Written, produced and directed by Kamal Amrohi, it is the iconic film “Pakeezah”. It is also known as a milestone for Bollywood, specifically for the depiction of Muslim culture and a story dedicated to the Tawaif culture. The Urdu word “Pakeezah” means pure, flawless, elegant and faultless which depicts how the courtesans were faultless despite their profession. The film was known for its luxurious, royal and authentic set and costumes. It starts Meena Kumari, Ashok Kumar and Raj Kumar and was made on a budget of 12.5Millon to 15Million as Indian currency and was premiered on 4th February 1972.The film was shot in black and white and then again in color with Cinemascope Nevertheless, it was a highest grossing Indian film with the revenue of 60Million rupees after the theatrical run of over 50 weeks.
Since the movie took a long time its music director, Ghulam Mohammad and film Cinematographer has passed away, leaving it in the hands of other artists. Also the shooting was very complex as by 1967 the color technologies like Eastman, CinemaScope and Technicolor had came into the fray, and to maintain the same look, authenticity and feel without the cinematographer with whom the film began was a massive challenge itself. Meena Kumari also suffered a lot of serious illness that hindered with the making of the movie. Kamal Amrohi and Meenaji were already separated as the movie progressed and she was on a challenging path of physical and mental state. She did manage to get back to the set and gave her all by 1970 but she could not live and see the success of the movie and passed away after a month of its release. 31st March 2023 marked her 51st death anniversary.
Meena Kumari was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress and won a special award at the Bengal Film Journalist’s Association Awards the film also received nominations for Best Film and Best Director (Amrohi), and won N. B. Kulkarni a trophy for Best Art Direction at Filmfare. Initially it received very critical perceptions but it improved as per time.
Movie link: https://youtu.be/HSSkoxv239s
Chalte chalte yuhi koi Song: https://youtu.be/X-40R7SfXJ4