Come to think of it, who'd be interested in watching a film that first released 50 years ago? There're chances that people may've caught it on TV or DVDs. Or, to be brutally frank, they might want to give the film a skip. But 'Naya Daur', even after 50 years of its first release, has the magnetism to keep your eyeballs focused to the silver screen.
Sure, rural themes are rarely attempted these days and storytellers have moved on to greener pastures [read urban themes]. Also, the film lacks the visual appeal to entice the viewer of today, but despite the oddities, 'Naya Daur' works for several reasons…
[a] It depicts the triumph of the human spirit, which can never go out of fashion;
[b] The relationships [Dilip Kumar-Ajit, Dilip Kumar-Vyjayantimala] are so human and believable;
[c] O.P. Nayyar's lilting score is unforgettable;
[d] The man versus machine race in the penultimate reels is astounding.
It's very difficult to review a classic. But even at the cost of sounding repetitive, let's say that they don't make films like 'Naya Daur' anymore. Besides, over the years, we've seen a lot of clones of Dilip Kumar, Vyjayantimala and Ajit. Watching the originals is a different experience altogether!
Dilip Kumar lives the role of Shankar, an upright villager who revolts against the city-bred Jeevan. There were no acting schools then, no dubbing theatres to enhance your performance, not much technical support to make you look smashing. Yet, Dilip Kumar's performance strikes a chord even today. Commendable performances come in from Vyjayantimala [natural], Ajit [fiery], Johny Walker [exceptional], Nasir Hussein [first-rate] and Jeevan [nice].
Although B.R. Chopra made movies before and after 'Naya Daur', it will always remain one of the finest cinematic works to come out of B.R. Films. The power of a storyteller looms large as the reels of 'Naya Daur'unfold. Technically, the colorization is proper and the sound quality is sharp.
To sum up, 'Naya Daur' is a classic and will always remain one. To skip the film would be sacrilege. Go, relive the experience!