Madhubala’s thousand-watt smile lit up our silver screens. She was part of incredibly successful movies, and some path-breaking ones. Unfortunately, her career was cut short by ill-health and an untimely death. We take a look at some of Madhubala’s romantic films that movie buffs still remember her for.
One of her first forays into comedy. Who can forget Madhubala twirling an umbrella to Thandi hawa kali ghata? Her exuberance filled the screen as she played Anita, a naïve but spirited heiress. Anita’s aunt forces her into a marriage of convenience with Pritam (Guru Dutt). All this so that Anita can claim her inheritance. However, she falls in love with her pretend-husband instead. The movie also had lovely songs like Udhar tum haseen ho, idhar dil jawan hai and Chal diye banda nawaz courtesy OP Nayyar.
An unexpected shower, a chance meeting with a stranger, and life is never the same again. So begins the romance between young poet Aman Hyderabadi and Shabnam, who already loves his poetry. Imagine her joy when he sings, Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolega woh barsaat ki raat, and she realises her poet is singing about her! A beautiful love story, filled with beautiful songs, and a climax with the longest quawali sequence in Hindi films.
Madhubala’s most iconic role was that of Anarkali in the doomed love story of Prince Salim and a lowly courtesan. Mughal-e-Azam would turn out to probably be Madhubala’s best performance ever. If her eyes flashed defiance during Pyar kiya toh darna kya, they are full of pain as she prays for deliverance in Bekas bekaram keejiye. It was a strong, dignified performance that impressed many.
This is a film that is overlooked when it comes to Madhubala’s filmography. Tarana had a decent script, lovely songs, and a lead pair whose chemistry lit up the screen. Madhubala brought her trademark charm to the role of a village girl who falls in love with a city doctor. She turned in a striking performance – watch her expressions change in Woh din kahaan. Who can watch Tarana and not believe that Dilip Kumar and Madhubala were in love? They make you want to believe it.