There are very few movies that are called cult classics. Teesri Manzil is not only a cult classic but is also the favorite movie of my late father, hence this movie has an emotional chord attached to me. Again, despite this movie being released in 1996 it still has its relevance for the current audience. Even today’s generation can enjoy this movie because of its strong screenplay.
I have seen Teesri Manzil on numerous occasions as it is my late father’s favorite movie, but even after his departure to heaven four years back, I have continued watching it whenever I feel like it and have watched it a few more times. Two weeks back I thought of watching it again and found that Teesri Manzil is available on Zee 5 so without missing a single second I start watching it.
Teesri Manzil (1966) Credits
Cast: Shammi Kapoor (Rocky or Anil Kumar ‘Sona’), Asha Parekh (Sunita), Prem Chopra (Ramesh), Laxmi Chhaya (Meena), Iftekhar (CID Inspector), Salim Khan (Rocky’s friend), Helen (Ruby) and Premnath (Kunwar Mahendra Pratap Singh)
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Music: Rahul Dev Burman
Story and Producer: Nasir Hussain
Screenplay, Editing, and Direction: Vijay Anand
Teesri Manzil Synopsis
Sunita believes that her elder sister Roopa has committed suicide because she was emotionally cheated by the drummer of Park Hotel Mussoorie named Rocky. Sunita has decided to take revenge for her sister’s death and thus she comes to Masoorie with her hockey team friends. While Sunita was disclosing her plan to her best friend Meena Rocky aka Anil Kumar Sona got an ear to it and he decides not to disclose his real identity to Sunita.
But in the process, Rocky falls in love with Sunita and starts trying to lure her and eventually, Sunita too falls in love with Rocky. While impressing Sunita, Rocky who is in the disguise of Anil Kumar Sona lies about his uncle who has a lavish mansion in Mussoorie. Accidently Sunita, Rocky, and Sunita’s friends reach that mansion one fine day and Rocky gets caught by the owner Kunwar Mahendra Pratap Singh.
But later Kunwar Sahab forgives Rocky and tells him that should he need any help he will always be there for him. Slowly Rocky’s emotional bonding with Kunwar Sahab too gets stronger. One day Rocky feels that enough is enough and decides to tell the truth about his real identity to Sunita. He writes a letter to Sunita explaining everything about him and Roopa.
But despite telling the truth things start to go wrong as Sunita parts away from Rocky. Not only has this, but attacks on Anil or Rocky’s life start to happen time and again. The CID inspector shocks Anil when he unearths the real reason behind Roopa’s unnatural death. Rocky gets restless and starts running behind the killer of Roopa and also the person who wants to kill him.
Late Review of Teesri Manzil
As mentioned above this is a cult classic movie and hence it can be related by today’s generation as well. But while watching this movie one will also realize that what makes this movie relevant even today is its screenplay and a good or watertight screenplay is missing in today’s movies. There is not a single moment in Teesri Manzil that will make you feel that it is out of place.
The movie starts with Roopa’s death and then suddenly there is a comic relief that stays maybe till the interval along with romance between Rocky and Sunita. In between there are some melodious and evergreen songs written by Majrooh Sultanpuri and composed by RD Burman are also played. All these things lead to a gripping climax and when the suspense comes out in the open. Rest assured, for first-time watchers it will shock them. Even people like me who have lost count of how many times we have watched Teesri Manzil can still enjoy the revelation of that suspense in a particular scene due to the expression of Shammi Kapoor and the background score by RD Burman.
So, the thing is that the way Vijay Anand has treated this movie with his screenplay and direction skills has made this film an all-time classic. Not only that, music director RD Burman has played a huge part to make this movie classic through his path-breaking scores. Teesri Manzil was only the fifth movie of Rahul Dev Burman after Chhote Nawab, Bhoot Bangla, Teesra Kaun, and Pati Patni. Majrooh Sultanpuri almost forced Nasir Hussain to take RD Burman to compose music for Teesri Manzil.
Nasir Hussain was ready but Shammi Kapoor wasn’t. Shammi Kapoor wanted his usual Shanker-Jaikishan duo to compose music for Teesri Manzil as he used to feel secure about it. But when Shammi Kapoor heard compositions made by RD Burman, as per some people he went crazy and got his nod immediately. After composing music for Teesri Manzil, as they say. RD Burman has never looked back and in a just few years became one of the most popular and most sought-after music directors in the Hindi film industry.
There is one anecdote I have heard from many people that are involved with Teesri Manzil in a few interviews. The situation was that the set was ready in one of Mumbai’s film studios for shooting the song “Tumne Mujhe Dekha Ho Kar Meherbaan”. But unfortunately just a few days before the shoot could begin Shammi Kapoor’s wife and known actor Geeta Bali passed away. Shammi Kapoor wasn’t willing to take up the work as he was naturally in deep shock and sadness.
Nasir Hussain, after a few days, approached Shammi Kapoor on when he could start the shooting of that song. Shammi asked him to wait for a few more days. It has been said that Nasir Hussain told Shammi Kapoor that he can take as many days as he wants to and he (Nasir Hussain) will wait for him. Ultimately Nasir Hussain had to wait for not less than six months and for those many months, the set was kept as it is in that studio. This anecdote also reminds us that what kind of work ethics the Hindi film industry used to follow during those days.
Well, after praising Teesri Manzil this much, I think the person who is reading this blog needs no further force or request to go and watch the movie either on Zee 5 or on YouTube. I can promise only one thing that you will not be disappointed once you finish watching this all-time great movie of the Hindi film industry, called Teesri Manzil.
16th November 2022, Wednesday