Late Review of Johny Mera Naam 1970 – A wholesome masala Bollywood entertainer

This movie is certainly a wholesome masala entertainer that the Bollywood of the old days would always produce. Along with the acting skills of almost all the actors; the music, the songs, and the dialogues that are popular even today leave no chance to entertain us.

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Johny Mera Naam Review
Johny Mera Naam Poster (Credit: Aksharnaam)

Well-known and popular Gujarati humorist Ashok Dave would always say that only in Vijay Anand’s directed movies Dev Anand would walk straight, and this movie certainly proves that! These brothers have been into many movies together but for me, Johny Mera Naam is unbeatable among all those movies of Dev and Vijay Anand. Just recently I had an opportunity to watch this movie on my Android TV one more time and I enjoyed it like I am watching it for the first time.

This movie is certainly a wholesome masala entertainer that the Bollywood of the old days would always produce. Along with the acting skills of almost all the actors; the music, the songs, and the dialogues that are popular even today leave no chance to entertain us. Probably Vijay Anand was known to give us such movies one after the other.

Johny Mera Naam (1970) Credits

Cast: Dev Anand (Sohan/Johny), Hema Malini (Rekha), Pran (Mohan/Moti), Jeevan (Heera), IS Johar (Pahela Ram, Dooja Ram, Teeja Ram – Triple Role), Iftikhar (Commissioner of Police Bombay – Mehta), Sulochana (Mother of Sohan and Mohan), Randhawa (Babu), Padma Khanna (Tara), Sajjan (Rai Bahadur Bhupendra Singh OBE), and Premnath (Ranjeet Singh)

Lyrics: Indeevar and Rajendra Krishan

Music: Kalyan ji – Anand ji

Story and Screenplay: KA Narayan and Vijay Anand

Produced by: Gulshan Rai (Trimurti Films)

Directed by: Vijay Anand

Run Time: 161 Mins

Johny Mera Naam Synopsis

Mohan and Sohan are brothers and their father, an inspector, was killed by a henchman of Ranjeet Singh. While running behind that henchman Sohan gets lost from his younger brother Mohan and his mother. While chasing that henchman he attacks him and thinks that he has killed that person. To escape from the police Mohan hides inside Ranjeet Singh’s car, but Ranjeet finds him and eventually, Mohan becomes Moti and becomes right-hand man of Ranjeet.

On the other side, Sohan becomes an undercover police inspector with the Bombay police and finds that Heera is connected with Ranjeet Singh who has now become a mafia. Through Heera, Sohan meets Rekha who is also trying hard to find her lost father Rai Bahadur Bhupendra Singh, the elder brother of Ranjeet Singh. To find her father Rekha has joined the gang of Ranjeet Singh.

Later, Sohan who now has an alias of Johny meets Moti and wins his trust, and becomes his all seasons man. Incidents happen one after the other and picture gets clear that actually Johny and Moti or in other words Sohan and Mohan are real brothers and they both decide to take revenge for their father’s death with Ranjeet Singh.

Late Review of Johny Mera Naam

Jewel Thief, Guide, Teesri Manzil, and Johny Mera Naam all are cult classics that are directed by the same man called Vijay Anand. The way he made the perfect mixture of Dev Anand’s charming image and a serious police guy in Johny Mera Naam is unthinkable. As I have mentioned before in this blog, this is a pure masala Bollywood movie, and right from the first scene till the last, it stays like that.

With a bit of suspense, thrill, romance, emotions, a bit of sadness, and seductiveness, all those ingredients are there in Johny Mera Naam. If Vijay Anand’s direction and his screenplay which he wrote along with KA Naryan are good enough to keep you glued to your seat while watching this movie, then some remarkable acting performances would make sure that you don’t get a chance to leave your sit and answer your nature’s call.

Dev Anand, as I mentioned before because of the genius of Vijay Anand he bosses the movie single-handedly. Some of the most popular dialogues ever said in Hindi movies are being said by Dev Anand in this movie. He was a master of romance and he has shown his class in that department with Hema Malini.

I think Hema Malini was quite new at that time and probably that is why she hasn’t given more footage compared to other actors. But, that is common in masala Bollywood movies that the heroin doesn’t get much exposure as the movie is totally focused on the hero.

Pran plays a mixture of positive and negative roles he always excels. Even when he is playing the negative portion he still looks lovable. Although he is the right hand of the villain because of the background of a humble family that is shown early in the movie Pran could show some emotions with great effect as well.

IS Johar in the triple role of Pahela, Dooja, and Teeja Rams can make you laugh even when you see him on the screen. IS Johar, unlike Mehmood is not known for buffoonish comedy but for some intelligent way of laughter. Even in this triple role, he has made sure that his intelligent comedy expertise doesn’t take the backstage. The prime examples of that can be seen in two scenes, one when Dev Anand and Hema Malini meet him in the plane and two during the concluding moments of the movie inside the den of Ranjeet Singh.

Jeevan, Randhawa, and Padma Khanna fill up the gaps, but Jeevan and Padma Khanna have got more chances to show themselves in the movie. ‘Husn ke lakhon rang’ song that made Padma Khanna a sex symbol for most of her career is one of the most popular songs of Johny Mera Naam.

I always have huge respect for acting abilities of Premnath. For me, he was totally a different kind of actor who had different ways to express himself on the screen. The way he would act or the way he would speak his dialogues have always mesmerized me and Ranjeet Singh of Johny Mera Naam is no different. Premnath plays the villain in this movie but you would see that he has shown us a totally different kind of villain than what we normally get accustomed to in Bollywood masala movies.

Johny Mera Naam is probably one of those movies whose entire album became a super hit. All the songs are still popular and for that, the credit must go to the music department of the movie. Indeevar and Rajendra Krishan who wrote the lyrics of Johny Mera Naam and Kalyan ji – Anand ji in their prime composed those magical songs. My personal favorites are “Nafarat karne waalon ke seene mein pyar bhar doon” and “Pal bhar ke liye koi humein pyaar kar le.” Both the songs are sung by Kishore Kumar who is my favorite singer of all time.

Whenever I review these old Bollywood movies, I always feel that they are made in such a way that even after three, four, or even five decades they are able to entertain us fully. Johny Mera Naam has everything to entertain us and if you have watched it only once, you will not get bored watching it again and again like me.

So, till we meet next time it’s Avjo from me!

19th January 2022, Thursday

Ahmedabad

SiddTalks

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