The joys of YouTube — simply search for Bollywood musical 1940s and you get something like this, without really doing anything to deserve it.
My Bollywood knowledge stands at a degree or two above absolute ignorance, which means at least I’m aware there’s something there, and it’s worth looking at. I have a vague impression that even some people who know a lot more about Indian cinema than I do tend to disparage and/or ignore the commercial product — and the older films aren’t so easy to see or learn about.
This is KALA PANI, directed by
S.D. Burman Raj Khosla, with some beautiful tracking shots and a feeling of lavishness despite the scene being mainly close-ups and medium shots, in a nondescript nocturnal wasteland setting. It’s the variety of angles, the movement, and the luminosity of the lighting that makes it seem paradoxically opulent.
As for the rest, I’m afraid somebody else will have to write it for me as I don’t know anything about this film or the national cinema it comes from. But it’s sweet.