Do Ankhen Barah Haath
Usually movies that have criminals involved are either mystery or psycho thrillers. Not only that, there’s a lot of brutality and also, high voltage drama involved. But then comes this film which belong to the category of brutal criminals but hardly any violence and more of humanity. Yes, humanity which is also the idea or the message of this film to spread. A film which was way ahead of it’s time and still if released in today’s time would have created a very big impact and I may go a distance to say, greater than the earlier one. The film we are talking about is ‘Do Ankhen Barah Haath’ made by the Great V. Shantaram in the year 1957.
Movie starts with six brutal criminals getting imprisoned after their crimes and deeds. They are quite dangerous and people really feared them a lot. They were prisoned in a jail where V. Shantaram (Jailer Adinath) was the jailer and he was quite kind and believed in humanity above all. Criminals are not really easy to handle, specially such ones who don’t care about their imprisonment and are very powerful. But, Jailer Adinath had a belief that he can take care of this situation in his own way and also he can change these six criminals by himself and transform them into a better person. He faces a lot of flake from his department itself and has been warned to be held responsible if he isn’t able to fulfill his task or if any of the criminal run away from what he has thought.
So, here the journey starts and Jailer Adinath decides to keep these six criminals far awat from city and on a barren land with a big house. They aren’t handcuffed, neither they have any holds barred. It’s just the trust kept over them by Jailer Adinath, which needs to be kept intact. The film isn’t something that goes beyond any wage ideas or things which one can’t expect. But it understands it’s own strength so well that inspite of understanding and also predicting at times what will happen, it still holds a grip over the story and progresses brilliantly ahead. As further it goes, the characters grow and also the narration develops in such a way where one will be intrigued to know the process or the journey and not the end result. It is a story where a Jailer leaves it in hands of the criminals and keeps his trust on humanity, where he fails at times and definitely, it’s never an easy route to take. But here the trust is shown in such a way that it draws you in and make you believe in Jailer’s belief.
As the story goes ahead, we see a lady who sells toys and is surrounded by kids most of the time visiting the vicinity of the house where they are kept, played by Sandhya Shantaram (Champa). Seeing her all the criminals who have been transforming slowly are very happy and they seem to be interested in her in some or the other way. She sings, she dances, she is full of life and that gives these guys a way to enjoy like a kid and forget themselves. And so, the story takes a route which is very smooth yet with some hurdles, clear but at the same time very hazy. The journey is as beautiful as it can be and how Jailer Adinath transforms them all is the whole plot of this heartfelt film. Music is one of the highlight of this film and specially the song ‘Ae Malik tere bande hum’ sung amazingly well by Vasant Desai and Lata Mangeshkar. Also the songs are composed by Vasant Desai and Bharat Vyas. Well crafted and evergreen music.
‘Do Ankhen Barah Haath’ which means – two eyes and twelve hands, beautifully explains the essence of the film. It’s twelve hands of those criminals and to keep them restricted or hold his belief and the only thing they scared or respected were those two eyes of Jailer Adinath. This film also won Nation Film Award that year and it’s well deserving and would rate it one of the best Indian films made ever. It also won – Golden Bear Extraordinary Prize of the Jury in Berlin International Film Festival and Samuel Goldwyn International Film Award in Golden Globe Awards.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.