Victoria No. 203- the Original Film

There was a director called Brij who made this film in the seventies, with Navin Nishchal and Saira Banu in the romantic lead, and Ashok Kumar and Pran in the real lead. Their roles (the older actors') were central to the theme, about a missing cache of diamonds worth a few crores. I just saw this film again, on TV.

It is rollicking fun, with a lot of twists and turns, and some good music, particularly the song- "Do bechare bina sahare, dekho poochh poochh kar haare, bin taale ki chaabi lekar phirte maare maare." Saira Banu's dad is implicated in a murder related to the stolen diamonds, and she is forced to disguise herself as a man and drive his Victoria (women were not allowed).

There is a lot of fun with Ashok Kumar (who plays a drunkard) and Pran, small time crooks who find the key to the locker where the secret about the diamonds is stored, but don't know which locker. Finally, their search leads them back to the Victoria (horse-cart) and its lamp. But the original goons who killed the person carrying them get into the act, and mayhem ensues in a climax that's also great fun, Bollywood-style of course.

A crime-comedy caper in the best traditions of Bollywood.

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