Jasoos (1977) Movie Review
Cast: Sultan Rahi, Mumtaz, Chakori, Ghulam Mohiuddin, Rozina, Adeeb
Director: Iqbal Yousuf
Nutshell: thoroughly intriguing mystery thriller featuring a masked hooded death stalker!
Lollywood’s forays into thriller territory have been few and far between so it came as a pleasant surprise when Jasoos – a murder mystery thriller was unleashed on a populace brought up on largely village – landlord, rich boy poor girl conflicts and tearjerkers. The film begins intriguingly with a dark hooded figure breaking into a mansion to empty the contents of a family vault.
After much tension, Rozina and husband approach the source of commotion only to find a cat rather than a hooded figure working the family safe! The plot thickens as the rich industrialist Seth Azam is stalked and slaughtered by the very same hooded assassin who does his stalking to a fabulous ‘stalkers theme’ beautifully composed by master music director Tafo – sorry Ustad Tafo as he is now known.
The police receive an anonymous tip warning them of further death and mayhem – and Sultan Rahi, before his Maula Jat days – is assigned the arduous task of apprehending Seth Azam’s killer – the overweight, hooded stalker. Rahi arrives at a sinister mansion, climbs up a tree to see what’s going on inside. He is dazzled by a scintillating and seductive dance by Chakori ‘shola sa bhadka’ which only adds to the growing mystery/confusion.
Ghulam Mohiuddin and Chakori are Kingpins of a seemingly terribly dangerous underworld group who utter deathly statements like ‘it will be done boss‘ to show just how ruthless and dangerous they truly are. A robust Mumtaz appears on the scene – Seth Azam’s long lost niece and heir to his massive inheritance. The killer it seems is after Azams fortune and will destroy anything that lies between him and the millions. Mumtaz’s life is in terrible danger as the prowler sets his murderous gaze in her direction. Rahi, while protecting Mumtaz from the prowler falls for her seductive charms and they have occasion to share a racy song or two while the plot thickens and the mystery threatens to go into overdrive.
It’s a pretty heady mix – the horrors mount up, the tension and mystery become almost too much to bear as amidst much suspicion the hooded stalker reappears to clear his path of both Mumtaz and the irritating Mrs. Azam – Rozina who seems to live in a dressing gown.
To reveal anymore would be criminal – but believe me when I say all is not as it seems and the twists that make up the films climax and denouement make the climactic twist in The Sixth Sense seem as predictable as nightfall. You will be scratching your head sorting our the puzzle days after seeing trying to make all the odd pieces fit together so that the puzzle is complete. Jasoos is a mindboggling intriguer with plot holes to astonish and delight in equal measure.
Sultan Rahi delivers a fine performance and the director makes sure the audience gets a load of his chiseled torso with freshly designed chest hair. Rahi looks ruggedly handsome if a touch gorilla like and was soon to become a one man ‘shahenshah’ of Lollywood a few years following Jasoos. Mumtaz gives a typically spunky performance and dances quite dazzlingly to the tribal ‘Zambo Zambo’ number. Chakori threatens to steal the show and almost does with her astounding ‘shola sa bharka’ stunner. All in all it’s a total gas – wonderfully refreshing for being so different – even if all semblance of logic and cohesion are tossed out the window rather early on in proceedings. The film managed to do perform reasonably well at the Box Office and though not a huge success by any means it certainly was a money earner all around.
Swami Ji's Rating: 83% - Jasoos is a mind-boggling intriguer with plot holes to astonish and delight in equal measure