(Spoilers ahead) What a train wreck of what started out to be a really decent movie. Aaaaah. What a waste of some really nice performances and well written characters except for the last fifteen or so minutes.

Andaz tries to explore what happens when a bond which ties two people together looks different at either end. Dilip and Nina (Dilip and Nargis) meet when Nina’s horse is behaving a tad unreasonably. Though it doesn’t end all that well for the horse, the two strike up a camaraderie which blossoms into a trusting friendship for one and tender love for the other.

Joined by her friend Sheela (a lovely Cuckoo!), the trio have a very pleasant time singing songs, playing tennis and enjoying life. Nina’s father, made uneasy by her easy friendship and implicit trust in someone essentially a stranger, cautions her to be a little more … guarded. Lest she send out wrong signals to Dilip and to the society at large.

Nina finds her father’s warning a trifle ridiculous and is very sure there can be no possible misinterpretations of her feelings and actions. There is a very beautiful scene between father and daughter capturing the naivety and innocence of Nina, and the tender regard her father has for her, when he gives in to her wishes and invites Dilip to her birthday bash.

Circumstances throw Dilip and Nina even closer to each other in a very short span of time, till there comes a point when she depends on him completely. It is he who sort of brings her to life again after the death of her father. And she goes as far as making him a partner in running her father’s business. Meanwhile, Dilip has fallen completely in love with Nina. He has, in his thoughts, linked his future with Nina and completely gives up any plans of his own and falls in line with Nina’s suggestions and stays on in her town.

Enter Rajan, Nina’s beau and love of her life, away previously for sometime in London. Obviously this comes as a shock to Dilip, owning to the fact that Nina never tells him of Rajan’s existence. However Rajan knows all about Dilip. Which is extremely natural, I think. Dilip, being a man in love has ignored/misread any passing reference to Rajan. And as Nina says laughingly on being questioned by Dilip “Are you my girlfriend that I moon over and tell you about my love life”. Probably she never thought how close to her Dilip would become.

Rajan and Nina get married very soon after Rajan comes back to town. Dilip, in a daze, feigns headaches for some time and then decides to go away once and for all. And when Nina cross-questions him, he reveals his love. She is upset, tries to get him to take back his words and when he refuses, storms back inside, her head swirling in fear of what people might say at Dilip’s sudden departure and how Rajan might react. One who didn’t give a damn of what people might think of her, is now suddenly crushingly aware of the power of a few poisonous words. (Dilip, being a gentleman decides to stay on and forlornly sings love songs and refuses to marry Sheela.)

More than everything else, she seems to fear her own feelings. She imagines a stern Dilip needling her to peruse her unconscious feelings for him, and has nightmares of her husband and Dilip shooting each other while she watches on mutely.

Rajan, needless to say is a little worried by Nina’s jumpy behavior and her refusal to go back to the city. She has made him move to a smaller town and stay there. And he is a little perturbed about Dilip’s refusal to marry Sheela and that little nagging question turns up in the corner of his mind. However life goes on, and Rajan and Nina are blessed with a baby daughter. Time flies and the couple  moves back to the city with their toddler.

And Dilip meets a reluctant Nina at her child’s birthday party, wanting to tell her that he’s really going away for good this time. A nervous and highly strung Nina becomes even more so, when the power fails and in the darkness pleads with Dilip to not bother her anymore or disrupt her peaceful life with Rajan and her baby.

The lights come back on and she sees Dilip at the other end of the room. *Gasp*, she has just told all to Rajan, who’s hurt, angry and very very suspicious. What will happen ? How will it all end ?

Not very well, I’m afraid. Remember Nina’s nightmare about the two men in her life shooting each other ? Probably that might have been a nicer ending than what the movie has in store.

The movie’s solution is to make Rajan hit Dilip in the head and turn him from a decent reasonable and thoroughly dependable man into someone deranged and insane and to get Nina to kill him when he confronts her and even tries to attack. (By the way, Nina seems to have zero feelings for Dilip after her husband nearly kills him. She seems to mainly want him to live so that he can clear her name and reunite her with her husband. Poor Dilip) Then Nina, after giving a speech which seems to boil down to saying “Women, it’s all your fault for being so free and smiling at every man who comes around” is hung to death. Bleagh.

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