Then why does the director make him appear like the magnanimous self-sacrificing do gooder, who willingly gives away his love to another man? How boring!! And yes, why does Vijayendra Ghatke always have to play these roles?
Sunayana, otherwise is not a very bad love story. It is simple, sensitive and quite pleasing to the senses. True, it does have elements that might irk you...for instance some inane gags by Rajindernath, Jagdeep, Mukri and Pinchoo Kapoor, and some events that could have been done away with, but the 1978 film after intermission, or rather after Sunayana gets back her vision, gathers much steam. And yes, it has the brilliant O megha composed by Ravindra Jain and sung beautifully by Hemlata.
Raju (Naseeruddin Shah), a naive villager, comes to the city with the aspirationof becoming a successful man. At the very onset, the director gives enough hints to prove that this man is a bumbling simpleton with a heart of gold. While figuring out what to do in the city on the first day of visit, he saves a blind girl from being run over by a car. He is quite saddened to discover that this girl, called Sunayana (Rameshwari) is blind. He promises to take her to the temple, where she sells flowers, and bring her back home every day. Touched by his thoughtfulness, Sunayana responds to his sensitivity with gifts of flowers and sugary sweet words. Understandably the two now share a bond that is special and unique. Raju takes it upon himself to get Sunayana's eyesight back. One day, he meets with a freak accident and is rushed to a nearby doctor who administers medicines to him to take care of his head injury. Raju is overjoyed to find that this doctor will be able to bring back the vision of his love. But the operation and medical procedure would cost a whopping Rs 2,000! (Quite cheap to me now, at this age!) Raju, a poor man, however, decides to do whatever he can to arrange for the sum.
Enroute his mission, he encounters a drunk socialite who implores him to go home with him. Then there is a nonsensical circus sequences (shown only to prove the extent to which Raju can go to gather Rs 2,000 for Sunayana's operation).
A film from the Rajshri stable will of course have a simple and sweet setting, and Sunayana is no different. Apart from the petty crooks, the script lacks any outrightly bad person. Everyone is so saccharine sweet over here, especially Raju, Inderjeet and Sunayana.
What I didn't like is how talents such as Leela Mishra, Mukri and Jagdeep were wasted. I also found the title track picturised on Rameshwari and Naseeruddin a tad wierd. It's not often that you get to see an actor like Shah serenading with a damsel to a lilting number!
Vijayendra Ghatke gives a subtle, restrained and good performance as the benevolent doctor who also has a heart. He is a romantic but does not make it overbearing for the woman he loves. And when the time comes, it is he who backs out so that the protagonists can be truly happy.