one fond
of teddy culture and the other fond of traditional dress and music). He
draws up a plan to do away with all these claimants to the family
throne and almost succeeds but for the intervention of a young doctor.
who takes a stand against evil largely because his conscience rejects
it and to a lesser extent because he likes one of the girls marked for
The writer starts telling the story from the point of view of the
doctor he finds a mys- terious girl on the road, she disappears, and
when he tried to follow up the trail he lands himself in the thick of
the plot. The writer then reveals some facts to the audience (the
doctor is not taken into confidence) but the essential part of the
mystery unravelled by the doctor and the audience simultaneously. This
is one of the better known techniques for treating a mystery and the
director exploits it to the maximum advantage. Quite frequently one
feels that he is trying to invest his characters with symbolic value as
repre- sentatives of sociocultural trends in our society. But skilfully
written though the screenplay is, somewhere along the line a link is
suppressed and the average spectator is likely to find some questions
A usual with Khurshid Anwar's films, he tries to weave music and relief
into the plot. If you remove a song, you destroy a link. Even when the
leading lady goes out to dance her movements help the doctor to get rid
of an illusion. Such sequences and the firm handling of the artistes
make `Hamraz' very much a director's picture, particularly in the last
scenes when some ghastly business is so delicately handled that the
spectator feels its impact without being shown repulsive details. On
the whole the artistes have responded commendably. Shamim Ara excels in
the dual role, remaining faithful to both the girls -- she portrays.
Mohammad Ali looks relaxed after a long time. Talish is his confident
self and Rangila has a role tailored for him. Tariq Aziz has not been
able to decide when a worldly-wise professional ceases to be flippant.
As for the musical score, it seems the demands of the story have
considerably affected the compositions but Khurshid Anwar preserves his
style and at least two of the compositions are outstanding. The techni-
cal values are adequate Nabi Ahmed's work behind the camera is