Friday, 3 December 2010
There is many a time during the running of Govind Saraiya's Saraswatichandra that I feel that at last the erudite lead and Kumud will be united. In fact, there are plenty of reasons for this. But Hindi cinema has hardly ever been straightforward and easy. The writer will definitely discover twists that suddenly look too necessary for the plot to go on. In this 1968 film's case, Saraswatichandra's (I'll call him Chandra) father and vile stepmother come into the way of his happiness.
With so much love Chandra just waits for his nuptials to take place. The listless lover is too joyous to notice that his evil stepmother is instigating his father against him. But then, if I may ask, why does Chandra have to abdicate everything and leave? He should have stood his ground and recognised his duties towards his beloved. But then, what would have happened of this tale if he would have done so...
Why couldn't Kumud take care of her infant brother-in-law as Chandra's wife? Why wasn't she brave enough to listen to the call of her heart? Why did she have to resign to what the society decided for her? And, why spoil three lives when two people could seriously have been very happy?
Saraswatichandra is a safe social drama that should have been christened Kumud, keeping in mind the actions of this girl. After all, when the end credits roll, everyone is lauding her sacrifice and the accomplishment of her duties. So, why on earth is the film dedicated to the man in her life?
I'm not convinced by the film. I know it is a safe bet, but I was expecting a different romance that would stay on with me. I wanted a unique ending, something that would leave an indelible mark. Something that would make Nutan as sparkling as she was in her other films.
I am new to Manish. So, all that I can say is that he was a bit stiff. He looks good but requires more finesse in those emotional scenes. His character is one of restraint. He was remarkable in the romantic number and I'd have really loved him without his hideous wig.
The high point of this last black and white film is the music. Kalyanji Anandji's score is stunning. All the songs stand out. Especially Phool tumhe bheja hain khat mein and Chandan sa badan, the latter a sensual number that is gorgeous, strong and extremely beautiful... It momentarily lifts the film to an ecstatic high, only to fall soon after...